A recent survey released by Social Media Examiner asked marketers if they were outsourcing any of their social media efforts and an overwhelming majority said no. (My guess is because most of those surveyed, were marketers, and not simply small business owners or larger companies with varying departments.) Only about 30% of marketers are currently outsourcing. Of those outsourcing their social media to third parties, design and development, analtyics and content creation were listed as the top tasks outsourced. See the breakdown below…
20% Design and development
10% Content creation
6% Status updates, tweets, etc.
4% Community management
“An experienced social media marketing consultant has the advantage of thinking about social media 24/7 — with multiple clients, they’re also sharing the cost of staying ahead of the curve. They not only know what works, but they also have the luxury of experimenting and trying new things with different clients.” – Mashable This is a great argument for outsourcing your social media efforts however every business is different and has varying resources and needs so there are a few other factors that you need to take into consideration.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when determining your need for outsourcing:
- Have you seen some initial results from Social media that you know would possibly improve if you had more time or more social media knowledge?
- Do you have time to create content and respond to fans and followers?
- Do you have enough resources? This can mean two things, resources within your business to take the time to get done what needs to be done or resources to financially afford outside help.
- Are you feeling overwhelmed?
- Could you afford to hire an in house social media marketer/expert?
- Do you have goals and ways to manage your efforts in place?
- Do you have a social media strategy or do you need help in creating one?
So what services can be outsourced? It depends on the company or social media professional you go with, but pretty much any aspect of social media can be outsourced, including:
- Creating a social media strategy
- Creating a social media editorial calendar
- Monitoring different social media channels
- Creating content (this can be anything from creating updates on Twitter and Facebook, to engaging in group discussions on LinkedIn, to writing blog posts or creating videos)
- Measuring ROI and Analytics
- Creating social media campaigns and contests
- And more…
Before outsourcing, or participating in social media in house you should have specific goals outlined. What are you trying to accomplish? Is it driving more traffic to your site? Driving more foot traffic into the store? Having folks participate in offers, contests or purchases? Or is it creating more leads or brand awareness? Not only will setting up goals and measuring the impact of your social media efforts help you to see how your efforts are panning out, if you have these in place it will be a good measure of if outsourcing is proving to be helpful or more of a drain on your already low resources.
What about a hybrid approach? Can you hire a company to conduct social media personal training while also helping to augment your efforts in the interim?
There are many questions and options when outsourcing social media. In the end, it’s about what is going to make your business the most successful.
Are you outsourcing your social media efforts? What questions did you ask that lead you to that decision? What is working for you? Share with us here in the comments section!