In this article I will cover 8 reasons you should outsource social media management for your business.
The social media landscape is constantly changing, technology and user interaction is constantly evolving. As mobile phones become faster and “smarter” we have more options and ways to connect, communicate and consume online.
From shopping online to live video stream broadcasting, the list of possibilities with social media is becoming endless.
Social media is becoming more popular than ever, with increased usage and daily engagement its a medium thats hugely important for every business that can no longer be ignored.
Social media statistics
- For context, as of July 2015, total worldwide population is 7.3 billion
- The internet has 3.17 billion users
- There are 2.3 billion active social media users
- 91% of retail brands use 2 or more social media channels
- Internet users have an average of 5.54 social media accounts
- Social media users have risen by 176 million in the last year
- 1 million new active mobile social users are added every day. That’s 12 each second
- Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp handle 60 billion messages a day
That’s a pretty large chunk of the population. So, needless to say, if you’re aiming to promote your business, content or blog, then social media is undoubtedly a space where you need to be active.
However there are challenges faced with establishing a social media presence and the task can be a pretty big undertaking – and If you consider the almost endless arrival of new platforms, new algorithms, and new tools, it can all start to seem impossible to keep up with.
1) Social media strategy
This is why having a social media strategy in place is so very important and the first thing to start with.
If you are unfamiliar with social media for business, then outsourcing to an agency can be a great first step. An outsourced social media agency can help provide you with a complete business analaysis, audit of your current web traffic and any existing social channels, business objectives and strategy plan of how to achieve it.
The social media strategy will keep the direction focused, and ensures that time and attention is channeled correctly into the activities that will have the greatest positive impact for your business.
An outsourced social media agency can help you with a number of detailed and sometimes complex tasks, the following list covers the key structure of the social media strategy plan.
Identify Your Target Market
As with anything, in order to craft effective messaging, you need to know who exactly you’re talking to. your agency should work closely with you to identify and understand your ideal customer: What are their goals and challenges, and why should she be interested in what your business offers?
An agency can help you to analyse and identify the social media networks and platforms where your ideal customers can be reached and engaged and converted on.
For example your customers might be really active on Instagram or Facebook, or maybe they are LinkedIn or twitter users. This is vitally important information for you, many business venturing onto social media have poor success because they randomly select several social channels and spread themselves to thin without focusing on one or two key channels that will reach, engage and convert their customers the most effectively.
Any social media strategy your agency creates for your business should be pushing you toward larger objectives.
An agency can help ensure that your strategy is on the right track, you need to be clear about what your goals with social media are. This needs to extend past the simple idea of increasing your followers and “likes”—those are social media goals that everybody has.
Your agency can help you to dive deeper: Do you want to use your social accounts to push your followers toward a specific product or service you offer?
Are you aiming to position yourself as a thought leader or authority in your industry—a resource people can look to for information and insights?
Do you want to build a strong, engaged community around your cause?
Pick one key objective, so your agency can continue to form your strategy in support of that goal. This will keep your efforts both focused and effective.
As mentioned previously, you likely don’t have the time to be active on every single platform.
Your agency can help manage this process, make recommendations and take the daily update process of your to-do-list so you can focus on running other aspects of your business.
Your agency can help analyse the information gathered in the earlier strategy planning steps in order to determine the bare minimum accounts where you need to be active.
These networks should help you meet your target audience right where they are, but should also support your business goals. This might involve a little give and take, but you should be able to identify at least two platforms that fit the bill.
Once you determine where you need to be active, your agency will optimise your profiles before beginning to post new content.
This is a step that many people skip, but it’s important for making a great first impression! Make sure that you have a clear, crisp and consistant profile image—whether that’s your business logo or a professional headshot.
Next, your agency can work to help craft a bio or “About” page that accurately captures exactly your business does and who they serve.
This gives people a clear snapshot of what you’re all about—which allows your target customers to immediately recognise you’re someone or a business worth following.
Create a posting content calendar
Your agency will set up a calendar for your social media contnet and accounts —it gives you a clear path to follow and stick to.
To get started, your agency should help determine how frequently you want to post, this might be down to your package or service your buying from them. Ultimately its your personal preference.
This eClincher article shared some business “sweet spots” on frequency to post per network:
- Facebook: 1-2 times per day
- Twitter: 4-15 tweets per day
- LinkedIn: 1 post per weekday
- Google+: 1-4 posts per weekday
- Instagram: 1 post per day
- Pinterest: 4-10 posts per day
Once you have agreed your frequency, it’s time to actually create your calendar.
Your agency might use a spreadsheet to list everything out, or even make use of a more advanced tool like hootsuite which has a calendar and post scheduling features.
At its most basic, your calendar should include a few straightforward things such as the publish date, the account, the type of content (article, video, photo, etc.), the actual post or link you plan to share, and any necessary media you’d like to accompany it.
This calendar will ensure that you’re spreading your efforts out appropriately instead of sending out a bunch of posts at one single time. Aside from that, it’ll also help you share a decent mix of content—rather than blanketing everybody’s feed with the same thing over and over again.
Outsourcing to a social media agency or professional consultant can help to provide Social Media services on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
The social media agency will have good experience in digital marketing, PR, an aptitude in literacy and a passion for Social Media. T
They will thrive for a challenge and understand the digital landscape, deep great understanding on system platforms and be able to predict upcoming trends.
They can generate original content for you that your prospects and customers will want to interact with.
Benefits of outsourcing means that your social media campaigns are run by professional social media managers who understand the social media platforms for your business objectives and help deliver the best results and ROI for your business
As this is a professional service there are certain levels of accountability required to meet a clients’ expectations. Results need to be measured and proven. Your Agency will give you reports on reach, engagement and conversion in-line with your business KPIs.
3) Social Network Experience
When outsourcing social media services, you need to ensure you select an agency with enough experience and expertise in a number of social media networks.
Experienced consultants and reputable agencies will have a deep understanding of more than one network and will often have skills across several networks.
Some Social Media Agencies have tried to manage several social platforms and found where they are only comfortable or experienced enough to handle one or two networks, they will then specialise in only Twitter or Facebook of example. Based on your requirements this is ok, however a good outsourced agency should have enough experience across a decent range of 4-5 key social networks.
Additionally, a good outsource social media agency will use social media management systems and publishing tools like buffer and hootsuite.
This tools allow centralised management of social media networks from one place so they can utilise all the platforms at once offering a well-rounded and thorough posting execution.
It is literally impossible for a single member of staff to specialise in all areas, the expertise of a social media agency is not focused on one individual and is instead spread over several members of staff who all have an input into campaigns.
Systems are monitored, measured, tweaked and tested every week and are continually developed to ensure that you are getting the very best from the efforts of the consultant once you outsource social media management.
In order to be truly successful in Social Media you will have to have a knowledgeable individual or team running your campaigns or managing your social media accounts.
Whether this is a member of staff or you have outsourced social media management, this is inevitable.
However being knowledgeable is not enough and that individual has to be supported by a variety of people with experience in other fields who can help build and execute the campaign or ongoing management.
If you are prepared to support that one person with a team of others who can help on campaigns then thats great, but many companies cannot afford this.
If you were to outsource social media management to agency however, then they will automatically have the tea and skills to deliver what you want to achieve, or support your your staff who runs your campaign with the experience in a variety of online skills.
For example, if you have someone with several years digital marketing and content management combined with a sales driven background, that person’s experience is different from someone that learnt how to be a Social Media Manager from a home study course and was a Plumber for fifteen years before that.
It is this deep knowledge of digital, content, social media skills, industry knowledge and experience that all add maturity of a using a social media agency instead of a member of staff or just a freelancer.
Being an insider may deter you from communicating your ideas to your audience in a way that they understand and fully appreciate.
Having a certain communication tendency could dissuade people to talk and communicate with you due to the language you use or the contnet you post. We call this Social Media etiquette.
Many business owners make the mistake of over selling or self-talking to their audience. using the 80-20 rule of curated vs own content will help build your business as a credible and interesting authority. 80% curated contnet and 20% of y9our own, been in your sales messages but don’t over sell.
How you behave online should be the same way you behave with your staff and your clients. Although old habits die hard, mistakes are made and the odd rough edged comment here and there could completely devastate your Social Media efforts and hurt your brand.
Agencies often implement a sign off system to avoid such errors whether they be grammatical errors or off-message posts that do more harm than good.
One of the most important things to remember is that you don’t need to flog people to get the job done. They should love Social Media naturally. Applying them in a business environment should not be a struggle but a pleasure. Outsourcing social media management can give you access to a talent pool that does this because they are passionate and hence does an amazing job.
The hardest and most risky aspect of hiring someone to work for you as a Social Media Manager is how reliable they are.
This is not only from a quality of work perspective; after all you might not be hiring someone if you if knew what you were doing so how can you reliably judge whether that person truly knows their stuff.
At a Social Media Agency people are seldom ever sick, if they are there’s plenty of people looking after accounts to have you covered.
You won’t have someone complaining to labour authorities or whining to HR and they won’t expect you to pay their tax or pensions. Importantly you don’t need to train them.
Another important factor – if you are paying an annual fee for an in-house social media manager, you will most likely get up to three members of staff supporting your account for the price of one with an outsource.
A decent Social Media Manager will cost you in the region of $50k-$70k per year, they will be qualified with a degree or years of experience and have certain expectations of you and your time.
For example, gathering content and writing original copy for the campaign can take many hours or even weeks. There are of course benefits to having the right person doing that for you if you can afford their salary.
However, there are so many aspects to hiring the right person that getting it wrong is very risky business. How do you know that they will be good at managing a Social Media campaign or generating ROI for your business?
If you do decide to outsource social media management, not only are you guaranteed a professional who knows the ins and outs of Social Media but you get one for less money. Additionally this professional will be supported by a whole team, so for less money you get much more bang for your buck.
So are you convicted yet?
Twitter, Facebook,YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, snapchat …and more, just keep on growing. Of more concern is if you run a business of any size, you simply don’t have time to manage all those social networks yourself. In fact, you likely don’t even have time to manage even one channel.
It takes several hours a week to capably handle a single social media platform. So, should you try manage it yourself? Or should you outsource social media management?
Contact us today for a free social media audit and a custom social media strategy plan for your business. Email your contact information to: firstname.lastname@example.org