What To Outsource, What Not to Outsource: The Social Media Guide

By on April 3, 2012

Small businesses are always concerned with their budgets, so outsourcing is no tiny matter. You need to know that the social media stuff you do outsource actually has an ROI. Part of this, includes knowing what you should never outsource! So where do you draw the line? That’s what I’m going to address today.

The 3 Rules of Outsourcing

– Outsourcing to a cheap provider is a waste of time and money
– Never outsource what you can do best yourself
– Always look for evidence of past results in your outsourced company or person

What You SHOULD Be Outsourcing

What you should be outsourcing depends on your skillset, and the time you have to invest in your social media efforts.

– 80% of companies have no idea how to create social content. One of the best investments you’ll ever make is outsourcing your content to a qualified, professional social media writer.

– Managing your different social media platforms. Be honest – do you really understand how to create, implement and measure all of your social media campaigns? Social management is the key to long term ROI, so outsourcing your strategy to a social strategy and management company is a good idea.

– Tracking and analytics. Even the most experienced social marketers have trouble collecting, sifting through and discerning the meaning of all of their tracking and analytics data. This is best left to the professionals, and will get you ranking higher, selling more and building larger communities – faster.

What You SHOULDN’T Be Outsourcing

– Direct client communication. It’s fine to have professionals create your content, manage and track it – but you really need to be the one talking to your communities. This means replying to posts across all of your social pages.

– Dealing with client issues. Don’t leave your brand reputation to a random outsourcer, you know your business best. When problems crop up, deal with them yourself or you could end up like Nikon.

– Getting involved on other social media sites. You can outsource this, but then it defeats the purpose of you, as the business owner, making new connections, networking, and meeting new people. That you need to take care of yourself.

– Your ideas and intentions. You have your own ideas about doing business, and the web presence or reputation you’d like to maintain online. It’s best to work closely with your outsourced social partner, so that you can get them to integrate these ideas into your content. Otherwise they’ll come up with their own set of ideas and rules – and they might be very different from your own!

You can see from these do’s and don’ts that it’s important to outsource the time consuming elements of your social strategy, but it’s also crucial to keep your voice and direct communication with your clients and fans intact!

What features of your social strategy have you outsourced recently? Did it work out well? I’d like to hear your story!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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