It doesn’t matter what size of business you have. If you want to stay on top of your game, you can’t risk neglecting your social media. At first, it’s easy. One, you are passionate. Two, you have the capability. Three, your followers are probably families and friends.
But as your business grows and your footprint extends, social media management can become draining, to say the least. There are usually a few situations that lead you to considering outsourcing:
You, or your in-house social media manager is running low on capacity
You, or your in-house staff lack the aptitude required to further grow your social media presence
It became a better investment if someone takes social media off your plate
You need to focus on other aspects of your business than social media (low-key maintenance)
Part of the social media requirement exceeds your current capability (for example, ROI tracking and analytics)
Outsourcing becomes a better deal compared to keeping in-house staff or recruiting a new member to handle social media marketing for your business
To decide what’s the best solution for your business, ask yourself these five questions as a good start.
Q1 - What do I want to accomplish by outsourcing my social media handles?
Always - mind you, always ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish by outsourcing social media handles.
Each company, regardless of its size, would regard their social media marketing as a crucial part of the overall digital marketing strategy. Unless, of course, the business targets an audience that is relatively inactive on social media.
But for the majority of businesses today, no matter they are B2B, B2C or hybrid, they cannot risk losing social media. They are the most forefront platforms to connect with the audience, to interact, educate and engage, and to keep building up that business identity which will last longer, and stand out more than the mere services and products offered.
Now, back to the question: what do you want to accomplish by outsourcing social media works?
Below are a few classic answers:
You, and/or your team simply don’t have the time for it.
Even if social media marketing were just for content creation and scheduling/posting, how much time can you invest in it? A better question - wouldn’t you rather invest the amount of time spent on social media on something else, such as bringing in more revenues to your business, instead?
Maximizing Marketing Return
People on social media are consuming information at an astounding speed. Therefore, social content is all about maximizing influence during the short attention span spared to your post when people were scrolling down their feed.
By outsourcing, you are turning these tasks to a company that specializes in social media marketing. You do so because your partner has spent years to study the world of consumer psychology, social media user behaviors, platform-specific optimizations. Just like you’ve invested in learning your trade, so have the marketers.
Q2 - What am I looking to outsource?
Just because you are thinking about bringing someone on-board to help you with social media, doesn’t mean you have to 100% give up your control.
- a side word: as the business owner, you are never 100% isolated from anything in your business’s marketing strategy, after all.
In general, social media marketing can be sectored into the following areas:
Written content creation: the creation of captions.
Hashtag strategy: selection of hashtags to maximize impression
Copy editing: proofing, editing and touch-up of written content
Visual Content Creation: creation of visual content, including graphic design duties, and/or photo enhancement duties
Scheduling and Posting: optimization of posting schedule
Analytics, reporting and strategic optimization
Q3 - How much do I want to spend?
Always have a budget in-mind. This is a mandatory for any business owner. It saves time both for you and the person you want to work with.
Running a business is largely about making profitable investment. If you have a budget of $100 in mind but want someone to make your social media profiles go viral - unfortunately, that is not only unrealistic, but also disrespectful for the other party’s profession.
If a negotiation began without establishing monetary expectations, it’s only going to be a waste of time, don’t you think?
Q4 - Who do I want to outsource to?
There are multiple outsourcing options nowadays if you want someone else to take care of your social media accounts. Therefore, a good understanding of each resource is crucial.
Option 1: Agency/Firm
Agencies have the highest capacity and functionality amongst all outsourcing options, meaning they can handle multiple, or all tasks related to social media management and marketing
Agencies have professional insights and knowledge that can maximize your ROI
Agencies have experience in your industry and may discover new solutions you weren’t able to see before
Higher stability: the delivery of work and result is guaranteed in most cases
There are too many agencies and their qualities vary vastly
Often communicate with account manager instead of company decision maker.
Option 2: Freelancer
Direct interaction and communication with the freelancer
Can help you learn as well
May specialize in only one of your many needs, and thus requiring you to hire multiple freelancers to complete the full task
Experience in the industry may be much less compared to agencies/firms
Q5 - How long do you expect this relationship to last?
Outsourcing is an investment, not an expense. This means while turning “away” from managing your business social handles, you are investing your time in something that will bring your business to the next stage.
Therefore, the last question you want to ask yourself is: how long do you want this relationship to last?
How long will it be before you
bring the relationship to the next step, such as expanding services, or increasing social media marketing needs?
end the relationship, for example, you brought an in-house team onboard to handle social media needs
Think about these questions before you start. This will allow you to have a clear timeline in mind that not only guides you through the outsourcing relationship, but also keep you on-track in terms of business development.