Social Media Outsourcing – Is it right for your business?
Managing a small business is very rewarding. It can also be difficult to juggle multiple responsibilities on your own. When there are too many responsibilities that come calling, something always gets dropped.
For many small business owners, the first thing to go is their social media.
The idea of outsourcing your social media does come with some risks. You may no longer have full control over your brand message and you are paying someone to do something you can feasibly do on your own.
It can always be difficult to delegate something that is so elemental to your business. If you are too busy to handle your social media independently, however, your choice comes down to this.
Will your business be better off without a social media presence? Or will your business be better off if you outsource your social media?Will your business be better off if you outsource your social media? Click To Tweet
Many small business owners are finding that the latter option is the best choice.
Why Social Media is Necessary in the Modern Business Environment
Social media is no longer something you can afford to ignore. It is something that your business absolutely requires to stay in contact with your leads, clients, and customers.
That is because there are several core benefits to be found when your business is active on social media. Here is a look at some of the primary benefits which may come your way when you make social media an essential component of your brand’s messaging outreach.
Your brand becomes real. People form relationships with brands, just like they form relationships with people. An active brand on social media instills trust. Brands develop relationships by showing off their expertise, industry authority, and overall professionalism.
You gain exposure. For most people, it requires three positive exposures to your brand for enough trust to develop to start the relationship forming process. It may take up to 7 repetitive positive messages for others to begin making connections. More content increases the exposure frequency of your brand, which eventually can lead to better sales.
You stay competitive. There’s a good chance that your competitors are using social media already. When your brand is actively engaged on social media platforms, you create competitive messages for consumers to compare. That is why it is important to keep your presence on social media updated frequently. If you haven’t posted something new in weeks, if not months, then there is no relevant comparison for the consumer. They’ll go to the competition.If your business hasn’t posted something new on social media in weeks, or months, then it may be time to outsource. Click To Tweet
You become part of the conversation. With the structure of social media today, the number of fans or followers is almost irrelevant. Properly structured posts will keep your brand engaged in the present, relevant conversations online. People will naturally gravitate to your brand when it provides a relevant message, which allows you to create the “mob effect” for your business. When a group of people gathers around something, even offline, there is a desire to go see what everyone is looking at.
You grow your authority. Expertise is worthless if it is not backed by authority. Anyone can pretend to be an expert in anything today thanks to the resources found on the internet. Your brand requires credibility to have your expertise heard. Frequent posts on social media can help make this happen.
You can boost your optimization efforts. Modern search engine optimization is less about keyword choice and more about actual value. Creating an engaged network of fans and followers on social media improves the value proposition you offer. At the same time, you create cross-brand messages that reinforce your message by embedding your social media feed to your site.
You can boost your traffic. More exposure equates to more opportunity. If more people are seeing what your business offers, then you have more chances to convert leads into sales.
Why Choose Outsourcing for Your Social Media Needs?
Outsourcing is the easiest way to expand the footprint of what a small business provides to others. For a small fee, you’re able to delegate certain responsibilities to other professionals while staying in control of the relationship.
Thanks to the internet and technology innovation, social media outsourcing is a global phenomenon. Anyone with a small business and a social media platform can make an international impact.
That also means there are more outsourcing opportunities available to brands today than arguably at any time in history.
There are numerous reasons why you may be thinking about outsourcing. According to Deloitte’s 2016 global outsourcing survey, there is a good chance that you’re looking to outsource your social media for one of these four reasons.
- It is an expected cost-cutting tool.
- It enables you to focus on your core business.
- It helps to solve capacity issues you may have.
- It enhances the service quality you are able to provide.
You might also be thinking about outsourcing your social media because it gives you more access to intellectual capital as a small business owner. Large businesses can internalize their social media because they can hire experts that focus on this aspect of the business.
For some small business owners, your brand is built on your skill alone. If those skills don’t involve social media, you may find yourself at a disadvantage. That’s why outsourcing can really help.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Social Media
Social media requires a number of internal commitments. You need someone to check on blog comments, Facebook comments, tweet replies, Quora answers, and much more. Even if you outsource social media, you still need a commitment to this process.
When setting up your outsourcing relationship, you can develop certain responses that the agency can use in certain situations. It is up to you, not the agency, to ensure that those responses are being administered correctly.
With outsourcing, you no longer need to check every post and comment. You do, however, need to ensure what is being offered on social media reflects the quality you expect.
If you can make that commitment, then these are the benefits which become possible when you outsource your social media.
#1. You can focus more on strategic thinking.
When you’re running a business, you need to think long-term for your goals. You have a vision to develop and follow. By outsourcing your social media, you reduce the need to stay focused on short-term solutions. You can work with an agency to ensure your strategies are followed daily while you focus on what you do best.
#2. You communicate with better speed.
Outsourcing your social media improves the responsiveness of your brand. Most people who leave a comment or reply on social media will expect a response in 24 hours, if not less. Trying to respond to every comment or question could be a full-time job on top of your existing responsibilities. That is why you are able to communicate with better speed through outsourcing. It becomes their priority, allowing you to focus on other priorities.
#3. You receive more support.
Two sets of eyes are always better than one, especially on social media. It can be very easy to misinterpret a comment someone leaves with your brand online. If you engage with the wrong perspective, you’ll enhance the negative experience for that person and their network. Outsourcing your social media allows you to bring in an extra level of support to help you avoid mistakes like this, which can be costly.
#4. You expand your network.
The best social media agencies accepting new outsourcing relationships right now should already have highly capable influencers available to them. That means you get the opportunity to expand your network without the time commitment required to find those influencers on your own.
#5. You still receive integration.
Your social media presence is just one facet of your marketing efforts. It must be integrated with your overall strategy to be successful. Good agencies will be able to integrate the services they provide your brand with the overall marketing strategy you are implementing. To make that happen, however, there must be open lines of communication from your business to ensure everyone stays on the same page.
Concerns to Address When Outsourcing Social Media
Can a business be successful without social media today? Sure. Anything is possible. Some businesses succeed without marketing themselves, relying on brand ambassadors and consistent product quality to do the work for them.
That could be your business.
Outsourcing your social media can be beneficial. It could also be detrimental to your brand under certain conditions. That is why it is important to evaluate the disadvantages of social media outsourcing too.
#1. Will your brand convey an authentic message?
Authenticity is consistently ranked as one of the primary attributes that bring people to a brand for the first time. For some demographics, only loyalty discounts outrank authenticity as a top priority for brand support. Consumers expect small businesses to do the right thing far more often than they expect large businesses.
That is why it is critically important to choose an agency when outsourcing social media, that knows how to properly represent your brand message.
#2. Will your networks and connections shrink?
Outsourcing your social media may reduce the contact your business has with your brand ambassadors. It would be the agency handling your social media that would be interacting with these important people, which could mean their connections grow in value while yours begin to shrink.
That is why an outsourcing relationship must distinguish ahead of time how prospects, influencers, and brand advocates will be managed. There should be open communication when outsourcing social media to ensure your business can maintain these connections if they are wanted.
#3. Will your brand authority be questioned?
Most businesses do their best to create a wonderful customer experience. Providing purposefully bad customer service is not in the business plan. There are times, however, when unexpected events occur, giving customers a negative experience from the goods or services purchased. Many consumers turn to social media to complain or confront a brand when this happens.
You can stay in control of your message in this circumstance by developing an emergency plan with your outsourcing agency. There should be messages developed that can be sent to consumers immediately. It is also a good idea to create an escalation process which allows an agency to transition difficult customer service issues directly to your business.
#4. Will you be able to get out of the contract?
In a perfect world, every agency and freelancer would operate in a similar fashion. In reality, there can be some nasty surprises awaiting a business looking to outsource their social media. Depending on the contract you sign, you might find yourself locked into a relationship that isn’t beneficial to your brand.
Or worse, you might find yourself held hostage by someone who threatens the quality of your brand’s message.
Constant, accurate communication with your chosen agency helps to solve this problem. If you have a question, it should be answered right away. You should not feel confused by the services being performed on behalf of your company. Trust your instincts and do your research before signing anything.
#5. How will mistakes be handled?
Everyone makes mistakes. Outsourcing agencies make mistakes on social media at a rate that is similar to businesses who keep these duties internal.
Look for an agency which will provide you with a template of the posts and content which will be offered on your behalf. You should be able to edit these posts, or provide feedback on them, at the very least. You should also have the right to cancel a post that you feel is detrimental to your overall business and brand.
Outsourcing social media means you want new thinking for your online presence. You want to receive quality services. You want to find a partner who cares about your business as much as you care about it. At the same time, it is important to remember that agencies want to make a fair profit. They want to expand their business footprint. There’s a good chance they may even want to use your business as a future reference. If you focus on creating win/win situations, it becomes much easier to manage the expectations of an outsourcing relationship.
Outsourcing your social media can be a positive experience. There are numerous advantages that happen through outsourcing which improve the speed and effectiveness of your communication and networking. If the disadvantages are recognized immediately and strategies implemented to counter their negative influences, then you can achieve the goals of your small business without feeling like you are missing something.
At LeadProPlus, we work to make social media as easy as possible for you. We even offer a free version of our dashboard that allows you to manage your social media better internally.
We also offer an outsourcing service where we create your social media content on your behalf. You’ll fill out a comprehensive business profile, then our team works with you to ensure each message sent is on-point for your brand. That way, your social media platforms never look ignored and it’s all done for a fair, competitive price.
Social media matters. Let your brand stand out from the rest of the competition today.