A business that’s active on social media platforms is a business that is optimized to thrive in the 21st century. Just log on to Facebook or fire up Twitter for proof of that notion. But managing multiple accounts in addition to managing a business can be time-consuming and difficult. As a result, many businesses almost always end up having to outsource their social media efforts to an outside marketing consultant or firm. However, it can be difficult to determine if a business does, in fact, need to outsource this kind of task:
Does my current staff have the right expertise and the time to manage my social media marketing effectively? For businesses that like to interact and post on different networks daily, it can take up quite a bit of time. In addition, it takes a certain level of social media expertise to manage the accounts in a way that actually benefits the company. Posting haphazardly or for no reason won’t make too much of a difference from a marketing perspective
Will I make back the costs of outsourcing in increased revenue? Before outsourcing, business owners should ask themselves what the profit will be in handing over their social marketing efforts. The added revenue can come in many forms. For example, a business may see an increase in sales due to the extra exposure on social networks. Managers may also be able to spend the extra time on other tasks, such as increasing customer retention or bringing in new clients. No matter the form, the added benefits should outweigh the costs of outsourcing.
Understanding the Niche
Does the consultant or agency understand my niche? It is important to hire a social media consultant that has experience with the specific industry or niche. Each niche has its own news, its own language. The right consultant or agency should be able to engage in conversation with others in the niche, and post about what is new and relevant. Missing this type of engagement can lead to many missed business opportunities and customers.
But Also Understanding the Direction
Do they understand the direction of my business? Beyond understanding the industry as a whole, it’s important for the consultant to understand the vision and goals of the business. What gets shared and posted on social media represents the business and speaks their “voice” to the public. Because of this, it’s necessary that social media efforts are congruent with the overall direction the business is going in. Social media marketing is a small part in the overall marketing plan. For it to be effective, it needs to neatly tie in with everything else a business is doing.
Will they offer me real-time posting? Some outsourcing agencies will offer a certain amount of posts per day, but resort to scheduling the posts ahead of time. This can work for scheduling announcements or upcoming events, but real-time posting is necessary for engaging followers who are interested in what’s happening right now. This is especially important for fast-paced industries like technology, where news can come out each day. An agency should stay on top of what is happening in the moment, in addition to interacting with followers on a day-to-day basis.
Social media interaction is necessary from a marketing perspective. But it can take up a lot of time. For many businesses, the solution is to outsource their social media efforts to a professional who can really make a substantial difference in growing your brand online. However, before hiring someone, it’s imperative that business owners ask themselves these questions to ensure that outsourcing is the right path for them.
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