A strong social media presence has become a necessity for any business trying to rank well on any search engine and in particular Google. Creating and maintaining that social media presence is a big job and this poses a challenge to many small business owners who may not have the time or the expertise to run a successful social media campaign. This article will consider the pros and cons of outsourcing the social media function.
Not Projecting Your Own Voice
Let’s start with the downside to outsourcing social media management. One of the characteristics of social media is providing a personal touch to your business, that is, letting your customers and prospects know who you are as opposed to an impersonal business approach. It can be challenging to outsource this function and maintain your “voice”.
Demonstrating Your Expertise
Another tricky element involves conveying your expertise through a consultant who doesn’t have your knowledge or experience. As such, you need to work closely with the consultant in terms of editing and approving any technical content. This can be time consuming and eats away at the advantage of outsourcing.
It takes time to write quality content, post on blogs and social media as well as responding and engaging with people on social media. If you’re not doing it yourself, then you have to pay someone and you need to manage that consultant as an investment:
- are you getting a good return on your time and money?
- How do you measure results?
Let’s face it – learning how to use all these social media platforms takes a lot of time and patience. Most of us can manage a post on Facebook or Twitter now and then but to truly leverage the technology requires a deeper understanding of how they work and how to use them to your advantage. Also, writing quality content that engages your audience and builds a following is not easy. Hiring a consultant gets you that expertise without having to go through the social media learning curve and eliminates having to keep up with the constant changes in the technology.
Running an effective social media campaign can easily take 10+ hours a week, including content creation, posting and engagement. That’s a lot of time for small business owners that could otherwise be spent providing the core value or service of that business. Businesses should always be looking at doing more with less – outsourcing social media management may well help with this goal.
In the end, having a presence on the internet, including blog posts and social media content is going to give the business greater exposure and lead to more traffic to the website, which is the whole point. An active presence on any of the social media platforms builds interest in the business and keeps that business name on the minds of more prospective clients. This presence also results in better Google rankings, further increasing site traffic and business levels.
One of the biggest arguments against outsourcing social media is not projecting the true “voice” of the business. That argument doesn’t hold much water, however. Consider a larger business or corporation – they hire marketing staff including one or more people responsible for this very function. It is part of their job to understand and convey the “voice” of the business and that is done by meeting with the business stakeholders whether that be the CEO, Marketing, Sales or clients. So why not the same arrangement for small business? Ultimately, it is the job of the Social Media Consultant to make sure that they capture the essence of the business by interacting with whatever stakeholders are involved. If you allow that a consultant can convey your business “voice”, then outsourcing social media management can be a very good marketing investment for your business.