Whether Social Media Marketing should be outsourced to a professional service provider or not is a debatable subject. It really depends on your particular situation. If you have an adequate team at your disposal of which some are dedicated, running your Social Media Marketing in-house is probably the way to go. However, if you’re like most businesses with limited resources, or resources that are busy with their core functions, you may want to consider outsourcing this important function.
Social Media Marketing is not as easy as it appears to be. There’s a whole lot more to it than posting that occasional picture on Facebook, or tweeting something smart every now and then. This is not only true for Social Media Marketing, but also applies to “Digital Marketing” in general. For one, creating relevant and appealing content and posting that to the right channels so it reaches your target audience is critical. Also, knowing when and how to react to negative critics and comments is a skill that requires a lot of experience. And most importantly, finding the time to do it all right – especially when you and your team are super busy – is a challenge on its own.
The following are some compelling arguments why you should consider outsourcing this time consuming – yet important – marketing function to a professional service provider. Again, if you have dedicated team members, the following may not really apply to your case. On the other hand, if you can’t really allocate a team, you may want to consider outsourcing.
Social Media Marketing can become very expensive
Although setting up accounts can be done for free, using them effectively comes at a steep cost. The currency used here is time. Time you and your team members probably don’t have because you need to focus on your core business and tasks, such as production, serving clients, and what have you. An outsourced social media team on the other hand has all the resources it takes because that’s what they do. And by that, we really mean a complete “Team”. This entails one or more persons being responsible for developing new content, others for posting that to the right channels and appropriate time, and some more to monitor, respond, and engage your community.
The real challenge, creating your content
It takes more to build a vibrant community than to re-post and share what others have written. There are millions of others doing just that. To establish your brand as a figure of authority in its respective field, you’ve got to create fresh content that others will find useful and worth reading and sharing. This takes a lot of time. In fact, it takes more time than you can probably afford. This is where your outsourced marketing team plays an important role; they have the necessary resources to continuously research trending topics in your particular industry, prepare articles that are well structured and articulated, and promote them through your branded social media and other digital channels.
There will eventually come a time when someone makes a really nasty comment about your brand. Whether that is justified or made out of pure envy, it takes skills, experience, and finesse to handle negative comments, complaints, haters, and trolls. When do you respond and when do you ignore them? Should you delete some comments and ban users? There’s no one-applies-to-all rule, and every situation must be handled individually and delicately. This is where your outsourced team’s crisis management expertise comes in really handy. Drawing on their experience, they just know when to engage in discussions that may very well turn someone around, or when to ignore a post and just let it go.
It takes an incredible amount of commitment and stamina
This is a phenomenon we see very frequently; a brand launches its social media marketing program, gets very excited, and is hyper active during the first few weeks. Results aren’t being generated as fast as desired, and frustration begins to settle in. The excitement slows down and eventfully fades away entirely. What’s left are a few social media channels that haven’t been updated for months. A visitor passing by sees that the last post was made a month ago, loses interest, and moves on to someone else’s page that has more recent content. If this sounds familiar, don’t panic. It happens over and over. But what you should worry about is how you can salvage this situation and make sure your brand not only talks the digital talk, but also walks the walk.
It takes quite an amount of technical expertise
Social Media Marketing can get very technical. Once you get into the details, you’ll find out that there’s a great deal of technical know-how you need to master. For one, reading and understanding analytic tools is a key task to ensure your marketing can be continuously fine-tuned and updated. Learning how to structure the copy text of posts, when and how to place paid ads (i.e. should you advertise your Facebook page or boost posts?), and how to entice followers to share your content with their friends and peers (and providing them with convenient tools) are equally important skills that must be mastered. At face value, it looks easy. But once you get into the details, you’ll find that there’s an awful great deal of stuff you’ll need to learn.
It’s cost efficient
Given all the resources we talked about in this article that you will need and calculating the cost of their time, you will probably reach the conclusion in that it becomes more cost efficient to outsource Social Media Marketing altogether. Your service provider has all the resources your campaign will need and some more, but you won’t be paying for the cost of their entire time as that is divided up between numerous clients. In many ways, you can consider social media marketing services like you would for example your legal services. To get proper legal protection, you need access to various legal expertise (i.e. tax lawyers, intellectual property lawyers, litigation lawyers, etc.), but you don’t need them all on a full-time basis.
Taking into consideration the importance of Social Media Marketing – or better yet – Integrated Digital Marketing, this is no task a brand can take lightly and regard as a secondary function. In fact, we strongly believe that in today’s online world, the importance of digital marketing has long surpassed that of conventional marketing. As such, and especially if your organizations does not employ dedicated resources, your impacts and results will be boosted substantially by outsourcing this function to a professional third-party service provider for all the reasons we discussed in this article.
About the Author
Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges.
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