To outsource social media management or not to outsource, that is the question.
Without a doubt it is far better to do social media management in-house where you can. There, that’s that said. Coming from a company that handles outsourced social media and manages it on behalf of clients, it’s a pretty scandalous thing to say perhaps?
And so why on earth would we say that?
When trying to decide what is best for your company when taking your first steps into social media management, you have two choices. The first is to handle social media posting, live responses and customer enquiries from in-house personnel; the second is to outsource the management of social networks to a company like us.
Do you have the time to manage social media in-house?
Even though much is made about the fact that social media is ‘free’, both options come at a price – one of time. And as we all know, time means money.
So in finding the ‘time’ to handle social media management properly, it means that it needs to be paid for either in-house or through discrete costing by an outsource company.
We see a lot of companies who choose to use junior staff as their chosen in-house social media bod – some even choose to recruit cheap or free volunteers from local Universities. On the face of it, it makes sense after all. Young people know how all that social media stuff works.
What tends to make a tactic like this collapse however is lack of ‘worldly’ experience in that young person, and, as in many young people’s lives that move on at a quick pace, a lack of longevity in the role that can quite literally leave a gap in the team!
When choosing in-house staff to handle social media, ideally they need to be worldly wise, have great product knowledge and be passionate about the business. They also need to be blessed with an emotional intelligence that lets them communicate in subtle ways that is not just about ‘sell, sell, sell’, and they need also to be likeable. This kind of personality is usually a more senior member of staff, which means that their time costs more, and is time that might be a better return on investment if spent doing their ‘day job’.
If you outsource your social media, make sure the company you choose has personality!
Equally when choosing to outsource, you are looking for similar personal qualities in the outsource team. They need to have a sense of humour (yes! really!), emotional intelligence and an ability to get behind your brand and products in a way that is seamless with your own operation.
How much time you invest in this activity is down to you, but you should be looking to provide posting output and quick responses on a daily basis to ensure your brand looks as though it is tackling social media professionally.
Consider additional support to ease you into social media
But what happens if you have someone in-house that is perfect for the role, but is a bit green on social media techniques? Or maybe you have had a go at social media and couldn’t see how to make it work for you but don’t want to hand over the reins entirely to an outsource company?
And so, there is a third option.
Just like a tandem skydive, we can take you on a tandem social media journey. We have provided tandem ‘posting and training’ packages to many clients who feel they needed a little help in making their social media work better, but didn’t want to commit to handing over social media management in entirety. We have also led group training sessions to enable in-house staff to understand social media better.