Two social media tasks you should not outsource

Social media is never far from conversation. It’s become an essential (sometimes exclusive) part of the marketing mix. For me, most of my website’s traffic comes from sites like Linkedin and Twitter. I’m a believer. If you’re not using social media, it’s probably time to start. The power of dialogue and engagement on social media

Many businesses, though, just don’t have the time and resources to manage social media properly. So, understandably, they outsource.

In this post I explain two social media tasks you should not outsource. If you find this useful, please share. I also welcome your comments. 

The power of social media

Most people use the Internet and over 70% use social media. And thanks to the explosion of mobile devices, information is consumed anywhere and any time. Having a good online presence means you’re accessible to a huge potential audience.

Compare this to the traditional way. If you advertise in a newspaper or magazine, your exposure is limited to the publication’s readership. Then, after a few days or weeks, you’re consigned to the rubbish bin or stashed out of sight.

And social media doesn’t have to be about advertising. Social media allows for dialogue. Personally, I’ve never advertised online. Why? Well, for a start, it costs money and, secondly, people don’t respond to advertising like they used to. They’ve become jaded and cynical. People no longer want to be sold to; they want to be informed and educated.

Instead of advertising, I share information that is useful to my customers. It’s called permission-based marketing and it’s very powerful.

Social media activities

I dedicate one hour every morning to social media. It might seem like a lot of time, but many people spend much more. My time is divided between four social media sites, with an emphasis on Linkedin.

This is what I do in an hour:

  1. make connections
  2. respond to messages
  3. post my blogs
  4. share other people’s material that is relevant to my business
  5. comment on other people’s posts.

 

Many of these activities can be outsourced; some of them can’t … if you want to be effective, that is.

Two social media tasks you should not outsourceClick To Tweet

In a perfect world, businesses would perform all five activities in-house. However, in the real world, I understand this isn’t always possible.

That’s fine. You can get away with outsourcing some activities, but there are two that you can’t. They are responding to messages and commenting on posts (Visit Word Works to read a previous blog on the subject).

The human touch

Social media is about dialogue, not monologue; human interaction, not spam. No one knows your business like you do. Commenting and responding to messages requires knowledge and personality — your knowledge; your personality. These tasks are important — they enable you to show your expertise and position yourself as an opinion leader. They also enable you to make real connections with your clients.

When you hire a contractor to perform these functions, you negate the true power of social media. You even risk damaging your reputation.

Final word

If you don’t have the time to fully manage your social media, so be it. However, do make the time to have real dialogue with your customers.

What do you think? Do you outsource your social media? I welcome your comments.

Related posts:

A 30-minute social media marketing plan

How to use Linkedin for business

The infinite reach of an online copywriter

How social media keeps you in touch with your prospects

  1. VERY helpful thanks! I like that your posts are straight to the point and helpful. Sometimes posts are only ‘teasers’ to get you to sign up to something, (for a fee), I like how generous you are with your information. Thanks! Liz

  2. Good points on outsourcing Andrew, but I’d be inclined to add the one at the top of your list – making connections. Surely if the role of Social Media is about human interaction, having an outsourcer make connections for you is a bit — odd? In fact, on a more thorough analysis of your list, I’m not convinced that ANY one of those elements you mentioned should be outsourced.
    By all means, outsourcing copy for your website, a new service offered and handling traditional marketing channels can be outsourced, but social media is all about YOU communicating with others as opposed to YOU communicating to others VIA others.
    I think your post correctly identifies the necessity for those looking to utilise Social Media to actually look carefully at what they are looking to achieve and what commitments are going to be required on their part. If your business is going to embrace SM properly, you really need an outsourced expert (someone like you, I’m thinking, Andrew!)to make it clear what’s going to need to happen.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am not arguing to make points, but I think the bigger picture here is for readers of your excellent posts, to dig a little deeper and understand what Social media is for, why its important to establish street cred with SM (as you have done)and understand that being ‘SM aware’does not necessarily make you an SM expert.
    I’ll stop now…thanks for the insights though. Very thought provoking. Now, I just need to vanish into the ether and find your Call to Action post, which is what I was looking for anyway, given that I’m doing some outsource supply work…

    1. Hi Sean, thanks for your post. I agree with you. I think all businesses should manage their own social media. However, the biggest hurdle businesses face when running a content marketing strategy is just getting everything done – producing content and using social media, etc. People come to me full of enthusiasm about what they’re going to do. Unfortunately, as soon as they get busy, many put their content strategy on the back burner. This, of course, undoes much of the good work they have done. My view is that outsourcing some elements of your social media is better than doing nothing.

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