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Outsourcing Social Media

With 97% of Fortune 500 Companies relying on social media and 73% of small businesses using social media to some extent, it’s safe to say that a majority of brands today invest in social networks to market their business.

Brands of all backgrounds have embraced social media as an effective way to engage their audience and convert new customers. Researching products and brands through social media is now a common part of the average buyer’s journey.

However, some brands aren’t ready to make a full commitment to managing their social media in-house, which is where outsourcing can help.

Outsourcing social media can reduce your team’s workload and expand your business, all while leveraging the skills of an experienced social media expert. Let’s dive into why outsourcing social media makes sense for some brands and how those brands can do it successfully.

In-house vs outsourcing social media

There’s no contest — you’re the expert on your brand. Since you’ve got the most knowledge and experience when it comes to your business, it’s easy to get stuck thinking no one can run your social media better than you (or someone on your team). That may be true. If your team has the commitment and the resources to consistently invest in that area of marketing, then by all means, managing the work in-house might be the most reasonable route for you to follow.

But just because you could manage social media in-house, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Knowledge about your brand doesn’t always equate to the best social media management.

Making a commitment to manage your brand’s social media yourself, or assigning an internal team member to do it, takes a huge investment of your (or your team member’s) regular time, talent, and energy. When we think of social media, what comes to mind most often is creating posts and scheduling them. Those things take a significant level of effort, but social media management encompasses a great deal more than that.

A good social media manager also monitors brand mentions, optimizes profiles, responds to comments and messages, follows relevant online conversations and trends, and tracks analytics and engagement, among other routine duties. The workload increases exponentially if your clients also rely on your team to manage their social profiles too.

If your team’s time and expertise are better spent elsewhere, outsourcing your social media workload is a practical option to consider.

Outsourcing frees up your in-house team to focus on what they do best, while you rest assured your social accounts are covered by an expert who’s well-versed in the social media landscape.

Why outsource social media

Delegating social media to an external party can have several benefits for your business. Let’s take a look at a few of the main advantages.

Leverage the skills of an expert

When you outsource social media, you get to tap into the experience of a pro. This means you don’t need to be an expert on social media, nor do you need to train one. Your social media manager will already know the ins and outs of each platform and they’ll stay on top of all the latest features. They’ll understand how to get the most value out of each social network so you don’t need to research it yourself.

Save precious time

Because social media management encompasses far more than only posting content, it takes a good amount of time each week (even each day) to do it well. Outsourcing this work means you get to maximize your time. Your social media stays active and fresh without your team needing to spend hours each week to make it happen.

Plus, an outsourced pro won’t expect you to establish their workflows. Since they’re experts in this area, they’ll have the tools, processes, and knowledge they need to do their job. They’ve had time and experience to optimize their systems, so you won’t need to worry about managing it for them. And you won’t need to mess with HR matters for them (like benefits and training) as you would with an in-house employee.

This gives you more time to work on what matters most — whether that’s closing new clients, building websites, designing layouts, or whatever else your in-house team specializes in. Instead of dividing your team’s attention among tasks that don’t fall into their primary wheelhouse, your team can concentrate on the good stuff.

Be more consistent

A dedicated third-party pro handling your social media ensures you’ll be more consistent with your social media presence. No more trying to squeeze in a few rare moments to schedule out an occasional post or two, then leaving your social accounts dormant for weeks when things get too busy for you to spare the time.

Social media is most effective when it’s consistent, so throwing a little attention at it every once in a while isn’t likely to yield significant results. Outsourcing to a social media manager will help improve your brand’s consistency so you’re not missing opportunities to get in front of your audience online while you focus on running your business.

How to outsource social media

Whether you’re considering outsourcing social media for your clients or your own business (or both), here are a few basic tips to set you up for success.

Decide what to outsource

Since social media management involves a variety of tasks, you’ll need to decide which tasks to outsource and which tasks, if any, to handle in-house.

Below are a few key functions to consider for your social media needs. Use this list to begin evaluating which specific tasks you should outsource.

  • Formulating a social media strategy
  • Setting up social media profiles
  • Producing a social media content calendar
  • Creating and scheduling content for each social media post
  • Monitoring and responding to social media comments or messages
  • Reviewing social media analytics and developing reports

It’s best to determine your needs upfront so you can establish a solid partnership with a social media pro who can provide the right balance for your brand.

Choose the right partner

Handing over the “keys” to your social media accounts isn’t easy, but when you know you’ve chosen a great partner, it makes the transition much smoother. Here are a few things to look for when selecting a social media partner to manage your (or your clients’) accounts.

Proven work

Request to see a case study or two to get more insight on their previous projects. An experienced social media manager should have success stories available for you to better understand their approach. Whether or not the case studies have direct overlap with your industry, simply seeing the outcomes of their past projects should help you envision how this person could create an impact for your brand too.

Solid communication

Ask questions about their communication process so you understand how frequently they’ll be in contact and which route(s) they’ll use to reach out (e.g. email, phone, a project management tool). Make sure this aligns with your expectations. Maybe you don’t have time for a weekly check-in call but would like to see a bi-monthly progress report. Higher touchpoints (meaning more frequent, prompt communication) usually mean a higher price tag on the project, so consider how your expectations relate to your budget and be open to adjusting when necessary.

Details about what to expect

Be sure you understand the scope of work provided before you commit. Do they create custom content? Provide reports? Respond to post comments? Proactively engage with other accounts? Get the details upfront so there are no surprises after the project is underway. Depending on their pricing packages, you may need to engage in more than one service if you plan to outsource multiple aspects of your social media.

Get started on the right foot

Once you’ve found a social media manager you trust, you’re ready to kick off the project. Use these steps to prepare for a strong start to the project, whether it’s for your social profiles or your clients’ profiles.

Define your strategy

You’ll need to get a few internal things in place before starting to outsource your social media. First, make sure you’re clear on your business goals and who you’re specifically trying to sell to (AKA your target audience). Use your business goals to help you designate marketing goals. Then identify how social media plays a role in that by defining your social media goals (e.g. brand awareness, engagement, leads, etc).

From there, you can craft a social media strategy that appeals to your target audience and will help you reach key objectives across your business. Depending on who you outsource to, they may be able to help you craft your social strategy or give guidance on how to optimize your current approach.

Provide brand assets & resources

Beyond your goals and strategy, your social media manager will need some items from you. For them to act as the voice of your brand on social media, you’ll need to provide them with assets such as your brand guide, content examples, images, or other items to help them understand your brand’s voice and visual identity. It’s best to have these basic assets ready upfront and then you can ask your social media pro if they need anything further from you.

In addition, it’s beneficial to provide your pro with resources to help them learn about your industry and the types of social content you’d like to see posted on your profiles. This may include industry information you created, links to educational content from outside sources, or links to brands that produce something similar to what you think would work well for your business. Anything that would help them get their bearings in your niche is good to pass along.

Check in regularly

Expect there to be a learning curve when you first start outsourcing social media. It may take some time for your social media pro to nail down your brand voice or get the right topics queued up. If this is their first encounter with your brand, they’ll need some time to get up to speed. So don’t panic if things aren’t spot on from the start.

To help ease the transition, ask to review their work before it’s published, provide thorough feedback about what’s working and what’s not quite there yet, and give it some time. You may expect to check in with your pro more frequently at the beginning of the project, or they might proactively request more feedback from you at the start. As time goes on and both sides work together to hone the partnership, the process will become more fluid.

Ready to outsource social media?

If you’re ready to outsource social media for your clients or your business (or both), Workify is here to help. We’ve partnered with thousands of businesses to fulfill their digital marketing needs. We handle the service fulfillment entirely, so you can focus on what you do best. View our white-label social media services and see if they might be a good fit for your needs today.