With new social media networks popping up at a quick rate, it can be tough to keep up – let alone decide which networks are best for your business.
In a Vertical Response Survey taken in 2012, 500 small businesses found that a third of owners, proprietors, and CEOs want to spend less time on social media. Yet two thirds are spending more time online than they did the previous year, even though they struggle with the added workload .
As a result, many small business owners are outsourcing their social media work to a marketing firm, like Creatine Marketing, or consultant. Think you should do the same? Here are three questions to ask before handing over your social media efforts to a third party.
1) Does your staff have the time and expertise to effectively handle social media tasks?
According to Forbes.com, it can take up to 32 hours a month for a midsize company to effectively manage just one social media platform . Although small businesses are a bit more efficient, creating effective social media campaigns definitely requires a significant time investment.
Additionally, someone within the company – you or your social media manager – needs to invest time in staying on top of the ever-changing social media world. If you aren’t posting regularly to your accounts, you may want to consider outsourcing the task, because your lack of participation is most likely costing you potential customers and weakening your brand.
2) Will you regain the costs of outsourcing in increased revenue?
If you are handling social media marketing in-house, evaluate whether this is the best use of company resources. For instance, if your social media duties were taken away, what would you spend that time doing instead? Would you bring in new clients or increase customer retention by providing a higher level of service?
Calculate how much increased revenue your company could bring in by devoting social media time to other tasks, and compare the costs of keeping social media management in-house with outsourcing the job.
3) Can you find the right person to manage your social media efforts?
Outsourcing your social media campaign isn’t the same as hiring a consultant to handle your IT needs. It is essential that your social media manager understands your mission and feels passionately about your company because social media communicates your brand message in your voice to potential customers.
It is important to keep in mind that the most effective social media campaigns are closely tied to a company’s larger marketing efforts. Outsourcing your social media can work, but communication is key between your marketing team and the outsourced marketing firm or consultant you are working with. Before hiring a firm or consultant to manage your social media accounts, make sure that they understand your industry, your customers, and your long and short term goals.