In January 2012, Facebook passed the 900 million user mark. Social media is one of the fastest growing and most important marketing tools on the internet today. Unfortunately, it’s still an area of marketing that many business owners don’t understand.
It’s simple to see that if you spend $1,000 on AdWords ads and get $2,000 back, you’re in the black. But what if you spend $1,000 on social media and get 6,000 likes? Was that a win, or a loss? Is two hours a day spent on social media time well spent? What should you be doing during those two hours?
If you don’t have confidence in your own social media capabilities or if you find that it’s sucking up too much of your time, you might want to consider outsourcing it.
==> What Companies Should Outsource Social Media?
You should outsource social media if you lack either the expertise or the time to run your social media campaigns.
You need to be at a size where it actually makes sense to hire an outside company to do this for you. If you can’t afford to spend a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars a month on social media, it might not be the right solution for you.
==> Strategy & Setup vs. Running the Show
There are two different kinds of outsourcing you can do with social media.
First, you can outsource only the strategy development and the setup. For example, they might help you setup a Facebook page, a Twitter page, design your Facebook covers, etc. Then they’ll help walk you through the various strategies and tactics you can employ.
Once you’ve come up with the strategies and tactics together, the consultant steps out of the picture. You’re doing the actual implementation.
The benefit to this is that there’s no ongoing fee. The downside of course is that you don’t have someone taking care of your social media for you.
The second kind of outsourcing is to hand over the reigns to someone else completely. This costs more, but relieves you of the pressure entirely.
==> Tracking Success
Make sure that you discuss what success metrics are before you start an outsourcing relationship.
Is a successful campaign one that generates followers? Or is it one that results in actual leads and sales being generated?
Is there a “failure point” at which you decide the ROI isn’t strong enough? For example, if you’re spending $1,000 a month for 6 months and can’t crack 10,000 followers, you might decide to throw in the towel.
Outsourcing social media can help free up time and bring in the right expertise; but you do need to make sure that you know when you’re winning and losing. Make sure that you have goals and metrics setup from the beginning and pick the model of outsourcing that makes the most sense to you.