Social media outsourcing – the great debate

I read this article with interest – 30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore – and agreed with it. Mostly. There’s always room for interpretation, especially when it comes to social media outsourcing.

Social media outsourcing – the dos and don’ts

Our first minor quibble was with point 11) You can outsource your social media. Or in the context of this article, whatever you do, DON’T! I don’t think it’s that simple – in fact, I know it’s not. I agree that social media is about projecting your/company’s image as knowledgeable and as genuine, and on the whole we would encourage any company to look after its own social media. However, some companies, for their own reasons, aren’t keen or prepared to put the time into social media, don’t feel they do or would do it well, or simply can’t yet set aside the time to do it effectively. In this situation social media outsourcing makes a let of sense. What they shouldn’t do, however, is shove the whole lot onto someone and else and say “here, you do it and just send me the bill”. Social media outsourcing does not (or should not) equal social media offloading.

In this situation, the ghost-tweeter needs to have a very clear understanding of the company’s aims in using social media, a good feel for their sector and be absolutely in the groove of the image the company wants to project. Only in this situation can social media outsourcing achieve its desired outcomes. It should be clear about the sort of connections the client wants to make, the networks it would like to be within and the conversations it wants to be part of.  A company can’t abrogate responsibility for social media altogether since they’re the ones who will be dealing with the fallout, and they must be happy with the social media image that is being projected on their behalf. We all ask other professionals, more skilled than ourselves in areas that aren’t our core business, to step in and provide a service for us. I don’t see that social media outsourcing is a great deal different in this respect from outsourcing copywriting or cake decorating.

Planned social media content release

Another element of social media outsourcing is managing release of different types of content. A stately home should indeed be doing its own live updates and day to day announcements, dealing with enquiries, following up complaints and noticing mentions. However, if it has a big anniversary, an important collection or an ongoing project to cover via social media, social media outsourcing is ideal if handled by someone experienced in maximising exposure from this type of opportunity. There’s nothing wrong at all in asking for outside help with that sort of project – it’s just another form of marketing after all, and no-one tells you you shouldn’t outsource your marketing.

Social media help from OpenSure

If you’re not sure how to make the most from Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc but aren’t comfortable about outsourcing social media, you could ask for expert help in creating a strategy. Get advice on which social media networks are most effective for your sector and your aims, on how to go about creating attractive profiles and on how to use those social media profiles for best advantage. Armed with a well-thought-out strategy created just for your company, and with access to help when you’re confused, you can keep your social media in-house with confidence.

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