SocialNicole explains all you need to know when choosing an agency to outsource your social media:
Social media is not going away and for businesses it is not good strategy to simply ignore this communication tool. You wouldn’t ignore your telephone would you? Nope. So why would you ignore the most rapidly growing communication method – a method that allows your customers to not only connect with you, but to connect with others? Simply put, businesses who want to be around in 5-10 years must start engaging in social media and figuring out how to use it as an effective communication tool and marketing medium.
Many small and mid-sized businesses have set up a social presence. They have presences on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and possibly even YouTube. But it’s obvious that many of these businesses do not have the time or the knowledge to utilize these tools effectively in their marketing.
Does this scenario sound like you? If so, outsourcing may be the right choice. Last week, we led you through how to make this decision.
If you decide outsourcing is right for you the next big step is hiring the right company to outsource to. Selecting someone to represent your brand is a big deal, and it should not be taken lightly. So how can you pick a social media/ digital marketing agency that is right for your company? Here are some pointers:
1. Experience – It is essential that when hiring someone to represent your brand you select someone who specializes in social media. This can be tricky as often many companies tack social media services onto their list of services. Oftentimes the same person doing SEO, content marketing, email marketing, and other tasks is also doing social media. Each of these areas is a specialty and to really know your stuff you need to be focused on one area. Look for experts who specialize in their own area – so your social media manager is not your SEO manager, and so on and so forth – they work together but each uses their own level of expertise to your advantage. Not to mention, this means more brainpower is devoted to their specific tasks!
2. Cost- You need daily activity on different social channels. But what does that mean? I am amazed at the number of companies that charge a very small fee for guest posts– what does that mean? If they are posting only one thing and not talking to the community or interacting then your success is going to be minimal. Social media is more about interaction and constant community-building than the outright posts that push your message. It takes time to build lists, talk to people and keep a community going. Make sure you know exactly what is promised in that daily posting, and remember: You get what you pay for.
3. Strategy – Do you have one? You should. If a consultant or company is willing to take over your social media without some basic strategy and goals outlined I would question their approach. How will they know who to connect with, what to talk about and what to post and share? Your overall strategy for social media needs to be setup before you begin your outsourcing efforts. Or you should have the company doing your outsourcing setup a strategy that works for your budget, company etc. The level of strategy and cost can vary and will based on your business, budget, etc.
A beginning social media strategy can run from $1000-$3000 and usually incorporates a bit of integration into other marketing. Advanced strategy with research into competitors, audience evaluation, integration into business marketing plans etc. can run from $6000 upwards. It really depends on the business, their needs and budget.
4. Editorial Calendar – Your company should have a basic editorial/marketing calendar in place before hiring someone to outsource. This is something that guides all your efforts – but is especially important for social media and online marketing. If you do not have one in place and the company does not suggest creating one or indicate it as a valuable piece for your success, I would question their effectiveness as a social media management company. It’s a great thing to add to your checklist when talking to potential candidates.
5. Oversight of accounts – Look for a terrific team of community managers who are highly skilled and continuously trained. Be sure their work is monitored and tracked by both a social media manager and director which is how we assure quality work.
The original version of this article is posted at http://socialnicole.com/outsourcing-tips/.