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Should You Outsource Social Media?

This illustration by cartoon marketer Tom Fishburne encapsulates exactly what I’m trying to say in this blog. (I’m a big fan of Tom’s work and I think he’s awesome at what he does. Check out some of his other marketing cartoons.)

Outsourcing Social Media

However, this question comes up again and again and being a social media consultant, of course I want to say ‘yes’, but that’s not the best answer, nor is ‘no’ the best answer. When people ask this question I often consider what stage the company is in with social media. Certainly people who are just starting out in the space should hire a consultant for best practices, strategy, and implementation. I also say yes to hire a consultant if you have a presence, but can’t seem to make any traction for whatever reason, then it would be wise to use a consultant to help you figure out what you’re doing wrong, or what you could be doing better.

But if you are already knee deep in social media, have a good following, are engaging but just don’t have the time to keep up with it, then I say no. Here’s why:

  • Only you know your business’ style and tone the best
  • Only you know your customers/constituents the best
  • Only you know exactly what’s coming up in your business that’s news worthy
For these reasons and a bunch more do I think you need to bring it in-house eventually. So when should you outsource?
  • When you are just getting started
  • Have a new marketing campaign and need advice
  • When you need a workshop to get others from the company on board
  • When you need market research for your social media strategy
  • Need help on being more engaging
  • Need help with conversion/traction on current social media activity
And keep in mind that out-sourcing should be temporary, if at all possible. Sure you can outsource someone to live-tweet for your company at an event, but who is going to gather the analysis ongoing and who is going to monitor your brand? At the end of the day, you want to have ultimate control over your own brand.
Thoughts/comments? Write them in the comments section below.
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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.