On Tuesday we discussed the real cost of social media, but we saved one important cost for today: the fees associated with hiring someone to manage your social media.
Balancing the Costs and Benefits
Just as with any decision you make for your business, you should perform a cost benefit analysis before you decide to outsource your social media or keep it in house. Obviously the costs of outsourcing this service is the financial fee charged by the company you choose. The most apparent benefit is that this burden is taken off your shoulders. But as you decide who to hire, it is important to evaluate the quality of social media management your will receive.
When you’re considering outsourcing your social media management, ask yourself these questions:
Do I have the time to devote to proper social media management?
Social media marketing requires a generous time commitment. Not only must you identify relevant content to share, both from your own site and from others that your audience would be interested in, you also need to make time to monitor and respond to comments and messages on your social media pages.
Do I know which social media sites are appropriate for my business?
Not all social media sites are created equal. You need to ensure that you’ve correctly identified the social media sites that will perform best for your business before you begin, to avoid wasted time and energy.
Do you have experience with the relevant social media sites?
There are a number of nuances to each social media platform and you must understand these intricacies in order to make the most of them.
Do I know how to create a social strategy and track ROI?
Designing a strategy takes time and understanding of what resonates with audiences on certain platforms. Different social platforms have different tools for tracking that can be implemented.
If your answer to even one of the questions above was “No”, you should start considering an outsourced strategy. The benefits, in terms of time saved and quality of work, are sure to outweigh the costs.
Choosing a Social Media Marketing Firm
Now that you’ve decided that it would be beneficial for your business to hire an outside company to handle your social media, you must begin the process of finding the right fit for your business.
Ask the Right Questions
During your initial consultation, be sure to ask questions such as, “How do you approach Twitter versus LinkedIn?” “How often do you change out imagery such as Facebook cover photos and Twitter backgrounds?” and “How do you monitor and track success?” You want to make sure that the company has a targeted approach for each specific social media platform and that they are keeping your campaigns looking fresh. You also want to make sure they understand that you are doing this to drive and support your business and that there needs to be a way to measure success.
Check Out their Blog & Social Platforms
Most digital marketing firms will have a blog in this day and age. Review how frequently they post and what types of topics they cover. If they don’t discuss social media very frequently or the advice they give on their blog is inconsistent with other trusted sources, you may want to reconsider this firm. Review their own social initiatives. What are they doing for their own firm? Ask them why they chose the tools they use to market their business.
Ask For Case Studies & References
If you are new to social media, just talking to the firm your vetting will not be enough, as they say the proof is in the pudding. Ask for case studies and references to show how the firm has achieved success for other businesses. Request the information to speak directly to past clients.
Discuss Your Involvement
Just because this company will be handling the day-to-day activity of your social media management doesn’t mean that they should operate entirely independently of you. Ensure that your social media coordinator is easy to communicate with and open to suggestions. Ask about the approval process for content, imagery and other post types. Ultimately, it is your business and social reputation and you should have involvement in what will be communicated on your behalf.
If you are not sure where to go, what to do, or how to start, contact us for a free consultation and we’ll point you in the right direction.