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Don’t Manufacture Your Social Media

Don’t Manufacture Your Social Media

Once upon a time, Chris Brogan said you should never outsource your social media. I’ll admit it – I was more than a little miffed with him. There’s a lot to doing social media properly. You need a combination of technological prowess, marketing insights, and organizational skill to put it all together. Adding these tasks to an already-busy small business owner’s workload can be overwhelming. Telling someone they need to do it all themselves, I thought, was tantamount to suggesting that the homeowner who wanted a larger home didn’t need to hire a building contractor. They could just take up a hammer and saw and do it all themselves.

I’m still right, you know. But I’ve discovered that I’m also wrong. There’s a criteria I didn’t consider when thinking through my response to Brogan’s admonition, and that’s the approach of the company you decide to outsource your social media to. There are basically two schools of professional social media management: the custom and the manufactured.

Understanding Custom & Manufactured Social Media

The custom school of social media management is a very hands-on, individualized approach. There’s a real focus on conveying a brand’s unique personality and local appeal; the goal here is to encourage engagement and build rapport with the client’s customers. It’s time consuming – content is created exclusively for the client, and then never used again – but it garners objectively observable results, including more sales.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re looking at – home construction, jewelry, social media – but custom work always costs more than the mass-produced, manufactured option. Business owners who know they have to do something on social media – after all, isn’t everybody on Facebook nowadays? – choose what appears to be the more budget-friendly option: the manufactured social media choice.

Custom means just for you. Manufactured means ‘works for everyone’. Think about what that means in terms of social media content: images and very brief messaging that touches on key concepts so broad and universal that they’re ultimately meaningless to your customer – who may very well see the exact same content appearing on one or more of your competitor’s social media sites. There’s little if any regard to best practices surrounding when posts should be shared. Engagement with commenters is often delayed by hours or even days – a critical systems failure when your customers are using social media to address complaints.

You Get What You Pay For

The overall results of manufactured social media tend not to be satisfying; this does not appear to be of great concern to the vendors thereof, who rely on low prices attracting a consistently high volume of customers who will give them money for a while. The companies that “save money” choosing manufactured social media are paying big time in terms of sales they don’t make and customer relationships that aren’t being encouraged. You have to wonder: is it worth it?

With this in mind, I’d have to say Chris Brogan is, in fact, right, with one big caveat: you shouldn’t outsource your social media if you’re going to a company that’s going to provide you with manufactured, cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all content. In that instance, you’re much better off handling your social media yourself or even doing nothing at all.

But manufactured social media isn’t your only option. If you can find a”>social media management firm that provides custom, high-touch service focused on building your brand’s unique message and forming genuine bonds with your customers, then you’ll have satisfying results that boost your bottom line. Then it’s a good idea to outsource your social media.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office