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Social Media Outsource or In-house?

Yesterday, I tuned in to the Social Media today webinar: Social Marketing & The Resourcing Challenge. I was interested in hearing from business owners who are trying to make the decision of whether to outsource their companys social media or do it themselves. Alas, though it was very interesting, it seemed most of the discussion was between social media professionals.

OutsourceIf you are a business owner trying to make the choice of whether to handle your own social media marketing our outsource, its still definitely worth a listen. I think you will find it very balanced.

For what its worth, I truly wish that every business could have their own in-house social media coordinator who knew the business inside and out and, interacted with the staff from owner to maintenance workers on a daily basis. This person would be a fantastic writer, creative, eager to please customers and to keep up with all the ins and outs of social media. With a knowledge of everything from features to rules, tips and tricks, they would make your business look GOOD!

Deciding whether to manage social media in-house or to outsource is tough, and there is no correct answer, only one that is right for you. And that could change tomorrow.

Why You Should Manage Your Social Media Presence In-House

Who knows your business better than someone on the front-lines everyday? Who cares more that it succeed than they? Who has a better feel for the personality of the place, the values of the people, the little things that make up the entire culture? Yes, if you can have someone in-house manage your social presence do!

When looking at an in-house social media manager candidate (even if its you), ask yourself if they posses the following:

Excellent writing skills
Basic business knowledge
A commitment to amazing customer support
Experience in marketing
Graphic design skills
Basic website design knowledge
A desire to read everything and everything about social media, so they keep up with the latest trends
Sufficient time to do it all (and yes, it really can be a full-time job).
Then, ask yourself if you have the $57,000/year+ to add this person to your payroll. If yes, make sure they learn your business inside and out and have access to, and the cooperation of every department in your company (especially sales), and off you go!

Are you thinking about doing it yourself, as a business owner? Make sure you have the knowledge, passion and commitment required. Better to not start at all than to start and then give up. Read everything you can about social media and marketing. Learn from others. Consider getting some coaching initially.

Why You Should Outsource Your Companys Social Media

Social Media support is not an add-on assignment that you can hand off to just anyone. For one thing, its really not fair! It takes time and expertise to do it properly, time your current employees probably dont have if they are assigned other duties already. If they break a rule unwittingly and your Facebook page is deleted, whose going to be in trouble? If a crisis happens and they dont know understand proper etiquette, you could find a serious backlash on your hands (trust me, even the big guys have had issues with this one). If you are thinking of doing it yourself, consider the time and dedication that will be required, and whether that is the best use of your time.

Outsource2A social media professional knows the ins and outs of social media, has done this before and knows that what works today might not work tomorrow. They will still need access to, and the cooperation of, every department. They understand the importance of getting to know you and your business, and watching them will give you and your staff idea of how you might do it yourself one day. Which leads us to

Why You Should Consider Another Option

What if you could have someone who worked closely with every department in your company to manage your social presence, for a fraction of that $57K a year? What if, in the process of supporting your social media efforts, they started to train your departments in what works? What if, in a year or so, they could move from social media manager to consultant, allowing your internal teams to do most of the day-to-day social management with an authenticity that can only come from being there, but with an expert to turn to for advice, strategy, contests and design, or in case of a crisis?

Or, maybe you want your in-house customer service team to respond to comments and questions on your blog and social media, but you want someone else to come up with the content? That could work, too.

These hybrid options arent for everyone. If you dont have people with the curiosity to learn and the commitment to communicate effectively, you may never get to the point of handling your social media in-house, and if your customer support staff doesnt cooperate, you could have a mess on your hands. But, you know what your people can do and wed like to help! Call us at 800.305.9420 today to see what kind of plan might work for you.

We think this last one is the best option. What about you? Are you managing your own social media, but youre not sure how well its working? Wed be happy to take a look and provide some pointers. Request a free review.

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