Happy New Year! I hope you had a relaxing Christmas break and are now raring to go. As we enter 2019, you may be thinking about what to do differently in your business this year. And if your plans include taking better control of your social media management, why not consider outsourcing it to a third party?
There are lots of great reasons to do this such as saving you time and resources, so you can get on with the day job. However, not all social media management services are created equal! Choosing the right provider is crucial to success, so before you take the plunge, spend some time identifying your exact requirements and finding someone who can meet them.
To give an example of what can go wrong, I’ll share my own outsourcing experience with you. Not so long ago, I was completely swamped with work, so I decided to hand over the management of one of my social media accounts to a third party. The person in question didn’t ask me for a briefing or how I wanted success to be measured. Neither did they provide any reports or recommendations around how I could grow my accounts. You won’t be surprised to hear that I got no results whatsoever from their activities!
Now, if you’re simply looking for someone to post regular content on your accounts for the sake of consistency, this kind of ‘minimalist’ approach is probably fine. You’ll certainly find someone who can help at a reasonable cost, which I understand is important for many small business owners. But if you’d like someone to proactively manage and grow your social media accounts, rather than simply maintaining them, you’ll need something more – and it’s down to you to ask the right questions when choosing a suitable provider.
Having said that, a good social media manager will ask you plenty of questions, too, so your strategic planning process needs to be a two-way conversation. There are lots of areas you’ll need to cover, from the types of audience you want to connect with, to the outcome and results you’re looking for from your social media accounts.
Content is another important aspect – and it needs to go beyond key messages and tone of voice. What about images, video content and so on? Will you choose these yourself or leave this to your social media manager? And if you take the latter option, how will you make sure everything that’s posted is on brand and will serve to enhance, not detract from, your company’s reputation? Decisions, decisions!
You’ll no doubt have expectations around results from your social media in mind… but take a moment to consider whether these are realistic. Success won’t happen overnight, which is why I always ask my own clients to try my social media management services for at least six months. (A client of mine recently asked me to help him promote a forthcoming event on social media… when the event was just two weeks away. Not a good example of strategic forward planning!)
Finally, whatever your expectations from social media, please don’t treat it as a ‘one stop shop’ solution to marketing your business. As I’ve said time and again, it’s just one spoke in the multi-faceted wheel of online and offline activities that make up your unique marketing mix. As a strategic marketing tool, Facebook, Twitter et al can work wonders for growing your audience – and ultimately your business – but they can’t do it on their own.
So, whether you’re combining social media with blogging and email marketing, direct mail and door drops, or TV and radio advertising, the key to getting results is consistency and coherence of content and messaging. And if you’re outsourcing your social media management (and any other activities), it’s critical that your provider(s) have a firm grasp of your marketing approach and aspirations before they make a start.
Like to know how Cureton Consulting can help with your Social Media?
If you’re looking to outsource your social media in 2019, look no further! I offer a complete, end to end social media management service for your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. As you’d expect, I’ll take the time to fully understand your requirements, goals and expectations, before working with you to create a plan that makes it happen.