Huge Disclaimer, it is no wonder that I say you SHOULD outsource your social media, I have a social media marketing company! But in all fairness, I took quite a bit of time researching this post and will try to offer a fair and balanced outlook!
What Is A Social Media Marketing Expert
A true social media marketing expert is actually a marketing expert who is using social media as ONE of the tools in their marketing arsenal. Every bit of marketing touches the social media platform including branding, sending a cohesive message, targeting the correct prospect, lead followup and more, all the way through the sales cycle and onto a sale.
Okay, so a social media guru is actually an expert marketer. What makes an expert? Malcolm Gladwell's, The Outliers: A Story Of Success, is the closest thing I have ever found to explain what a true expert is. In it, he talks about becoming an overnight success AFTER spending 10,000 hours learning your trade or craft. So, if you are looking for a social media marketing expert, ask them how long they have loved marketing AND how long they have been working in the field. Just FYI, 10,000 hours is 20 hours a week for 10 years or 40 hours a week for 5 years.
Who Is NOT A Social Media Marketing Expert?
I am on A LOT of mailing lists and get all kinds of come-ons from people wanting to sell me get rich quick schemes. One of the biggies right now is to sell either social media marketing or local marketing and start raking in the dough. An expert has NOT taken a class called anything like this:
- New Webinar! Become a Local Marketing Expert
- 10-no-4 Days to Become a Social Media Expert
- Make money as a social media strategist
- How to become an internet marketing expert in a short time…
- This came in when I was writing this post, “The real kicker is that: most of your revenue is pure profit! Stuff we consider “basic” is mind blowing to most, if not all, local business owners.”
Should You Outsource Your Social Media Marketing Or Keep In In House?
So now we have established what a social media marketing expert is, the next question is should you outsource it to an agency or company or keep it in-house? Here are some of the reasons I feel that you should NOT keep it in house, based on our experiences coming in AFTER a company has fired the in-house guy or gal.
- To hire a true expert you are going to have spend BIG bucks. If you are not looking at hiring someone who has just left college, the kid who types really fast or a 10-no-4 day “expert”, you are looking at paying that person between 60K and 80K a year. We have some great horror stories from the trenches about how “the kid” set up the whole business network under his own name, left the company and reeked havoc for the next few months. Hiring a reputable company to do your social media eliminates this problem.
- You are going to have to provide benefits and taxes for that employee which would not be necessary if you outsource.
- If you are hiring a marketing guru, you are still probably going to have to get them some admin help. I can tell you this from experience, the person who is creative and has a brilliant marketing mind DOES NOT possess the “do the same thing every day and make sure all the boxes are checked” gene. We hire great “elves” who implement the marketing plans that we work out with our customers. Our elves are super organized and LIKE to make sure that all the tasks get done!
- There are economies of scale for a business to buy the latest software and attend the high level trainings needed to stay up-to-date. When you are spreading the cost of these items over multiple clients, it makes sense to keep to the cutting edge! We spend about 12K in training each year and could spend more if time and budgets were not at a premium!
- We have programmers and others on notice to help when the Social Networks change what we need to do. The easiest example of this is Facebook eliminating the FBML capabilities that we used to use to make pages. I got our programmer on it and he sent over the two page document on how we should do it now!
Okay, Why SHOULD You Keep Your Social Media Marketing In House?
I can hear you now, but we want to have control over what that person is doing and how they are spending our money and time! That is a valid point and will have to be taken into consideration. I CAN tell you that with frequent communication with your marketing company, you can stay on top of this easily.
No one loves my company like I do – If you are a small company or a start up, the owner or manager can probably do a bit of social media marketing. My question to you is, I KNOW you love your company, but do you love marketing? Having the best intentions in the world doesn't help if you do not have the technical and education chops to back them up.
I can get an intern to do it for free – I have tried interns, you teach them, they work for a bit and then leave. Walking back the cat to figure out what they did can take your next marketing person hours or days to figure out! Additionally, you get what you pay for and when you are paying nothing it is hard to expect the kind of dedication that you can get from a real business.
I am in a super niche market – Now, I am the first to say that social media marketing is not for every company. If you are a manufacturer who makes a product that only 10 companies in the country purchase, social media may not be the way to go. Our suggestion for this type of company is to have the most techy person who talks go on LinkedIn and target those 10 companies (this could also be done by the CEO if she has time). Attaining the level of technical knowledge for this type of work can counter-productive to outsourcing. That having been said, we have found very few companies that cannot benefit from social media and marketing in general.
What Types Of Business Should Outsource Their Social Media Marketing?
- Business to consumer businesses do well on Social Media as they have a product that people would be interested when they are just surfing around having fun on Facebook or Twitter. Additionally there are neat ways to bring items to market that consumers look on favorably if done right.
- Business to business marketing is trickier, as you need to position yourself correctly to find comparable areas to market in and be very careful to make sure that your offerings are social, not salesy. I see this done wrong all the time!
- Local companies are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the power of social media because of the ability to target geographic regions in friending and following. These types of businesses fair VERY well in the social media realm.
- Businesses with lots of “stuff” are great to promote. If you hold meetings with different topics, sell a million kinds of shoes or have a ton of different product offerings (like pawn shops and ebayers, social media can be a great way to get the word out!
- Highly regulated industries. Okay I know that I am going to take heat on this one, BUT I have to say that a financial services guy who positions himself correctly would have a very bare playing field to compete on. This takes finesse and should work within the bounds of your state or federal licensing.
- Restaurants and bars have fun people doing fun things. We have a couple of restaurants that we work with and they are the neatest peeps because of the activity and the fact that they are inherently social anyways!
There you have it, multiple reasons to outsource your social media marketing. If you are interested in finding out more about social media marketing, give us a call at (727) 505-5384 or request a free small biz marketing quote!