When deciding whether or not to outsource social media, there are a few questions you need to answer first.
There is always a lot of debate over whether or not brands should outsource social media. For some brands, running a program internally is going to be the right call. Others might benefit from having an outside firm run the program for them.
In order to figure out if your brand should outsource social social media, you are going to need to answer five questions.
What will go into your social media program?
The first thing you need to determine is exactly what you are going to include in your social media program. For some, a blog is going to be where it all starts and ends. (Although for best results, some social sharing is encouraged.) For others, a profile on every existing network will be created.
You need to know what you plan on doing and where you plan on doing it.
What will your goals and objectives look like?
Whether you outsource your program or you run it internally, you need to have a clear set of goals and objectives that you work towards achieving. Setting your goals is going to make the decision to outsource much clearer. When you know what you want to accomplish, you know if it would be possible to let someone else handle the program.
How long will it take?
Social media is not a 5-minutes-a-day endeavor. Either you, a team member or an firm needs to be seriously committed to sharing content, engaging with fans and followers, monitoring data and modifying programs in order for your social media program to pay off. Figure out how many hours you will need to devote to your social media program and then…
What is your time worth?
This is an answer that varies from business to business. For some, it is easy to determine. If you are a professional, you probably charge by the hour. If you manage your own social media and you bill $200 per hour, 3 hours a day to manage your program costs you $600. You might hire someone internally at a much lower hourly rate but essentially this question needs to be answered in terms of opportunity cost.
You need to weigh this against the cost of an outside firm running a program for you and working towards the same goals. Maybe you find that your return on the three hours above is $500, while the outside firms generates a daily return of $250. Then, it probably makes sense to run the program internally. Before making this call, however, you need to answer this questions with some good-old-fashioned math.
Can you collaborate?
Some people like to micro manage. It’s not for everyone, but for some people, it is how they like things to run. To each their own. If this is the case, you might want to avoid including anyone, outside firms included, in the management of your social media program. It simply won’t work. There needs to be collaboration.
Answer these questions and figure out what is going to work for you. Maybe you want to outsource your entire program and let a team of professionals handle everything. Maybe you want to keep everything in-house and do it all yourself. Maybe you want to outsource some parts of it and run other aspects, like Social Care, internally. Answer these questions before making the call.
Have you outsourced your social media? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!
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