Although part of what I do is termed ‘social media management’, I still find it fascinating just how many companies outsource this work. I understand the reasons, as I know first-hand what a time-consuming job it can be.
There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing, as long as you find the right person for the task. This will be someone who’s prepared to get beneath the skin of your business, achieve the right tone of voice and find the right accounts for you to connect to. (I managed one account for a while which was taken over by a dedicated social media business. I went back some months later to have a peek, and was dismayed to discover that the business’s Twitter followers had grown tremendously, but on closer look all the followers were spam accounts. Where’s the value in that?).
How many times recently have you heard someone say there’s a clue in the phrase ‘social’ media. Here’s a good definition of social: ‘relating to activities in which you meet and spend time with other people’. On social media, people want to interact with a real person, not an automated tweet. There’s no life in that, and no long-term benefit.
In truth, most social media managers will mix and match scheduled and real time tweets and posts – it’s a tough call to avoid scheduling completely. However, it’s bad practice to schedule a tweet then forget about it as it disappears into the Twitter ether. Similarly on Facebook if someone asks a question about a post, they are much happier if they are answered quickly. Your social media manager must be on the ball to respond quickly should someone engage on one of your social media sites.
By the way, if you outsource social media management, don’t think that you don’t have to do anything. A good social media manager will need to communicate with you from time to time – for example if one of your customers has a question needing an immediate answer that only you can give.
Although this blog discusses Facebook and Twitter management, your social media manager could also run Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube – whatever works best for your business, as long as they do it well!