Social Media Marketing Outsourcing Guidelines

We all know that there are true benefits from social media and it's important to begin to take advantage of those benefits. It's a great way to market our businesses in a way that is not just advertisements, but a way that provides interactions without customers. However, with social media marketing comes challenges such as time constraints or not enough personnel to handle the method of marketing.

I understand and it's a common challenge.

Last week while at a business lunch I was speaking with a business owner and he asked me "Laura, what if I want to outsource my social media marketing, I see the benefits, but I simply don't have the time. What should I look for?"

Great question, truth is in today's economy when people become unemployed the immediately entitle themselves as "social media experts." A social media expert is a person who does more than sit and eat Cheetos, while watching Jerry Springer and tweeting all day. There are many out there that claim to be social media experts, there are few out there that can prove they are worthy of this title, so let me see if I can help.

There are five things that you want to look for when considering finding an outsource solutions for your social media marketing.

  1. What does their own social media reputation look like? For example there are tools you can use to see where they rank on Twitter and on Facebook. These tools rank them according to overall users as well as within city demographics. It's called Twitter Grader. Don't use this as your only reference, but do at least look at it to get a good grasp at your possible candidate. It's very easy to use.

    • Twitter Grader: Go to Twitter GraderEnter username and click grade, it will give them a grade on a score from 0 to 100, 100 being the highest. If you want to get their rank within their specific city or state demographic just click on the location tab that you are interested in on their grader profile and it will give you their grade and rank within that region.
    • Facebook Grader: Go to Facebook GraderEnter username and click grade, it will give them a grade on a score from 0 to 100, 100 being the highest. If you want to get their rank within their specific city demographic just click on their location tab on their grader profile.
  2. What do their current client say? You want to make sure they have success stories from other clients that they've had social media marketing success with. This is important. There are times that it is difficult to measure social media marketing, so you need to have testimonials and kudos from other clients that they've worked with, so that you can rest assured you are hiring someone who knows that they are doing.
  3. Can they give you a strategic plan? A social media expert will be able to present you with a social media marketing plan that you will be able to follow along with, and be involved with. Social media is about your brand it's about interaction and it's about your consumers. Although you can outsource, it's not a hands-off project that you are not involved in. If you want a social media marketing plan to fail, give it to someone and stay uninvolved.
  4. The social media expert you chose, should be willing to sit down with you and discuss goals, help you set them as well as help you in setting expectations and, providing you with information on how they will be monitoring the results of their social media marketing efforts.
  5. Last, but not least when searching for a social media expert or firm ask lots of questions and chose the company that makes you feel the most comfortable in answering those questions. It's important to chose the right social media outsource solution, you need to walk away from the negotiating table feeling as if you have put your brand in the right hands, because that's exactly what you are doing.

Outsourcing your social media marketing can often be the best solution for companies that have limited resources when it comes to time and social media expertise. There are social media experts out there that have accumulated the knowledge, resources, accounts, and contacts that can help in taking your social media campaigns to the top and generate buzz quickly. You just want to make sure you do your due diligence when it comes to selecting the right one and by following the guidelines above you'll be on the right track.

About the Author Laura Lake

20+ Years Marketing Pro. Passion for where marketing and technology intersect. Outspoken. Defying the Ordinary.

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