How To Decide if You Should DIY or Outsource Your Social Media MarketingAnita Kirkbride
Every week I talk to small business owners who are struggling to manage their own social media and some of them are thinking it would be better to outsource it. Sometimes there is a lot of pressure from those outsourced managers for everyone and their dog to outsource social media marketing. And sometimes experts and mentors are big fans of outsourcing. But, the question remains, is outsourcing your social media right for you?
There is no right or wrong answer here. Some businesses should keep their social media management in-house and some businesses are better off outsourcing. There is even an in-between, where some businesses might benefit from hiring people to do parts of the social media work. For example, I use a graphic designer to design most of my artwork (if it’s good, chances are she did it, if it sucks, I did it). Another business might use a copywriter to write blog posts. And a third business might hire someone just to manage customer service on all their social media channels.
This doesn’t have to be an all or nothing decision. Let’s look at some of the things you might consider to decide if you should DIY or outsource your social media marketing.
If you’re a solopreneur or small, start-up business, you may simply not have the budget to outsource any social media work. If you can find a couple hundred dollars each month you could look at getting some help with scheduling, graphic design, or maybe content curation. You can probably find a decent social media manager to take on a lot of the work for you if you have $1000 a month in your budget. But that will depend on the type and frequency of content you’re creating. If you have more than that in your budget each month, it might be time to consider hiring a social media manager. Then you can concentrate on other aspects of your business.
Time and Capacity
All entrepreneurs have 24 hours in a day and how you spend it is up to you. Social media takes time. Forbes magazine estimates it takes an average of 32 hours per month to manage one social media presence. That’s a lot of time. If you’re scaling your business, or you’re simply too busy to add 1 to 2 hours of work per day, it might be time to get help. After all, you don’t want your social presence to be inconsistent. If it’s dependent on you finding time to do it, then it might be sporadic, at best.
Maybe you’re an artist who barely touches anything techie. Are you the person who gets locked out of her phone all the time because she can’t remember passwords? Or maybe you just seem to always be clicking on the wrong things. It’s OK, we’re not all good at everything. Trust me, you’ll never buy one of my Paint Nite creations at an art gallery! If you simply don’t have the technical ability, and you’re not interested in learning, it could be time to outsource your social media management.
But, posting on Facebook and Twitter isn’t really all that complicated. If you’re able to navigate the internet and find files on your computer, then you should be capable of managing your social media. Perhaps you need a little social media training, not an outsourcer!
Personally, I believe nobody will have the same passion for your business that you do. We outsourcers, virtual assistants, and social media consultants can all get quite excited about a client’s products or services, but they rarely become our passion. It’s just not something you can instill in another person. Passion is an incredibly important aspect of social media. If your fans don’t see and feel the passion in your words, videos, and blogs, they won’t get passionate about buying your product or service.
So, to decide if you should DIY or outsource your social media marketing, you need to consider whether or not your passion outweighs your capacity, knowledge, and ability issues. You can learn how to handle social media, but passion is innate.
How to Find Good Social Media Help
If you’re leaning towards outsourcing your social media marketing, take your time and find a person who is the right fit. Many virtual assistants and social media consultants offer packages, so it’s easy to find out how much it costs and what is included. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what is included in the package rate and keep asking until you understand what they are going to accomplish for that monthly retainer. Here are 12 great questions to ask your social media manager. Be very clear about what aspects of social media you wish to outsource and which pieces you’d like to keep doing yourself, if any.
You can also:
- Ask for references: In this industry it’s not common to list current clients on your website, but you should be able to get references if you ask.
- Check out accounts they’re currently running.
- Look at their own social accounts. I believe any assistant or consultant in social media should have up to date and active accounts on any of the platforms they are offering to help you with. Social media managers should walk the talk.
If you’ve read this and you think you’re ready to get some social media help, there are lots of ways to find the right person for you. Try searching for a Virtual Assistant in your city. It’s not necessary, of course, for them to be in your city, but for some businesses it is helpful if they understand the area you’re in. If you need more than a VA, search for a social media agency or consultant. There are also Facebook and LinkedIn Groups out there for such people where you can post your job. If you’re in Halifax, of course, you can chat with me and I’ll put you in touch with local people…I’m not actually looking for that type of work myself. Or, you can always post a job opportunity on popular job boards in your area.
Join Me for a Facebook Live to Help You Decide if You Should DIY or Outsource Your Social Media Marketing
How to decide if you should DIY or outsource your social media marketing was the topic for a Facebook Live, too. Watch the video below and tell me in the comments what you decide!
If you need a little more concrete help to help you decide if you should DIY or outsource your social media marketing, sign up for my newsletter below and get instant access to 16 questions to answer in a decision-making matrix!