The Hidden Business Costs Of DIY Social Media Marketing

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DIY social media marketing

I’ll let you in on a little secret: DIY social media marketing is not productive.

You may be doing a great job. But you also may be wasting time (or money!).

In short, we business owners are often too busy to realize that self-service jobs are likely stealing from our bottom line (rather than saving us money).

Here are the reasons your DIY social media marketing may be costing you.


Businesses Often Make Costly “Creative” Blunders

First, let me point out how businesses are often making “creative” mistakes that cost them in the end.

Many social media teams are put to work in open-concept office plans. Supposedly, this promotes working together and contributes to the “always on” social world.

However, numerous studies have shown that these office plans greatly reduce productivity.

And visual noise leads the way in creating less productivity (while your costs remain the same).

This Wall Street Journal article says:

“All of this social engineering has created endless distractions that draw employees’ eyes away from their own screens. Visual noise, the activity or movement around the edges of an employee’s field of vision, can erode concentration and disrupt analytical thinking or creativity.”

While we glorify open spaces for social media teams, we’re actually depleting efficiencies and possibly even adding to the bottom line.

So much of what we do in online marketing involves experimenting and improving efficiency. And these tasks are best done when shielded from the view of others.

Remember: distractions often run wild in open-plan workspaces. Click To Tweet

DIY Social Media Marketing Deserves More

Nearly every company has a social media presence. And that means nearly every company has someone managing their social media accounts.

However, many DIY social media marketing managers are led by misguided attempts at doing it all.

According to Digiday, there are three often-cited reasons corporations don’t do social right.

1) Social media managers are overwhelmed. 

  • Oftentimes, social media is an addition to another full-time role.
  • One person, maybe two, are responsible for every aspect of social media marketing, leaving inundated workers and disjointed efforts.
  • Even for those experienced in marketing, social media requires an extra skill set, and workers don’t feel they’re able to confidently complete their tasks.

2) Executives and other higher-ups don’t take social seriously.

  • Brand messages are haphazardly created and sent out.
  • There’s not enough time, focus or commitment to social media efforts, leaving a bare-bones presence online.
  • A lack of interest in real results or setting appropriate key performance indicators makes proving return on investment difficult.

 3) Expectations exceed reality.

  • Social media teams are expected to adopt an “always on” or “be everywhere” attitude (even though they only get paid to work 9-5 Monday through Friday).
  • VPs get too involved and expect every message to be a sales message, not understanding how this hurts rather than helps.
  • Social media is still seen as “free” so budgets are often grossly inadequate.
These three areas are where DIY social media marketing falls short.Click To Tweet

“Shadow Work” Is Often The DIY Killer

Craig Lambert defines “shadow work” in his recently published book by the same name, Shadow Work:

“Shadow work includes all the unpaid tasks we do on behalf of businesses and organizations. It has slipped into our routines stealthily; most of us do not realize how much of it we are already doing, even as we pump our own gas, scan and bag our own groceries, execute our own stock trades, and build our own unassembled furniture. But its presence is unmistakable, and its effects far-reaching.”

When your internal marketing manager spends an hour researching Facebook’s latest algorithm change regarding engagement click bait, it may cost you $50.

But that’s just the basic cost.

Because your marketing manager could have better spent their time creating a campaign that captures leads or even sales, you’re also paying an opportunity cost.

That hour costs you more than you realize, more often than not.

Low-value, clerical labor makes the DIY cost more than you realize!Click To Tweet

Outsourcing Is One Answer

When you look at the economics of outsourcing your social media, things start to add up.

There are three main ways outsourcing your social media tasks to a third party can help.

1) Cost Savings

  • For the price of one seasoned social media manager, you can outsource all of your tasks (to a team of people).
  • Outsourcing to experienced social media workers decreases downtime and increases productivity.
  • No overhead costs like benefits, office space, vacation time, etc..

2) Special Skills

  • Hiring third-party sources with specialized skills in social media gives immediate access to experts.
  • Outsourced workers and agencies already have incredibly efficient processes and workflows built out and ready to use.
  • When you work with an agency, they also have specialized tools that help with social media marketing.

3) Time Savings

  • There’s no learning curve or extra time needed to master a tool or platform.
  • Many agencies cover you during evening hours, weekends and holidays — meaning you’re paying less for more time.
  • Quicker response times.

Outsourcing is one solution that corrects inefficient DIY social media marketing.

There are two other problems that must be addressed by companies taking the DIY approach.

  1. Stop slating professionals not skilled in social media to perform social media tasks.
  2. Consider cheaper, better-experienced third-party workers to do the low-value “heavy lifting” associated with social media marketing.

Do you think DIY social media marketing is good or bad for businesses? Let me know in the comments section below!


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Brooke B. Sellas is an award-winning Customer Marketing Strategist and the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media. Her book, Conversations That Connect has been recognized nationally and is required reading for a Customer Experience class at NSU. Brooke's influence in digital marketing is not just about her accomplishments but also about her unwavering commitment to elevating the industry standard of digital customer experience and customer marketing.
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