According to a recent report by Social Fresh, 80% of businesses find it difficult to find qualified candidates for social media management roles.
It’s no wonder, then, that many businesses are looking to outsource their social media roles to get the job done.
But what exactly does outsourcing your social media management mean? Is that the best option?
And what’s the future look like for outsourced social media needs?
Here’s the latest on what the social media management landscape looks like, where it’s most likely headed, and how we’ve seen it work in the real world.
The Current State Of Social Media Management
The most popular outsourced tasks are represented below:
[Source: Future of Social Marketing Report]
And when it comes to hiring for social media management roles to manage those tasks, they found that:
- It is difficult to hire a team with the right know-how of strategy and execution
- Add to the above the understanding of the tone and voice of your brand and the task becomes even harder
- Hiring the right team means they must do more than “know” the platforms
- Outsourcing is like dating; the third-party team can’t just be experts, they have to be the right fit to work with your internal team — philosophies must match
Bottom line: it’s HARD to find the perfect fit for your company and team, even if the outsourced team has all of the proper know-how.
Even companies that handle most of their social media management in-house have issues.
Because internal teams tend to be small, many social media operations tend to be siloed (42% of companies only have one social employee).
Outsourcing your social media management can offer:
- New perspective(s)
- A fresh approach
- Industry rapport & experience
By adding certain outsourced tasks and creating a “hybrid” team of internal and external team members, brands can produce better/faster/more targeted results.
Hybrid teams are where internal team members work with outsourced team members to accomplish all of the social media tasks required to succeed.
Often times this is how our team operates — with the e-commerce team, channel marketers, or brand managers.
Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all; you have to do what works for your company and its culture.
What ‘Done-For-You” Social Means For B Squared Media
At B Squared Media, we refer to outsourced social media management as “done-for-you” social media management.
And all of our packages, big or small, include the following elements to ensure your social success:
- Strategy Support: Your Account Manager plans a launch meeting where we nail down brand goals and create KPIs (key performance indicators) to track success. We then use tried-and-true social media strategies and tactics to improve your social presence in a matter of days. Or, in many cases, we create A/B testing to nail down a strategy that works for your industry.
- Thinking Conversation: We took my undergraduate thesis study took the Social Penetration Theory and applied it to social media marketing. And guess what? It’s the fundamental process for how we communicate and build relationships both offline AND online (yes, even 50+ years later). We know how important it is for your brand to position for psychographics, so we pose questions, foster discussions, and always respond to your community members in a timely manner.
- Weekly Check-Ins: To ensure cohesiveness and a full understanding of your brand’s tone and voice, we stay on track with weekly check-in sessions. We’ve found this is the ideal frequency for making sure your online presence is totally in sync with the real world.
- Content Marketing: We create and curate relevant topics (and visuals!) to share across your social sites – ensuring you always have something smart to say. We also employ deep-dive metrics, like click audits and seesaw data, to see to it that the content we share is not just adding to the noise of the social sphere.
- Rockstar Storytelling: You need to make a case for your business, so we’ll help you tell your story in a powerful and persuasive way. Our copywriters possess perfectly persuasive skills so your copy is continually click-worthy. And at B Squared, we know you can’t have storytelling without first employing first-rate social listening (something our dashboard Sprout Social helps us do with ease).
- Brand Persona Planning: We want your company to be more than just a logo. We work with you to develop a voice for your company that humanizes your brand; we put people first (and you should, too!). Our documentation and processes are “living, breathing” workflows and are constantly being nipped and tucked so you can put your best face forward.
- Industry Tools: At B Squared Media, we use state-of-the-art social media management tools to keep our efforts focused on the best results, ensuring we minimize time spent and maximize ROI. We’re also known for testing out new tools for clients and reporting back on their efficiency. The tools have to work for you, not the other way around.
- Metrics & Reporting: Our comprehensive reports let the data tell the story, allowing us to make pinpoint adjustments for success. We also realize in many cases it’s less about the raw data and more about the interpretation of what that data means for you and your brand — so we’re super efficient at explaining the data the way your team needs to digest it.
Sure, there’s a lot more that goes into social media management.
But by focusing on these eight areas, we’ve been able to successfully integrate with internal teams in real estate, retail, staffing, marketing, medical, and more.
To be perfectly honest, sometimes we aren’t the best fit for a brand or company.
And sometimes certain brands aren’t a great fit for us (you can read about a few disasters here).
We hold steadfast to our Think Conversation, Not Campaign™ tagline and mantra — and that means the clients we partner with must feel that way, too.
The Future Of Outsourced Social Media Management
Like the report said, outsourcing is like dating. You may have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince. 😉
It’s likely that we’ll continue to see hybrid teams — where internal and external/outsourced teams work together to form cohesive social media teams — grow in popularity.
While no one knows your business and brand better than your employees, we hear over and over again that companies just don’t have the time, resources, or know-how to successfully navigate the digital waters alone.
Are you looking to create a hybrid team or outsource your social media management? Take advantage of our free 30-minute consultation today.
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media management & advertising agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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