Writecombination Social Media
by Andrew Knowles

5 reasons NOT to outsource your social media

My advice to prospective social media clients is, wherever possible, not to outsource their social media activities. 

Sometimes outsourcing is necessary and it can bring benefits, as I’ve outlined in my post ‘5 reasons why you should outsource your social media’. Part of my business includes running social media accounts and campaigns on behalf of selected clients. 

But as a general rule, I encourage clients to keep their social media activity in-house. Here’s why:

1. Keep it real

Your business has a distinctive style and tone, and you want this to flow through into your social media channels. That’s harder to achieve if the people writing the tweets don’t sit in your office or have a clear understanding of your firm’s culture.

You can’t attract followers simply by posting lots of messages. People usually click ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ because posts are interesting, insightful or humorous. This comes from your own staff more easily than from a third-party who, when it comes down to it, is running their own business.

2. Keep it responsive

When your customers read and respond to your social media activities, they assume they’re dealing with you or your business directly.

So when they ask a question, customers are usually looking for a quick and informative reply. It’s much easier for someone in your business to give a quick answer than for a third-party who’s running your account.

3. Learn what works

You learn by doing, by getting it right and also by making mistakes. Social media is very new and many of the ‘experts’ out there aren’t very far ahead of you in their knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.

By keeping social media activity inside your business, you will build up knowledge of what gets results. That knowledge can then be shared in your firm and applied to future activities. Paying someone else to run your social media will significantly dilute the level of knowledge inside your own firm.

4. The costs can be higher

There are hundreds, probably thousands, of sole traders and small firms offering social media management services. Many compete on price, offering to run your accounts for just a few pounds each month.

But if all they are doing for those pounds is sending out a batch of tweets every week, are they adding much, if any, value? Effective social media management involves much more than just posting messages, and that takes time, which costs money.

If you’re not getting measurable value from your social media provider, the money you’re spending could be wasted.

5. Reduce the risks

Social media accounts can get hacked. Messages get posted that seem like a good idea but cause offence. A disgruntled employee can post negative or offensive comments. 

These can occur whether your account is run in-house or by someone else. But you have more control when they’re run by your own staff, and you can respond faster to a problem. 

A social media gaffe is unlikely to bring down your business, but it can damage your brand. If you are considering outsourcing, you’ll want to use a social media provider who has robust procedures to protect your security, along with professional indemnity insurance. If they don’t, it implies they are not taking the risks seriously, and it opens them up to a serious problem if they damage your brand.

Read the other side of the argument: click here for '5 reasons why you should outsource your social media'.

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