December 1, 2014

Social Media Outsourcing: Do You Really Need It? These 5 Experts Will Help You Decide!

Social Media OutsourcingWe all know social media marketing can be time consuming. You can spend hours crafting meticulous messages. Then you need to decide which social networks to post to and when to post. At some point you have to ask yourself if the cost and headache of going it alone is worth it. You can save a lot of this headache and time by outsourcing social media.

But should you trust the keys to your house to someone else? Five experts answer this question and much more. It’s time to make a copy of that key, and see what your outsourced agency has waiting for you at the front door:

Meet the bloggers, social media experts and marketing agencies who tell it all!

1 What are the risks businesses might experience from outsourcing social media?

Marcus Ho

Marcus HoMost outsourced social media freelancers/agencies tend to focus only on very superficial metrics, such as number of likes, engagement, etc. Although these metrics are important to measure the depth of the relationship, as a small business, it’s highly important to focus on the most important factor – sales.

Marcus Ho, Co-Founder of Social Metric.

Maria PeaglerMaria Peagler

The biggest risk to small brands is that they won’t see results quickly enough. It takes time to build trust with your fans/followers, and it could take six months to a year to see results. Most small brands can’t wait that long.

Maria Peagler, Founder of & Social Media blogger.

2 How important is it to know what marketing success looks like in a social media outsourcing relationship?

Marcus HoMarcus Ho

Very important. As a business owner or marketing professional, it’s important to identify at least 3 key metrics of marketing success together with your freelancer or agency.


Maria PeaglerMaria Peagler

It’s critical, and it’s one of the main factors we agree upon before we enter any relationship with our social media services clients. We’ve had brands ask us what “conversion rate” we guarantee, and my answer was “none.” We can get your brand noticed, we can drive traffic to your website, and achieve many social media marketing successes. But how many sales you achieve depends on these elements: messaging, branding, the website, and customer support.

Derek MillerDerek Miller

One of the most important elements of an outsourced relationship is setting clear expectations. Likely, you have decided to outsource marketing solutions because you believe that the needs cannot be met internally. This means that you should have, in some facet, a sense of what a successful project would look like and have decided that you cannot meet that success without assistance. Not only is it important for you, the client, to have an idea of what a marketing success is so that you can gauge the quality of your outsource partner, but the outsource partner needs to fully understand your expectations so that they can meet what you are looking for. If these expectations are not clearly defined before the relationship begins, then both you and the outsource partner are going to be on separate pages.

Derek Miller,  Content Marketing Strategist for CopyPress

Travis HuffTravis Huff

Absolutely… setting up social media goals and expectations are the most important step when working with any outsource to help with social. I would highly suggest that anyone thinking about outsourcing really think about their goals, before they approach companies. Our process is focused on a questionnaire that allows our team to develop our proposals as well as set the social strategy being that every project is unique. Every time we launch a new client our primary goal is to be their lifetime partner in social business and we always under promise and over deliver!!

The biggest concern I’ve seen is too many outsource companies force clients into packages, and sales. That’s the wrong approach, I truly believe in learning as much as we can before we develop proposals for our new projects.

Travis Huff, Chief Social Marketer at Real-time Outsource.

3 What is the biggest marketing obstacle for a business that triggers the need to outsource social media? Is it the lack of human resources, bandwidth, creative skills or time? 

Derek MillerDerek Miller

Businesses are no different than the rest of society when it comes to the economic dilemma, that is – unlimited wants with limited resources. The concept of “limited resources” is the underlying obstacle leading businesses to consider outsourcing social media management. These resources could be time, budget, creative capabilities, bandwidth or any other factor relevant to the process. While each have their merit, none are more important than the next. A lack of creative ability could lead one business to pursue outsourcing social media, while a tight deadline could perpetuate another business to do the same.

The most important thing is not “what” trigger leads the businesses to consider outsourcing, but rather “when” they realize they need to outsource that they not wait too long to act on that information. Too often, businesses will try to stretch their internal resources rather than going to the market for assistance. The longer it takes to act on outsourcing once you realize it’s a more efficient solution, the more costly it will become.

Travis Huff

Travis HuffOver the past 5 years in business we see every reason to outsource social media. The biggest is a social crisis, this happens when our agency partner or new business partner is having an employee leave for a better job. When this happens the social business campaign is put into a panic, and we find our process and teamwork provide that trust that our clients love!

The biggest benefits of working with a social business outsource like Real-time is that you all have access to a team working on every project. Content development and scheduling are two areas we provide major value to our clients as well, as we’re seeing more individual content per platform. Also as social media grows we’ve seen larger brands & businesses working with us to help with the increased engagement on pages of 50K-500K fans.

Finding an outsource partner should not be a process to rush… take time and make sure you find a partner that will be there for the lifetime of your business!

4 Do you believe businesses see social media outsourcing as a supplement to their strategy or as the ‘cure all’ for social media woes?

Marcus HoMarcus Ho

Most businesses view it as a “cure” for not just social media woes, but marketing problems. Here’s the brutal truth…. social media is NOT going to save your business! It’s vital that before hiring any team or anyone for social media, you need to get a few things right in your business first, such as:

  1. Your brand positioning
  2. Your product and target market
  3. Your Social Sales Funnel

Once you have all these 3 things settled, then by turning on the ‘tap’ from social media, you’d be able to see tremendous sales within a very short period of time.

5For businesses that are considering outsourcing their social media management, what are some of the benefits they can expect from working with a social media agency?

Mart ProomMart Prööm

The key benefit is efficiency. When you hire an agency to do your social media marketing, you’re not hiring one person but a team consisting of people with different talents – designers, creatives, copywriters. These people have vast experience in social media marketing and are experts in their field. This results in spending less resources (time, money) than hiring your own staff or trying to do everything yourself. You probably have more important business activities to tend to.

Mart  Prööm,Project Manager at Goal – Social Media Marketing.

6What is a realistic expectation of results that a business should bare in mind when outsourcing their social media management?

Maria PeaglerMaria Peagler

Much of the success a brand will have depends on many factors outside of social media marketing. Your social media campaign may be hitting home runs, but if your website is unclear, your value proposition weak, and your branding confusing, you won’t see much in the way of results. We work with our clients on their messaging, branding, their website, and customer support, all of which affect how successful any campaign will be.

Letting your outsourcing agency in…

You heard it from the experts. After much dilemma, you have now handed over the keys to your beloved digital home. You’ve also forked over some green to have your social media communications published. But as you heard, you don’t have to lose complete control over the messaging of your brand as long as you communicate with your agency. Peace of mind comes from establishing communication up front. This can eliminate future inefficiencies. As they say, once the track is built, the train can run. Less time can be spent figuring out how to manage an in-house team, and more time collaborating with an outsourced team that will be saving you hours per week writing posts, and gathering performance data.

These are just some of the benefits that come with outsourcing your social media.  Agencies have expertise, experience with execution, and the tools to get the job done.

Tools like Rignite make it easy to manage your relationship with your agency. Agencies can do the heavy lifting and alert you when it’s time to engage, while you chime in only when your response or approval is needed and monitor their performance–all in one place.

Collaborate on social media with your agency using Rignite

Rignite is a software solution that makes it easy to run social media campaigns and track the results.

With Rignite you can:

  • Run goal-oriented social media campaigns
  • Easily schedule a series of posts to promote your social media campaigns with repetition and increasing urgency
  • Get campaign level reports showing overall performance of your campaign and discover which posts were most effective

Sign up for a free trial today!

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About the Author
Madelyne Oliver

Madelyne is a Marketing & Client Relations Associate at Rignite. As an MBA graduate student concentrating in Marketing at SFSU, she enjoys helping small businesses master the art of social media marketing management. She blogs about social media from the perspective of a 20-something.

  • gseo a2

    I believe that a social media consultant must be attuned to the company goals and aspirations if he or she is to represent them on their social media channels. I also think that outsourcing social media marketing is a good idea for a company looking to specialize in their core business. In any case, most businesses outsource marketing and advertising and I don’t see why social media marketing should be any different. You just need to be actively involved to ensure that you are represented in the way that you want