Outsourcing social media marketing
|11/04/2011||Posted by Chris Lee under Blog||
Have you read the Social Media Examiner 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report yet? If not, download it and take a look. It confirmed what the rest of us in social media have been arguing for years, and now from a field of 3,300 marketers interviewed a significant 90 per cent said that social media is “important” for their business.
However, the part that interested me most was this stat: “about half have less than one year of social media marketing experience”. That’s a concern, especially when tallied with the stat that social media outsourcing was found to be underutilised, with less than a third (28 per cent) of businesses outsourcing some proportion of their social media marketing.
Admittedly, this is a US study, so but presuming the figures were similar over here that would still indicate that a lot of companies are stumbling around trying to figure out “how to do this social media thing” in-house without actually outsourcing to social media consultants who have proven experience in implementing social media strategies.
Social media marketing requires time investment
According to the report, many businesses find that social media marketing is taking a lot of their time, with the majority (58 per cent) using social media for more than six hours or more each week and more than a third (34 per cent) spending upwards of 11 hours a week on social media activity.
This is not unexpected. While social media channels may be free or cheap to set up, the time investment required to craft quality, optimised blogs, identify and interact with key online influencers, manage social customer relationship programmes, develop online video marketing strategies and content marketing strategies etc takes time. As with everything in social media, you get out what you put in.
I always recommend in my social media training sessions that people play around with social media channels personally first to “get” the various etiquettes and ins and outs of social media PR.
Social media best practice
Social media marketing best practice isn’t rocket science; it’s common sense. It’s as much about sociology, anthropology and human psychology as it is about marketing. Social media marketing is something that can be handled in-house but sometimes organisations may need a helping hand in formulating social media strategies or a little social media training to get them started. It takes time and research to understand social media marketing best practice. And, as I blogged last week, we need good social media marketing case studies to learn how to improve.
If companies want to be successful in social media marketing then failing to outsource could hold them back significantly, because – and let’s be honest here – we all know how brand-absorbed in-house teams can be sometimes. The neutral outside view is always a welcome objective opinion.
The key to successful social media marketing is not to fall into the trap that many fall into by forgetting the most important word: “Social”.