Well, it depends.
I know a lot of social media marketing service providers are going to disagree with me, but here’s my philosophy…
Hiring an outsider to manage your company’s social media marketing is like hiring a salesperson and sending them to talk to your potential customers without training them!
In my almost 40-years of working as an adult, I’ve sold, well, you name it: cars, timeshares, cookware, advertising, subscriptions, hotels and even encyclopedias (remember those?). No matter what I was selling, I went through intensive training to learn the product or service inside and out, upside down and backwards and forwards. I had to be able to explain why it was different from the competitors. I had to learn the customers’ pain points and be ready and able to fill their needs, solve their problems and answer questions.
There is absolutely no way that an outsider can know your business like you know your business!
The main idea of social media marketing is social part.
The only people who should be building relationships with your company’s potential customers is you and/or a trained staff member – someone who, like a properly trained salesperson is an asset to your company.
Social Media Horror Stories
Many times, I’ve had to come to a client’s rescue when they’ve been burned or abandoned by an outside firm.
The Problems with Outsourcing Social Media Marketing Services
Beware of the shysters…
Shyster: a person who uses unscrupulous, fraudulent, or deceptive methods in business.
- They usually over charge. If they charge more than $1500/m to manage your social media pages, it’s too much!
- They purchase fake Facebook fans or Twitter or Instagram followers
- They don’t provide monthly reports with monthly insights, analytics, statistics, and demographics.
Why Demographics are Important…
There’s a website who’s main target market is local women – name withheld to protect the clueless. The owner had an outsider managing their social media who bought Facebook fans and Twitter followers and charged them over $1200/m! Sure, they have tens of thousands of Facebook fans but, for a local site, that doesn’t look natural. A couple of thousand is more realistic.
Take a look at their Facebook demographics. Notice anything odd?
Over 60% male! For a women’s site! That right there is a HUGE RED FLAG that the fans are purchased. Also, the majority of the fans are not even in the U.S.! They’re in Turkey, Pakistan, India and other countries! Like those people are likely to respond to posts or show any interest in what’s on the site. Advertisers on their site are essentially being lied to.
If you do decide to hire an outside agency, make sure they are in the U.S.! If there is an issue, you can contact the BBB and get the problem solved. You have no recourse if they are outside the country.
Don’t fall for too-good-to-be-true pitches or promises. No one can guarantee you the first page of Google or any specific growth unless, they’re buying placement or followers. Organic strategies are the best. Make sure they provide you with a customized strategic plan for your business and not some cookie-cutter plan they use for everyone.
Why Insights are Important…
A client of mine, who I helped jump-start their social media marketing, is a BBQ restaurant. If you walk into the place at dinner time, you see mostly baby boomers, yet when you look at their Facebook page insights, the demographics of their fans are 35-44. That’s a huge difference. You market to these two age groups differently. (Related: Marketing to the Different Generations.)
Also, you get an idea of what type of posts your fans are responding — liking, sharing, and commenting — to the most. Do they prefer videos, graphics or articles?
Why Statistics are Important…
Which networks are driving the most traffic to your website? You need to know this so you can adjust your social media tactical plan accordingly. If you see that more of folks are coming from LinkedIn than Facebook, then you need to spend more time on LinkedIn.
Here are a Shot from my Site’s Statistics:
Your stats will change as your following grows and it will vary with the types of blog posts and promotions.
What type of Person Should you Hire In-house to Manage your Social Media?
What about an intern?
Interns are OK considering they work for free — if they are getting college credit — otherwise, you have to pay them. However, you must take these factors into consideration:
- They are very transient and leave when the internship is over along with your company’s usernames and passwords.
- They are usually young and usually irresponsible and immature. (You may get lucky and get a good, upstanding kid with integrity.)
- They don’t understand marketing on social media. Just because they can post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter doesn’t mean they know how to market on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Make sure they’ve taken the proper social media marketing courses and passed with good grades.
- They don’t understand basic marketing principles in general. Again, you must take into account their marketing coursework. Ask to see some of their assignments and term papers.
If you still want to hire a student, for financial reasons, (but you do get what you pay for in this case), make sure either you know that person well – a neighbor, friend’s kid or a relative. If not, get at least 5 real references. Get their references and call them. Make sure they are legitimate companies and not just the kid’s friends vouching for him or her. Check the company’s website and social media pages. Ask them for examples of their work. Remember, anyone can make up numbers, use fake Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.
The best person to hire to do your social media marketing is actually an older person who has pure, old fashioned marketing experience. The marketing basics have not changed, only the media has. Then hire me to train them properly.
People, if you don’t seriously start getting this, you’re going to throw your money away, waste valuable time, look like a fool, and lose customers!