My answer is the same as always. No. However I am more than happy to set up relevant social media profiles and management processes for a business or professional and ‘hand-hold’ them through the initial phase to get them going and establish best practice. But strategy and planning always come first.
I make it very clear that this is a transition period that has a start and end time, as I believe the best people to represent your business online are the people inside your business but appreciate that some help to get you kickstarted can be required.
Social media is one of the first windows into your organisation that visitors look through. Why would you want someone controlling that who doesn’t understand your brand values, business goals and ultimately what you’re really all about and why people should do business with you?
Here are my five top reasons why I believe social media should be done in-house:
1. You have the industry expertise and insight
Your social media presence and engagement is the easiest way to evidence your expertise, sharing your opinions, insight and answering the questions of other users. You don’t tell people you know your stuff, you show how you know your stuff. A well-prepped social media team can replicate this for you, but there’s only so much they can do without your regular input and unique expression, why have the middle man?
2. You know your brand values
Reading tone and meaning in text can often be difficult and it can very easily be misinterpreted. It can be challenging for an outsourced social media manager to genuinely grasp your ethos. This is what social media is all about, showcasing what your business is all about and expressing the personalities behind your brand. Outsourced social media can often be bland and insincere , providing nothing to showcase the personality in your business.
3. You need to establish your own unique voice
There are a million people to follow and engage with on social media. What is unique about you to make someone want to follow you and keep coming back? You need to showcase your knowledge and insight to separate you from competitors in the same industry to ensure a user engages with your content rather than the other business professional in your field doing the same thing.
Different people like different personalities, different approaches on the same subject, if you’re not expressing anything in your social media it just becomes content for content’s sake.
4. Social Media Risk is too high
Social media engagement is more important than ever to maintaining and enhancing your brand reputation for potential and current customers, stakeholders and potential employees. The repercussions of not managing your social media to a high standard are great, from damage to your brand reputation, loss of competitive advantage, to poor customer service that damages your relationship capital.
5. Social media skills will be required more and more
Social media isn’t going anywhere, it’s only becoming more important to your business and professional development. The value of these skills inside your organisation is only going to increase. The cost of outsourcing and loss of value of owning your own social media is only going to hamper you in the long run.
Why not develop these useful skills in your organisation now, and save time and money in the long run? Are there people in your organisation who already have the appropriate skills you can maximise for the benefit of your business?
I believe that one of the core principles of social media is to use it to represent YOU. It showcases what’s different about you, what you can offer and why people should engage with you. Social is about conversations not just broadcasts, I believe that the best people to partake in these conversations are the people inside your business.
If social media is something you just want someone else to deal with, you may need to re-consider what you believe social media really is all about.