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Social Networking – The Importance of Not Outsourcing
By Gary San
Consumers are totally on board with businesses using social media. They treasure having the luxury to socially engage with the brands and companies they support. This factor alone should be the driver that propels businesses of all sizes to develop a presence on at least one of the many social networks available today. Hesitancy may arise after coming to realize that engaging in social media is very time consuming. You can spend a huge portion of your day just trying to interact with new people and make connections. Outsourcing offers a solution to this problem, but is it really the answer for your company? This article will explain why you need to keep your social networking duties in-house.
What Do You Have to Lose?
A lot of the craze behind social media is the ability it provides to interact and create personal relationships, allowing consumers to connect with a brand in a real and meaningful way. It gives them the opportunity keep up with a particular business and even communicate if two-way conversations are encouraged. As a business owner, it gives you the chance to reach out to your audience, answer questions, and simply let them get to know the real person behind the brand. Social media exposes the personal side of your company through transparency that makes the consumer feel as if you are a trustworthy source they can do business with. These are opportunities you will miss out on by outsourcing your social media tasks to a third-party service.
Networking is a big part of social media. When building a company profile on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, you will not only have access to prospects, but also other businesses that could prove valuable to your network. If the outside agent is being paid to only appear as if they are engaging your audience, there is no way your business can reap the full benefits of social media. Who knows if they will take the appropriate actions or say the right things when it truly matters? You wouldn’t send a freelancer to attend an important industry event in your place, would you? Why task something as important as managing consumer relationships to someone else?
Keeping an Open Mind
Outsourcing certain aspects of your business can be a good move, especially if it helps you meet your goals while keeping your reputation intact. The problems occur when you try to dump all your duties on an outside company that doesn’t know enough about the logistics of your business to represent it in the social media market. If you want to offload some of your social activities, limit it to small tasks that will not damage your image. Think tasks like friend requests, content posting, and fan page management. Whatever duties you decide on, be sure that the person handling them understands the culture of your business and how to interact with your audience. No matter how small the task, you want to know that the job is being done correctly.
Gary San is a best practices activist and advocate for email social marketing.
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