Monday, 29 April 2013

Can Someone Else Do Your Social Media For You?


Social Media seems to be a real can of worms for many. I made my position pretty clear in a recent ebook, I am not a social media guru*.

There are countless reasons why so many people don’t grab hold of the social media nettle. Quite rightly they see it as too confusing, a diversion, not core business, for losers, damaging the brand, a red herring, too time consuming to learn.  All or any of these can be true. Just depends on how you approach it.

More importantly, there is a certain size of business where social media can be really powerful and you don’t have the skill or resource to roll out a sensible social media strategy. Those businesses typically have the semblance of a marketing strategy and marketing team; the business might be 3-10 employees… with a fairly clear marketing message but they just don’t have the skills or resource or time to apply to a decent SM campaign. More importantly, without the experience of designing, implementing and rolling out a campaign they try to do things from first principles and just get lost.

So,can someone else do your social media for you?

Well my first response is ‘no’.

In my business I am proud that if you see a tweet, a blog, an article, a like or a video, then I can guarantee that it has come from my computer, from my desk, from my fingers. For me it is important that that is the case. But for some other businesses it is possible that you could out-source some of the work.

Some people just do not know where to start in putting together a social media strategy. What is the purpose? What can be achieved? What platforms should be used? How can they made to inter-connect? What works? What doesn’t?

Applying social media to a business can be an educational process, showing the difference between inbound and outbound promotion. It can help the business review and revitalise the entire marketing message, helping the business define its specialisation and gain clarity about who it seeks to reach (both customers and potential partners). It gets you to clarify whether to curate or create material, it gets you to figure out how to engage with the right audience. All this and so much more.

There is clearly an opportunity here. And there is no shortage of players out there. And then the potential customer has the next problem of figuring out who to choose. Well, that’s another story.

Of course it is possible to outsource your social media. The difference between out-sourcing and employing can be negligible. The issue is about getting someone on board who will deliver on your behalf. That means results.

Where does leave you if you are thinking about how to make social media work for you? Well you need to find a supplier that has the requisite skillset: the strategic thinking, the marketing skills, the back-office to deliver. What we find is that often we set–up a social media campaign, hand over the skills and walk away.

Social media is tremendously powerful if delivered well; it is not all smoke and mirrors. The trick is to acquire.hire/beg/steal/borrow/rent the skills you need to make your social media deliver the results your business is capable of.

 * Since writing the book we have been inundated with requests for help. So, maybe I need to change the title of that original book to ”I am not a social media guru but I do not how to help you get more attention and more sales using social media”. It is a clumsy title but describes the situation a little better.
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