Suppose you’re a business owner and want to grow your business through social media marketing. In that case, it might seem like an impossible task to manage all of your company’s social media profiles and updates on your own.
But with all the tools available today, it can be easy to find social media experts who can help you create and maintain your accounts so that you don’t have to do it all yourself.
Outsourcing social media marketing is excellent if you want to save time and effort to focus more on driving your business.
Read on if you want to learn how to successfully outsource digital marketing, mainly social media management, essential things to keep in mind, and common pitfalls to avoid.
Table of Contents
- Outsourcing Social Media Management: Why You Should Do It
- Hiring an Agency vs Freelancers: Which is Better for Social Media Outsourcing
- How to Vet Your Outsourced Social Media Manager
- 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Outsourcing Social Media Marketing
- Benefits of Outsourcing Social Media Management
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing
- Outsourcing Social Media Management: Final Thoughts
Outsourcing Social Media Management: Why You Should Do It
While having an active social media presence is essential, the amount of time required to manage your various platforms can be overwhelming.
It’s especially true for smaller businesses that don’t have time to devote an employee solely to social media.
Outsourcing social media for your business allows you to focus on other things while a team of professionals takes care of your social media platforms.
It’s a cost-effective way to manage multiple platforms efficiently and effectively, all while reaching your target audience promptly.
Hiring an Agency vs Freelancers: Which is Better for Social Media Outsourcing
Hiring a social media agency or individual freelancer means that you get expert advice and guidance from someone who specializes in your industry.
They will help you create engaging content and manage your accounts daily so they run smoothly without wasting too much of your time.
Both have pros and cons—and it’s essential to consider the unique needs of your business when making the decision.
Here’s how to know which is better for your needs.
Agencies are like one-stop shops for social media management. They have a team of people who manage multiple accounts, taking care of all the day-to-day tasks and responding to inquiries.
With an agency, you get access to their insights, expertise, and training on the best practices for your brand’s channels.
It’s also beneficial for agencies because they can provide a consistent and reliable approach to promoting your brand across all platforms.
Agencies can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 per month. The cost varies widely depending on their service level, their team size, and your budget.
If time and control are more important factors for your business than cost, then an agency may be worth considering.
Freelancers work remotely from home or wherever they choose. You don’t have to worry about them showing up in person or having office space.
The benefits of hiring freelancers for social media marketing include the ability to work alone or as part of a team, flexibility, and the speed with which you can get results.
You’ll have control over how much time they spend working on your account, which is especially important if you manage multiple accounts for different clients.
They are typically cheaper than agencies because they don’t require salaries or benefits. However, additional costs, like equipment rental or purchase, may be associated with working remotely.
Hiring freelancers may be the way to go if cost is a factor.
How to Vet Your Outsourced Social Media Manager
It would be best to vet your new hire like any other employee. They should be qualified for the job and can deliver on expectations, so it makes sense to be thorough during this process.
These are some tips on how to make sure your outsourced social media manager will be able to handle your projects.
Determine what you’re looking for in a social media manager.
What is the purpose of your social media manager? Is it about communicating with customers and potential clients? If so, does this mean managing an already-existing presence on multiple platforms or building out new accounts from scratch? Or maybe you want someone who can help develop content consistently across all channels, keeping your message consistent across platforms?
How much are you willing to spend on this position? Social media managers come at different price points depending on their experience level and how many hours per week/month they can dedicate to this role—so consider your budget before setting up interviews.
Look into the social media manager’s history.
When vetting your social media manager, look at three main areas: their history, strategy, and skills. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
- History: The best place to start is in the past. Take note of what they have done so far with their work on social media.
- What kind of content does their company produce?
- How often do they post? What are the results of this work?
- How has it impacted the business overall?
- Strategy: Your next step should be looking into your potential partner’s techniques for managing your presence online.
- How do they want you represented on different platforms
- How would they approach setting up an account for a new account such as Instagram
- How will posts be scheduled and promoted
- Skills: The next step is to see what the potential social media manager has done in the past. You’ll want to look at their work samples, handling of previous clients, and their strengths, like content writing.
Research your hire’s references.
You should ask your social media manager for at least three references—and be sure to contact them all.
It’s essential not only to get a sense of how others view this person but also for the candidate to be able to provide you with additional insight into their background and experience.
- What is your relationship with this person?
- How long have they been working in the field? (If they’re new, ask yourself if they’ll be able to gain enough experience.)
- What do they do well? Why do you think so?
Ask how they’ll keep you in the loop on progress or issues.
You’ll need an open line of communication between you and your SMM team so that you know how things are going.
For this relationship to work, both parties need to understand the value of their work and how it contributes to achieving business goals.
You’ll also want to assess their communication skills.
- Do they respond quickly?
- Are they easy to get a hold of when you need them urgently?
- Can they clearly explain their strategies?
If your outsourced social media manager is challenging to communicate with, this problem will likely increase as your business grows.
Take advantage of a trial period or contract.
When working with an outsourced social media manager, ensure you’re comfortable with the person. The best way to do this is by using a trial period or contract.
A trial period can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It will give you an idea of how well they fit in with your company culture, how fast they work, and what results they can deliver.
A contract should be ready before beginning any work on your account(s). It should include:
- Tasks during each phase (e.g., creating a content calendar)
- Timeframe of completion (e.g., weekly)
- Any particular goals for growth or engagement during specific periods (e.g., increase followers by 100 per week)
5 Things to Keep in Mind When Outsourcing Social Media Marketing
Set your social media goals.
To reach all of your target audience while maintaining a consistent voice across all platforms, you’ll need someone who understands how each platform works.
You want customers to be able to find and engage with your brand online.
Businesses must have followers and people who regularly engage with their posts.
The only thing worse than having no engagement is low engagement. It may appear as if users don’t care about what’s being said on their page by others. It may result in fewer likes, shares, or comments, which could cause you to lose followers.
Decide on when and what type of content to post.
You need to know what they’re posting is relevant to your brand and will be effective at driving conversions or engagement. These are some critical questions to ask yourself:
- What’s the optimal time for sending out social media posts?
- Are there certain types of posts that have been more successful than others?
- What kind of content resonates most with your audience?
Put safety measures and legal precautions in place.
Protect your business by having a contract and an emergency action plan.
Also, have a backup plan if something goes wrong with your social media manager’s health or family life.
For instance, suppose someone is sick one day and can’t come to work, you’ll want to be able to contact another person who can take care of your needs on short notice.
Choose the right social media management tool.
Hootsuite is ideal for businesses that have multiple social media channels, as it allows you to manage all of them from one place. It also has a free version that gives you access to critical features, such as scheduling posts and communicating with followers.
Buffer is perfect if you’re looking for an easy way to schedule your content ahead of time, based on when your audience is online.
Sprout Social is ideal for small businesses or agencies with only a few employees who want more advanced features than Hootsuite without spending too much on software.
Monitor your social media management tools.
When your social media manager uses one of the many social media management tools, like Hootsuite or Buffer, you will have a lot of content scheduled at once.
And when the time comes for those posts to go live, it’s always a good idea to check back and make sure everything looks right before hitting publish.
If you’re using an RSS feed from another website or aggregator such as Feedly, then there may be times when some posts are published out-of-order or in a way that the creators didn’t intend.
Benefits of Outsourcing Social Media Management
- You can focus on what you do best for your business.
- Less time spent managing social media accounts means more time for other important things, like your family.
- You have more control over which types of content to post and when to publish.
- Budgeting is more flexible because you don’t have to pay someone else for the service.
- You can get a broader range of services.
- You can get more value for your money.
- It’s possible to gain a better return on your investment.
- You can get a more consistent experience through the social media manager’s work with other clients.
- You can be flexible on the work deadline and how quickly the manager should complete each task.
- You also gain access to expert advice on how best to structure your posts so that they are most effective for reaching your desired audience at various stages.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing
When outsourcing social media management, there are a few common mistakes to avoid.
Not asking for references – It’s okay to ask for references from previous clients. Consider this a red flag if an agency or freelancer hesitates to provide connections.
Forgetting the contract – A contract should outline the details of your agreement, including who will do what work and how much it will cost. Ensure everyone understands what they’re signing up for and what they can expect from their relationship with the other party— in this case, your social media manager.
Not overseeing your social media manager – If your partner is not providing the quality of work you expect, you should address it immediately so they can adjust accordingly.
Hiring an agency that does not specialize in your niche – The best agencies specialize in a specific niche, like financial planning or real estate, but general agencies can handle any business.
Not having a clear outline of tasks that you want them to do – If you don’t set the expectations on your goals, it could lead to poor results and miscommunication.
Outsourcing Social Media Management: Final Thoughts
Outsourcing social media management is a great way to free up your time and ensure you get the most out of your social media content strategy.
Working with a freelancer or an agency that fits your needs can help promote your brand effectively across all platforms.
But first, you should consider what you want from your social media strategy and how you can best achieve those goals.
Once you have figured that out, it’s time to find someone who will help you reach them.