What are the goals of your social media efforts? Who do you trust to manage your online voice? Does that person fully understand your goals? Do they understand your business as a whole? Do they know the personality of your business and mimic it with ease?
I get asked “…should I hire an outside company to run my social media efforts?” multiple times during speaking engagements. My response is always with the question “…why do you think you should outsource your efforts?” and the most common answer I get is “I don’t have time.” So, outsourcing is the most economical and smart thing to do. Right? Not necessarily.
You’ve built your company and your company has a personality. It has a distinct voice. It has its own unique way of doing things.
Have you ever spoken with somebody who uses an interpreter? It’s a unique experience. You’re talking with them but through a third person and you’re really never sure if they’re getting the whole story with your inflections from their interpreter. You simply have to trust they are.
Hiring an outside source to manage your social media efforts is like putting an interpreter between you and your customers. It gets odd at times and your customers notice it.
Enlist Your Staff
If you can use your own staff – people you trust – to manage your online efforts, you’ll have far better success and less frustration than if you hire outside your walls.
Your staff has the sense of your businesses personality. They already know the culture within the walls of your business and that makes it easier for them to communicate to others in the way you would expect your business to talk if it could actually talk.
The way to find a staff member to manage your online social media relationships is to look for a person, or people, who can communicate in natural one-on-one settings like in a restaurant for example.
Can that person talk with multiple people eloquently and naturally? Can they talk with all different communications styles? If they can do those things in a natural, normal setting, and have energy, then that is the person you tap on the shoulder to handle your social media relationships.
If You Must Hire an Interpreter…
If you must outsource, look hard for a company who’ll work with you to learn your culture. They should work with you to create a framework allowing you, and is some ways forcing you, to be involved with their managing of your online voice. In other words, don’t set it and forget it. You have to be involved at some level.
Social media is a relationship deepener. It is another way for you to communicate one-on-one with your current and potential customers. If you can avoid an interpreter, you’ll have great success and less frustration with your efforts.
Paul Boomer will host two session at the @Midwest conference on June 6 and 7. The Truth about Social Media (HINT: It’s Not Media) and What to Write; A Content Idea Generation Workshop. Sign up today so you don’t miss out on these dynamic sessions!