Is your Social Media Update Schedule driving you crazy?
5 Questions to Help You Answer: “Should I Outsource My Company’s Social Media?”
Social media updates are important for your business. It helps keep you top-of-mind for your potential clients and customers, and it also helps build your brand’s presence online.
But as a solopreneur or small business owner, it’s difficult to keep up with the demands of social media.
- Facebook needs updating at least 1-2 times a week.
- Instagram – at least 1-2 times a week (in a format slightly different from Facebook).
- Twitter – at least 4-6 times a DAY (in a different format from Facebook or Instagram).
- LinkedIn – at least 1-2 times a week…
You get the picture.
Plus – you want to make sure you’re actively participating in social media as well – commenting on other posts on other accounts, helping out in forums, etc.
It’s not easy to manage on your own – and it can take hours out of your week.
So how can you keep up?
One potential answer is outsourcing.
Outsourcing involves bringing in an outside resource to help you manage some of your day-to-day (or larger) tasks.
Outsourcing social media is often a great place for a solopreneur to start off-loading some of their time-consuming tasks – especially when they have the right processes in place.
So how do you know if outsourcing social media is right for you?
Is Outsourcing Social Media Right for Me and My Business? 5 Questions to Help You Decide
- Question #1 – You find that social media is taking up more than 15-20% of your day.
- Question #2 – You have a hard time not “wandering off” into non-business parts of social media (you know, those times when you think “Oh look! Sally had her baby!” and then next thing you know it’s 2 hours later and you haven’t gotten any real work done.)
- Question #3 – You’re starting to resent your fans and the people you help in forums because they’re taking up too much of your time.
- Question #4 – Reading negative comments about you and your business hurt you personally and you have a hard time recovering from them – and they’re making you doubt your work and your business’ purpose.
- Question #5 – You have a good process in place to make sure that any outsourced help knows what to do, how to do it, and can easily mimic your company’s social media “voice” without much daily guidance from you.
So – how did you answer those questions?
My guess is, if you’ve made it this far down in this post, you’ve answered “yes” to at LEAST the first 4.
Am I right?
But – maybe Number 5 got a “maybe” – or, if you’re really being honest, a “no, not at all”.
But that’s OK!
Here’s the thing – developing processes to help you hand off your social media management is not as difficult as it sounds.
However – it IS a key component to making sure that when you decide to outsource any part of your business, your processes are documented ahead of time. A well-documented process will help you avoid embarrassing – and possibly costly – social media mistakes.
3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing Social Media
If you’re thinking of outsourcing – either hiring a VA (Virtual Assistant) or an Agency to handle your social media – it’s important to avoid these 3 mistakes.
Mistake #1 – Don’t Do Your Research
Many clients come to us with horror stories of hiring cheap but unprofessional or incompetent social media help. Unfortunately, this could have been avoided with an hour or two spent researching the reputation of the VA or agency before they got started.
Before you start any outsourcing, make sure you conduct thorough research – both regarding the references given to you by the VA or agency, and the information you dig up on your own.
Mistake #2 – You Don’t Know What You Want
Don’t assume that a VA or Agency is going to be able to read your mind. If you are going to hire an outside resource to help you, you need to have a clear picture in your mind of what that help looks like – and you need to be able to communicate it clearly.
Remember, an outsider doesn’t spend all day with you in your office – they only know as much as you tell them. So before you interview any outsourced help, make sure you’ve written down the help you need and your expectations on what a “job well done” looks like.
Mistake #3 – You Don’t Have the Processes in Place
Probably the biggest mistake we see – and one that is most easily remedied – is not having strong processes in place when you outsource your social media tasks.
Strong processes ensure that your VA or Agency has a clear directive on the tasks they need to complete, how they should look when they’re complete, and what checks are needed before anything can go live.
Processes also help protect you from costly mistake brought about by poor communication. If your Facebook Process is simply “Post twice a week on Facebook” you open yourself up to the possibility of posts that have nothing to do with your business goals, aren’t a right fit for your target audience, or worse, are offensive or simply make your company look bad.
Overall, outsourcing Social Media is a great way to free up the time of a busy solopreneur or small business owner. Social Media can take up a lot of time – and it’s important – but when it starts to eat into your ability to meet with new clients, complete projects, and build your business, it’s time to consider outsourcing.