Should You Outsource Social Media Tasks? July 28, 2011 by Brett Prince Social media marketing can and will continue to grow, and as it does, so does the importance of social media for businesses of all sizes. The big question is whether or not these types of tasks can and should be outsourced to offshore companies. At first thought you may think, no freaking way, however doing so can significantly decrease management costs, and when looking at Facebook page management in particular, it may be reduced as much as 60%. That’s a sizable chunk for any business owner. Define Tasks And Manage Time Step one of any potential task outsourcing is to first understand which tasks may be more effectively outsourced than others. This may seem basic, but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked. Any sort of custom app or layout development, content writing and rich media posting are examples of tasks that could be done by an offshore third party. The major element that shouldn’t be outsourced is the strategy behind the social media promotion. You need to define goals and measure success. On average, an India based company isn’t in a position to accurately assess your company, your message, your customers, and ultimately, your market. These are clearly essential elements when it comes to defining and planning a social media strategy. (Source: http://www.awarenessnetworks.com) Outsourcing Is Cost Effective, But With Limitations Outsourcing those mundane social media tasks may be highly effective and valuable for some companies, but you need to be careful with how much trust and responsibility you assign. Apart from strategic decision making and technical aspects, you may also want to consider getting a local agency to handle your day-to-day social media activities internally. Self-proclaimed experts are always shouting about creating the conversion in social media. It’s important to remember that this means interacting with existing and potential customers in real time. Replying is great, fantastic, but if it’s not fast you begin to lose effectiveness from the get-go. Real time conversion is critical to any social media marketing campaign, and it is also the most effective way to attract actual business. Build relationships and prove your worth. Prove that you’re an authority with your industry. When you’re a small business it simply may not make sense to have someone in another country managing these types of conversations. It may not be effective and it could affect the image of your company. This is particularly noticeable with local knowledge and sensibilities, even having the market knowledge that only a local may have, never mind the language and dialect differences. Again, the answer to outsourcing will vary per business, there are a variety of variables at play, such as the industry and the size of the business, as well as the market itself. Overall it’s safe to say that at least some social media tasks can be outsourced, but the key is to assign the right tasks and accurately measure value to ensure you’re getting a positive return on your investment. So how about it? Does outsourcing social media tasks save money or does it jeopardize existing and potential relationships of customers?