So you run a business that’s doing pretty well for itself, have a pretty functional website, have an account on Facebook and maybe twitter too.
How much does it cost to outsource Social Media?
But wait, it’s been more than a month since you posted something on Facebook and you haven’t logged onto Twitter for ages. At least not since the intern you last dumped the chore on upped and left. Now you are thinking about where you noted down the username and password for the account. Well, good luck with that.
That’s the norm.
Rather than entrusting some rookie fresh out of uni with your company’s social media campaign you should be looking at someone more experienced and well-versed in such matters. To be specific, someone professional.
You can always dump the task on someone from sales or marketing, of course. After all, you call the shots. But heaping an additional responsibility on some reluctant guy is not going to benefit anyone in the long run. If it works out for you, that’s great! But chances are that you stand to benefit a lot with someone dedicated to the task.
How to benefit from Social Media
The fact is that social media has evolved a lot in recent years, so much that even seasoned professionals have a tough time keeping up. There was a time when it was enough for a business or professional to have a page on Facebook with a few photo’s, the location and an occasional post (new year/holiday greetings!)
Now it’s grown to become a parallel dimension in many ways. There’s a large section of people on it who are interested in you. They can be existing or prospective customers/clients or occasional professional partners/acquaintances. Social media definitely makes it easy to keep in touch with all of them.
But done wisely, you can leverage your social connections to benefit your business. There is a right way to go about it, and you will need the right people for that.
It all boils down to this: Do you need a dedicated person for Social Media?
Depends on you. You can appoint someone as an employee full-time or part-time, or opt for a consultant or agency.
The bigger you are, the more resources you’ll need. Behemoths like Pepsi and Nike have a virtual army of experts running their social campaigns. Even the local real estate agencies have dedicated in-house teams to manage their social efforts. For small scale businesses, it is better to outsource this task to a digital agency or an external consultant.
So if you decide to go with someone for the job, who will you need?
That again depends on the social platforms you are on, what you plan to do on these networks, the size of your audience, any marketing or brand building initiative and so on.
Building a presence or image on social media platforms can be a round the clock process. An established and active presence will ensure that your SEO ranking goes up leading to more people discovering you and your brand. In addition, you will need regular content (blogs, posts, images, etc.), someone to address sales queries or customer issues, someone to engage with your audience on social networks and more.
It’s best to opt for a Social Media Manager who can plan and execute your strategy, take care of the specifics and get the nitty-gritty done either in-house or outsource it.
So how much can you expect to spend?
A cursory search on your favorite search engine (Google, of course!) will throw up rates all over the place along with a variety of fee structures – from $50/hour to thousands per project.
However, it’s pretty simple to separate the wheat from the chaff. Check a few professional networking sites like the Glassdoor or LinkedIn or even surveys from the likes of Payscale. You’ll find that annual packages range from $30K to $70K with an average of around $50K.
What you stand to benefit.
The most important thing is to define the success and set goals for any new hire. It’s the same whether hiring a part time employee, a full-time social media manager, or a digital agency. Set out clear and specific goals (like say, 100 followers on FB or 25 customer queries on twitter) and be sure to review them at regular intervals. There’s got to be a quantifiable business return based on the money you spend.
You can take to social scoring sites like Klout, Kred or PeerIndex to evaluate the results. In this digital age, it is essential to have the right staff, structure, and budgets in place.
Remember, the choice lies with you.
Social media content is fast moving. You are only as good as your last good post. This is why it is vital to have constant updates on your social media pages.