Are you ready to hand the keys of your car over to someone else and watch as they drive it blindfolded on streets that they have never driven on before? If you outsource your social networking to a social media marketing agency, then that is exactly what you might as well be doing. I don’t know about you, but I’m not putting the responsibility of my brand – my livelihood – under the total control of anyone else. If you’re going to be in my car trying to drive blindfolded, I’m keeping at least one hand on the steering wheel and another on the brake.
Off the Mark
I ran across an article discussing whether or not to outsource your social marketing recently on Social Media Today. While the piece made some good points (which I’ll discuss in a bit), I think it was still a little off the mark. This is the sentence that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. “Unfortunately, there’s no right or wrong answer to the question of outsourcing social media management.”
Yes There Is
There absolutely is a right answer to the question of outsourcing your social media. That answer is, “Don’t do it.” The last thing you want to do is to let someone else determine your marketing message and then broadcast that message loudly to your Facebook fans, Twitter followers and other social network communities.
In the article I mentioned previously, I did say that the author made some good points about choosing a social media marketing agency. Here are two: “They should go out of their way to understand your business model, your customers, your overall marketing strategy, and your target market.” and “They should be passionate about the mission and vision of your company.” These, however, do not create an exception to my rule of no outsourcing.
A Better Choice
There is a better choice when it comes to managing your social networks, promoting your brand’s message and communicating with your social communities. And guess what? This choice does involve working with a social media marketing agency. However, instead of outsourcing, you need to co-source your social marketing.
The Big Difference
When you co-source, the agency will still take the time to understand your business, products and services, target audience, marketing mission and all other aspects of your brand. But unlike outsourcing where you turn over the keys to your company car, co-sourcing involves working together in tandem with your social media agency. Your knowledge of your business is preserved, the social marketing professionals bring their expertise and then build upon your knowledge and existing strategy.
The Bottom Line
No one knows your business better than you do. No one should know social networking better than your social marketing agency. With cosourcing you combine the best of both worlds to co-create a strategy that grows your business’s bottom line and social community. Read more about choosing a social agency to form a co-sourcing partnership with on our blog.
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