It’s no secret that great customer service is one of the key points towards achieving a successful business. Whether you own a large chain of department stores or a small mom-and-pop pizza joint, you cannot deny just how important customer service is when it comes build an image, make sales, generate leads and in a nutshell, create a flourishing and viable business.

social-media

Enter the world of social media management, where you can literally solve your customer service woes, and more. With proper social media management, you’ll tap into a wealth of benefits including:

  • Branding impressions: this makes your brand visible and memorable.
  • Online reputation management: know exactly what people are saying about your brand or business, so that you can effectively negative remarks (and improve yourself in the process).
  • Develop trust: by becoming a social media influencer, you’ll gain your target audience’s trust and get honest feedback on what they want out of your brand.

Questions to ask yourself before deciding on social media outsourcing.

1. Do you have what it takes to effectively handle continuous social media management efforts?

In other words, do you have the right staff to take care of your business’ social media management in the long run? Believe it or not, according to Forbes.com, it can take 32 hours a month or more for a medium-sized organization to manage a single social media platform. This is certainly not a small amount of time anyone can dedicate their time to doing, unless it’s a designated person like a social media manager. To ensure truly effective social media management, you may want to consider outsourcing these tasks in order to encourage regular content and engagement throughout your accounts.

2. How do the outsourcing costs weigh against increased revenue?

Ideally, when you opt to spend money on outsourcing social media management, you’ll want to spend your free time bringing in new business, otherwise it would not be wise to spend your cash there. You should calculate the cost of possible increased profits that are obtained when your time is freed up to perform other non-social media related tasks, versus actual outsourcing costs.

3. Can you find the right person to manage your social media efforts?

One well-known grave customer service error is failing to train staff properly in order to handle customers’ concerns and interact in the right manner. Similarly when deciding whether or not to outsource social media management, you’ll want to ensure that the best person for the job would be well-trained. If you approached a social media management agency, you won’t need to worry about training an in-house social media manager. Let the agency do all the work and in turn, you can effectively let your brand message be heard via your outsourced team.

To outsource or not to outsource: the cons of outsourcing social media management

1. You need to give it a unique “voice”

Some businesses I know are fussy about how their brand is perceived by others. If this sounds like you, then you probably don’t want to leave your all-important social media efforts to a third-party. Instead, you’ll want to run the show yourself and have full control over what to say, when to say and how to say it. In other words, your brand will sound as authentic as you want it to be.

2. You need to hear first-hand feedback from your audience

Social media networking is a two-way street. When you engage your audience, you get to head their feedback and thoughts too. Issues may arise when you start to outsource your social media management efforts as you may be missing out on vital insights from your audience. Merely getting reports at the end of the week or month may prove to be insufficient as you are losing out on the chance to INSTANTLY respond to your audience.

3. You need to improve yourself, eventually

When you decide to put your brand out there on social networking sites, you are undoubtedly embracing this culture. However, you cannot fully comprehend and delve into it if you outsource your efforts. You’ll want to increase your own thought leadership, and deep down inside, you know this is only possible if you you’re the one having the conversation and involved in audience engagement yourself!

And now, here are the pros of outsourcing your social media management:

1. Frees up your time for things that matter

When you outsource your social media management, you will inevitable free up precious time to helm other tasks, namely, seeking leads, creating strategic advertising and marketing plans, and other things that matter.

2. More money in your bank

Sure, you’ll need to pay a fee to outsource your social media management, but you’re not only buying into an individual’s talents, but you’ll also be leveraging on the expertise of a whole social media management team. This will save you a lot of money in the long run, considering it costs so much more to train a couple of in-house social media managers (think: salary, benefits, training, just to name a few).

3. Tap into a dedicated social media manager’s wealth of experience

When you sign up with a third party social media management company, you’ll leverage on their professional expertise. They know what to expect, and they have the means to perform tasks that you didn’t even know existed.

4. Let the experts provide quality content

Talk to a content marketer and he or she will tell you just how difficult it is to churn out unique content day in and out. With a third party social media management firm, you’ll have none of these worries. With their help, you can be sure of a tailor-made social media strategy that best suits your company to project a positive and professional image for your brand.

Bonus: best social media management tools and tips

Whether you choose to outsource your social media management efforts or not, the fact remains that you have to be socially-savvy in order to grow your business as you tap into the power of social media.

Any social media manager will tell you that juggling multiple accounts across different social networking sites is tricky and may be mighty pain-in-the-neck without the help of useful tools like the ones suggested below:

1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most best-loved social media management tools, and for good reasons too. This (almost) all-in-one app allows you to monitor your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, WordPress and Mixi accounts – all in one cozy dashboard. Not only that, you also get to schedule your posts so that you won’t be perpetually tied to your electronic devices as you monitor your social media pages.

hootsuite

Tip: Save precious time when you use Hootsuite’s Bulk Scheduling feature by creating a spreadsheet of tweets, then uploading it to the dashboard’s scheduler all at once. Check out other tips for Hootsuite power users here.

2. Tweepi

For some, managing Twitter accounts can be a daunting task considering the massive influx of information flooding the stream every second of the day. With Tweepi, not only can you manage your account(s) and its content better, you can also organize and clean up your followers, reciprocate follows, and filter your list.

tweepi

Tip: Check out Tweepi’s premium features, including access to shortcuts (follow, unfollow, filter and more with just a single click from the dashboard!) starting from $7.49 per month.

3. Crowdbooster

Crowdbooster doesn’t really help manage all your social media account the way Hootsuite and Tweetdeck do, but what it does is equally just as amazing. With social media analytics at your fingertips, you can easily gather data that helps you view how well your Facebook and Twitter posts are performing (or under-performing). Being able to analyze impressions, total reach and engagement will ultimately help you improve your social media strategy.

Tip: Connect with your Bit.ly account and you’ll get even more analytics and recommendations to improve your content.