|In our busy daily grind, small businesses may need to rely on outsourcing tasks to other businesses that have a particular skill or talent. As a Visual Online Marketer, aka Web, Graphic and Social Media Designer, small businesses count on me to help plan and design many aspects of their online marketing. Many small businesses do not have an in house graphic designer to create their visual designs and help plan their online branding/marketing. So outsourcing this skill is common and a no brain-er since the work created involves knowing how to use advance drawing and design programs as well as code/technology.
So are all tasks good for outsourcing? In the realm of Online Marketing and Social Media I strongly believe outsourcing can be beneficial to a small business, but many tasks should still remain in house and under the watchful eye of the business owner. Having an assistant or virtual assistant to schedule events and update information, upload photos, organize and update your website, set up and train you on the use of your Social Media platforms, and stay up to date and inform you of the latest trends is a great resource.
But some aspects of outsourcing Social Media should be carefully reviewed and maybe avoided unless the assistant knows you and your business VERY VERY well. Did I mention VERY well? (I mention this due to liability and ethics that should be considered) Keep in mind that whomever you have posting and tweeting your information represents your business and you are responsible for their interaction, communication and how they manage your accounts. This means often times what they may post and tweet is limited to preplanned canned announcements and this is very limiting in the world of Social Media…little creativity and lack of warm conversation back and forth. PLUS, if you do not know how to use these platforms, you may be unaware of how the account is set up for privacy and business protection and unaware of setups you do not approve.
I agree with Kathy Colaiacovo when she states: “I firmly believe social media and online networking works best when the account holder is there online, in real time and on a regular basis”
The entire point of Social Media is to build relationships and interact. Period! How can one converse and build comfort with another business or person if they do not feel they are “talking” with the account owner or an individual within the organization…not a “ghost-tweeter” as Colaiacovo mentions. Don’t get me wrong, you can still utilize an assistant to tweet carefully scripted and well planned notices and announcements or post your latest information on your Fan Page occasionally, but you must still be very involved yourself with communicating with your own Fans, Friends, Followers and Tweeps. Your assistant should be there to keep you informed and train you on the latest tools because you likely do not have time to keep up with that type of SM technology.
Having an assistant Tweet out short standardized comments over and over without any interaction on the owners part…is just plain cold and unfriendly. Short canned responses do not encourage further involvement and interaction and may lead to a drop in Fans and Followers…and eventually traffic to your website and interest in your business. It’s not about the number of Fans you have but the quality of Fans and their interaction on your Fan page and interest in your business.
Have you noticed a Fan Page’s Wall Feed with tweet after tweet of one liner posts, zero or very little Fan interaction and responses from the business owner? What is the point? Why bother having the Fan Page if YOU are not going to use it AND max out it’s SEO with great content, helpful information that will encourage me to return to learn more and get to know you? Same with Tweeting….I want to know that if I respond to a tweet, the conversation will likely be reciprocal and it is the actual person being represented on the account. If an assistant is tweeting on behalf of a business, transparency may be warranted so tweeps know with whom they are “speaking” with.
If you own the business, you are THE expert. Only you can truly know your business and what you want to convey to your customers and the warmth of friendly interaction. If you want to incorporate Social Media into your Online Marketing…plan out the time YOU will converse and interact with people and assign backend tasks to an assitant and have them learn and stay up to date with the latest trends and technolgy so they can show you how to stay up to date too.
It’s a fast paced industry that is changing daily and it is important to turn to a specialist that understands the ins and outs of these mediums to better help your Online Marketing. There is so much more to your Social Media Marketing than autogenerated canned posts and tweets…and business owners deserve to have knowledgeable Assistants, VAs and SM Specialists that understand the technology and complex formats that take you beyond these basics. If you are not learning and incorporating these enhanced features, then you may NOT be standing out against your competition and receiving the most from your outsourcing.
Step up to the plate and have a Social Media Design Specialist or Social Media Consultant show you how to build a following and keep them, with a Facebook Business/Fan Page, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and all the supporting tools to handle your communication. There are SO many aspects of Social Media that go beyond simple canned posts and tweets. If you are not planning out your online marketing to its fullest potential, then you end up missing many opportunities to grow and enhance your online presence. Get involved and learn more about the mediums so your Fans and Followers can get to know you better.