4 reasons to consider outsourcing (some) of your b2b social media activities

Committing to any form of outsourcing in simplistic terms means you have to pay for a service. Yet Social Media Examiner’s 2011 survey found that over 72% of marketers still retain in-house control of social media campaigns.

So why consider outsourcing some elements of your social media activity when the whole point is supposed to be about personal engagement of prospects and customers and the creation of deeper relationships?

By paying for external support with your social media you will have to:

1. PLAN: Outline what you want to achieve to a third party which means you will have to provide a written brief detailing what you want social media to do for your business.

2. GOALS: Set objectives that will give you something to frame your activity within, to work towards and to evaluate your success against.

3. ROI: Deciding how success is going to be measured helps to quantify what the return on investment your management can expect to see.

4. CREATIVE: You may not have the creative spark (the big idea), technical expertise (to translate dry product information into high impact lead generating content) or in-house resource to develop a relevant and durable social media campaign.

Going through the process of explaining what you plan to do opens up your plans to scrutiny, which brings clarity. And whilst bringing in the experts naturally creates an additional cost,  managed well, you may just execute sharper, focused more creative and more relevant social media campaigns as a result.

Image: Tom Fishburne

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2 responses to “4 reasons to consider outsourcing (some) of your b2b social media activities

  1. Occasionally your other job working for an agency gets in the way.

    3 of these are not reasons for choosing an agency – they are things you should do before starting any campaign, in-house or out.

    And the big idea should be fuelling all of your engagement activities, not just the social media bit. If you don’t know what you’re selling and why people buy it you can only stay in business so long by being cheaper or having a better process.

    These are bits you should be doing in house, with all of the management team, not just marketing. If at the end of the day you decide you need to outsource bits of the resulting tactical plan, you will get better value for money through giving a better brief.

    But bad management and forcing yourself to do things because you have to brief an external supplier should never be a valid reason for any decision.

    • Interesting analysis. I checked the blog post and I didn’t mention the word ‘agency’ once. I also didn’t suggest anyone contact me to discuss outsourcing some of their social media activities. After 300 blog posts over two years, you know that’s not my style. I might elect to compare this to your promotion of marketing automation techniques in the various platforms in which we debate, (your day job getting in the way) but I won’t ;o). I value your contributions. You’re in a unique position as a regular contributor Peter, able to bypass the moderation stage, please remember that.

      To be clear, the sentiment behind the blog was that the process you need to go through to effectively brief a supplier means your activities will stand a better chance of success. We both know there are scores of companies that would benefit from taking this approach, whether they ultimately outsource it or not. And yes, it can be applied to any and all forms of marketing / business planning, but I chose social media is it is often an area where people ‘dip their toe’ without really considering their strategic objectives. How then can they really assess its success?

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