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Communication is Key When Outsourcing Social Media
Communication is Key When Outsourcing Social Media
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Communication is Key When Outsourcing Social Media

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Companies consider outsourcing the management of their social media to an agency for a variety of reasons. In the case of many small- to medium-sized businesses I’ve worked with, it could be because …

Companies consider outsourcing the management of their social media to an agency for a variety of reasons. In the case of many small- to medium-sized businesses I’ve worked with, it could be because they don’t know anything about social media, or they don’t have time to manage their social media, or even because they want to take what they’re currently doing to the next level.

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  • 1. Communication is Key When Outsourcing Social Media Companies consider outsourcing the management of their social media to an agency for a variety of reasons. In the case of many small- to medium-sized businesses I’ve worked with, it could be because they don’t know anything about social media, or they don’t have time to manage their social media, or even because they want to take what they’re currently doing to the next level. If you decide to outsource some or all of your social media to an agency, you might wonder how to maximize the relationship. I think the key to the success of the social media effort is: regular communication between client and agency. Now communication is important to any client relationship, of course. But when it comes to social media in particular, simply handing all your profiles to an agency and never looking back isn’t going to work. The client and agency should be in perfect sync when it comes to communication. Keys to successful communication When I work with clients on their social media, I want to keep closely in touch with them ALL the time, not just at the start of the engagement. In the first stages of our relationship we meet frequently and talk about goals and strategy. Once that’s settled we begin daily social media activities on behalf of the client, but to do that I need constant information from the clients. I need to know what’s going on at their company: Any speaking engagements? Any new hires at the executive level? Any charity runs lately? Has anyone had a baby at the office? Any new prospects added to the sales team list? Here’s a valuable piece of advice for clients: Appoint a team member to own social media—meaning that person is the main point of contact and keeps the agency posted on all the latest and greatest happenings in the company. For example, the appointed person would be responsible for taking photos at an event and sending them to the agency—basically keeping the agency in the loop so they can then leverage that content in social media—from blogs to posts to tweets. The importance of feedback As the relationship between the client and agency develops, the agency increasingly grasps the style and voice of the client. This is what makes an agency truly become the client to the outside world. Company cultures differ—some clients are more formal while others are more relaxed. Some don’t feel comfortable interacting with partners and vendors on social media, but others encourage it. Some clients are all about posting pictures (of everything), others are still not even comfortable with their employees accessing Facebook at work.
  • 2. As an agency, our job is to know the client and embody their style and voice—ideally down to the tone being used on posts. I’ve had clients who asked us to not use exclamation marks unless it was really necessary, because it deviated from their tone and style of writing. This level of feedback helps—you want your agency to truly assume the voice of your brand on social media. Better to have too much than not enough It’s important to remember that communication is a ongoing process—you need to maintain it throughout the duration of the social media engagement, not just in the first few weeks. The stream of information to your agency should flow at all times— don’t let it die down. When in doubt, err on the side of communicating TOO much. As someone who manages several social media profiles for clients, I’d rather sift through too much client content than spend my time trying to find content to share. By sharing what is happening at your company, your social media channels will be full of vibrant content. When it comes to social media, there are other dynamics in play for a successful relationship between client and agency, such as budget and resources. But strong and consistent communication between client and agency is a solid starting point for a successful social media engagement.

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