In a recent discussion with several individuals who actively manage their own and their clients’ social media presences, the topic of outsourcing social media engagement came up. We were discussing the marketing / content calendar, and how we go about scheduling social posts on various channels, and the conversation came around to the challenges involved when you move beyond creating and scheduling posts and content for social media. Here are some of the issues that come up:
- Engagement can’t be scheduled – While there are tons of tools out there to schedule posts on all social channels, you can’t just leave your posts out there to die when your audience engages with you. You can (and should) post when your audience is most likely to be online and when you’re most likely to see high engagement, but then you actually have to engage.
- Social media engagement requires active monitoring – In order to engage in a timely manner, you have to be “on” all the time, or at least during the hours that your brand has adopted as its business response times. Setting the expectation of social media engagement means you must then live up to that expectation or disappoint your fans and followers.
- Social media engagement requires solid brand knowledge – While an agency or contractor can get to know a brand, that individual or group of professionals is not the brand itself. Especially in a small organization, it’s very difficult to outsource the day to day understanding of your brand. Yes, it can be done, but it’s difficult.
At the end of the conversation, we ended up with the understanding that, in order to really “take over” another organization’s social media presence on any channel, you may have to act like a teenager, constantly checking and engaging on any and all channels. That can be difficult to outsource and difficult to do as an agency. The indivduals who manage the ongoing interactions and engagement on social media must be a trusted extension of the brand.