Can You Really Outsource Management of Social Media Marketing?

Social media has fast become the big boy in Internet marketing. From what started as personal journals (blogs), to friend networks (friendster), and other social platforms is now deemed as; social media marketing – leveraging close relationships to communicate your brand and product benefits to others. In simpler words, word-of-mouth marketing – the electronic way.

Social media monitoring

spy vs spy from mad

Or, as a friend called it; spying, is when you want to track select words or phrases from the Web. Social media monitoring solutions are a Google way so I’m not going to mention names here. And agencies use these solutions to compile reports to brief you.

Now, for this task I can understand the need to outsource. Because not only will you have to compile reports but you’ve to understand what’s happening and how should you act upon it. Therefore, a social media consultant is preferred.

Social media management

picture of girlfriend cheating her boyfriend with his best friend
Uh oh

This is the part which I’m concerned about. Can an organization outsource the management of their social media interactions?

Working closely with David in Level5, he brought up a point which stuck to me ever since. It was how we preferred to train the marketing team to manage their own social media than to outsource it to us at Level5. And I believed it with good reason because:

  • How d’you expect us to answer your customer questions?
  • And if we couldn’t, how long will you take to give us an answer to give them?

Worst part I believe is when you outsource your social media, if the agency isn’t an existing user of your brand, the tone and passion communicating with your customers would be different.

Good copywriting can only maintain it’s invisibility to a certain degree. Like a person, you can only hide behind a mask for so long before your mistress realizes you’ve not left your wife for her.

So, why are organizations still looking to outsource their social media management? You tell me.

Where do blogs fit into your web strategy?

The web has grown up very quickly. From using blogs as a marketing communication tool, SEO to boost awareness to now, social media as your reach to the masses. But among all this talk now, I wonder where  and how does the blog fit into your online strategy?

Let’s have a look at some popular platforms online and how they’re used right now.

Telling it in 140 characters with Twitter

twitter birdAs much as some still question its feasibility, it’s here to stay – for now. It’s addictive because no long grandmother stories but simple, shortened personal thoughts. In addition, it gets the word out very quickly and this is important for live reporting or public announcements. Many Twitter applications have made retweeting easier and faster.

And Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. Similar to Plurk and others.

Facebook isn’t only about friends anymore

facebook imageWhat the bunch of college kids thought as a communication platform, has grown into a fan worship and brand evangelist platform. My friends on Facebook are demanding more than friendship today. They invite me to like their fan pages. Some of which are blogs, businesses, brands and well, attractive ladies.

Similarly but more viral than Twitter, this platform uses your 6-degrees of separation. You’re more likely to support a friend whom you know than an avatar on Twitter.

In short, Facebook is a social networking site.

Check-in to Foursquare for your reward

foursquare logoThough relatively new, it’s growing quickly from friend to friend. Plus, it was thought with a commercial offer in mind. A platform to help physical businesses boost their traffic and sales. Simply checking into a venue is but an introduction to this tool.

Its benefit lie inside its reward system from mayorships to other promotional specials. At the same time, it builds community and team effort between users. For example, you need the help of 50 people to achieve a Swarm badge.

By the way, what’s great about Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook is they can be interlinked.

  • Updates on Foursquare can be channeled to Twitter and Facebook.
  • Updates on Twitter can be published to your Facebook wall, not your status anymore.
  • And Facebook, well, it becomes the platform to consolidate all your personal activity.

So, are blogs still a marketing communication tool?

When the wave came, it was regarded as nothing but an online journal to now, a platform for advertising and self-fulfillment. Besides the SEO benefit, what objectives can businesses achieve by publishing a blog now? How does it fit into their web strategy?

Service oriented companies who write blogs may still use it as a marketing communication tool. Like this blog is used for me to share my insight in relation to my industry and services offered under Simpleet.

But what is to become of product related companies who publish blogs? Will it be used more as a feedback tool than a marketing communications tool?

This was a thought I’ve been pondering past few days.