Mind Candy

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Outsourcing your SMM – It only works if you let go and network

Posted by mandyf on February 13, 2012

I have a bone to pick with people that hire on a social media manager, copywriter or people to handle their online presence in general. If you hire someone to do a job – let them do the job you are paying them for! There is a reason you hired someone in the first place. Either you don’t have the time, desire or skill set to do the job on your own – that is why you outsource. When you make the decision to do that however and bring in someone to fill that role – does it make any sense to sit on their shoulder and question every move?

For example, someone we will call “Client A” decided that the social media manager they had wasn’t working out to their full expectation so it would be wise to get someone new to hopefully do they job they were looking for. Rather than release their original SMM whom had a few months hanging on his contract, they decided to share the duties. This did not work – and here’s why.

The SMM that proved to be a disappointment was given the marquee platforms to work with – Twitter, Facebook and G+. The new team was asked to do other things – other being a huge unspecified string of ??????? SMM #1 continued to under-whelm for a couple months while the two team approach was in effect. Team #2 decided enough was enough and began using the full array of platforms available – including those allocated to team #1 which were being ineffectively utilized.

The response to this was a frantic email which asked – and this is no joke – people are liking our FB page, tweeting us and following and commenting on our G+ — we don’t know who they are!!!! Are we being spammed!?!?!?!?! Team #2 looked at the new activity and issued the reply – this is not spam – we drove traffic to your platforms – isn’t the point of social networking to network and bring people to you whom you may be able to convert to sales? Why would you use social platforms as a national business to only network your products to your employees and families?

Here’s another case. A company hires an SMM team to build them up online and repair some reputation damage. They want this to be done however without using their twitter, Facebook, no G+ account, no blog, no Linkedin and no traffic from people they don’t explicitly approve of in advance. How do you think this went?

Well…. Their Facebook remained buried somewhere down around the 7th page of Google for a search on their own company name. Their twitter is so far down, it couldn’t even be found. No blog ever launched because they feared negative comments and didn’t understand what the term “moderate before approving” meant. When approval was finally given to use their social networks, every name they did not recognize appearing on one of their platforms caused frantic panic.

“We have a tweet about cancer on our timeline! What do we do?!?!” You get the idea. To them, Twitter should only be used for people specifically in their industry. What wound up happening was their own competitors began following them and getting the follow back. The company in question then began re-tweeting their competitors putting out tweets that directly competed with them. Imagine being a Chevy dealer tweeting out sales notices for the Toyota dealer across the street – because that is what they did.

In each case, no amount of rational explanation as to why it is good to widen your social circles could suffice to satisfy them. No explanation as to why seeing new people becoming exposed to your product or brand seemed to make sense. It was impossible to explain why it is a bad idea to promote your direct competitor – who is not promoting you – is idiotic.

Social networking and media is about being social. It is about reaching new people and strengthening your brand. It is about converting – whatever converting means to you. It is not something you enter only to hoard. It is not something you can do filled with fear and trepidation. It is not something you do a little bit here and a little bit there. You can’t expect success if you don’t take chances. Ali never won a fight without throwing a punch. You can’t sell a product no one is aware exists – and you can’t succeed in social networks if you are afraid of people being social with you.

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