In this post, you will learn ALL about how to outsource social media
(This article originally appeared as a guest blog post on Social Media Today)
Are you tired of trawling through your news feed just to find that one “non spammer” who would be good to connect with?
Do you get that insignificant feeling when you have been through your Twitter feed RT’ing, replying and liking only for it to refresh 2 minutes later with a whole new barrage of content?
Is it frustrating when you get the comment notification on your Instagram account only realize that wasn’t a human, just a server located somewhere in India?
These are usually the factors that drive people to outsource their social media presence.
(And I’m not talking about paying someone to provide 6k fake followers, 6k fake likes and 5 fake RT’s a day, I am talking about handing over the majority of your social media tasks to a real person)
But I am here to share the truth…
And once I have shared that truth I will take you through the Why, What and How of outsourcing your social media presence.
As humans we are by our very nature, symbolic beings. Whilst running the risk of being too spiritual here we must understand the difference between real measures of success of a social media campaign:
REAL HUMAN INTERACTIONS
And the the symbolic measures of success we like to measure ourselves by:
FOLLOWERS, LIKES, RT’S, SHARES
Once understood, this immediately discredits buying fake symbols of success. As you are simply spending one symbol of success (money) on another symbol of success (followers) and not actually achieving anything (apart from wasting your own time).
Thus we are able to conclude that any activity that brings us closer to the truth behind real social media success (real human interactions), is worthwhile.
Though, we must be careful…
If your social media profiles represent you as an individual or business then obviously the real human interactions must involve you or your business.
If you are looking to outsource your social media presence to an individual that is not you or not your business then only certain tasks should be outsourced.
This is the situation which we will focus on.
In short, we must only outsource tasks that don’t directly lead to real human interactions, as this must come directly from yourself or someone within your business.
- Scheduling content
- Design images for posting
- Alignment of social updates with targeted keywords
- Ensuring social content is native to each network
- Ensuring a consistent posting schedule
- Hashtag research
Over the past 2 years of failing miserably with social media, I have finally found the secret.
Not that it is a really secret, in fact, it is blazingly obvious, it’s just that I was too selfish to realise.
For me, the key to being effective on social media is by reaching out and making an effort to develop relationships first, not waiting, selfishly posting your own links for people to come to you.
And if you do this consistently over time, you will build real, genuine connections with people and will ultimately gain a following.
So how do you do this?
By taking small steps each day to reach out and appreciate other people’s content.
- Liking and sharing on Facebook
- Liking and retweeting on Twitter
- Liking and following on Instagram
- Liking and sharing on LinkedIn
- Pinning and organising Pins/Board on Pinterest
And you can probably guess what I am going to say next…
Yes, some of these tasks do not need to be completed by you (I do NOT advise completely outsourcing your social media presence).
You can instruct your virtual team member to complete a number of actions each day on each social media platform and over time, you will be amazed at the increased engagement you have with your own posts.
WARNING – I would be hesitant with to outsource commenting on any social media network until you are completely confident of your virtual team member’s judgement and tone of voice.
Now we are aware of why and what we should be outsourcing, we must learn how to do so effectively…
After spending 5 years outsourcing in both the corporate and startup worlds I have defined a pretty flawless process (in my opinion ;)) and like to call it:
The Efficient Outsourcing Formula
(I know we already went through the Formula in the first of the How To Outsource Series, I wanted to go through it again, just to ensure that it becomes engrained into your business mindset.)
1. Identify Tasks To Be Outsourced
Fortunately, I have already done this for you in the “How” stage above.
However, if there are other tasks within your business that you think could be “outsourceable”, download this tool that will help you identify which tasks and processes within your role/business are “outsource-able”.
2. Perform Tasks To Be Outsourced
In order to optimize the process, train your “outsourcer” effectively and to understand the time requirements of each task you MUST be completely proficient in the task itself.
3. Create Working Procedures
Each process that is to be outsourced must have an associated Working Procedure – a document detailing exactly how the process is performed.
For bonus points, you can use Screenflow to create videos of you or someone in your team completing the process.
4. Train Your Team
As the individual that has created the Working Procedure for the process it is your responsibility to train the person who will be taking the responsibility in the future.
The training will occur in three distinct stages:
Introduction – Talk your “outsourcer” through the Working Procedure you have created
Forward Job Shadowing – Perform the working procedure whilst your “outsourcer” is watching either in person or using screen share software
Reverse Job Shadowing – Your “outsourcer” performs the Working Procedure whilst you observe
So there we are…
The truth about outsourcing social media accompanied by the why, what and how.
And the glorious result of outsourcing these non relationship building tasks?
100% of your time invested in social media will be spent on the task that REALLY matters:
Real Human Interactions
If you have any questions or queries regarding whether you should/should not outsource your social media presence, drop a link to your website and social media profiles in the comment box below and I will go through personally to provide advice.