Outsourcing training and strategy is a safe bet when you want to implement social media marketing with your company. Rather than give the reins over to an outside resource, it’s a much better choice to stick with your in house team members and let them be guided by a social marketing expert.
Your in house team will need to be trained in not only the basics but the more advanced aspects of social media management. If you’re using multiple marketing platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for example), they will need to understand the strategy, approach and experience that your organization is looking to create.
Your team needs to be on track with the best practices of social media, your expectations and the latest trends. Working with a outsourcing service can help, but you’ll also need to train your team internally to stay in line strategy and procedures.
Define Your Expectations
You can stave off a lot of problems with outsourcing by clearly defining the expectations of your team from the start. Getting everyone on the same page can improve the efficiency of your outsourced manager and your internal team. The better your team is able to handle the tasks, the higher your social media ROI.
Here are some of the key questions that you need to answer before you move forward with social media outsourcing:
• Who will be involved in the social media management?
• Which responsibilities will the outsourced expert handle and which responsibilities will be covered in house?
• Will automation be used and if so, what percentage of posts will be automated?
• Who will have final say on what is published and when?
• How will the team communicate?
• What benchmarks will be used to measure success and how will those benchmarks be obtained?
Defining expectations on both sides of the fence can prevent future misunderstandings and streamline the entire outsourcing process. A social media management professional will already have experience with defining roles and can help you determine how many team members you’ll need in house and what their duties will be.
Use a Social Media Tool that Allows for Collaboration
If several people will be handling social media management, it’s important that they all have access to the social accounts. A tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial will let the entire team work together on the social updates, and will track effectiveness as well. Review your options and then choose a solution that makes sense for your company. Most professional outsourcing providers will have experience with these tools and be able to offer a recommendation.
Establish a Group Work Space
Team collaboration is essential to efficient outsourcing but you can only get so far with a series of emails. Create a group work space where any members of your team and the outsourced expert can work together. You can use a formal collaboration program like BaseCamp or DeskAway to manage projects, or something as simple as a shared Google Doc that includes posting schedules, logins and other important details. You could also set up a private Facebook group for team members to communicate. This will help everyone involved in the social media project stay on track.
Create Support Documents
In addition to ongoing communication and scheduling, you will need to have support documents that will help your team understand your goals and your company culture. When you outsource social media strategy, the consultant will help you define policies, create a template for updates and share documents that will help with the process. You can add to these documents to include internal rules for using social media. They will also
Your consultant needs to meet with your team regularly in order to touch base and stay on track. It will help internal team members get specific questions answered, and it will give your social media consultant an opportunity to share new tips and best practices. Brief weekly meetings are essential, but you should also schedule more in depth monthly or quarterly meetings to go over new trends and analyze results.
Plan for a Potential Crisis
If a social media crisis hits, it’s important that your team acts quickly and efficiently. Your in-house team needs to be prepared with the right reaction and potential chain of events. Ask for assistance from your consultant, and be sure that a crisis plan is part of your internal documents in your project management system. This will allow your internal personnel to respond immediately and diffuse a potentially damaging situation.
Getting your team on board helps you make the most of social media outsourcing. With your consultant’s help, you can create a streamlined in-house team that can boost your results with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or other social platforms.