Saturday, December 18, 2010

Why I Won't Consider Outsourcing Social Media?

A friend of mine who owns local business asked me if he can outsource social media.  He wanted to outsource marketing his own brand using Facebook and twitter to a third party.  "Stop" I said.  I told him few reasons why he should not consider outsourcing his social media to another company.

1.) Emotional Connection
Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter are great and excellent ways to promote your brand.  But what if somebody who doesn't know what its like connecting with real people.  Social media is not just a place where numbers increase.  It is not about spamming people to join my facebook page or follow our brand on twitter.  It is about doing the hard emotional labor of connecting with people at an emotional level.  To go out and do something that your followers care.

You might argue that is it like a third party can't connect with people?  It is not like that.  There has to be an emotional connection with your brand.  Your people in the company know more about your company culture than anybody else.  The culture is felt within a company.  How can a company market your brand (On Social Media) when they are already having 10 different clients?

2.) Real Time Updates
In social media you are updating statuses and launching deals in real time.  You could be doing while you are on a bus or while walking.  Fans and Followers can ask questions all the time.  You have to keep up with them.  Hire a person even to do that if your company can afford.  In my earlier post I argued that social media is about transparency and responsiveness.  How fast you can respond to your followers and fans, matters.

3.) Leadership
Third and by far the greatest factor: Leadership.  To run a successful social media campaign you have act like a leader.  When we say leadership it is hugely misinterpreted by lots of people.  Leadership is not equal to "I am the boss" attitude.  It is not equal to a person standing on a stage giving lectures.  It is about being a person who can lead with vision and conviction.  It is about being a person who is responsive and responsible.  Can you expect that from a third party?  How can a third party motivate and inspire hundreds of people at the same time?  

4.) Never Outsource Your Core Competency
Will Facebook give contract to a third party to build their website?  Will Microsoft give contract to somebody else to write windows and word?  Will Walmart give up their IT department to third party?  No way.  Right.  It is like that.  Social Media is your core competency.  If you can build a brand within people and if you are able to connect with them like no body else can connect then it is your core-competency.  Can you connect with Fans of Gary Vee like Gary Vee?  Can you connect and build a brand for Seth Godin?