It may seem odd for someone who makes their living as a social media consultant to write an article with this headline. But I sincerely believe that you cannot hire a consultant or marketing company to do your social media for you.
Don’t get me wrong: you can get lots of valuable help from social strategy consultants, SEO experts, marketing and branding professionals, writers and content curators. Just don’t think for a minute that they will be able to do your social networking and build engagement for you or as well as you and your team can do it with the right training and support.
1. You can’t outsource you voice.
You can’t hire someone to be you better than you can be you. Would you hire a gifted conversationalist with an excellent speaking voice to handle all your telephone conversations with your clients, prospects and peers? Would you hire an attractive and articulate consultant to go to breakfast networking meetings and represent you and your business? No. There are some things that you need to do because you can do them better than anyone you can hire. Social media is about being you online.
2. No one can activate your social network better than you.
You have friends in high places. You have a resume as long as your arm. You’ve accumulated all kinds of good connections over the years and they form a unique and valuable network. To you. No consultant or marketing company can create and activate a business network for you better than you. Learn how to build your own personal brand.
3. If you disclose that you hire out your social to a marketing company, you risk losing trust.
People will start to see your social media work as merely marketing and not genuine engagement. If you want someone else to do it for you, you should focus on advertising and lead generation. Social is not just for old wine in new bottles. Done right, social drives engagement and builds social capital.
4. If you don’t disclose that you hire out your social to a marketing company, you risk misleading people.
If and when this comes to light, you will lose credibility in the eyes of your followers and may even end up damaging your reputation. And losing trust.
5. If you’re not building your personal brand, you’re spending time and money and leaving value on the table.
Social media is driven by people connecting with and helping each other. Social media is driven by personality and affinity. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Focus on being somebody online that your customers know, like and trust.
Resist the lure of “turn-key” social media programs.
Focus instead on building social skills and capacity within your organization – within yourself, your business partners and you support team members. You already have many of the relationships and you have the subject matter expertise.
The only thing standing between you and effective social media engagement is a brand strategy, some great content and a commitment learning how to do it.
Here are some things you CAN and should consider hiring out for:
- Social brand strategy – it will help you clarify your unique value proposition and articulate it clearly.
- Professional website – it will communicate your brand and value clearly.
- Social skills training, coaching and support – Communications of all kinds are moving online and you need to acquire new skills and aptitudes if you are going to succeed in the social era.
- Content, content and more content – Content is the oxygen of the social web. Without high-quality and shareable content, you will fail online. Hire writers and content creators. Pay curators to teach you how to find great content that you can share.
It is critically important in social media to be genuine and authentic, to stand for something and show people what you’re made of.
You can’t hire someone to be you better than you can be you. So don’t try.