According to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Report, 72 percent of marketers who use social media do not outsource it. However, farming out various aspects of social media marketing has gained traction in the past year. The study found that the percentage of marketers outsourcing social media has doubled, jumping to 28 percent from 14 percent in 2010.
These are the tasks that marketers are outsourcing to third parties:
So, should marketers outsource social media?
Not all of it.
Outsourcing all activities is almost like saying that your company should outsource it’s creativity to someone else. That’s a BIG no-no!
Content creation certainly falls into this category because creating content that matters is a creative endeavor. Big companies that have the resources and people to do the majority of these tasks in-house will do so, and maybe have some consulting assistance to refresh their knowledge.
Medium sized businesses that don’t have the capabilities to do social media in-house are at an advantage because there are an infinite number of resources available as well as specialized agencies that most if not all of these tasks. The key is getting through the noise in selecting which to work with.
For small businesses there are an infinite number of ways to do most of these tasks themselves, there are free tools that help you start doing social media immediately.
The key task organizations should think about outsourcing is analytics. Why? Because, though the internet has become mainstream, most businesses are not yet capable of translating analytics data to insights. And with social, it’s become a whole different.
Translating analytics data into valuable insights has become a key factor of success for businesses of all types. With so much data being generated daily on social networks and on the web in general, this is a critical task that organizations need to become competent in.
There are agencies that manage this function for organizations with the intent of helping the client make better informed decisions by uncovering hidden insights. But, final decisions must come from the organization.
These are my thoughts and would love to know what you think. So, should marketers outsource social media?