December 15, 2011: Social media has become a phenomenon among the public and is surely going to stay for a while. Facebook stands first among the social media networks with 800 million users across the world.
If we have a look at the Facebook or twitter pages of small business firms, it is quite easy to make out that no or little activity happens in such pages. There will be very few followers which includes friends and family members. So the effort put in goes waste. In the case of those without time or does not know how to do it right, the social media activity will be low and does not add advantage to the business. For such business with no time or without right know- how, outsourcing is good option to pursue. But before outsourcing the social media activity firms have to take certain factors into consideration.
Usually social media outsourcing service providers offer package that includes daily activity on Facebook and Twitter. But firms will not have a proper understanding about what service providers offer. A daily activity can mean that the service provider will look at the firms Twitter and Facebook account and let them know about any recent activity. Or the service provider will post updates on different social networking sites and inform the firm if there is a need to interact with the followers, inform the number of followers on the firm’s page and track activities of the competitors on the network. There might be gap between what the service providers offer and what they deliver. So the firms must make sure that they are informed about what the service providers will deliver as part of social media outsourcing package.
The firms must make sure that the service provider listens to the inputs they give before they post anything on the networking site. There should be an effective communication system in place which helps to interact with the firm frequently, and it should not be via email. Firms should select a service provider which possesses an efficient system that allows the firm to submit ideas such as links to articles, photos or anything relevant to the organization.
Firms cannot expect the service provider to handle everything. They cannot entrust the consultant to post replies and interact with the customers or leads. Organizations should realize that they have to engage with customers and involve in conversations. The social media service provider should closely monitor the activities and notify the firm when their presence is needed. A task based system should be in place to track the history of communications between the firm and the service provider.