January 18, 2012: The drawbacks of outsourcing social media far outweigh its benefits. Even if every one is ready with their own social media strategy, outsourcing it to a third party service provider leaves something to be desired. In the case of a company, if it does not own its own social media, it will lose control of what is happening, even though it has put policies and procedures in place.
In most of the cases companies entrust the social media activity on a single individual or another firm. The social media campaign of the firm will be in peril if the person or the firm decides not to manage the company’s social media. It is not as though the individual has any particular interest in the company except in terms of monetary compensation. Will the company assume responsibility of those social campaigns if the outsourced social media manager disappears? Will the company ready to do so?
Social media outsourcing also results in problems in translation. Most of the social media service providers are capable of translation. But it is not right and it is not something the client wants. In some cases it might be what the client wants, but translation can never replace the original. The translations vary from translator to translator and in most of the cases the translation never says what the original text does to its 100 percent accuracy.
Some of them might argue that outsourcing social media is better than no social media presence at all. There are chances that such people might opine that translation is needed. But there are better solutions that exist, and the best way is the company assuming the ownership of its own social media campaign. The company can work along with an agency, which is entirely different from outsourcing. It means that the company can work with a consultant and becomes an active player in its own social media marketing.
There are instances where the mistakes committed by employees of the social media firm have affected the reputation of the firms. For instance, in the case of Chrysler, a staff of the social media firm posted abusive update on the official twitter account of the company. This might be a mistake or not, but has affected the company. In the case of Nikon, the social media firm committed a mistake of posting content which meant that a photographer is only good as their equipment. The Facebook fan page received a lot of negative responses from followers and other communities.