When its right and wrong to sub out social media

| Monday, April 26th, 2010 | No Comments »
Firstly, social media is a great path to improve profit; pending it is used properly. When a company cannot break free of day to day operations to leverage this vital media conduit, then its time to investigate another path, subcontracting social media. This is a change in my own perspective. I was once full heartedly against building (/ghosting) a community directly for another, it seemed like a lie. However, through our experience in working with clients managing their websites I discovered some key points that define a line on when its right and when its wrong to sub out social media.

1) The brand.

  • Its wrong whenYou are your brand identity. When your unique personality is your brand then your customers are buying into “you” and “you” need to be at the core of “your” community.
  • Its right when – Your brand has a personality of its own. If an organization can team up with another individual or company that can study this personality of your organization and represent this online then you can investigate subbing out social media further.

Our experienceWe work with clients whom we take a genuine interest in. If we can click with the company, we naturally become invested in their success. If the people you hire do not take time to learn about your company, your company culture and your customers first, run away! We feel like we are part of each clients company (and we are, see point 3) and thus have a vested interest in their success. Without this genuine interest, the community would suffer and their brand would not be properly represented.

2) The time.

  • Its wrong whenYou have the time and only need some guidance on how to use this time wisely. It may be a better investment to learn about how you or a socially intelligent employee can use social media to retain and or grow a customer base.
  • Its right whenYou honestly do not have the time, or get distracted easily. Its extremely important to have an online presence today for the majority of organizations; but when your operations suffer because your spending to much time with your community playing famville and you’re not following a path in which the community is helping your revenues, then its time to rethink your strategy.

Our experience – We tend to have a combination of time spent teaching / reporting combined with interacting with client communities. The reason for building an online community around your organization is not-for-fun, its for-profit. Thus, we never let the client out of the loop and when we show real results and important comments and questions to our clients from their community the light bulbs come on. When clients see the data/results of their community online they understand this form of media is like a focus group on steroids, the community is able to provide feedback while advocating their brand and acting as a critical sales force.

3) The purpose.

  • Its wrong whenYour purpose is to simply pay for someone to create a false sense of community. It’s wrong in general, and if someone agrees to assist you in building this false sense of community the only winner is the company your paying to create a lie.
  • Its right when- You have transparency and clarity of intention but are hazy on the means to achieve your desired results. When the internal resources are not available but you still wish to leverage this media, teaming up with an outside agency is a good idea.

Our experience – Is that this form of media has rarely been the core purpose. Its through the management of client websites that social media shines as a critical aspect in achieving the goals of the client. With the website we are able to gain an intimate working relationship with the client and their business. We get to understand their goals and call to actions of their audience. When we do our job well with a website, this has naturally opened the door to manage social media and traditional marketing roles. Specifically when we can show results of social media impacting the bottom line though analytical facts, its then clients begin to see the big picture of how connected everything really is.

So if your investigating social media, make sure you understand your brand,  your time and your purpose first. And if the choice to sub out your social media seems more logical for your group, then make sure the company or individual your looking at subcontracting to also understands these same points as well.

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