Do you know of anyone who doesn’t have at least one social media account and profile? Do you know of anyone who doesn’t get online each and every day? Unless you’ve had your head in the ground, you’ve likely realized that the vast majority of adults (from the very young to the very old) can be found online. And those are your potential customers! If you are a business owner and aren’t utilizing social media to grow your brand and business, you are leaving money on the table each and every month. It doesn’t matter what type of business you own. While it sounds pretty good (and it is), social media marketing can be complex and is often time consuming – especially when done correctly. There is an art to promoting on social media, and this is why many businesses choose to outsource social media marketing to an online professional. Here are the basic steps you need to take as a business owner when you decide it is the right time to outsource social media marketing for your own company.
Know and Develop your Brand and Voice
When you create a presence on social media for your business, you are creating or enhancing your brand. Whether you realize it or not, everything that you put out on social media reflects back on your company. The things you publish may be the first (or last) thing that someone reads or sees from your brand. Obviously, the goal with utilizing social media is to draw potential clients to your business and your brand.
If you choose to outsource social media marketing, you will want to spend a bit of time getting to know and developing your brand and voice. The freelancer that you will eventually hire will need to understand how to speak, the language to use and the image to portray … and that needs to come from you. Look at your target market and ideal client. Understand them. What problem are you helping them solve? What style appeals to them? For example, marketing to corporate mothers may look and feel a lot different than marketing to older men looking to retire. Your target market will determine a lot about your social media marketing. Before choosing to outsource social media marketing, you should create a style guide outlining these details. Detail out the colors of your brand, the look and feel of your brand, the voice of your brand. Come up with an ideal client avatar. The more detail you can determine about your brand, the more successful you will be when you outsource social media marketing.
You also need to understand which social media channels to promote and how often. Where does your target market hang out online? If Facebook is where most of your ideal clients are, you probably don’t want to waste your time, energy and money promoting on Linkedin or Google Plus. However, if your target market is in the corporate world, Linkedin may be all you need! There are so many social media channels to choose from. While it may seem like a good idea to promote across them all, you likely don’t need to.
Create a Social Media Calendar
While an expert social media strategist will be able to provide input, it is ultimately up to you as business owner to determine your social media calendar and the type of content you want to promote. Creating a social media calendar before you outsource social media marketing will allow you to set the rules on how often to post, where to post and what type of content to post each time. You need to determine this based on your target market and ideal customer needs. So, do your research and understand this prior to outsourcing.
Create a simple social media calendar outlining what you’d like the freelancer to post (frequency, type, time etc) based on your research. Perhaps your target market responds best to video or maybe they prefer images over text. Perhaps your ideal clients are most active online in the early morning hours, or maybe it is in the late evening after the kids have gone to bed. The great thing about a social media calendar is that it is a living document. It may take some experimentation to find out what works best so feel free to start out with a plan and tweak as you gain valuable data.
Hire a Freelancer
Now that you have your brand determined and a social media calendar created based off of your ideal client’s needs, it is time to make the jump and outsource social media marketing for your business. It is time to hire a freelancer. There are thousands of people available online for hire, and you’ll want to find one that makes the most sense for you and your business. Remember … this isn’t a person who is just handling your Twitter account. This is a person who will represent your brand and your business with every post. You will want to hire someone that you can trust and who understands your brand and business.
There are many online hiring platforms available that take the hassle out of finding and hiring a great freelancer. Make sure you do your own due diligence in interviewing and asking potential candidates questions that will determine their experience level and fit.
Set Weekly Meetings and Daily Check-ins
Once you find the perfect freelancer to outsource social media marketing to, you may sigh with relief. But it isn’t over yet. Even with a skilled freelancer working for your business, you must monitor and check in frequently – especially in the beginning. You will want to set up an initial kickoff meeting and dive deep into the materials you’ve provided, your expectations and strategies moving forward. Savvy business owners will want to stay on top of their social media marketing as they know that trends and strategies change with time.
Set up weekly meetings and ask the freelancer to provide data in certain key metrics. Together, analyze the data to see where things are going well and where things need to be adjusted. Remember, social media is an art. It takes time to perfect.
You may also request a simple daily check in with the freelancer. This can be a quick phone call, text or email just to give an update or let you know how things are progressing. Communication is key when it comes time to outsource social media marketing.
Provide Freelancer with Key Goals
In order to make the most out of social media marketing, you must have clear goals. And these goals will look different based on your business. An online coaching business may have very different goals with social media than an Amazon marketplace store. It is up to you to come up with your goals and provide them to the freelancer. Do you want to grow your email list? Grow your private Facebook group? Drive traffic to your website? Make direct product sales? Come up with concrete goals and give them to the freelancer. With specific goals in mind, the freelancer can determine the strategy and follow key metrics to determine the most effective way to reach your goals.
Social media may seem like an ever-changing game (and it really is), but it isn’t going away anytime soon. Social media marketing can be a tremendous value to your company because it allows you to reach so many people. After all, practically everyone is on social media. As a business owner, you may be at the point where you are ready to utilize social media, but you just don’t have the time to figure it all out, perfect it and implement a successful strategy. Social media marketing is a form of art, and there are many online freelancers who have perfected it. When you are ready to outsource social media marketing, follow these tips to make the transition successful and prosperous.
Whether or not you have dabbled in social media marketing, it is always beneficial to re-evaluate from time to time. Go back and look at how your posts are performing. Is your brand well developed? Do you have a style guide that is followed with every post? Are you consistent with your posting so that your potential customers know what to expect? Spend 10-15 minutes today reviewing your strategy on social media (or coming up with one). Stop leaving money on the table each month!
If you are ready to outsource social media marketing, feel free to set up a short meeting with Freeeup’s founder Nathan Hirsch to find out how Freeeup can help find the perfect resource for your business needs.
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.