With the best will in the world, it is easy for social media management to slip down your list of daily tasks, even when you have the app on your phone and you Tweet at least once a day. The value of Twitter comes in analysis, forward planning and consistency of presence and branding. If you are an SME, chances are you are so busy getting on with what you do best, that marketing how well you do what you do comes way down your list of priorities.
If you are serious about driving sales, you will want to delegate your online marketing to a specialist social media management agency or expert freelancer. There are a number of benefits from this, not least your own efficiency and theirs. Professional social media marketers have the benefit of experience of what works in different niches and understanding the cogs and levers available to you within Twitter and how these connect to other social media platforms.
Of course, outsourcing is a risk, but so is getting it wrong by managing ineffectively, or even hiring somebody in house, with the extra costs associated with Payroll. It pays to shop around and also to find an agency within the UK who will integrate your Twitter marketing into wider strategies, for a variety of reasons.
- Credibility and Professionalism: Obtaining client testimonials from social media marketing agencies based abroad may be nigh on impossible; it is easier to obtain credible references for agencies based here in the UK, so you can be reassured your public image is in good hands and you maintain your professional profile.
- Flexibility of Management: Ensure your marketing agency are flexible in their approach and are happy to hand over the reigns effectively if you want to bring communications internally eventually.
- Do You Know What You Don’t Know?: With no prior experience of social media marketing, it can be difficult to know what to ask when contracting out your Twitter marketing. For instance, do you know how much they need to know about your business? Ideally, everything. In fact really effective social media management agencies may spend time in your offices speaking to your support staff and teams, getting to know what you do from the ground up.
A quality agency will understand the British market in your niche; you need to ensure they have that expertise. You will want to know if your prospective outsource is capable of adapting to your future growth. Knowing what is possible in terms of connectivity with your existing infrastructure may also be crucial for managing your sales pipeline i.e. how is your Twitter pipeline ultimately connected to your CRM?
- Interconnected Sales Systems: Consider whether your outsourced Twitter account manager can help ensure a smooth sales transition i.e. how Twitter followers can be directed to live sales teams when relevant e.g. via website live chat services, dedicated telephone numbers, promotional codes to enter during website sales, etc. Working with a professional social media company should your customers will experience seamless and memorable service provision across marketing methods and operations to a sale.
- Smooth Customer Service: Check social media service providers are accessible via phone if necessary. English should be the first language of the web-copywriters. Poor grammar and English can be off-putting for your customers, especially if you offer a business to business service.
- Risk Management: Before you think about outsourcing offshore for short term cost saving, remember, outsourcing involves sharing risk; arguably, there may be more risks outsourcing overseas than keeping your campaign management in the UK. For instance, when challenges happen, as they inevitably will, can will be resolved quickly, without time zone delays. Similarly, sharing cultural values may also save time and reduce risks.
- Transparency: Seek a company who offer up-front transparency on pricing and spring no surprises. Social media budgets can easily run away with you, so you will want to work with a company who you can check out and who will offer costed proposals for the short and medium term that can be adhered too. This depends upon them fully understanding your business objectives and taking the time to connect the dots!
- Legal Accountability: Working with a UK Twitter management company means that if anything does go horribly wrong during the course of the contract, you at least have legal redress. For instance, should there be some internal tensions happening with your contractor, should you ever suffer the ignominy that Chrysler faced, you need to know there will be mopping up after crying into your cocktails. Check out what can happen when outsourcing Twitter management goes wrong.
Making that crucial step will absolutely depend on whether you really have the time to monitor what you implement for results; alternatively, you may well be wasting your own or staff time. Consistency of effort, testing, monitoring results and integration of marketing channels is key to making Twitter give you the ROI.