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Outsourcing Your Social Media Efforts Can Be Beneficial

By MATT SCHULER, Digital Architect, Marx Layne

If you’re running your own business, you’re living a busy life. 40-hour workweeks are a starting point, and more likely you’re pouring in 60+ hours. This doesn’t bother most entrepreneurs though, because their business is their passion.  They want to see a grand idea through to its end. No one knows the direction of a business better than its founder, but should that founder be doing everything?

Even in a small business, doing everything can be overwhelming.  The layers of strategy to successfully promote, manage and run a business are adding up every day. Reminded of the children’s movie “Shrek”, run a business successfully and you’ll have a pretty big onion.

“There’s a lot more to [businesses] than people think,” says Shrek. Of course, I substituted “businesses” there for “ogres” but the point remains the same. If you’re successfully running a business, there are going to be a number of areas that you need support on.

Mashable asked the question in an article this morning, “Should You Outsource Your Social Media Efforts?”  At Marx Layne, we manage a number of social media accounts successfully for businesses of varying size, so emphatically I’d answer yes.  There can be a great advantage to giving social media control over to a firm that understands your goals and has an appreciation of the layers of your business.  It’s a partnership.

The Mashable article references a survey of 8,500 small businesses across the U.S. that reports more than two-thirds of small merchants use social media.  In the same survey, more than one-third of those companies say “lack of time and resources is their top online marketing challenge.” Combining the two, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that Mashable does, small businesses need support for social media.

Outsourcing your social media efforts can be benefical, but each business is different and has different pros and cons to outsourcing the work.  Mashable has some great questions you should ask yourself if you’re looking to ease the burden on social media. The questions and some snippets are below, but make sure to check out the full answers in the article.

Can effective social media drive your business growth?

While investing in social media might make sense for an online merchant or local restaurant, a small tax preparation service or local plumber may have more difficulty justifying the time and effort. These businesses may get a better return on their time and money by ensuring that their business shows up in online searches, or by engaging with customers for positive reviews.

How well is your social media working today?

An experienced social media marketing consultant has the advantage of thinking about social media 24/7 — with multiple clients, they’re also sharing the cost of staying ahead of the curve. They not only know what works, but they also have the luxury of experimenting and trying new things with different clients.

Could outsourcing free up your time to focus on business operations?

Even if you’re pretty savvy when it comes to social media, you wear many hats as a business owner… and you probably want to have a life outside of work. For some businesses, the choice to outsource social media comes down to the relative value of their time.

How do you measure ROI?

Make sure you’ve established some measurable goals to ensure that your social media spending is moving the needle for your business.

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