Chances are fairly good that if you have a literate grandmother, even she has heard of Facebook and Twitter. While she may have never tweeted or updated her status, the fact that these words are part of her vernacular reinforces the relevance of these social media tools in the global market.
“Social Media is a branding exercise,” says Neal Schaffer, Social Media Speaker & Author of Windmill Networking: Understanding. “It is a new avenue to communicate with your customers, so everything you do must be branded properly.”
Essentially, Facebook is ideal for already known brands. Blogging and using Twitter to drive traffic is valuable for small businesses.
“Social Media is the most important business innovation since the printing press,” says Jon Staenberg, a social media entrepreneur. “If you’re not using it then you are missing out on a huge opportunity.”
But who has the time? Laid-off workers do. Farming out the management of corporate profiles on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t sound so ridiculous for companies already outsourcing their marketing.
“It makes sense to [outsource] for social media, because you have to micro-manage on a daily basis. Social media requires more grunt work as well as the capability to be a highly branded entity throughout the process,” says Schaffer.
Companies that are large enough to have internal PR and marketing teams have no need to hire out their social media. “[For companies that] don't outsource their PR work, it makes sense to have an internal person do this,” says Schaffer. “Social media today will be the Microsoft Office of 2020.”
Still Staenberg is hesitant to outsource. He suggests referring to online resources for social media training. “You can certainly hire people and they can help start a program, but ultimately I recommend people just start using the tools and getting familiar with them. Using outside people is not a cost effective long-term solution.”
There are many administrative details that can be handled internally, but many companies hire outside to handle finite details. To maintain credibility with friends, followers and customers, it is paramount to capture the true voice of the brand or person. And credibility does not come free.