Sorry Charlie… or Daniel as the case may be.

Being that I work for a social media company and all, I find myself reading a lot of postings from industry “experts.” Well today I got a tweet that caught my eye, it suggested that companies who use outside resources to help them maintain their online presence are… and get this… doing it wrong! Who the hell is Daniel Young to say “Outsourcing social media is ghost posting.” Sorry Daniel, but I believe you are wrong on this one.

I couldn’t disagree more with Daniel’s article, and while I agree that using an individuals name is ghost posting and an obvious attempt at deception, I think it is a stretch to say that that is the same as an outsourcing company monitoring and posting on social media platforms in the name of a company or brand.  Would you consider outsourcing PR or advertising as a blatant attempt at deception? I think not; it is a vendor producing a message for a company in the voice of that company.

To effectively utilize social media one must be authentic, relevant and maybe most importantly consistent. Consistency is the hard part. For a Fortune 100, spending a full time salary on a Social Media manager, is not such a big deal. But without the ROI question fully answered, most companies have a hard time dropping $30-50,000 annually on a salaried employee, and this doesn’t include benefits, training and recruiting.

If a company can achieve high quality outsourcing of monitoring and management of their social media platforms for a fraction of the cost of a new employee, then more power to them. Yes, the company should create a social media policy and train and encourage their employees to use the social media tools available to them. I don’t see anything wrong with an outsourcer posting and replying to relevant contact in the name of a brand and then escalating appropriate questions and/or concerns within the company when warranted.

For the sake of full disclosure, I work for a company that does exactly this. We learn all about the companies we represent, then we create and manage the day-to-day content for them. We escalate any relevant items to the appropriate channels. And this gives our clients the freedom to handle the rest of their business, knowing that a seasoned customer service professional is at the helm of their social media management.

Keep it social,

Social Don

Posted on: September 16, 2010, by : Social Don

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