Community Management

Insourcing VS Outsourcing Social Media and Community Management

Steffani Cameron

June 7, 2019

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If your brand’s community and social media management happens from 9 to 5 in a 24/7 world, it’s time to rethink your priorities. That’s like fire departments only putting out fires during daylight business hours. Ludicrous, right? Fire isn’t on the clock, and consumer opinion isn’t either.

It’s difficult to staff a team for 24/7 availability, and it’s even harder to ask your team to be available at any time of the day. After all, they need to sleep too! This is where outsourcing community management and social media comes in.

You Do Your Brand the Best

You know your brand better than anyone. Your team has the history, the savvy, the brand-awareness to understand your brand best.

That’s undeniable.

But wouldn’t it be great if you could bring that know-how to the community and social media management table without bearing the weight of the world on your shoulders? In this business era, products and services cross borders to be consumed around the world, around the clock, to be spoken about by people in every culture, every language.

You could certainly try to diversify how you structure community and social media management, but you’d be reinventing a wheel designed better by others. Yet, just as you are the expert on your brand, working with an outsourced team means you bring in their expertise to work for your brand. The right community management partner knows the social platforms, their ever-changing algorithms, and an understanding of how consumers want to interact with companies.

It’s About Time With Social Media and Community Management

A 24/7 world needs 24/7 solutions. 80% of consumers expect a response from a company within 24 hours. Outsourcing your social media management means your brand never sleeps.

Real-time problems need immediate solutions, not an overnight time delay because everyone on your team is in the same window of North American business hours.

When food poisoning from a staff lunch knocks your team out, what’s your solution? When statutory and seasonal holidays come around, do some of your team members stay “on the clock?” Any event, planned or otherwise that’s out of the norm will disrupt your internal team, their work/life balance, and their satisfaction. The right outsourced partner doesn’t stop for disruptions, holidays, and sickness (ok, they get sick, but they have the backup systems and team members in place to never slow down).

Divide and Conquer: Outsourcing for the Win

For the first two decades of the internet, social media has been evolving. It’s been the new marketing channel to explore and understand. There have been plenty of stumbles and mistakes by those that didn’t understand the technology.

Every company has people who do certain things extremely well, so they rise through the ranks. But someone who’s a product development mastermind or a distribution genius or a numbers whiz is seldom a communications expert.

And even communication pros rarely grasp the ever-changing world of social media. Marshall McLuhan famously said, “The medium is the message.” Today, that’s truer than it’s ever been.

Platforms are not interchangeable, but some brands think they are. These same brands say, “Well, we haven’t seen returns on our social media strategies, so we’re not investing heavily there.”

Of course, they don’t see returns. They aren’t social media experts. An outsourced team is made up of social media communications experts. They convert traffic, put out fires, and spot trends or catastrophes as they develop. Outsourcing lets your experts focus on their expertise, and your partner to focus on theirs.

It’s strange that some companies realize they need to outsource the creation of a new logo, or the decorating of a new office, but won’t use expert social media teams to manage their worldwide reputation.

Because that’s what it’s about: Managing your reputation around the world, 24/7.

Community Management versus Masterminding

There’s a misnomer that outsourcing social media management is like letting someone else take the wheel and drive. Sure, it can be, if that’s what you want.

We think that’s unwise, though.

After all, you know your brand. You’re the pros on doing you, aren’t you? Think of it as you driving, but Google Maps providing the route. You get there better with a little navigational help, don’t you?

This is true with social media management, too. Coming up with messages and thinking up strategies that define your brand perception is different from monitoring your YouTube channel to purge hate-speech and nastiness in the comments. You do the message, and we’ll help you spread it, then we’ll manage the response.

Just because you outsource social media doesn’t mean you abandon your voice. A competent social management team makes your voice their voice. We believe that so strongly, it’s our policy. When we take you on as a client, we learn about your goals, your strategies, your voice, and your identity.

The Momentary Business of Crisis Management

Work in any industry long enough and you realize it’s not “if” a crisis develops, it’s “when.” And if that crisis happens when your team’s in bed, you’ll wish you had a social media management team positioned around the globe in more than 30 languages and every time zone. Today, that’s what it takes to stay on top of brand-redefining crises.

Usually, though, having a round-the-clock team simply helps build better relationships, gain customer loyalty, and increase word-of-mouth. There’s nothing that wows a customer quite like lamenting a brand-related problem on Twitter, then hearing from that brand’s customer service pro within 15 minutes about solving said problem. That’s how brands bridge the gap and become a name customers trust.

Sometimes, being in the moment means spotting a terrific photo of your brand’s product shared by a customer on Instagram and being able to share that on Twitter and Instagram. It’s capitalizing on free marketing when someone posts a gorgeous shot of their Starbucks drink with a backdrop of a beautiful park on a spring day, conveying a real “lifestyle moment” of what Starbucks provides. But, second, that customer gets a momentary sense of being heard, seen, and celebrated by the brand they’ve supported for years after a retweet or share.

By being 24/7, it means more opportunities to hear and see branding moments created by the people who know your brand almost as well as you do – your loyal audience.

Let’s Be Brilliant Together

When it comes to your brand, there are so many areas of your company you need to be on top of – from logistics and distribution to accounting and scaling operations. Using pros for matters like social media and community management gives you more time to focus on areas where you’re the expert.

At ICUC, we have a team of over 300 professionals around the world – in over 30 languages and in every time zone. While Los Angeles is deep in slumber, our London staff are fired up over their second cup of coffee, as the Shanghai team’s day is coming to an end. Whatever hour it is, we’ve got someone, somewhere, dedicated to every brand we represent.

With our human-led algorithms, we monitor channels across all platforms, around the world, in real time. We’ll escalate matters needing responses from your HQ and we’ll know when we can use a pre-fab response perfect for the moment.

And the longer we work with brands learning their preferred responses, the better our deep-learning algorithm becomes at processing the thousands of comments and mentions made globally each day. That’s what we keep away from your desk – the minutiae of social media, the talent-draining slog of answering tweets, replying to comments, and deleting nastiness by the thousands.

Your communications and marketing departments combined with our social media management and message-scaling know-how means your social media ambitions can be more easily realized than you ever dreamed.

With our experience gained across various industries and verticals blended with your branded messaging, we’ll reach incredible heights together.

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This article was originally published May 8th, 2018 and has been updated with up-to-date information and accuracy.

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