It has been agreed by the majority of the big online firms that Social Media is becoming the main way to get your message across to potential customers. Word of mouth has always been one of the top ways to gain new customers, and now the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ et al means it has never been easier for people to recommend businesses to their friends. Whilst it will never totally replace affiliates, it is fast becoming as important, not to mention cheaper, for companies to get new sign ups via these channels.
Many firms employ at least one full time member of staff just to manage these channels. However, by outsourcing their Social Media to an external agency, firms stand to save money from wages, national insurance, tax, bonuses, pension, holiday etc. If you find a reputable firm who can boast the right kind of experience, there is no need to reduce the impact of these kinds of methods of acquisition though; if anything, it will only be increased.
Not only will the agency know what kind of message works, they will also be able to update the sites regularly with the kind of message which will get your brand recognised. A good agency will work with you to ensure your customers get the right sort of communication at the right time. As far as ROI goes, it makes a lot more sense to pay an agency rather than a full time member of staff.
“So what do I get from an agency that I don’t get from a staff member?” I hear you ask (I have supersonic hearing by the way ;)) Well, that depends on the agency you go with. There are plenty out there who claim to know what they are talking about. If you pick a good one, they will spend time getting to know your company and the customers, the products and services which you offer and the message you have to get across to existing and potential customers. They will speak to you about what you want to achieve from your Social Media and work with you to ensure that you achieve it.
Yes, if you employ someone specifically to do the role, they will spend 40 hours a week just on Social Media. That has been proven in the past to be too much. The tendency there is to spam your customers with more tweets/posts than is healthy. It may well end up having a detrimental effect on your bottom line, rather than the increase on sales/sign ups that you are after.
By employing an agency, you will not only save money, but you will be getting more than one head who can get involved and we all know that two heads (or 3 or 4) are better than one. You will get flexibility as any good agency will be available to work ‘unsociable’ hours (I don’t know about you, but I tend to be more sociable in the evenings, which are meant to be part of the ‘unsociable hours’ – talk about back to front!) which is when social sites such as Facebook and Twitter tend to be busiest. Yes, you can schedule tweets and posts to go out then, but Social Media should be a 2 way thing – what’s the point in posting if no one is available to respond to customers or potential customers at these times.
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