So you’ve been thinking about outsourcing your social media management…
That’s wonderful! Taking that first step and entrusting someone else to handle your socials is often the hardest decision to make. Rest assured, if you’ve found a social media manager (SMM) you can easily relate to, whose values align well with yours, is open and honest about what they will be able to achieve for you, and has prior experience marketing to your industry – you should be in safe hands!
There are many highly skilled and talented social media managers out there, so brands looking to outsource, truly are spoilt for choice. However there’s a grim reality that many SMM’s experience which often occurs when clients don’t quite understand what we do, the time and effort that goes into doing it, and why our prices are therefore justified. Mismanaged expectations often result in clients becoming aggravated after not seeing one sale come through Instagram after two weeks of having outsourced their management.
The team at Content Savvy thought it was about time we educate brands who are thinking about outsourcing their SMM, so we reached out to four talented ladies who all run their own SMM businesses, catering to various industries. Today, you’ll be reading insights from Jarrah Brailey (Socials by Jarrah), Amanda Amanda Campeanu Miranda Rose-Doherty (Oh Wild Creatives) Monique Lombardo (The The Socialista) and myself – Cat – founder of Content Content Savvy If you’re ready to take your social media seriously and market your brand professionally online, this blog is for you!
What do you want people to know about the process of SMM?
Jarrah: Outsourcing your social media management should be a long-term commitment. You can’t hire someone for three months and expect to see a huge increase in followers/sales. Like anything, social media success takes time. While we are experts and good at what we do, we don’t generate overnight success.
Miranda:It’s a long term marketing goal. It’s about building brand awareness, we can push people to your website but if people aren’t purchasing when they get there there’s nothing we can do about that!
Amanda:That’s it’s not just about posting on socials. There is so much strategy, planning and research that goes into SMM which takes so much time to do. This is why social media management is not cheap (and neither should it be). Sometimes it can take 10-20 minutes to even come up with one post. From finding a photo that will fit with the brand, from researching for the caption, to writing the caption, doing the hashtag sets, taking time to post and then engage…it all adds up.
Monique: Social Media Management is way more than just getting a photo, adding a caption and posting it. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make sure all of our clients content gets seen by the most amount of people and really makes an impact. Things like community management, community outreach, finding content, creating content, researching hashtags and creating hashtag clouds, creating a content calendar and a content marketing strategy. All of this fun stuff happens before even writing a caption.
Cat:There is A LOT of work that goes on behind the scenes to create a beautiful looking feed, thoughtfully written captions, targeted hashtags and engagement. Those of us who don’t use an auto-posting tool (as it reduces reach significantly) also have to manually post for clients on the daily. This includes public holidays and special occasions. For many SMM’s, there is no off switch!
What are some of the unrealistic expectations or requests you’ve experienced?
Jarrah: Some businesses have come to me as a start-up with no social media audience yet, and have said they would like to make at least 10 sales a day through social media. Without a quality audience to back you up, making 10 sales per day on social media is not an easy thing – especially as a start-up.
Miranda: Wanting to grow to 10k (from like 1000) in a few months (no ad spend). Just expecting me to be available all the time. Also continuously requesting changes after things have been finalised, creating much more work.
Amanda: When people request things the night before! We aren’t on call to our clients and we have other clients to attend to as well. Promotions, sales, changes made to the feed or captions, this all needs to be thought out weeks in advance. It just places a lot more unnecessary stress on both the client and the SMM when last minute requests are made.
I’ve found pricing as well can be quite unrealistic in terms of how cheap clients want something done for, but the amount of work that it actually requires. I get there are a lot of business that cannot afford SMM, but there ARE ways to address this:
- Work out what your budget is and invest this budget into someone who WILL do a good job for you. This could mean jumping on a call with them to discuss their processes, systems, apps etc. Even if it means you post less a week if that’s what you can afford. Go with someone who will do a good job!
- Invest in coaching to learn how to do it yourself, and not management. If you don’t have the monthly budget for SMM, invest in a good social media coach and work on your strategy. The results are in the STRATEGY behind your social media.
Monique: I received an enquiry once from someone who wanted me to post on their Instagram and Facebook page 6 times per day for $8 per day! That comes to 0.60 cents per post per platform. I was only a few months into my business at this stage but it’s impossible to spend this amount of time on a single client who doesn’t see the value in what I’m doing. Especially when I studied for 3 years (and live in A LOT of Hecs debt), to be able to be doing what I’m doing now.
I love all of my clients and they understand the value I bring to their business, but also to their personal lives. They don’t need to stress about posting or about growing their following or engagement. I do it all for them so they can enjoy time with their families and live their life.
Cat: That Instagram alone can be used as a sales tool! Nope, we can’t guarantee sales just through Instagram management, we can however guarantee and track brand awareness. Instagram management should be used alongside other digital marketing avenues such as google analytics, SEO for blogs, monthly emailers, paid socials ads etc in order to form an overarching marketing strategy, promoting sales!
Also, clients who think that all the changes they decide to make after the initial approval come free of charge! Or those who constantly pick up the phone and call every single day to make changes and suggestions. This can get excessive and some changes can take upwards of 45 minutes to an hour + correspondence time, and our time needs to be compensated for that.
What should people expect to receive from outsourcing their social media management?
Jarrah: I think it’s different for each social media manager, depending on who you work with. But I will say that the one thing you should expect from any social media manager is monthly analytics reporting. Without monthly analytics reporting, you won’t know whether you’re making progress or what action is being taken to achieve your business and social media goals.
Miranda: We are here to grow your brand, we are not miracle workers, and that you should outsource when you are ready to put that trust into someone. You can’t expect us to start bringing in thousands of dollars’ worth of sales in 12 weeks. Social media is a long term strategy!
Amanda: Someone who cares. Invest in someone who will CARE about your business and you as a person, and expect to build a really good relationship with your social media manager. It’s also REALLY important that the client has input and is still an integral part of the process. The client cannot sit back and do nothing even when hiring out their SMM. There needs to be collaboration of ideas and action taken on the account to achieve amazing results!
Monique: My clients expect amazing customer service. If they email me, they’ll get a prompt response with a solution and everything I do for the client has a clear, tried and tested strategy behind it. But even more than that, I become their portal into the online services world! There are countless friends and clients that I have who are looking for services like logo creation, flat lay photography etc. My expertise is in social media management, coaching and videography so I would then introduce them to some other amazing boss babes in the industry that they can use! It’s all about community over competition!
Cat: I completely agree with all of the ladies above! They have absolutely nailed it. Someone who gets you on not only a business level, but also a personal level is imperative. At content savvy, we welcome you as one of our family members, and we treat you as such. We really do care about your brand and your aspirations. You should definitely expect to receive open, honest and timely communications with your SMM. Collaboration is certainly necessary and while we do take the brunt of the work off your hands, you still deserve to have a say as to what we do for you online.
Your SMM should not guarantee you x amount of sales or a definitive follower growth per month as these things can’t be guaranteed. This is the honest truth and if they do, it’s an empty promise. What they should be able to do for you is increase your community, build trust amongst your audience and allow you to take a step back, so you can focus on what you love to do – the crux of why you started your biz in the first place. They should be able to deliver a professional looking feed which is in line with your branding, and deliver thoughtful captions according to your content pillars.
Miranda: I just wish people valued the work that goes into social media, I feel like it’s a tough industry to retain clients, because they just don’t see the value in it. I also have clients sign on for 3 months, watch everything I do and then cancel after 3 months and use my strategy themselves. It’s very disheartening.
Monique: It’s so important to choose a social media manager who connects with you and your brand. They should be able to use your brand’s tone throughout all their work. It’s always great to have the client really involved in everything you’re doing, because after all, as the social media manager, you’re creating the content your client’s audience and customer sees so it’s important to make sure everything is right, on brand and speaking directly to them!
Cat: Realistic expectations ensure you and your SMM are both on the same page before any contracts are signed. It is important to do your research, see their experience or qualifications, and be savvy as to the processes of SMM. Even though you won’t be managing your brands account yourself, it is paramount to know just how much work goes into it, so you can appreciate the work your SMM does. If you feel something isn’t working – open up that line of communication with your manager and have that discussion. Work together to come up with a solution or some new suggestions – but at the end of the day you need to TRUST that your SMM knows what they’re doing. It’s why you hired them in the first place!
Got any questions about the topics discussed today? Thinking about outsourcing your SMM? Get in touch to find out some more information.