I don’t have time. Should someone tweet for me?

I teach the Social Media 101 classes at a local college and we get some of the brightest small business owners in our classes. These men and women are great at what they do, and they have been doing it a long time. Some of them have been in business 20+ years. They know all about marketing, and they have their 50 hour work well planned out.

So they sit down in our class and we tell them that they have to jump on the New Media bandwagon. What is the response we usually get? “I don’t have time for this. This looks like this is going to take hours out of my life. Can I pay you to do this for me? Can I pay anybody to do this for me?”. The answer is always a resounding yes. This is the great US of A. You can pay anybody to do anything.

But would you want to? The answer I always lean towards is a pretty firm no. Yes even we will do it for a price and our price is not the lowest.  I usually guide businesses towards doing Social Media themselves or training a full-time in-house marketing person do it for them. This is your company we are talking about. The words that you share on the internet represent you and your services. The people that hear these words are going to have questions about your products, your services, you personally, when do you want to have coffee, etc. In some industries (lawyers, real estate agents, insurance agents etc.) questions may involve legal issues. These are not the type of things you want other people speaking on your behalf about.

Each situation is unique and we know that. Like I mentioned above we will do it for a cost also, but one of the reasons that our price is not the lowest is that we dig into your business and your industry a little deeper. We learn what the hot button topics are and we know what questions we can answer and which ones we need to defer to you. Focus also use several tools to monitor your brand so we recieve immediate alerts when someone mentions your business. This allows you to proactively deal with potential clients and issues.

Before you pay someone to do Social Media on your behalf be sure you do your due diligence and check out what they say on their accounts in Social Media. Make sure the person reflects the professional and business like tone in his/her communication that you would want with yours. Would you ever be embarrassed to have their tweets or Facebook updates appear on your account? It can happen very easily. Example: When people manage multiple twitter accounts they type up the tweet and then select from a list of twitter accounts to send it out on. One wrong checkmark on their behalf and you could have egg on the company face very fast 🙁

Anybody that speaks on behalf of your company can possibly place you in a legally liable situation just as if they were working in your store. Keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to outsource your updates 🙂