December 27, 2010

Social Networking: Does Outsourcing Lower Your Trust Factor?

allbuttonsI’m seeing this issue a lot lately.  Are you?  Some internet entrepreneurs have an assistant or behind the scenes person doing social networking for them.  Others swear they do it all themselves and it’s a rip off to do it any other way.  Who’s right?  I think BOTH are.

On one hand, social networks are about being social and connecting with others.  They are about getting visibility for your business and creating trust with potential clients so the relationships are profitable.  They are also a place to connect with like-minded people and have stimulating conversations about your chosen profession.

On the other hand, there is a lot of work involved with social networking.  The profile maintenance, the branding customizations and the plug-in additions.  Not to mention the actual communication that goes on.  Much of this can be handled by a skilled social networking expert who knows the technology.

So, what’s possible to outsource?  Well, that depends on how much time you have for social networking.  If you have time to communicate and run the technology without taking time away from other income-generating activities, well then have at it and do it all by yourself.

If you have limited time for social networking, but it’s been a huge reason that you have been successful, then it might be time to consider outsourcing it.  Okay, so what EXACTLY can you outsource on social networks?  Let me give you a list:

  • Profile changes. Especially in Facebook, where there are so many apps and customizations you can make.
  • Branding changes. When you change your brand, your networks need to be updated.
  • Friend/Follow maintenance. Once you set up a clear criteria, this can be handled by someone else.  Give them a list of all the people you just met an event and they can add them into your mix too.  To keep your voice in it and continue building trust, write out some personal connection messages, so your outsourced professional can use them when they create connections for you.
  • Marketing Messages. This is great for a Fan Page where it’s all business.  Have a great writer take what you’ve written for your marketing campaign and break it down into conversation starters, then post those on your networks.
  • Affiliate posts. If you are an affiliate, have someone pre-set your affiliate postings if possible.  Have them go in on a regular basis and post updates with affiliate links.
  • Customer service issues. If you get people coming to you through social networks asking standard questions that your customer service team can answer, have them do so.  Make sure they identify themselves as such in the responses.  This will represent your company in an honest way…building trust.

Now, the every day responses to others will be all up to you.  Your outsource company can get the conversation started, but you need to be present to keep it going when you get a response.  You also need to put your “in the moment” thoughts out there, because these are most attractive to potential clients.  You don’t need to be into the technology.  If you are making money from being on social networks, then you can invest in a team to allow you more time to serve the clients you get from you social networking activities.

So, the answer is yes and no.  Yes, you can outsource if you’re business is growing from social networks.  No, you can’t outsource EVERYTHING…because no one is you and your social networks want to know YOU.  Your trust factor increases when you are consistently present on social networks and are personally engaged in the conversation. You CAN get help from professionals when it pays off.  So, are you ready to outsource yet?  What are your thoughts?

Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert

Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert

Kristen Beireis is the Trust Marketing Expert for Group Coaching Mastery.  She helps coaches and other personal transformation professionals establish trust through marketing.  First, she establishes a foundation that's rooted in your authentic differentiation. Then she follows up with solutions that bring consistency to everything that has your name on it — from your newsletter to your business card to your social media pages. And while she's happy to teach you how to do all this yourself, many of her clients love the way her team reduces their workload and overwhelm.

Greater trust means a shorter sales cycle, more of the right clients, and the confidence that comes from knowing your sales and marketing are in integrity with who you are as a person.

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