Outsourcing Social Media - the "Just Right" Approach

Services for Real Estate Pros with Diana Ratliff Web Design & Marketing

If you're worried about managing your social media presence on sites like Facebook - what to say, who should post, how to handle comments - you're not alone.

Adding a new marketing medium can be difficult, especially when manpower and dollars are already stretched to the limit.  DIY can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially when it comes to finding topic ideas on a daily basis.

Hiring an external company to create, manage and/or measure social media activities is one way you can get the job done. Such "social media management" (SMM) companies typically operate in one of two ways and I’ll use Facebook as part of my example.

Full-Featured SMM Providers: Some companies specialize in social media marketing and assume the time- and cost-consuming tasks of increasing your company's visibility in social media.  They are highly involved in your company's overall marketing.  They work closely with you to develop content and marketing ideas; they track results and often respond to comments on your behalf.  This approach can be very effective if the social media partner is carefully chosen.

However, such expertise does not come cheap and monthly fees of $500 and up are very common.  Nor does hiring a social media manager mean that you can wash your hands of all involvement with your company's social media presence.  Someone has to educate the social media company about who you are, what you do and your unique position in the marketplace.  Someone has to review posts, comments and communications on a regular basis and be available to respond promptly when warranted.

Subscription Social Media Posting Services:  An alternative is to subscribe to a service that posts generic social media content on your behalf.  Such companies charge much less; it may even be a free membership perk with an industry association. And having someone post all updates for you is the epitome of convenience.

However, the lower cost is typically associated with lack of control.  All subscribers get the exact same content.  You can't approve posts in advance, even if you don't agree with what is posted.  You're not able to expand upon or personalize any tips or advice being shared before it made public.  And you still have to log in on a regular basis to respond, because that is not the duty of the social media service - their job is solely to add content.

Many real estate professionals find themselves stuck at this point.  They know they should do "something", want to position themselves as unique in their community, feel as if it can't be that difficult to post more often on Facebook, wonder what to say, and are unable or unwilling to spend a lot of money to get it done by someone else.

If that sounds like you, what might be "just right" is an intermediate approach.  Make your own posts - but get content ideas delivered to you on a regular basis.

This may be ideal for you if you're already comfortable with Facebook or have an assistant to handle administrative tasks. This content is easy to edit and personalize and is written especially for social media, delivered in a format (such as a Word document) that offers an affordable and easy to manage solution to the "what should I say on Facebook?" dilemma.

If you or your assistants are Facebook "regulars" anyway, it's easy to review a few posts, modify them accordingly, and then add them to your Facebook page on a daily basis or schedule them in advance.

I offer an alternative and invite you to give it a try. It’s a great way to get real-estate-specific content ideas on a regular basis.  To learn more, or for a free trial subscription, visit http://www.easysocialmediacontent.com/real-estate.

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