Four different speakers with four different opinions on the topic – but still we believe that we can make it work to something valuable for the audience. Below you can find our short summary of which person will provide which point of view and where we come from. See the sidebar for links of each person and the SXSW Social Links for more information.
Elizabeth Belanti (@bebellanti) : What are the pros and cons for a company choosing to outsource their social media accounts to someone who handles many? Companies must invent a creative social media identity that translates regardless of who is running the social media show. There must be a balanced, coordinated effort between the company identity in social media and the human person representing the company.
Kate Buck (@katebuckjr): It is the social media manager’s job to ensure the two parties are aligned on goals and expectations, a cooperative communication structure is created and a system for continuously developing relevant and engaging content is established. Just as it is important for the outsourced individual to become engrossed in the company’s mission and values, it is also important for the company to incorporate with the outsourced individual’s processes.
Nicole Simon (@nicolesimon): Without structure, there is chaos, and without a plan and the right mindset, outsourcing will fail 100%. But with proper knowledge of tools and workflows as well as necessary training, it can be highly valuable – if you know what you want. Looking at it from an international perspective, there are even more reasons to have a clear and structured approach.
Serving as the voice of reason, Eric Schwartzman (@ericschwartzman), author of Social Marketing to the Business Customer (www.B2Bsocialmediabook.com), is skeptical about outsourcing tactical social media communications. He thinks manufacturing authenticity is distasteful at best, and unethical at worst. An independent consultant himself with expertise in social media communications, he steers clear of campaign work entirely, choosing to focus instead on strategy, policy and training.