Outsourcing social media - any advice?

(14 Posts)
EssCee Tue 10-Feb-15 11:11:21

I set up my online business (an online shop) five years ago, prior to DD coming along. The last 5 years have been a real roller coaster with all the highs and lows of running a small business/being privy to all of Google's algorithm changes. Anyway, my DD is in preschool now and things are now more on an even keel - in Google, financially, work/home balance, etc.

I've been fortunate that the business has been profitable from yr 1. But, I feel that we should now be expanding, and in particular, doing much more with social media - especially as our customers (brides-to-be) do hang out on social media and use it quite prolifically. We do bits and pieces on Facebook, Instagram et al, but struggle to get much engagement.

The logical solution would be to outsource more, but I haven't found it massively successful so far - particularly if it's ongoing but smaller bits of work. My background's in marketing, so I've done loads of bits myself, and I suppose it's quite hard to justify the cost much of the time.

So far, I've tried People Per Hour, contacts, through UKbusinessforums...

How do you find brilliant social media people? That ones that can be flexible, are experienced in setting up social media campaigns (with an ROI that you can measure) and don't cost the earth??

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Hoppinggreen Tue 10-Feb-15 12:31:29

Do you do any Networking - online or face to face?
The digital marketing people often pop up at Networking sessions.
How about Linked in? I am in a regional LinkedIn group and we cake for recommendations on there. If you are in The North I may know someone

Cookiecake Tue 10-Feb-15 12:35:24

I am a virtual assistant and I have seen a lot of VA's offer social media management. I think sometimes when you pay a little more an hour you may get someone better and just more efficient so you may need to contact someone directly, you could try and find someone via linkedin. You could keep trying on sites such as pph and elance as I think sometimes it is hit and miss with who applies.

It sounds as if your business is quite image based so I think pinterest and Instagram sound like they would work really well for you. It is difficult to gauge how good a freelancer will be so you could ask to see examples of their work and maybe look for someone with recommendations.

GoooRooo Tue 10-Feb-15 13:44:16

I was about to say a Virtual Assistant - I used this one for formatting my book when I was publishing (she was great!), but she also does social media stuff:


EssCee Tue 10-Feb-15 14:09:57

Hi Hoppinggreen, I am based in the North, so if you can PM any recommendations, that would be great.

Cookiecake - definitely, it's very much image based - and pinterest and instagram are big platforms. We used to have more conversions via pinterest, but less now. Doesn't help that I don't have time to pin regularly, of course.

GoooRooo - thanks, I'll take a look!

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MrsMargoLeadbetter Tue 10-Feb-15 21:07:04


I know 'you' (from previous threads) glad to see business is still going well.

Have you looked at Digital Mums? They find and train social media managers. They are v affordable. Cannot link as on phone, should be easy to google.

Generally you need someone who knows your market. Are there any forums/professional bodies for the wedding industry where there is a suppliers listing? Or ask complementary businesses for recommendations?

Good luck.

EssCee Wed 11-Feb-15 21:33:05

Hi Mrs MargoLeadbetter! Yes, I have been posting (albeit under a different username) since my pregnancy with DD! Got some great advice in the past here, and now that I'm kind of at crossroads again, I thought I'd do the same again.

I haven't seen Digital Mums, thanks for the heads up! Have you used them before?

I think I'll also ask around in the industry, as you suggest. As it happens, a work associate did mention a PR lady / writer that she'd started working with, I know she does social media too. Perhaps she's a good all-rounder for my business at this stage....

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SMSUKLTD Thu 26-Mar-15 15:15:55

I know I am coming to this discussion a little late, but I have only joined mums net in the last 10 mins! I run a social media company and read your post and the comments within the thread with interest.

One of the hardest things to measure with social media is in fact the ROI, which in turn makes it difficult to value in terms of time and money put towards it. We always advise our clients to pick one or two social media platforms (even if you have accounts with several others for Google SEO purposes) and do those really well and be consistently active on them.

The main ROI on social media is raising brand awareness and enabling clients & potential customers to engage with you and hopefully endorse your brands. Some analytics can be provided be provided in terms of impressions & click throughs, but direct sales are far more tricky.

As you mention, you can obviously outsource the management of your social media (in fact it is something we offer), however our advice to clients is to try and keep it in house or at least split the contribution between them and the outsourcing company. If you do choose to out source, ensure the company really understands your product, company ethos and tone you wish to convey through the social media, that way you can add in to it, without it sounding as if several different people are posting.

Scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer also allow you to put all your posts on line in one hit, but not appear in your social media feed until the date & time specified by you.............

BeeSocialMarketing Wed 10-Feb-16 00:04:41

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

EssCee Wed 10-Feb-16 16:57:30

Wow, you are late to the conversation, Beesocial. A year late!

As an update, I used someone from Digital Mums, which I enjoyed especially as the lady was really lovely, but it didn't really translate to a long-term relationship.

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mrsvilliers Fri 12-Feb-16 16:54:57

EssCee do you mind if I ask what you're doing now for social media management? I do some through an agency but am trying to get the lie of the land with regards to setting up myself.

MissTeriName Fri 12-Feb-16 17:03:36

I found a fabulous woman on People Per Hour who does as much or as little as I want her to. I also dabbled with using a Digital Mum last year, but that was extremely expensive and I got nothing out of it in return tbh.

Have a look through PPH and chat with the freelancers who interest you. You can always change you mind later.

DameDancealot Fri 12-Feb-16 17:05:13


Try pinterest, not too sure what your business is but pinterest is becoming very popular as a search engine, I use it before Google now.

I am having to teach my self marketing for my online business as can't afford to pay someone and there are great tutorials on how to use pinterest for business

EssCee Sun 14-Feb-16 10:58:23

mrsvilliers, well, not very much right now! The thing with Digital Mums finished at Christmas, and then I started using a friend of mine, but that wasn't really working out either. So, for now, I'm going to just do it myself, scheduling via Hootsuite. Recently, I have freed up some of my time by delegating/outsourcing more of other tasks. Ours is an incredibly visual industry and I have a DSLR, can artwork images etc, and so can post relevant Instagram posts (Instagram is our main channel at the moment).

MissTeriName, I have found some amazing ppl on PPH, but no one for social media, sadly. Maybe it depends on your industry/company... I'll maybe take another look though.

DameDancealot, I already use Pinterest, but since they set up Secret Boards, it's been far less useful for actual conversions (sales). Our business is bridal-related, and such Pinterest boards are normally kept secret.

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