Outsourcing

13 items to consider when outsourcing social media management to a freelancer

Managing social media channels can be a huge time drain, particularly when you are a sole business owner, spinning many plates. So if you are thinking about outsourcing the social media management for your accounts or your client’s, here are some considerations before you make the jump. 

1. Remit

Are you outsourcing just the content creation or do you want your freelancer to interact with your followers and play an active part in community growth? If the latter, have you made known what type of third-party content or from which organisations relevant to your brand your freelancer can share and engage with? 

2. Responsibility

Will your freelancer be acting as you when they post, or as a team member? Are you handing over the reins for all social media accounts or will you share responsibilities?

3. Objectives

What business strategy and information can you share with your freelancer so that they are fully informed on your or your clients’ overall marketing strategy? Before work commences, your freelancer will need a sound grounding on target audiences and business objectives. 

4. Content creation

For outgoing content, will your freelancer write the copy and source the images? What about other multimedia content types such as video or infographics – do you have ready-made content or will you need assistance with creating different content formats? What existing content do you have and what can be repurposed?

5. Style and brand guide

While your freelancer will be experienced in the industry and will be able to pick up tone of voice from existing comms, do you have a style guide that you can share? Or are there any items or pet niggles that are a definite ‘no no’ that your freelancer should avoid when it comes to copy? For visual content creation, do you have brand guidelines for typeface and colours that should always be used? 

6. Automating content

Do you currently use an automation tool, like Hootsuite, Buffer or Coschedule, and if not, would it help? Your freelancer will need to be granted access to your online tools so check the number of users you currently have in case you need to upgrade your existing package.

7. Approval process

Do you currently use an automation tool, like Hootsuite, Buffer or Coschedule, and if not, would it help? Your freelancer will need to be granted access to your online tools so check the number of users you currently have in case you need to upgrade your existing package.

8. Point of contact

If this is a client’s social media accounts, will you maintain direct contact with your client or will your freelancer be the point of contact? Or will you both be in contact?

9. Keeping in touch

How will you communicate what needs posting and when? What tool will you use to check in – email, Slack or something else?  

10. Systems

What systems will you use to plan and record your editorial calendar – a Trello board, Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet? How much detail do you need?

11. Social customer service

Will your freelancer be expected to respond to questions or complaints from users? Do you have a framework set up for how to respond? What about if a crisis was to happen on social media – are you armed with a contingency plan?

12. Advertising

How will you handle paid social – does advertising form a regular part of your activity or do you treat it as stand-alone campaigns? How will you work with your freelancer on this? 

13. Measurement

Will you handle reporting or would you like your freelancer to handle this? How often will you need a report and if you are reporting back to clients, will you provide different reports for stakeholders? How much context do you need including to explain the data? 

Final note

While this does seem like an exhaustive list of items for consideration before handing over work to a trusted partner, the initial outset of time to plan and ensure you have the right processes set up from the get-go will ensure that time is saved later on. 

Moreover, if this is the first time that you are working with a freelancer on social media management, rest assured that they will be able to guide you through the process of delegation and advise on best practices.

Need help?

Are you looking for an experienced marketing and PR freelancer to help manage your client social media accounts? I might be able to help. Get in touch by emailing me at ali@alisonhadley.co.uk.

Image: Taken from open-source site unDraw where you can add your brand colour to ready-made illustrations.