Jewish Social Media 101 – Social Media Outsourcing Increases 128%

Jewish Social Media 101 – Social Media Outsourcing Increases 128%

Social Media - In House or Outsource?It’s no surprise that hiring a full time social media employee increasingly seems to be a luxury a small business or non-profit can’t afford (see our past social media blog post here). Benefits and lack of comprehensive ROI measurements, you’re talking about $46,000 to $71,000 for a Social Media Specialist alone. How long will that compensation level last? That explains why outsourcing has risen 128% in only two years. It just makes sense to the bottom line, allows for greater flexibility (freelancers can tweet at 11:00 PM at night!), and free’s up some company cash to focus on mobile or social advertising, a smarter, more measurable investment. Read on to see the statistics and the pros/cons of outsourcing your social media.

Social Media Outsourcing Increases 128% in Two Years [New Report]

Posted by Corey Eridon

outsourcing social media

Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner is releasing his 2012 State of the Social Media Marketing Industry report today after his 1:00 PM EST webinar with HubSpot’s Content Strategist Kipp Bodnar, where the two will review all the juicy data. Part of Michael’s research included asking social media marketers whether they’re outsourcing any of their social media marketing tasks, and if so, what specifically they’re outsourcing. Turns out, in 2010, only 14% of marketers outsourced social media marketing. Last year, that number doubled to 28%. And this year, the percentage rose yet again, with 32% of marketers outsourcing social media.

It’s not exactly “news” that marketers are strapped for time, so when budget allows, it can be a huge relief to outsource activities to reputable agencies or contractors. But if you’ve spent any time on Twitter, you’ve probably seen more than your share of social media “experts,” “gurus,” and “ninjas.” In other words, it’s really easy for a marketer to get sucked in by contractors or agencies that might not be qualified to manage their social media presence.

So let’s break down the activities social media marketers have decided to outsource, and examine the pros and cons for outsourcing the most popular activities that show up on the list. That way, if you do decide to outsource, you know what to look out for so you actually see ROI on your outsourced social media spend.

What Social Media Marketers are Outsourcing in 2012

So, what are social media marketers outsourcing? Let’s take a look at the research from the report!

social media tasks being outsourcedAn interesting point of data the report uncovered is that social media marketers with 3 or more years of experience are 23% more likely to outsource design and development tasks than beginners. And according to another report we recently released — the State of the Online Marketing Services Industry83% of agencies offer social media services, with 7% planning to add it in the future.

So are these outsourcing choices a good idea? What troubles might a marketer encounter by outsourcing any of these tasks? If you’re considering a third party for any or all of these tasks, consider these pros and cons first that will help you do your due diligence.

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Social Media Activities

Design and Development

Design and development is one of those tasks that often plagues marketers. Some of us are analytical, some are content creators, some are graphically inclined — a lucky few are all three. But it makes sense to seek a third party for design and development work who has more expertise in creating a beautiful design (just like you may have done for your website). More importantly, it’s one-time or infrequent work that doesn’t require ongoing maintenance. There’s relatively low risk in asking an agency, firm, or contractor to do your social media design and development.

Unless, of course, you are so active in social media that you’re making constant changes and updates. Social media is changing quite frequently — just look at the new Twitter brand pages, the evolution of Pinterest, Facebook’s new page layout, and the release of Open Graph applications. Visual content is becoming more important for a social media strategy, brand pages are gaining new functionality and changing layouts, and if you’re really sophisticated, you might be experimenting with Open Graph. If you’re truly leveraging all of the new updates that come out, it may make sense to have a designer or developer on staff to help you respond quickly. But, all in all, having design and development managed by a third party is quite low risk.

Analytics

The State of Social Media Marketing Report showed that the number one question asked by marketers — for three years in a row, actually — was how to measure the ROI of social media marketing efforts. If marketers aren’t sure how to do this, it’s no wonder social media analytics is being outsourced to a third party. The problem is, the success of this is largely reliant on two things: the tool being used, and the person analyzing the data.

We’re obviously a big fan of using our own software to analyze the effectiveness of our social media marketing, because it offers closed-loop reporting. That means instead of just looking at how many likes, follows, or retweets you receive, you not only know whether you’re generating leads from your social media networks (and on which networks you do so most effectively), but also whether those leads turn into customers, and at what rate.

But because marketers are so confused about how to measure social media’s ROI, it’s certainly easy to be duped into using an agency’s proprietary or third-party analytics tool that may have tons of fancy graphs, lots of numbers, and export complicated spreadsheets — but it really doesn’t tell you how to do anything actionable to improve your social media marketing with that data. So if you’re considering using a third party for social media analytics, make sure that their tool not only offers closed-loop reporting, but that the person analyzing the data can also tell you how to use that information to improve your marketing strategy.

Content Creation

You need content to fuel your social media strategy, but it requires a high time investment that many marketers don’t have — perhaps one of the highest time investments of anything on this list. So it makes sense that content creation is outsourced. Go for it! Hire someone to create great blog content, ebooks/whitepapers, videos, and infographics that will make your social media presence valuable for your followers!

But start slow — ask for some writing samples and test content before committing to a large content creation contract. Just like there are many social media ninjas out there, there are plenty of freelance writers that may create subpar content or leave you hanging on a deadline. We’ve written a blog post about how to screen freelance writers if you’re considering going that route; but if you hire an agency, it’s likely the writers have been screened in advance. Just make sure you ask for samples that relate to your industry before putting pen to paper.

Monitoring

Social media monitoring can be a laborious chore at best, and a distracting one at worst — depending on the size of your following and what you use social media for. HubSpot, for example, has a social media following across accounts of about 318,000. We use those accounts for publishing content, talking to followers, and customer service triage. And we keep monitoring in-house, because we’ve found a way to do so without taking up much of our day (which we’ve shared with you in our ebook about Monitoring Your Social Media Presence in 10 Minutes a Day).

That being said, there are challenges that other businesses are faced with that make outsourced social media monitoring a logical solution. For example, international businesses or those that never really “close” may be receiving tweets 24/7. And it doesn’t look good when a serious customer service question can’t be answered in a timely manner, nor is it a pleasant working environment for a community manager who is constantly checking for customer service issues at all hours of the night. For businesses of this nature, outsourced monitoring makes sense — but only to agencies that truly understand your values and how you want to communicate with customers. We’ve covered what can happen when your agency doesn’t monitor social media for complaints in our post about AT&T’s Twitter SPAM snafu. If you choose to outsource monitoring, monitor your agency in the beginning, too.

Research & Strategy

I’ve combined “Research” and “Strategy” because, frankly, you can’t have one without the other. And just like social media analyzing is a common problem for marketers, many have also expressed confusion over how to create a social media strategy. The strategy is posting updates, right?

Wrong — and if you have an agency that is telling you that, run away fast. Posting updates is a tactic (which we’ll cover in the next section!) that helps you achieve a larger strategy. And a great consultant or agency will help draw that strategy out of you through diligent competitive and industry research, getting to know your business, and talking to you about your marketing and business goals. Then they should be able to outline a detailed plan for you about how to achieve that strategy — that either you, their staff, or another third party — can execute.

Is your consultant or agency asking you what your big picture goals are? Do you want to generate more leads, and think social media could help you do that? If so, what kind of leads? How will you nurture those leads after they’ve been generated? Or perhaps you need to improve your brand’s public image, and you think social media can help you do that. Will they be able to give you actionable advice on how to use social media as part of a larger branding strategy that differentiates yourself from your competitors and integrates with your other marketing activities? If these are the types of discussions you’re having with a third-party research and strategy provider, you have probably found a reliable consultant. But as we said before … beware the “ninjas” and “gurus” who can’t truly provide actionable advice that integrates with your larger marketing strategy.

Status Updates

Status updates are easy to integrate into your daily social media monitoring, especially if you take time out each week to schedule posts across all accounts using tools like HubSpot’s social media bookmarklet. If you’re already outsourcing your monitoring, ask if you can also integrate automated updating as a service. But this task is so simple to work into your day — especially since you’ll likely be publishing custom content, too — that a marketer on a budget could probably get more value spending their dollars elsewhere.

Community Management

While social media monitoring can be outsourced successfully when the proper protocol is in place, I believe community management is best left in-house — so I’m glad to see it as the least frequently outsources task on the list. While social media monitoring can simply be alerting the proper internal parties of a problem that arises on social media, community managers have a personal relationship with many members of their social media networks. Successful community managers identify influencers, get buy-in on controversial changes as a trusted member of the group, and often engage offline with many of their contacts.

The level of trust required to be a community manager is often diluted if fans and followers learn they’re dealing with an “outsider” from an agency. If you’re looking to fill a community manager position, your networks will have an easier time accepting someone from the inside.

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32208/Social-Media-Outsourcing-Increases-128-in-Two-Years-New-Report.aspx#ixzz1sxrsaf1B


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Jewish Social Media 101 – To Hire or To Outsource Jewish Social Media? You Decide!

Jewish Social Media 101 – To Hire or To Outsource Jewish Social Media? You Decide!

Social Media - In House or Outsource?Hiring a full time Social Media Strategist, though highly important in the new age of digital PR & fundraising, can be very expensive for the budget strapped non-profit or school. As shown below, you have to budget in between $46,000 to $71,000 for a Social Media Specialist alone (benefits not included). For Jewish companies, you also have to factor in health insurance, benefits, and the intangible “Jewish cost-of-living”, as well as the risk of high turnover due to the strong demand for Jewish social media employees. Plus, the ROI from social media is still tough to determine – is it how many “Likes” you get, or maybe the amount of “Tweets”? And how do you tie it back to sales? (this ALSO doesn’t take into account that your employees will end up being on Facebook all day. Not much work ethic there.)

Bear in mind also that many Jewish non-profits and schools are still focused on traditional methods of Jewish marketing & communications. Which is why advertising in Jewish print media has continued to remain stable while digital & social marketing lags behind. The extent of Jewish social media is the community shul listserve, such as Yahoo Groups or Google Groups, which is a textual Craigslist type of community bulletin board. Jewish social media groups have attempted to pop up though most are merely groups within Facebook & Linkedin. As a result, social media as a career hasn’t taken off in the Jewish marketplace, except as a freelance option.

Overall, the smarter choice is to outsource your Jewish social media (social media outsourcing rose 128% last year) to freelance experts who don’t require full-time employment but can do the job equally well. Using the outline of salaries and need for social media strategy, you can judge your need and decide what tasks you can outsource and what tasks to keep in house. Reposted from Onward Search, a Social Media Recruiting Firm.

http://www.onwardsearch.com/Social-Media-Salaries/


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Jewish Social Media 101 – Jewish Non-Profits and Social Media: Do They Get It?

Jewish Social Media 101 – Jewish Non-Profits and Social Media: Do They Get It?

Jewish bloggerHere’s an excellent blog post from Rabbi Jason Miller that illustrates the need for Synagogues and Jewish non-profits to do more than take the easy way out of performing social media. Key line regarding volunteers: “you get what you pay for.” And if you’re not paying, you’re probably not getting the best Jewish social media experience possible.
The Jewish Week
Published on The Jewish Week (http://www.thejewishweek.com)

Jewish Non-Profits and Social Media – Do They Get It?

By Rabbi Jason Miller

Are Jewish Non-Profits adding social media to their arsenal of marketing tools?

Are Jewish Non-Profits adding social media to their arsenal of marketing tools?

Cross-posted to Blog.RabbiJason.comAs a rabbi who is a social mediaologist, I find myself consulting a lot of synagogues and Jewish nonprofits on their social media strategy. The leaders of these institutions all recognize that they require a social media strategy, but the plan for how it will be implemented varies greatly.Many synagogues in 2012 have yet to budget for social media marketing so they look for the quickest and cheapest solution. In most cases this comprises of identifying a volunteer lay person or existing staff member who is willing and able to set up the congregation’s social media presence across the major networks. In some instances this is a teen who claims to be a Facebook wiz and over-promises and under-delivers. With many volunteers, congregations often get what they pay for.

Jewish organizations seem to be a little further ahead than synagogues in the social media department. Third party retailers like Target and Home Depot have forced nonprofit institutions to get on the social media bandwagon quickly because of their online contests in which the retailer partners with nonprofits for fundraising prizes. These crowd-raising initiatives have required nonprofits to bolster their social identity online to compete in the contests.

While businesses in the for-profit world have allocated serious funds to their online marketing initiative, the nonprofit world is still light-years behind. That should be no surprise because nonprofits often take a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to change.

Robert Evans and Avrum Lapin recently wrote on the eJewishPhilanthropy blog about an unofficial survey they conducted to investigate how Jewish nonprofits are “utilizing social media and how it enables them to meet the demands that they and their leaders are facing.” From the outset, they assert that the picture is not entirely positive and quote a synagogue software system developer lamenting that “most of the Jewish world seems frozen in the 20th century when it comes to being technologically advanced.”

Our recent survey demonstrated a significant lack of human or dollar resources invested by Jewish groups into Facebook and Twitter. Very few synagogues even seem to have any presence on Facebook or Twitter, although they all have websites, many of which are reasonably interactive. Robyn Cimbol, director of development at New York City’s Temple Emanu-El, noted that her congregation was probably the first Jewish congregation to have a website but today they have no specific plans to foster Facebook or Twitter activities, citing other pressing priorities and no apparent demands from their 2,800 member households. “We have limited staff resources and capabilities for this,” she noted, “but we are gearing up ultimately to recognize social media as one communications opportunity,” she told us. She did emphasize that “a number of staff members do use Face Book [sic]… to communicate with specific constituents but it is not used Temple-wide.”

Facebook reports that 89% of 1.3 million U.S. nonprofit organizations boast a social networking presence, offering opportunities potentially for fundraising. However, fundraising on Facebook is still a “minority effort,” despite recent gains.

The authors of the study recognize that the Jewish nonprofits that have succeeded the most in social media marketing have been those that have participated in social fundraisers with third parties, such as mega-retailers or major foundations. Many organizations that find themselves competing in these online social fundraisers have allocated staff time or in some cases hired dedicated part-time staff to manage these initiatives (if they win there is a good return on investment).

The Jewish Education Project and JESNA’s Lippman Kanfer Institute (in partnership with UJA Federation of New York) have launched the Jewish Futures Competition, which will dole out $1,800 prizes for Jewish nonprofits to advance their social media identities. As more synagogues and Jewish nonprofits become more focused on bolstering their social media exposure (moving from building their fan base on a Facebook page to increasing their brand amplification through likes, comments and shares), they will integrate their email marketing (Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.) and online fundraising (Razoo, CauseCast, DonorPages, etc.) into their social networking.

Evans and Lapin’s study demonstrates that nonprofits do understand the value in using social networks for fundraising. “According to this year’s Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, four out of five nonprofit organizations find social networks a ‘valuable’ fundraising option.” However, these same nonprofits aren’t able to quantify why that is. It is important to remember that social media is still in its infancy. As it grows (and its exponential growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon), more synagogues and nonprofits will get on board by allocating the necessary resources to its success.

As they say, the “proof is in the pudding” and the ROI will be noticeable for the synagogues and Jewish nonprofits who dedicate the necessary time and resources to building their brand/mission exposure through social media. Change is never easy and the nonprofit world is more risk averse when it comes to technological innovation. At least the conversations about social media integration are taking place in the Jewish nonprofit world, and the studies are showing that a realization exists that this is a necessary form of communication, marketing and fundraising in the 21st century.

Rabbi Jason Miller is an entrepreneurial rabbi and technologist. He is president of Access Computer Technology in Michigan and blogs regularly at Blog.RabbiJason.com. Follow him on Twitter @rabbijason.


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Jewish Marketing 101 – Why Non-Profits Should Consider Outsourcing

Jewish Marketing 101 – Why Non-Profits Should Consider Outsourcing

Jewish social media outsourcing
Reposted from Third Sector Magazine

Why Not-For Profit’s should consider outsourcing

Wed, 12 October 2011

Outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular in the not-for-profit sector as it allows associations, charities and other not-for-profit organisations to benefit from the expertise of specialists when they need them and at rates they can afford.

Outsourcing refers to contracting the skills of a company to fulfil an organisation’s needs and allows them to take advantage of experts that they do not have, or cannot afford, internally. This may include marketing, graphic design, organising conferences and events, secretariat services, publishing, marketing or finance.

Outsourcing is a cost-effective way for not-for-profit (NFP) organisations to achieve their organisation’s goals and keep within their budget.

Findings from The Outsourcing Institute’s most recent study, which surveyed 1,410 members, found that reducing and controlling costs is the most common reason organisations choose to outsource. With a limited budget NFPs often can’t afford five or more employees to fulfil their organisation’s marketing, graphic design, editorial, secretariat and event needs; and it’s difficult to find one person with skills in all of these areas. However, outsourcing allows NFPs to draw on the skills of specialist departments with differing areas of expertise for often less than the cost of hiring one internal employee. Depending on a NFPs needs outsourcing can be the equivalent of employing ten specialists for less than the price of one.

Not only is outsourcing more cost effective than hiring staff internally, it can also result in a great level of efficiency. With access to teams of experts in a range of fields, organisations can enjoy a more professional standard of work, which can improve efficiency, the image and reputation of the organisation, and increase member/donor support.

CEO of The Institute of Hospital Engineers Australia Greg Bondar outsources their member magazine to Third Sector Services. He says “I am of the view that specialisation is the key to productivity and effective cost management, hence why do what others do better?”

The Australian Counselling Association (ACA) CEO Philip Armstrong also outsources their magazine to Third Sector Services and says “The journal in its ten year history had reached its optimum in relation to delivering a peer reviewed journal to members that was produced internally by the association. To go to the next level and compete internationally in design, content and layout with other similar journals it needed the expertise of professional publishers as this was not and is not the expected strength of ACA. Therefore an external publisher was sought to take the journal to the next level.”

The Outsourcing Institute’s research shows that the second most common reason organisations outsource is that it allows them to focus on their key objectives, which can increase their effectiveness and improve member/donor satisfaction.

Outsourcing allows an organisation to focus on what is most important to the running of their association, society, institute or charity – whether it is advocacy, governance, pleasing members or fundraising.

Additionally, outsourcing allows NFPs flexibility which is not achievable when hiring someone internally. Outsourcing allows organisations to access professionals when and only for as long as an organisation needs them.

“Without sounding gratuitous, the services provided Third Sector Services are both professional and friendly, and very flexible,” admits Bondar.

By decreasing costs, improving the quality of an organisation’s offerings and allowing NFPs to focus on their core objectives, outsourcing is expected to continue to rise in popularity as the smarter choice for NFPs.


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