7 Reasons to Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

    1. Social media people know what they’re doing! An outside agency is (supposed to be) staffed with people who are experts in their fields and have degrees as well as outside experience in social media management. They will find quality content to post across your social media platforms and be able to engage with your followers. If you contrast this with just having a member of your staff manage your social media, the difference is palpable. Not only will your employee be juggling the added social media responsibilities with his existing job, but he likely doesn’t have a very good idea of the job he’s supposed to be doing. Your existing employees are not experts and their work will reflect that.
    2. Hiring an outside agency is often very cost effective. If you were to hire a social media manager onto your staff, you will have to prepare yourself to pay them about $45,000 a year according to PayScale. Now for a little more math. Everyone knows that taking on a new employee comes with more costs than just their annual salary. We used the Real Employee Cost Calculator to estimate how much an employee paid at $22/hour for an annual salary of $45,760 would actually cost a company. The calculator factors in the employee’s insurance, annual bonus, payroll taxes and various infrastructure costs. For our example, it calculates the real cost of your new social media manager to be closer to $90,000. That’s a lot of dough.
    3. Less mistakes are made. Mistakes are more likely to happen with both other options we have mentioned (giving social media responsibilities to an existing employee or hiring someone new onto your staff). Why? Outside agencies have a series of checks and balances that EVERY SINGLE ONE of your posts goes through. At least two sets of eyeballs should be checking every post for accuracy, grammar, spelling, and common sense. Can your brand afford any mistakes?
    4. Social media matters. At this point you may be thinking: “Why do I have to pick any of these options? I don’t think I even need social media.” In almost every case, you would be wrong. The cost of ignoring social media is tangible. According to a report from the Pew Research Center put out in October of 2015, nearly two-thirds of American adults are now using social networking sites. Additionally, an infographic from CeBIT showed that 74% of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions. Social media is not going away, and businesses that do not embrace its power will likely fall to the wayside.
    5. Your social media presence will stay active. While daily social media updates may become low on the priority list for an existing employee (or even a social media manager if they have a lot of other things going on), it will never be neglected by an outside agency whose sole job is up keeping up on it. Daily updates will let your customers know that your business is active and keep them up to date on real time happenings like promotions or events.
    6. Your customers will be able to interact with your business during all hours. A lot of activity on social media networks happens outside of business hours. For example, “The best times to post on Facebook are 1–4 p.m. late into the week and on weekend,” according to a post by CoSchedule on some compiled research. An outside agency plans for this and has people ready to post content and engage with your followers during the best times!
    7. Analytics reports allow agencies to adapt. Most (good) agencies will track analytics across your social media platforms and constantly adjust and rework your social media strategy so that it is as effective as possible. This type of calculated planning means that resources are used on strategies that work. Rather than hoping a certain strategy will pay off, agencies track success of campaigns and use analytics to gauge whether a campaign is successful, saving time and money.

In short—outsourcing your social media can benefit your budget and your customers. Keeping a strong online presence is key, and social media managers will ensure that your brand and your voice are portrayed in meaningful ways. And before you go Google “best social media managers,” save your time and check us out! Here at Buzzly Media we specialize in analytics-driven social media strategies and we would love to create a customized one for your business.

 

5 Myths About Public Relation’s Impact on Journalism

1. Myth: Journalists and public relations (PR) people are opposing forces.

Fact: The roles of PR people and journalists are very similar in nature.

Often, a PR person will do much of the journalist’s work and simply hand over what they come up with. This could be an idea for a story, essential facts of a story, pictures, multimedia and sometimes even a fully written article. When journalists are working with PR people they trust, they have no problem taking the content provided by a PR person, vetting it for accuracy and fairness, and printing it. In this way, journalists and PR people are really complementary in nature. One is on a deadline searching for relevant and interesting stories, and the other is working for companies that often are part of relevant and interesting stories.

2. Myth: With pressure from PR agencies, all the content getting published will be advertising in disguise.

Fact: A good PR agency would not try to pitch a journalist advertising and a good journalist would make sure that what they are publishing is truly journalism.

Reputable journalists abide by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics. The code mentions that journalists must “take responsibility for the accuracy of their work,” “resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage, and “distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.” So fear not, citizens. The future of journalism is safe as long as journalists abide by these ethical guidelines. Additionally, PR agencies do not seek to corrupt journalism and expect the story ideas and press releases they submit to journalists to undergo rigorous scrutiny and fact checking before being published. And believe me, if a PR person sends any reputable editor a press release that resembles advertising it is promptly deleted.

3. Myth: PR people outnumber journalists almost 5 to 1 and will soon have complete control over the marketplace of ideas.

Fact: That metric is already questionable and when citizen journalists are included there is no way that PR people outnumber journalists that much.

The outnumbering ratio of 5:1 has been widely reported but actually originates from a report put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Occupational Employment and Wages for May of 2013. It measures the number of reporters and correspondents (43,630) against the number of PR specialists (202,530). This amounts to a roughly 4.6 to 1 ratio that has been rounded to 5 to 1. Note that the number of reporters and correspondents does not include writers or editors for media outlets, which would add another 189,680 people to the journalism number. This would mean that journalists actually outnumber PR specialists slightly. But regardless of the ratio, journalists are still acting as the gatekeepers in the marketplace of ideas.

The first job of a journalist as outlined by SPJ is to “seek truth and report it.” A professional journalist would never just perpetuate an idea that isn’t true to benefit a PR agency. One of my journalism teachers in college said that the truth has a way of getting out. There is a free market for the truth. If something is not backed up by fact then people won’t be buying it. So even if there were some large conspiracy between professional journalists and lying PR agencies, citizen journalists would still find the truth and a way to get it out.

4. Myth: With more PR people pushing a positive spin on things and fewer journalists around to challenge them, we will be inundated with press releases-turned-articles.

Fact: An ethical journalist would have several issues with just printing a press release.

The SPJ Code of Ethics specifically prohibits advocacy of something without labeling it as such. They also warn that “neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.” A good journalist would not just toss out a press release and call it journalism — no matter how pressed for time they are. Sponsored content should be labeled as such and native advertising should be labeled and used very carefully.

5. Myth: This is the collapse of journalism! PR is taking over!

Fact: The rise of PR is enhancing journalism and helping journalists who are pressed for time and ideas. There will always be a market for good journalism; you’ll just have to figure out how to know it when you see it.

Content on the Internet should always be inspected for accuracy, anyone can post anything on there, you know. And with the 2013 Pew Research Center State of the News Media reporting that 82% of Americans said they got news on a desktop or laptop in 2013, it’s clear that we need to be careful what we believe. Journalists are very aware that our trust as readers is hard to come by. They will continue to diligently label sponsored content and you will continue to make sure what you’re reading is true. Based on Website Traffic Spy findings the top myth-busting website, Snopes.com, sees roughly 5,335,182 unique users each month. Regular consumers of news are already suspicious; this is not the era for journalists to try to be sneaky with what they publish.