Outsource Your Social Media to the Professionals  

By Chris Abraham

I really believe it’s bad advice to recommend that companies fire their social media consultants, experts and agencies only to bring everything in house.   While “everyone” is on Facebook, social media is no longer a land of tinkerers; it’s a land of consumers. If you fill a room of potential brand ambassadors you harvest from your own ranks, I guarantee that only 1% to 10% of those people are active participants, and the rest are passive folks who are mostly lurkers. And when people bring up Zappos as the corporate exemplar, I always remind them that Zappos is exceptional and that’s why they’re the only company anyone can think of who does it as well internally. Plus, Zappos is a dyed-in-the-wool customer-service-centric company with an aggressive, visionary founder — someone who has completely rebuilt itself to over-serve its communities. Kudos, but seriously a truly exceptional example.   Only the largest companies have in-house counsel — their own corporate lawyers. Very few small or medium-sized companies maintain their own in-house accountants, designers, publicists, reputation and crisis managers, or marketers — some don’t even have their own dedicated sales teams.   And this is becoming more and more the reality of modern business — and it started in the ’90s. Why incur internal staff bloating when you can keep your staff limited to core expertise and services in focus, outsourcing everything else to professional service firms — vendors? Specialist vendors, like doctors or lawyers or management consultants, are generally staffed by people who are not only trained and experienced but also have the benefit of being able to load-balance and mind-share across the experience of multiple clients.   The best vendors, like the best docs and lawyers, keep rigorously up to date in the state of the art with a single-minded incentive to keep up and even lead the way. Personally, I have over 15 years of experience in consulting, and the only way a consultant ever gets a job — and keeps it — is by being just a little smarter, more curious, quicker, and more confident than the client — and since this is rarely completely true, most consultants worth their salt work really hard and spend many hours being and staying a top expert in the field.  

Why Zappos is the unicorn of social media success stories……………

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