Should I outsource social media – reputation management?
The question whether or not to outsource your social media and reputation management is burning. As the importance of managing social communities and responding to reviews grows exponentially along with its dynamics and complexity, every hotelier has to ask, “Should we be doing all of this with untrained resources?”
If you’ve decided you can’t ignore social media, you have options. Social media and reputation management can be done in-house or by a company who specializes in it or both.
Consider both parts: Social media (community management) and reputation management.
For each, ask these questions:
1. Do you have someone on staff with the time to do it well?
2. Does this person have the knowledge necessary (knows EdgeRank, knows review guidelines, understands targeted advertising, etc.)?
3. Do you have the funds to hire a qualified professional and train them?
4. Do you have funds to hire or outsource?
Key questions to ask your prospective social media reputation management professional:
- How long ago did you start using social media and why? Early adapters are good and show an understanding of the importance of social media in business.
- What do you personally use social media for and why? Using social media personally has almost no correlation to competent business use. Neither does a person’s age. Be sure they’ve used social media for business.
- What is your background other than social media? If they are helping you with marketing, they should have a marketing background.
- Do you blog? We hope so! Content is king.
- What have been your measurable results from using social media? They should be able to show growth and engagement.
- Do I need to be on every site? If the answer is “YES” that could be a warning flag.
- Have you created content yourself? Once again, content is king. Video capabilities are very useful for social media content, for example.
- Do I need to stop my other marketing/advertising? If they tell you “Yes!,” that is warning flag. Social media is part of a larger combined effort.
- If outsourcing, will the staff onsite still be involved? This should be answered with an, “absolutely!” Outsourcing does not mean giving it away – it means a joint effort that frees up your time, but still keeps the hotel in touch with guests.