Today outsourcing has become an accepted business practice, with companies preferring to focus on their core competencies. Accountancy, Recruitment, IT, Finance and even Human Resources are now commonly outsourced. Marketing on the other hand was always seen as something you keep in-house. After all: who would know your company’s services and products better than your own employees? And yet, with the decline of mass communications and the rise of permission marketing based on interaction and engagement, marketing has become a time-consuming activity.

Social media marketing is essential: a brand has to build a reputation online for fear of becoming obsolete and miss out on potential leads and partnerships. But all the tweeting, facebooking and updating of linked-in profiles require time and dedication. For many businesses that are poor in staff and time, the question of whether to outsource those activities becomes crucial.

If you are not an expert in social media, it may be tempting and cost-saving to call out experts or consultants that have accumulated the knowledge, resources, accounts, and contacts that can help in taking your social media campaigns to the top and generate buzz quickly. They will help you choose the right platforms through which you will broadcast your message and help you define your strategy.

There are some risks inherent to outsourcing your social marketing. Social media is about getting your voice heard so letting someone else speak for yourself can seem like a contradiction. The values conferred to social media – transparency and building relationships might be lost. Furthermore, if you want to establish yourself as an expert in your niche, you may feel that you should be doing the talking.

A solution to the conundrum lies in finding a compromise between projecting an authentic voice in the social media sphere and being effective at engaging with your customers. You can use social media experts as teachers who will train you and your personnel: they will guide you while you are producing your first tweets, blog posts or Facebook updates, helping you avoid many pitfalls along the way. While communications and strategy can be kept in-house, reporting and statistics about social media usage, share of voice and brand visibility can be delegated to an expert.

Outsourcing your social media marketing campaigns is possible and the mechanics of it are fairly able to put in place. The best way of doing so is for you to define where you think the social media expert will bring the most value.