Companies can and do outsource a great many things. That comment is neither a criticism nor an expression of sorrow; it is, instead, a statement of fact.
Businesses outsource projects like web design and copywriting, as well as management of real-time traffic and the creation of intelligible reports about Web analytics.
The quality associated with outsourcing is, in the end, no different than the caliber (and accountability) of the work assigned to an in-house employee, meaning: If you have the right professional, someone who honors the most expansive definition of that word, technology shrinks or eliminates distance; it broadens (and often improves) the pool of talent, without regard to the physical limitations of recruiting candidates within a particular state or city.
Where outsourcing will make or break a brand, where it has the power to attract friends and followers (or alienate customers and repel users), rests with the value of social media and content marketing. The latter, which no two marketers seem willing to accept, is, by my standards, material that combines substance and style.
It provides relevant information – news people can use – written with flair, and published frequently, so a specific audience can learn something from an expert with a distinctive viewpoint.
Or, as I am wont to remind executives: “If you have something to say, then say it well. Have a voice, not an echo.”
I write of what I know because, in my role as Founder of Ocoos, I offer business owners the chance to outsource website development with tools for social media management without compromising quality or weakening their respective messages.
If anything, outsourcing may improve – it may markedly strengthen – the sort of dynamic, interactive, responsive, and politely opinionated conversation that is the essence of social media.
Compare that scenario with the current state of business communications, in which a sentence fragment and a link to some promotional page suffices as “writing.”
Look at the way quantity trumps quality, complemented by the equivalent of manufactured consent: Bogus Facebook friends and Twitter followers, purchased and/or run by a social media marketing agency (so-called), register their approval almost instantly; fostering a self-congratulatory atmosphere that, for all intents and purposes, appears active but is, in fact, silent.
If this assertion is true, and it is, why do companies continue to pursue –and pay for – these tactics? The answer is simple: There is a popular misconception between busyness and business. That is, a majority of executives mistake the appearance of activity as confirmation of the necessity of said activity.
That approach can be ruinous for a company with a brand that is the result of careful planning, assiduous adjustment and proper positioning.
It only takes one generic post, one irreverent tweet or one truncated sentence to undo years of brand development and the courtship of consumers. It only takes, in other words, a novice to destroy the hard work of a professional.
No amount of contrition can erase this problem because there is no way to delete, even after deleting an offensive comment, the very content that someone else will have archived or photographed before you try to alter your own cyber history.
These variables place a premium on outsourcing. Rather, these variables place a premium on the rise of professionals – social media experts – who can write with fluency and lucidity.
These variables demand quality outsourcing.
That quality is clear, consistent and effective. It speaks with authority, but never sounds imposing. It is a voice of confidence on behalf of an audience of colleagues, confederates and champions of camaraderie.
It is the voice of social media.
Dr. Rahul Razdan has over 20 of years executive management experience in a variety of roles in sales, R&D, and marketing. He has authored numerous technical papers and is named on 24 issued patents. Dr. Razdan holds a PhD in Computer Science from Harvard University. For more information, please visit the official Ocoos website.