Social media. These days, it’s not an optional part of your digital marketing strategy—it’s a must-have. Unfortunately, while social media can be an extremely valuable part of your modern marketing toolbox, if you’re not careful, it can also turn into a major drain on your time.

The thing is, you can’t devote all your working hours to social media tasks—especially if you’re a startup or small business owner—not if you want to get real results from your marketing efforts and successfully manage the other aspects of your business.

What to Do?

So how can you save time while still getting the best results possible from your social media accounts?

You might be tempted to think that delegation is your answer, but chances are, your internal team doesn’t have the time or expertise to take on additional social marketing tasks. Your solution lies in outsourcing.

The digital age means you have more options for outsourcing your social media work than ever before, from virtual assistants and digital marketing agencies to independent freelancers and interns.

By outsourcing your time-consuming social media tasks to a digital marketing agency or another social media expert, you’ll have more time for the other important responsibilities that come with running a business. And you’ll get a much better return on your social media investment.

With that in mind, here are five time-consuming social tasks that you would be wise to consider outsourcing:

Content Curation

To build a strong social media presence, it isn’t enough to simply share a few posts about your business on Facebook and Twitter. Digital audiences aren’t interested in hearing you toot your own horn.

In fact, many digital marketing experts state that the majority of your posts should be curated from other sources—rather than seeing endless promotions for your own business, digital audiences crave information and insights from experts in the field.

Curating content from other media sources isn’t just a great way to fill up your social media calendar—when done right, it can also connect you with industry influencers, who in turn will share your content and help you grow your online audience.

Of course, finding influencers and content that are relevant to your audience isn’t always easy, which is why outsourcing this social media task is an absolute must. A social media expert won’t just find good content to share—they’ll also leverage it in a way that helps your brand form meaningful social connections.

Sharing Blog Content

You may not have any trouble producing content on a regular basis for your company blog. After all, you have plenty of your own unique experiences and insights to draw from to help you craft insightful, interesting posts.

Sharing that content in a way that will actually drive traffic, though? It’d difficult stuff. As Rory Witt, founder of DigiMar, a digital marketing agency based in San Diego, explains, “You could have the greatest, most insightful blog content in the world, but if you aren’t doing anything to boost your blog traffic, you might as well not have written anything at all.”

But this social task can be both time-consuming and frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing. Repurposing or syndicating your blog content? Sharing content on Quora or in Facebook Groups? Even crafting engaging posts for your own social media accounts requires a good chunk of time, a firm grasp of social media and SEO, and solid communications skills.

Outsourcing your blog sharing responsibilities to a digital marketing expert will do more than save time—it will also allow you to tap into a wider variety of platforms to grow your digital audience and improve your SEO rankings.

Track Brand Mentions

Brand mentions play a critical role in maintaining a strong social media presence, but with so many social platforms, it can be hard to keep track of everything customers are saying about you online.

This can serve as a double-edged sword for brands. If you respond quickly to comments, questions, or complaints, you build trust among the digital community. Failure to respond can lend to the perception that your brand is old-fashioned and doesn’t care about its customers.

Of course, tracking and responding to brand mentions can be a particularly challenging task. Not everyone is going to send you a direct message on Facebook or tag you on Twitter. Thankfully, social media monitoring tools and the help of social media experts can help you maintain a strong digital presence by automatically scouring the Web for mentions of your brand and determining when—and how—to respond.

Image Curation

Engaging imagery isn’t just important for Instagram—in fact, we are such a visual culture that according to Jeff Bullas, “Articles with images get 94% more total views.” Images make your content more persuasive and engaging, both on your blog and on social media.

But not all images are created equal. While a high-quality image or infographic can increase your social shares and other key engagement metrics, a poor image can be an immediate turnoff to your audience.

Attractive, free-use images aren’t always that difficult to find nowadays thanks to sites like Pexels and Pixabay. But what if you want to create an infographic? What if you need to edit those free-use images to add text or other design features?

While these tasks may be a bit beyond your range of abilities, they’re not out of reach for a good marketing agency, freelancer, or even an intern. By outsourcing your image curation needs, you’ll get more engaging, aesthetically-pleasing results that will benefit your entire digital presence.

Analytics

Social media is an ever-changing beast. The tactics that work for one brand may not be so effective for another. Who knows what social media will look like five years from now?

Because the social media world is in a constant state of flux, it can be difficult to stay on top of which practices deliver the greatest return on investment. It can be even more difficult to try to understand what all those views, likes, and shares mean and how they should affect your social strategy.

Once again, this is a situation where outsourcing can make all the difference between success and failure. Digital marketing agencies or freelancers can dig deep into your social media analytics to gain key insights about your audience—but even more importantly, they have the expertise to leverage that information to fine-tune your social strategy.

Conclusion

By outsourcing these time-consuming social media tasks, you’ll be able to create a more robust digital platform for your brand—one that helps attract new followers and contribute to your overall business goals.

You’ll have more time to focus on the many other important responsibilities necessary to growing your brand both online and in the real world. And you’ll get better results from your social marketing efforts than ever before.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Lucas Miller is a freelance blogger, content marketer and advocate for what he likes to call, “Editorial Entrepreneurship.” When not working to strengthen Echelon Copy and Green Splatter, he’s busy reading, writing or running alongside the Wasatch Mountains in Provo, Utah. Also, for what it’s worth, he claims to have an incredible head of hair.

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