Can You Have Someone Else Do Your Social Networking for You?


One of the biggest concerns in marketing these days is social media marketing, and one of the biggest concerns with social media marketing is coming up with the time to do it. Make no mistake about it, using tools (other than BP, of course) such as Twitter, Facebook, ActiveRain and a business blog can significantly grow your business, improve communication with your clients and customers and even open up new income streams for you. But it is not a magic bullet. Social media marketing for small business, as is the case with anything else worth doing, takes time and effort.

And if small business owners are short on anything, it’s time…

So I find it very understandable when people ask me about the possibility of having me or someone else “do social media” for them. They ask “This is obviously going to take some time, and I’m very busy. Can I just have you do this for me?” My response is, “Maybe. Let’s look into it.”

Yes, You Can Have Someone Else “Do Social Media” for You (Maybe)

See, it’s not cut and dry. A lot of social media “experts” will tell you unequivocally that you have to do this kind of thing yourself. I don’t think that’s always the case. But luckily there is a simple way to know if your social media marketing can be delegated to someone else. Here is the test…answer one simple question:

When someone calls your business to address an important matter like a problem or a complaint, do they expect to talk with YOU, or do they ask to “speak with the manager”?

If your answer is “They want to speak with a manager”, then your social media marketing can be delegated. If your answer is “They want to speak with me”, then it cannot.

What Kind of Business Are You Running?

There are different kinds of businesses. Some people build a business around their personal brand…people know your face, and they ask for you by name. This is often the case with real estate professionals. Some businesses are built around a corporate brand, in which case most consumers do not necessarily even know who the owner is, nor do they care.

In the case of your business having a non-personal corporate brand, it is not necessarily the case that the CEO or owner running the social media marketing (or at least having a strong part in it) would not be effective. It could certainly be effective if it’s done well. But it’s simply not essential, because people don’t generally know you anyway. In this situation, social media activities can be delegated to employees or virtual assistants. Social media marketing can be done very effectively in a case like this. The overall strategy is going to be different than what you would do for a personal brand, but the results can be very significant.

On the other hand, if people know your face and ask for you by name, there is not much of an option…if you’re the Rainmaker, that responsibility extends to your social media presence as well.

Social media is highly engaging on a personal level, and if your strategy is going to create a disingenuous feel with your clients, it’s best to just not go there. It is possible, as is the case with any form of marketing, to do more harm than good.

The Best Solution

The best way to approach social media marketing for your business is to not try and shortcut it. Yes, it will take you time to build a substantial network online and create the huge results you want, but it’s doable. It also does not have to dominate your schedule. You just need to be creative in working it in.

Creating an efficient work flow which allows you effective use of your time is the subject for another post, but my point today is simple. If you’re a professional building a personal brand, such as is the case in most real estate practices, it’s essential to do your social media marketing yourself.

This is not the death sentence you may feel it is! Working a blog and social networking into your schedule can be done effectively and efficiently. The time commitment is real, but consider the ramifications of NOT doing it. Nothing is more costly than losing marketing share…if your customers are looking for you online, it’s a safe bet that it’s WORTH your time to be there for them. After all, if you’re getting a good return on your time investment, than it’s a good deal for everyone involved, correct?

If that makes sense, I encourage you to not fight the time commitment it takes to get good results online. That’s the wrong place to focus. Instead, educate yourself and work with others who have done it effectively…and demand that you get a good return on your time. That is a fair expectation of anything you’re doing for your business, and social media can deliver…if you do it well.

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Christian creates dangerous internet strategies at


  1. Christian,

    Some great comparisons between outsourcing and not outsourcing the management of a given business brand on the “social web”. I would also add that there is space in-between these two camps, where a business could outsource the management of their social media marketing campaign to an outside agency or VA, long enough to build a solid start or foundation for the company online, then slowly withdraw and leave the continued management to the company (after a sufficient amount of training and guidance).

      • Josh,

        I agree that there are pitfalls — like anything else you delegate, it’s largely about the person/agency you employ to do the job. Presuming that they understand your business, share your enthusiasm for it and can represent it accurately, it’s likely that the agency/SM professional can do a better than you could do yourself — because they have the skills *and* more time to do it right. (They’re just going to be focused on it in a way you can’t when you’re busy running your business!)

        A bad social media presence can be harmful — a poorly written blog with no real content doesn’t do anything to sell your company/services, and it can even hurt. Ditto for endless tweets/FB posts/etc that are just short commercials. People tire of that stuff quickly and it can hurt your image.


        • Laurie – I respectfully disagree, in that I don’t think that anyone else can act as you as effectively as you can. Sure, some people may need to understand how to participate in social media, but regardless, giving someone else the power to “be you” is, in my opinion, a bad idea.

        • Christian Russell on

          Laurie – while there is definitely a certain amount of skill involved, it’s much less about technical skill than it is about personal commitment. I usually characterize social networking as a…well…social thing, not a professional endeavor that needs to be performed with precision above all else.

          Everyone knows that the life of the party is rarely the most professional 🙂

          If a celebrity were to win an award, let’s say, should they hire a professional speaker to give their acceptance speech? They could, but no matter how well the professional delivered their lines, everyone in the audience would think “wow, so I guess she’s too good to show up to her own award ceremony, huh?”

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