Friday, December 12, 2008

Social Media Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a business arrangement in which one company provides for another company services that could also be or usually have been provided in-house. Social media outsourcing is a form of business process outsourcing (BPO), the contracting of a specific business task (e.g., payroll), to a third-party service provider. Generally, BPO is implemented as a cost-saving measure for tasks that a company requires but does not depend upon to maintain its position in the marketplace.

BPO is often divided into two categories. "Back office" outsourcing includes internal business functions such as billing or purchasing. "Front office" outsourcing includes customer-related services such as marketing, tech support ... and social media optimization and outreach.

The goals of a social media marketing program are familiar: Establish the company as an industry leader, protect the brand, inspire customer loyalty and repeat business, boost traffic to the Web site, boost sales, etc. The key questions: Should the company outsource its social media marketing work, and can the chosen outsourced service provider deliver on its promises?

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