Outsource your social media – how not to do it

Jumping into social networks and doing it right is a bit of work. When you already are working very hard at the core of your business this is just an extra thing you can do without. Outsource it!

Good idea.
Outsourcing social media gone bad
When you hire another company to set up your (business) profiles in LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube you have to be sure they are doing it right.

Lately I receive more and more invites in LinkedIn of people who clearly outsourced the social media ‘task’. All profiles are similar and are not very personal.

The outsource company uses the OPEN network on LinkedIn to connect with people who are open to invites and in general connect with ‘everyone’. I am also listed in one of these networks, open to invites but I review each one and never click spam or I don’t know.

Outsource setting up your social profiles gone wrong

Let’s look at an example and what has gone wrong here.
It is about the agency that is doing it badly so I have made the name unreadable.

LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn profile outsourced to an agency

This is the LinkedIn profile of this person. Only one job has been entered, his current function. The summary is written in 3rd person. The description of the function is a pitch.

What about your history? What did you do before this? You wrote the summary, it is your profile. Reading this in 3rd person is just weird to me.
What about a bit more personal information. Your contact details? Join a few groups.

Your LinkedIn profile should be as complete as possible. This way you give the software (LinkedIn) the possibility to find connections for you, collegues, partners you worked with, people with similar interest.


Twitter profile outsourced

Every Twitter profile I have seen that was setup by this agency had 2 updates, always the same question:

“Please contact me anytime email address”

“How can help your business? website address”

Oh yes, these tweets do it for me. Let me contact you right away.

A good one is the username: businessname_social.
There is nothing social about this Twitter profile and the tweets.


Here also they added “Social” to the username. The only action here was posting a video pitch. Not much fun watching this.


Facebook profile setup by an agency

Facebook is more of a personal network, especially the personal profile. For businesses Facebook created pages. This profile looks just the same as the LinkedIn profile.

Your personal profile on Facebook can be more personal. On LinkedIn it is more business like. Have content for your profile that fits the network you are on.


This website has only one page. The homepage. Better make it a good one if you want visitors to contact you. Now it is just the elevator pitch in the video and on paper.

I am not in an elevator with you. When I am interested in your product I want to learn more about you, about the organisation, about the products or services.
Let me read this information before I am ready to call or email you. A phone number and address may also come in handy when I am ready to call you.

7 tips when you want to outsource your social media

I can understand that you are too busy to set up profiles in the various social networking sites. Hiring someone to do this for you can save time. Make sure you are hiring the right person to do this for you.

  1. Look at the work they have done for people like you. The profiles should all have a unique tone of voice. You should not be able to see that the profiles were set up by the agency.
  2. Give your full resume to be entered in LinkedIn, not just your current function
  3. Give some personal information for your Twitter and Facebook profile.
  4. Ask for some one-on-one training what you need to post, when, how, how often
  5. When the profiles are setup, start posting your updates. Write your own updates.
  6. No sales pitches. People want to connect with other people, not sales people.
  7. The agency should tell you about tools that makes life on these networking sites easier, i.e. Tweetdeck, HootSuite, BufferApp, SocialOomph

Yes, I feel that you can outsource some of the steps in your social media strategy. Setting up a profile takes time, especially getting familiar with all these social networking sites. Outsourcing this keeps your focus on your business.

However I do feel that the basis of social media is that you communicate with others. It is you writing the posts, updates in Twitter, comments on other blogs. It is you making the connection with people in Twitter and LinkedIn.

People want to get to know you. Social media are personal.

By Erno Hannink

Sparring and accountability partner for entrepreneurs who create sustainable positive impact. Explores decision-making. Shares his insights on this in, articles, books (Dutch), podcast, newsletters, and tools. Has a life mission to reduce social and ecological inequality. Father of two children, husband of M., runs, referee for the national soccer league, and uses stoicism for calm. Lives in the Netherlands. Speaks Dutch, English, and German.