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Why Cheap Social Media Management Is Great For The Gig Economy But Bad For Business

Let’s face it – some people just don’t “get” social media marketing.

And that’s okay.

When Central Florida businesses decide to integrate social media marketing into their digital strategy, it can be a mixed bag. Yes, some industries are virtually made for social media. Real estate brands all over the United States swear by social media for finding buyers and sellers, for example.

But even if it’s not a match made in heaven, social media marketing still has a lot to offer you.

It can:

  • Get more attention for your limited time offers so you can control the tempo of business
  • Deepen the brand relationship by extending the reach of your best blog posts and videos
  • Contribute to your unique positioning and thought leadership within your industry

Often, Central Florida entrepreneurs jump into social media marketing with both feet only to conclude it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. After hours of writing posts, commenting on others’ content, and scrolling their feed (so much scrolling), they can’t see any business value.

This is a turning point for any business, and it’s easy to come to the wrong conclusions.

The worst outcome is when businesses decide social media “simply isn’t for them.”

Sure, they save plenty of time by not having to reinvent the wheel on social media. But in the long run, it isn’t the most profitable decision. No matter who you are or what you do, you can move your business forward by connecting with the right people on social media. Over time, it makes a big difference.

But deciding to outsource can also be troublesome – it all depends on how you do it.

With an established Central Florida marketing agency, you get proven social media marketing tactics, all together in a strategy that consistently yields results for companies like yours. Most business owners do not start here, however. They assume a marketing agency isn’t affordable for them.

(In fact, working with a marketing agency can be the most cost-effective option.)

Instead, they look to the “gig economy.” And that means a freelancer.

Social Media Marketing Is Booming – But That’s Not Always Good News for Your Business

For the last several years, social media has been the biggest growth area in digital marketing. Just a few years ago, no one held the title “social media marketing specialist.” It simply didn’t exist yet. These days, there are thousands working within businesses of all sizes, and millions doing it freelance.

As more technologically inclined people have looked for reliable remote jobs, the ranks of self-professed social media experts is swelling. But many freelancers you’ll find on today’s gig market websites have no big wins to back up the claim that they can put your social accounts on the map.

They’re actually no more insightful than your teenage cousin or the neighbor kid.

(And please don’t hire either of them to do your social media.)

Lots of freelancers are genuinely interested in social media, and some of them have made a difference for local businesses. But there are far more who can talk the talk than walk the walk. Without knowing social media yourself, you risk being taken in by a slick, smooth-talking freelancer.

Unfortunately, all too many gig relationships end in one of these ways:

  • The freelancer does the job but fails to move the needle forward on your goals
  • The freelancer does something, but it isn’t the work you expected or paid for
  • The freelancer disappears, usually without warning when you need them most

Price Is the Best Feature When Considering a Freelancer

If you’re able to sort through the crowd and find a respectable freelancer, you’ll probably find price is their best feature. Since your project is often a “test run” for someone who is sharpening their skills, you’ll get a substantial discount in comparison to an experienced pro with years of expertise.

When all you need is something quick, like a month’s worth of social media posts, an average freelancer may be able to meet your needs. But if your business is growing and you’re servicing more people, it is critical to think about your social media in terms of its overall ROI.

In the long run, social media (like all digital marketing) grows your bottom line.

That’s because your digital marketing should deliver a significant return on investment.

When you hire a freelancer, you’re probably not dealing with someone who has the processes in place to see your social media through from where it is now to where you want it to be. If you’re convinced a particular freelancer may be a good fit, be sure they have experience with businesses like yours.

In this case, “like yours” means industry, growth stage, and location here in Central Florida.

If any of these factors are missing, freelance social media can easily miss the mark.

Another important factor to consider is an exit strategy. If your current freelancer no longer provides value to support their fee, it’s best to have a plan in place to move on. And should it come to that, it’s essential to ensure they don’t have access to any sensitive business data or resources.

Like, say, your company’s Twitter account.

Freelance social media experts who develop the skills and perspective to deliver aren’t rare, but they don’t come around every day. They quickly learn to recognize their worth and raise prices. You can easily invest more than social media is worth to you – money that would go further with an agency.

Beware of Legal Liability and Reputational Pitfalls When You Use Freelancers

We’ve all seen it before: A brand says something shockingly crude or insulting, then follows up with “it appears our social media accounts have been hacked. We are following up with an investigation!”

If this has always sounded fishy to you, you’re not alone. It’s probable that very few brand accounts actually get hacked. Instead, someone with access says something stupid. In big corporations, this is often a social media intern. In smaller businesses, it’s frequently a freelancer.

It’s not that freelancers are out to misuse your trust. But you can never tell whether they have good data privacy practices in place. This is an especially thorny issue because your digital marketing can subject you to legislation like GDPR and CAN-SPAM that require you to maintain copious records.

In the long run, the backing of a licensed and insured Central Florida digital marketing agency just makes sense. You can rest assured you’re getting social media best practices that will make an impact on your marketing goals – without risking the kind of embarrassment that an inattentive freelancer could bring.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and most freelancers have the best of intentions. But if you have a growing business, you don’t want your social media project to be somebody’s “learning experience.” Our team gets your social media moving fast.

Contact New York Ave to find out more or get started.

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1 Average median salary in Florida for ‘Marketing Director’, based on research by Glassdoor. 2 Retirement calculated at 3% contribution, based on research by nirsonline.org. 3 Health premium average calculated by ranges provided from a 2016 Health Benefits survey. 4 Total employee average calculated at first year and includes the following considerations: $4k onboarding and training, $1k software and subscriptions, and $3.75k outsourcing help. Total agency average based on Florida-located, full-service agency.