Outsourcing and Automation Can Kill Your Brand

Outsourcing and Automation Can Kill Your Brand

The world of social media can be awfully loud and it’s impossible to be on every social channel, reaching everyone, all at once.

As busy business people, we turn to automation and outsourcing for help. Automation and outsourcing have become powerful things. They allow you to push out content more consistently, and at a higher volume without YOU needing to be on your computer all day, every day. But sometimes, this can go very very wrong.

A colleague of mine recently found that a person he knows who is a well-known speaker had stolen his blog content and used it as his own word for word.

Upon closer investigation, he found this individual had done this to a number of other people within the author/speaker community.

When he approached this individual about why he had done such a thing, the individual was shocked. He said he had no idea this had happened, he outsourced his blog and social media.

Outsourcing does not mean you are not responsible.

IMG_2619Quite the opposite, you are responsible for who you choose to work with and what they do to represent you. Failing to inspect the work you outsource or delegate is a leadership flaw. It’s careless and shows a lack of respect for your work especially when that work is supposed to be a reflection of you.

On Friday evening I was feeling quite sad about Gretchen (my dog who recently passed). I shared a photo of her on Instagram and spoke of my sadness, and I didn’t use any hashtags as I wasn’t looking to get my post in front of a lot of people, it was more of a private moment of sharing.

Saturday morning I woke up to a comment from a woman that said “great post”. I replied to her and said “seriously? Did you even read it?”

She deleted her comment and immediately sent me an apology. This is what she said:

“Hi Lisa, I am deeply sorry for my comment on your post. It’s an automated comment. I have asked the company I outsource this to switch off the comments. Once again I apologize for that insensitive comment, I am sorry for your loss.”

Sunday morning I woke up to another automated comment “very cool!” Needless to say, my response to this one wasn’t cool, calm or collected.

I told them that it wasn’t very cool that they thought the death of my dog was cool, and that they should turn their lousy automation off.

 Comment on InstagramHere’s the thing – you’re a business owner and you cannot do everything.

I outsource certain aspects of my social media to my team but I create all my own content and anytime you are engaging with me on social media, it’s 100% me.

You won’t get automated replies from my accounts.

No one is faking conversations as me.

And no one is creating my intellectual property. 

The source of all of your content should be you. If you don’t have the depth of knowledge that it takes to create good content then don’t create it. Hiring someone to fake your subject matter expertise is wrong.

Failing to inspect the work you outsource or delegate is a #leadership flaw Click To Tweet

Here’s what you can do:

Write your own source content for your website.

Hire someone to edit your copy, set up your blog, add your images, and send out your newsletter.

Hire someone to pull copy from the blog for social media shares. This way they are using your words.

Hire someone to monitor social media and let you know when things need to be responded to or make it a habit of monitoring and responding yourself daily.

When you hire someone, inspect their work. People make mistakes, it happens and it will happen. It’s your job to inspect what you expect (or delegate) to ensure it is a good representation of your brand.

What aspects of your business do you outsource? How do you ensure that it is done properly? Leave me a comment and let me know. 

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3 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing so many examples from your life and those around you! I appreciated learning a few options for those short on time to ensure their words remain intact. I had been thinking about outsourcing the editing for my husband’s blog and it would be so helpful to have the social shares created from his words as well. It would save me a ton of time (plus it’s not my strength!)!! Thank you! :)

  2. You’re right- there are unscrupulous people stealing content these days. And the pace at which most of us work doesn’t allow for us to ” do it all”, which means we outsource. As long as your outsourced service can offer referrals from other clients and show you links if their work, and have long term relationships, it isn’t a problem. Most importantly, as you say, you must check the work regularly-be it copy that is ghost written and/or edited from your own ideas and points, or social media feeds. It’s too bad that people simply wishing to “make a quick buck”, taint the profession. It’s the same with PR. Ask anyone who has used a PR firm over the years, and they’ll have a story about being underwhelmed. It makes it very tough for those of us that have have put the time in to develop trusted relationships with the media, high-quality original, ghost written blogs and innovative social media to get people to believe we will deliver. However, once they do, they never look back. Many of our clients have been with my company for many years (one of them for 17 years!) All of this is to say, you points are spot on, and you CAN find good outsourcing for content and social media if you find a company with a conscience.

  3. I love this post. You hit on a serious matter. I outsourced my social media content this month for the first time to have time to edit my manuscript and it has been a huge relief. I write the posts she publishes so that my reader still get my style and tone. I monitor all blog and social media postings.

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