Should you consider outsourcing social media?
Written BY: k.scarpati
It’s pretty common these days to outsource age-old industry cornerstones, like accounting and customer service.
But what about outsourcing your social media marketing?
According to a survey by MerchantCircle, two-thirds of small businesses are using social media in some way to market their business. However, one-third of the same companies surveyed said that a lack of time and resources is their chief online marketing challenge.
Social media marketing is a very new marketing strategy, since the two most popular social media sites (Facebook and Twitter) were just developed last decade. Social media marketing “should tie business to communication strategy,” Principal of Socialized PR Joel Postman said.
Outsourcing social media, then, should be tied directly to good communication. However, that’s where the idea of outsourcing social media can fall short. Any business owner who outsources will tell you that one of the chief problems in outsourcing is communication, which could potentially make outsourcing your social media a dangerous idea.
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Social media marketing is still being tweaked, and is evolving on a daily basis. Outsourcing requires the simplest form of a service in order to succeed. While outsourcing social media marketing will undoubtedly gain steam as we move forward, the whole idea could be a risk for your business given the ever-changing social media world.
Before you consider outsourcing social media marketing, consider how effectively platforms like Facebook and Twitter can propel your business to where you want to go, and if outsourcing Facebook and Twitter services can free up time on your end to focus on more pressing needs.
Otherwise, it might be a good idea to hold off on outsourcing such services, until social media becomes more tightly defined.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.