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8 Tips for Outsourcing Seasonal Social and Moderation Support

Last month, we shared the importance of early planning for seasonal customer support. By now, those of you in retail probably have your support staff and plans in place to handle the expected surge in customer inquiries. But not so fast — seasonal planning isn’t just for retailers!

Your social media team may seem superhuman, managing your social pages and online forums constantly, but there’s only so much your existing staff can do. If you’re planning any holiday social and/or marketing campaigns, you’re going to need a solid backup plan.

social-1206614_1280Can your staff handle a tripling of content awaiting moderation on your site? A tenfold increase in customer requests on social media? This is the time of year when your employees’ attention is being pulled in all directions, including personal holiday planning and vacations. Who will be there to moderate your content when your team is tapped out? It sure would be nice if all your customers hit you up with questions, comments, and concerns during the nine-to-five workday, but let’s be honest: That’s no longer today’s reality.

What should you look for when bringing in seasonal support for your community moderation and social media needs? Here are eight tips to consider when outsourcing these crucial tasks:

Moderation when you need it—24/7 availability, scalability, and flexibility: The best providers will not only help you plan the most cost-efficient amount of coverage hours, but will work with you to scale up and ramp down as you need it. Don’t get locked into a set number of hours throughout the season with an inflexible provider who can’t offer the scaling you may desire.

Access to a full-service team: Your moderation coverage may require any of a number of professionals, including content moderators, engagement moderators, social media specialists, community managers, and/or social strategy consultants. Make sure you get the expertise that will best serve your needs.

Multilingual capability: Your customers may not be approaching you in just one language. Are you prepared to answer a crucial question from your audience in Finland? Probably not. With the right team in place, you can be.

A full suite of service offerings: Many of us purchase bundled services for a reason: it’s cost-effective and convenient. Do you get your phone, internet, and cable from one company? Purchase auto and house insurance from the same insurance carrier? Similarly, it might make sense to look to one provider to offer integrated moderation, social media, customer support, community management, and other digital services.

Brand expertise: In an ideal world, you’d trust your moderation and social to a team of pros that are already enthusiastic customers of yours, people who have a genuine passion for your product or service. Make sure your outsourced support team brings that same dedication to your project.

Quick ramp-up: Your dream team should be comfortable on whatever tools and systems you’re already using, without need for extended training periods.

Detailed reporting that goes beyond basic metrics and makes recommendations on how to better engage your audience.

Transparent pricing that clearly illustrates the cost-effectiveness of the solution.

Consumers aren’t waiting for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to make their online purchases. They’re shopping for deals now, whether you’re ready or not. Use the checklist above to identify the ideal partner to help you prep for the holiday rush.

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