According to Jeremiah Owyang, there’s an increasing trend towards outsourcing community management. He cites an increase in offerings of community management services from “emerging” markets in the face of weak financial markets as among one of several factors influencing this trend.
Interestingly, just a few days ago I read this article that included a quote that suggests just the opposite of such a trend: “Run your brand’s community management in-house and hire someone to do it right. Outsourcing your brand “voice” is not a viable long-term option. Stop pretending you don’t have the budget for headcount — you likely spend millions on media. You can spare some to maintain relationships with your best and most influential customers.” (Emphasis mine, btw.)
Which do you agree with–the trend towards outsourcing or the necessity for community management to remain an in-house task? And do you agree that outsourcing your brand “voice” is not a viable long-term option, or is that BS as far as you’re concerned? Also, is community management really something you can effectively outsource to an emerging market?