No matter the size of your business, managing your social media can be tough. If you’re doing social with an in-house marketing team, you know that it takes time and effort to stay on top of your game. But as your footprint grows, you’ll need to decide whether you want to invest further in building your internal social team or hand over the task to an agency.
Why would you consider outsourcing? Perhaps your in-house marketing staff is overtaxed by the increasing demands of social media management, or perhaps you want to grow your presence beyond what your staff is capable of maintaining. Hiring additional staff can be an expensive prospect but so can using an agency.
To decide what’s best for your business, let’s weigh the pros and cons of each option.
Key Considerations for Keeping Your Social Media In-House
- Employee advocates: Your employees know your brand, your business, and your culture. An in-house team is best positioned to communicate that to your followers without the need to get them up to speed on your business.
- Streamlined communication: It’s often faster and easier to communicate with an in-house team. Though an agency is just an email away, having a social team inside your office means you may only need to walk down the hall to discuss a change in your social direction. That means there’s less chance of miscommunication. Plus, an in-house team can more readily communicate social insights to the rest of your company, from customer service to R&D.
- Cost efficiency: Managing your social channels in-house can be less expensive. A full-time employee or dedicated team can be pricey, but an agency might be even more so. Especially for smaller businesses or those with limited social needs, having a marketing person who does social part time might make the most sense.
- Limited expertise: Your staff may not be social experts, especially if you have team members who are only dedicated to doing social part time. A lack of social expertise may mean slower growth or the occasional social faux pas while your team learns the ropes.
- Difficult to scale: A small in-house staff may not scale to your needs. If your business only has a small team managing social, you could wind up understaffed when someone needs vacation or takes a sick day. If you need extra staff to handle social events or emergencies, that could also present a challenge. An agency will have the staff to cover your social needs any day of the week.
Key Considerations for Outsourcing Your Social Media
- Broader expertise: An agency is staffed with experts on social media from a wider range of industries. Agency employees will know the ins and outs of each social platform, and they’ll know how to get the most out of each network for your business.
- Larger, more flexible team: An agency provides you with a complete social team without the hassle of managing individual schedules. You’ll also have access to graphic designers, video editors, and analytics experts who know what works best in the social space.
- Time saving: Assigning social media responsibilities to an agency will save you and your employees time that can be spent focusing on other areas of your business.
- Less expertise: Even though agencies are experts on social, they aren’t experts on your brand. You’ll have to spend some time bringing them up to speed with your business needs.
- Managing outsiders: Handing off things to an agency doesn’t mean you can completely wash your hands of all social strategy. You’ll still need to spend time keeping up with what the agency is doing for your brand while communicating your changing needs and objectives.
- Cost: Agencies might be more expensive, but weigh the costs against what it would take to build a larger in-house team.
The Best Way to Handle Your Social Media Needs?
The answer is: It depends. In fact, there might even be a happy medium.
Having in-house social staff and using an agency for support can give you the advantages of both while minimizing the downsides. Your in-house social team members can take on some of your social strategy, leveraging their brand expertise to handle frontline social media requests. Meanwhile, you can rely on an agency for support and scalability, bringing some outside expertise on social networking to the table.
Social media, after all, is highly personal. Your strategy should be, too.