Social media is a business tool necessity. Nowhere has customer service, marketing, industry monitoring and brand engagement become more streamlined and attainable than in the world of social media. And while social media or digital marketing is a more cost-effective option than traditional marketing, it requires more attention and constant effort. Manpower and operations are required to be on their toes 24/7 since social media channels move at a fast pace that a dedicated team is often necessary to keep it running efficiently.
This is where social media management comes in. How should companies do their social media marketing and management? Do they keep it in-house or hire outsourcing companies? We weigh in on each of their pros and cons.
In-House Social Media
1. Clarity of Brand Identity and Company Culture Message to Audience
Since those who handle your social media is rooted in and part of your business, he will be able to communicate your brand identity and company culture to your target audience with clarity.
2. Direct Communication Between Company and Customers
Feedback and complaints can be addressed immediately.
3. More Involvement that Leads to Better Strategy-Planning and Decision-Making
Keeping operations in-house will give a more thorough and up-to-date knowledge of what is happening in social media that leads to better and real-time decision-making on marketing strategies. You will also be more invested and committed to delivering your message to your audience as you will need to monitor operations.
1. Lack of Expertise
Since social media is not one of your core businesses, there will be a lack of expertise unless you hire or put an expert on retainer or train your employees on a consistent basis. Social media is a fast-paced industry. You need to keep up with the latest trends and technology to achieve your business goals.
2. Requires a Lot of Time, Effort and Manpower
You would need to spend a lot of time and exert effort to make sure social media marketing strategies are not only implemented but also effective. Most of the time spent on social media will be spent in conceptualizing strategies and evaluation of implemented strategies through social media analysis. If you don’t have the necessary tools and people to run operations, your efforts will go to waste.
3. Not a Cost-Effective Option in the Long Run
Even though social media costs less monetarily than traditional media, most of the costs are directed to hiring not just any manpower but experts. Since it is not part of your core business, not only will you be spending more money on it but also investing precious time trying to learn the ropes when you could have focused on your core businesses.
Outsourced Social Media
1. Social Media Expertise
When you outsource, you’re actually hiring experts in their industry since social media is their core business. Depending on the company you work with, outsourcing companies have the necessary expertise to devise a good and effective social media marketing strategy for your business.
2. Has necessary tools and manpower to run your operations
You don’t have to invest on tools, automation and even manpower to ensure your social media operations are visible, engaging and converting leads. Outsourcing companies have the tools to perform social media operations from data collection, measuring engagement, social media analysis and using analytics. They also have the necessary skills to perform these tasks.
3. Market Insight
One of the things outsourcing companies can give you is their market insight. Since they have experience on running social media marketing, they can point out opportunities you have not thought about of yet and give feedback on your plans and strategies. They can also share what has been successful on social media and suggest ways to implement those in your campaigns. They are updated with the latest trends so they can advise you what would be the best next step for your campaign.
1. Lack of Authenticity
This is the number one concern why companies hesitate to outsource their social media marketing. Unless you have someone in your team closely collaborating with your outsourcing partner, the brand’s message and voice can be lost because of lack of authenticity.
2. Customer Service Channels may suffer
Since you aren’t the one monitoring your channels, what may be deemed as important for your business regarding customer service may be bypassed by a third provider.
Weighing In: Keeping Social Media In-House or Outsource It
In 2013, Constant Contacts conducted a survey among small businesses, and 96 percent of them keep their social media operations in-house. However, if given a choice, 19 percent of them would prefer to outsource. What does this mean?
This means that businesses still have no clear knowledge of how to run their social media activities and need guidance and help on how to effectively manage and use social media to achieve their business goals.
The key to deciding whether to keep social media operations in-house or outsourcing it to a good quality provider is having a clarity of purpose clearly communicated to your team, whether kept in-house or outsourced. When you have a clear vision of what you want for your social media operations, from marketing to management, you can easily weigh in on the pros and cons and decide what would be best for your business.
No one knows your business like you do and you are the only one who will know if you need to seek help from a trusted expert whether it is to partner with them (outsource) or hire them (in-house). Do your research, get the answers and take action.