The pros and cons of outsourcing business social media management has been the topic of debate for a number of years, and there are valid arguments to be made for both sides. On the one hand, nobody knows your business like you do and if your social media is handled by an outside manager or agency you may lose some authenticity, but on the other hand it could end up saving you a lot of time and money.
As a business owner, you can’t do everything yourself. Social media is part of a much larger marketing machine demanding constant attention. You need to decide how to make the best use of your time to continually drive new business, and often this is not maintaining social media, although effectively managed social media channels can have a real benefit to your bottom line. In the end, countless times over, the argument for outsourcing social media management wins, but here are a few things you should consider before making your decision.
The advantages of outsourcing your social media:
Freeing up in-house resources
Managing your social media pages is time consuming and resource intensive. By outsourcing this you’re freeing up time for your team to focus on more pressing business objectives.
Agencies and marketers who take on the role of managing the social media presence and accompanying profiles for small businesses have valuable experience in developing and carrying out clear content strategies that are in line with your business goals. Sometimes it’s best to leave it to the experts!
This is especially true when it comes to paid social media advertising; those with the expertise will be able to deliver successful campaigns and give you the best return on your investment.
Any social media manager worth their salt will provide their clients with monthly or quarterly reports which show key statistics against a pre-determined objective. This takes the laborious task of navigating complicated backend dashboards and compiling reports, off your hands.
It’s a common phenomenon – being so close to your business that you’re often seeing only half the picture. Often outside perspective from someone who understands the ins and outs of social media will ensure that your organization is showcased in the best possible light.
Just to make sure we’re keeping things on an even keel, here are some disadvantages to consider:
Access to content
One of the biggest challenges in outsourcing your social media management is ensuring that the agency or marketer who is tasked with the job knows all latest happenings in your company and has the content and the material to do it well. Some of your time may be required to feed this information through. However, there are many workarounds to this, for example: the marketer could hot-desk at your office for half day per week to uncover new content and news; or you could delegate the management of a close working relationship to an administrator or marketing assistant within your organization.
An outside social media manager may not understand your industry inside and out and as such may not be able to produce content that is 100% sincere.
Response delays and mistakes
If a follower asks a complicated question on your social media page and the outsourced social media manager doesn’t have the company knowledge to answer it right away, there will be an inevitable delay in responding while the answer is obtained from someone in your business; this can be ill-received in this day and age where people accustomed to receiving immediate results. Errors can also easily be made by outside parties who are new to the game through miscommunication of information, although this is less true of more experienced managers.
Outsourcing your social media management can be pricey as it’s a time consuming job and expert knowledge doesn’t come cheap. However, there are plenty of agencies out there who are able to work to a solution in your budget and build a package that is mutually beneficial without breaking the bank.
This article first appeared on Ignite Media.