Should I outsource social media to an agency or freelancer? It’s a question that nearly all entrepreneurs, brands and businesses will ask themselves at some stage. This blog post examines the pros and cons of outsourcing. We’ll also make some suggestions to help you find a middle ground.
THE PROS OF OUTSOURCING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Social Media Expertise
Anybody can run a social media account, but not everybody can do it well! Having an in-depth knowledge of social media is really important if you want your activity to be effective. Often businesses don’t have in-house expertise and therefore, working with a clued-up social media specialist can be hugely beneficial.
You’ll gain their knowledge of tactics, the experience of what works (and what doesn’t!) and content creation skills. A specialist will also be up to date with the latest trends, post formats and algorithm changes, which means your business can stay ahead of the game.
Access to Skilled Creatives
When creating social media content, it’s important to use engaging and algorithm-friendly formats. Video content is key right now, which means it’s likely that you’ll need to work with a videographer.
Agencies often have creative teams who they can call on to produce visual content and copy. And if this isn’t the case, it’s likely they will have a trusted network of freelancers and consultants. This can be hugely beneficial if you don’t already have relationships with creatives.
Free Up Internal Resource
There’s no denying social media can be time-consuming. As a business founder or marketing manager – there’s not always the time and resource to execute social media perfectly. Producing content, managing communities, running advertising campaigns, measuring activity…etc. This all takes a lot of time and resources. Outsourcing social media can free up precious time for other essential tasks.
A useful tip: many agencies and freelancers will quote based on the time required. It is, therefore, useful to know how long it takes you to complete the same tasks. Timing yourself completing these tasks will enable you to provide clear guidance in your briefs, and better understand potential Return on Investment.
THE CONS OF OUTSOURCING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
It’s crucial that whoever is in charge of your social media has a full understanding of your business. They should know your products and services inside out and be able to perfectly communicate your brand expertise. When social media is managed in-house, this is rarely an issue. But when outsourcing social media this point needs careful consideration. We recommend that you should set aside some time at the beginning of a project for knowledge-sharing. You’ll need to budget for this, and also plan for the impact it will have on internal resources.
Things can be even trickier for businesses that provide specialist services and need to post in-depth, detailed and factually accurate social media content. In this situation, it’s likely that you’ll need to regularly provide content direction and sign off all communications. This can consume internal resources and could negate the benefits you gain from outsourcing.
Budgets are often a deciding factor when it comes to outsourcing social media activity. It’s important to weigh up whether outsourcing will be more cost-effective than hiring another member of staff (perhaps part-time) to manage social media. At Avocado Social, we advertise full-time and part-time roles on behalf of companies free of charge on our Jobs Board.
CAN YOU FIND A MIDDLE GROUND?
You don’t have to hand everything over to an expert – there is an alternative. Finding a middle ground which allows you to benefit from a social media consultant’s expertise, skills or time while keeping the ownership of the work in-house might be the best solution.
We strongly suggest working with a trusted social media expert to develop a social media strategy and offer your in-house staff up to date training and consultancy on the latest social media tactics and changes.
You may also decide to work with:
- An advertising specialist to look after paid activity
- An agency creative team to produce videos and graphics
- A community management agency to oversee out-of-hours moderation
At Avocado Social, we believe in empowering and supporting businesses, so they can manage their social media in-house. We do this by providing strategy, training and ongoing consultancy. Find out more about our services here.