With all the buzz around social media lately, more small-to-medium sized businesses are feeling pressure to keep up with the latest best practices as it gets more complicated to market a business via social media platforms.
If you don’t have a full understanding of what it takes to properly plan, create, and execute an outstanding social media marketing strategy, keeping your social media marketing in-house can be a missed opportunity to use these high-engagement platforms for lead generation.
This post explores what's needed to set up and maintain a successful social media strategy in-house along with what you can expect when partnering with an agency.
What's involved in running a social media strategy in-house?
To create an outstanding social media marketing strategy, take a look at the skills your current staff possesses. Consider the following skills necessary to maintain a successful social media presence:
- Design: Crafting your pages, posts, and ads that are both eye catching and meet your brand standards may require that you have a dedicated designer on staff. If you already have one, great! But before you pile social media responsibilities on their plate, consider that you likely have a designer on staff because you already need a graphic designer to support your existing design needs.
- Copy: Writing compelling copy for social media can be challenging due to the limited space and need to quickly grab a viewer's attention.
- Photo/Video: Original photos and videos are more likely to grab the attention of your audience. Having someone on staff with the skills and experience to create these types of post can go a long way to increasing engagement.
- Management/Response: Someone has to be in charge of approving, scheduling, and reporting on performance, not to mention responding to any interactions on the page. Often companies have a dedicated person for this role, which you may find your company needs to hire for if you are not already maintaining a social presence.
What's the main benefit of doing your company's social media in-house? Cost. If you've already got the skills and resources to execute it yourself, you can pull it off. Keeping this aspect of your business in-house also enables you to act quickly if posting to social fits in with a separate marketing channel's activity.
What's the main drawback of doing your company's social media in-house? This one's a tie between resources and expertise. If a company isn't already running its own social marketing plan, they likely don't have the manpower to allocate to a full-scale strategy. Additionally, they may lack the expertise that a successful strategy requires.
What's it like to outsource social media strategy?
Companies looking to outsource their social media should look for a marketing agency specializing in social media promotion. Agencies with this specialty are more likely to have the staff and expertise listed above to create a full-scale plan.
Working with an agency doesn't, however, mean you can turn over the responsibilities and forget about it.
- Expect to stay involved. Because social media is a powerful way for your buyers to engage with your brand, those running your social media pages need to learn about your company. As the expert, you'll need to help get them up to speed.
- Establish a process. Identifying a singular point person and setting up a post approval process is also important to working with an agency. This gives the agency one person to work with and ensures the company is fully aware of what the agency is doing
- Create goals. It often makes sense for companies to partner on dedicated campaigns with a specific goal in mind. The company can then maintain control of their on-the-fly posts that are often necessary.
What's the main benefit of working with an agency for social media marketing? Expertise. Managing social media is one of the core services provided by the agency, meaning they have to be up to date with the latest rules and recommendations and can pass those on to your company.
What's the main drawback to working with an agency for social media marketing? Cost. While executing a social media marketing plan in-house takes up your team's resources, partnering with an agency takes actual money.
Questions to consider when deciding whether to do social media in-house vs. outsourcing to an agency:
- Is my product or service a good fit for social media? Will an effective social media strategy grow my business?
- Who exactly is my target market? Are they on social media?
- What is my budget for outsourcing my social media strategy?
- What do I know about social media? Am I truly qualified to run a social campaign on my own? Is my team qualified?
- Do I trust a third party to represent my brand?
- What is my budget for outsourcing my social media strategy?
- How much is my time worth?
- What can I do with the time not spent on social media if I choose to outsource?
Answering these questions will give you a better idea of whether or not outsourcing is right for your social media strategy.
It's no secret by now that you're on a digital marketing agency website. We take finding the right clients very seriously, and hope our clients are putting the same consideration into making a decision to work with us as well.
For an honest look at what it's like to work with us, we've put together the following resources. Check them out, and if you like what you read, let us know.
- In-House Digital Marketing vs. Hiring an Agency: A Guide to Smart Decision-Making. This guide is a straight-forward review of the pros and cons of working with a digital marketing agency vs. implementing a digital marketing program in-house.
- The Complete Digital Marketing Checklist. For companies who want to set up their own inbound marketing campaigns, this is a comprehensive checklist with explanations of how and why each item is important.
- The Guide to a Successful Agency Kickoff. Once you've chosen an agency, there is still more work to be done. Preparing for your initial kick-off meeting helps your chosen agency do better work, leading to more success for your business.