With every heel strike, the slap of your boss’s flip-flops walking away is enough to raise your diastolic five points. Congratulations! You’ve been elected to “figure out this whole Facebook thingy,” as she put it.
The question on your mind is, do you figure it out in-house, or do you bring in the professionals?
Despite being an agency, therefore, one of those professionals you may hire, we are going to try to give our most unbiased take on what you should consider making this decision.
Cards on the table, we’d love to state that every business should hire us, right now, to manage their social media (SM). Not everyone has the resources [read: budget] to hire us, despite our super competitive pricing. We get that. Chalk up this blog as us earning your trust for a later investment.
Whether to hire in-house or contract someone to manage your social media profiles for your company is going to come down to a handful of considerations, like reviewing your resources, but also in weighing the advantages of both options against your priorities. Grab a pen and paper.
Do you have the resources to run your own SM campaigns? It is nearly impossible to estimate the time you could spend on your social media profiles once they are set up.
If your brand develops a strong following, you could create a huge downline of conversation, especially if your clients have a lot of questions. That’s not a bad thing.
Engagement, you will find, is one of your most important metrics for social media. Engaged customers spend money.
Do you have time to learn what you need to know? Just because you have an Instagram account, doesn’t mean you are ready to manage social media profiles for a business.
There is a different set-up for business accounts from channel to channels, but in general, the business end of things varies from personal accounts.
You will need to suffer some educational courses on the ins and outs of your desired channels, not to mention, knowing which channels in which to involve your brand.
No matter who owns the work, in the long run, you will likely perform some of the initial set-ups. Save yourself future headaches by getting some direction on this. Most of our initial work with new clients is on closing extra or improperly set-up pages.
What kind of budget do you have? Your boss probably failed to mention how much money you get to make this “thingy” take off.
Most inexperienced operators consider social media to be FREE marketing. It can be, but there are hidden costs you may need to consider.
If you don’t have existing marketing materials, which pair seamlessly with the image formats for social, you may discover the immediate need for photoshop skills or for hiring someone with such skills. This could include buying stock images if you don’t have any.
Have you considered the cost to run monthly campaigns? Social media set-up out of the way, the next hurdle is getting more out of it. In certain channels, like Facebook or Instagram, you will get so much more with a small investment in advertising.
Think of it as paid search advertising, but hidden in the social feed of your channel. It won’t take much to get some results, but it will take some budget to get started.
What about payroll? You’re too busy to run this yourself. If it’s a small-but-growing organization, players may wear many hats. Who has room on his head to wear this one? Do you need to hire for this job?
If your product something technical or generally familiar to most people? If you are rolling out widgets 4.0, then you may be able to hire outside. Everybody’s been playing with widgets since the first version.
That said, you may be rolling out Wonkfiddlers, which nobody has heard of before. Weigh how long it will take you to bring someone up to speed on your technology versus just handling the SM management in-house.
How available can you be to your social media manager? If you are in the Wonkfiddlers category, but these Wonkfiddlers are just like the old Widgets 3.0 everyone knows, then maybe you just need to be available for fielding questions.
How much time can you afford to give someone from the outside? A good social media manager (SMM) will be able to get up to speed pretty fast.
Do you have the resources to handle customer service issues 24/7? In our experience, this is a shared responsibility for agency and client.
Because SM channels are like two-way conversations, someone needs to always be paying attention to queries from customers. If you serve a worldwide market, that could be 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Alright, hopefully, you took notes on that section. If not, go back and handle the boldface questions at least. This next section will tackle the benefits of both sides, starting with contractors.
No Question Marks
With an agency, you leave the guess work at the door. They know how to get you the results you need without a trial and error period. They are professional social media nerds, which is a good thing.
Agencies know what needs to be done to suit your specific needs to meet your goals. They may ask you questions, but those questions won’t include, “how do we do this?”
No Research Required
Agencies stay current with changes, applying them to your campaigns. Social Media is still a very new marketing platform. Month-to-month a given channel may change beyond recognition to the untrained person. An agency is appraised of changes to a given channel’s process or terms before changes roll out.
Since social media is the only area in which your outsourced agent is working, she will be able to offer a focused effort that will not only get results faster but more efficiently. She won’t know about any of your lunchroom drama, but she won’t be distracted by it either.
Agencies are capable of measuring results or tweaking your campaigns if necessary to achieve better results. Again, since they are already experienced, they know which areas need attention. They’ll be able to handle anything thrown their way.
But, what about the in-house option?
In House Pros
Someone working in your flip-floppy company will have more in-depth of knowledge about your brand with its daily goings on. Not only would that person have been raised in your eco-system, he’s most likely evolved with it as well.
He will know firsthand both where you’ve been, where you are, but more importantly where you talk about going. That person can probably recite your core values on cue. (If he can’t, consider someone else to handle this job.)
More cost effective for small businesses, social media employees usually take care of other responsibilities as well as social media=multi tasking. This one could be more cost effective you have someone who can pick up some extra responsibilities for the time being.
If you have to hire someone, you may find this is not a cost-saving matter.
Long-Term Marketing Benefits
Having someone in-house that develops social media management facets is a long term benefit to your brand because it is an added skill that can be applied in multiple areas at any given time.
SMMs develop tight communication skills. This can parlay to email communication or other marketing channels. Twitter, with its 140 characters or less posting structure, has taught many of us about getting to the point.
So now what?
Perhaps the most important question that deserves to be asked is, where do you work that your boss can get away with flip-flops? Lucky you. (Don’t tell anyone, but we rock the flip-flops too. Come on, we’re in Costa Rica.)
Do this: take your list of answers to the questions above to your boss. Have a sit-down about the pros and cons to make your esteemed recommendation. You can tell your boss you consulted the best internet marketing company online if you want. We don’t mind.
More importantly, if you still have questions, then contact us. We won’t try to sell you anything you don’t want to buy. Promise. We do this sort of thing all the time. Trust us.
–Kaitlyn Shea | Social Media DirectorTags: Social Media Management
Categorised in: Social Media
This post was written by downtownecommerce_admin