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Social Media Management: Outsource or In-House?

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Social media marketing can be overwhelming, it requires special attention and a level of creativity. Frankly, it isn’t for everyone.

But the fact is, your business needs a social media presence. Social media helps you connect with your customers, increase your brand awareness and grow your  leads and sales. Many customers are now utilising social media as a customer service and support tool as well.

Some businesses are able to commit the kind of time and resources it takes to successfully manage their own social media channels and some aren’t.  This is where outsourcing comes into play.

The truth is that no one should run your social media marketing better than you can. That’s because you know your business inside and out and you know your customer best. But the question you should ask yourself is – can you? According to some estimates, a medium-sized company, managing a single social platform could take roughly 30 hours a month.

If you’re going back and forth on whether to outsource your social media management, ask yourself the following questions first.

How much time do I have to devote to social media?

Time is the #1 reason businesses outsource their social media. It’s not just about devoting time to writing and scheduling posts, you also have to:

  • Respond to enquiries
  • Track brand mentions
  • Track engagement rates and forming insights for growth and improvement

It’s important to post consistently and be reliable on social media, so make sure whichever management option you go with is reliable.

Do you have the expertise?

To be engaging on social is truly an art form. It takes technical savviness, creative copywriting, a keen eye for imagery and design and great timing.

Social media is more than just promoting your business online, it’s storytelling. What you say on social will have mere milliseconds to capture the attention of your audience. A logo and a pretty coupon for 20% off just won’t cut it. It takes some creativity.

If you have the time, there are tons of resources to teach you how to connect with your audience virtually and a ton of courses you can take to gain the technical and non-technical skills necessary to be successful on social.

If you just really don’t have the time, energy or creativity for it, then don’t do it. Work with an expert instead.

HOWEVER, you have to keep in mind that social media takes a village. It’s not something you can outsource completely. You and your team still need to communicate with your social media manager about your business objectives and priorities. It also helps to share fun photos, expertise or customer stories as much as possible.

Do I have the technical expertise?

From Facebook to Instagram to LinkedIn to Pinterest, every social media platform is different and requires specific knowledge to use effectively.

Moreover, if you want to run paid social advertising campaigns, your social media manager will need advanced knowledge of each individual advertising platform. There are entire books written just about the Facebook advertising platform for example. It can get complicated.

So, it’s important to find an in-house manager that is well-versed in the social platforms you use or when you outsource, ensure your manager has vast experience on each channel.

Do I have content or do I need content?

In reality, your social content is only going to be as good as the content your business is producing. Copywriting skills are immensely important when you hire a social media manager, too. Perhaps the most important.

A bad headline can make or break a campaign. You have to get the attention of your fans/followers, get them to click, like or engage with your post in a very short amount of time with a limited number of character. If your social media manager sucks at writing, you’re not going to get very far.

Whether your social media manager is outsourced or in-house, make sure their writing skills are up to scratch and they have they can write in a language, tone and conversational style that your customers will connect with.

Is it worth the cost?

Hiring a qualified in-house social media manager can cost $40k-$80k per year, according to SEEK. They will likely have a degree and/or years of experience, and will be embedded in your business and team.

There are benefits to having someone fully engaged with your customers and building your loyal followers. However, hiring someone full-time might not be right for your business or your budget.

Agencies offer monthly rates for social media management, which can vary from $500 to $15,000 per month depending on the needs and size of the business.

If you do decide to outsource social media management to a freelancer or agency, not only are you guaranteed a professional who knows the ins and outs of social media, but the cost is more flexible as you can decide how many hours are needed each month.

If you are interested in receiving a quote from Method+Marketing for social media management, talk to us about your business needs.