Should I outsource my business's social media marketing?
Wednesday 30 January 2013
Social Media marketing has become a must in recent years for any business. If you are a start-up, trying to get your name 'out there', it is vital in terms of promotion of your service.
For larger companies it is equally important as a tool for building relationships with your audience, and for the no-holds-barred customer feedback that you receive.
The fact of the matter is that those who do not engage in a comprehensive social media strategy, are not maximising their web presence.
But The question that many business owners then face, is whether to get their social media managed from within the company, or whether to outsource it to a specialist company.
The advantages of keeping it in-house is that there is no immediate cost to consider, if the work is being done by a current employee - this sometimes makes it a good way to 'test the water', to see if there is potential for great success with greater integrations.
They will have a good knowledge of how the company wants to be portrayed publicly, a brand identity, that will transmit seamlessly to their audience.
Lastly, they will also have the benefit as a company of being able to more quickly implement any changes - a quick tweet does not have to be checked over with the social media company in order to ensure it does not cross-over an ongoing discussion.
But there are also strong reasons why outsourcing may be better.
The issue of it being cheaper to assign social media work to a current employer can be counterproductive, and without wanting to get all 'Business Studies seminar' with you, the opportunity cost (the cost of doing this compared to the alternative) is worth considering.
Often with smaller businesses a worker who is not experienced or particularly inclined to social media, is put in charge of a company's campaign, with predictable results.
The social media is not managed fully and consistently, and so provides few results. In addition, the employee has spent many hours working on this as opposed to the job they were initially employed for, meaning the business suffers an overall fall in productivity.
Social Media marketing companies will have a set strategy, flexible in it's execution, but with solid fundamentals that may not be clear to an in-house employee. The experience of being able to properly engage with an audience, to gather replies and interest, is vital, and is often ignored by small businesses.
Finally, companies like ours, at Different League Media, also have copywriting staff on-hand to write the kind of engaging blog content which is necessary in order to get noticed on social media, meaning the business would not have to dedicate another member of staff to providing the blog content.
This content is a key factor in social media marketing, and although it is sometimes acceptable to ask for blog entries from various members of staff without infringing too much on their productivity, media companies have the upper-hand in this area.
In conclusion, it probably depends on each individual case as to whether a business should outsource their social media campaigns - the best of both world's is having enough cash in the company to employ a dedicated and experienced social media marketing employee, able to work full-time in an area they know as well as the agency. But for smaller businesses who cannot afford this luxury, outsourcing is often the most cost-effective option.