Social media is becoming increasingly more important for business. In addition to being a branding and relationship building tool, a social media presence now contributes towards your search engine ranking. Google and Bing have both confirmed that “social signals” are factors in the ranking algorithms. While some companies have fully embraced social media, others have remained hesitant, until now. Social media can no longer be called a fad. Social media is a powerful tool that’s here to stay. It will continue to evolve but the premise will remain the same. Now that companies have accepted that they need to get involved, the next step is to think about how they want to get involved. Should they handle it in-house or outsource? The right decision depends on the company and the resources that they have.
Here are some pros and cons to consider:
The PROS of Outsourcing Social Media
1. Saves Time
Social media takes time to do well, and many companies simply don’t have it. This is especially true for small business owners. Outsourcing allows employees to focus on other business matters to keep things running smoothly.
Social media is a form of content marketing. In order to stand out from the crowd, it takes some creativity. Some people just don’t have that kind of “vision,” so sometimes it’s smart to hire someone that can lead you in the right direction.
If a company doesn’t have any social media knowledge and doesn’t know what a social media strategy should look like, it’s a good idea to seek some outside help. A consultant can provide guidance, but there is no guarantee that the knowledge will be retained or the strategies will be carried out properly by amateurs. There are experts to hire that “get” it.
The CONS of Outsourcing Social Media
There is a common misconception that social media is free. While it may be free to set up a profile, it takes a lot of time and effort to do social media marketing well. Time is a cost. There are social media gurus out there that know how to get results, but they certainly won’t do it for free.
2. Lack of Industry Experience
Social media agencies have many clients. This means that while they can take some time to learn about their clients’ business, they will never learn all of the ins and outs. This could cause problems for a business that is extremely niche or specialized. An outsourced social media professional will never understand all of the industry jargon.
3. Lack of Authenticity
Social media is about being social and making connections with other people. Users that follow or “like” a company in social media think that they are connected to the company, or at least someone at the company. They would feel misled if they found out that instead of communicating with so and so from HR or marketing at their favorite retail store, they are actually communicating with so and so at X social media agency.
There is really no right or wrong answer as to whether or not social media should be outsourced. In social media, what works for one company will not necessarily work for another company. It’s also possible to have only some aspects of social media outsourced. For example, industry knowledge isn’t needed to bookmark articles or share blog content. It really comes down to what makes the most sense for the individual company.