The pros and cons of outsourcing your social media management have been the topic of debate for a number of years, and there are valid arguments to be made for both sides. On the one hand, nobody knows your business like you do and if your social media is handled by an outside manager or agency you may lose some authenticity, but on the other hand, it could end up saving you a lot of time and money.

As a business owner, you can’t do everything yourself. Social media is part of a much larger marketing machine demanding constant attention. You need to decide how to make the best use of your time to continually drive new business, and often this is not maintaining social media, although effectively managed social media channels can have a real benefit to your bottom line. In the end, countless times over, the argument for outsourcing social media management wins.  Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing social media management that should be considered before making your decision.

Advantages:

Freeing up in-house resources

Managing your social media pages is time-consuming and resource intensive. By outsourcing this you’re freeing up time for your team to focus on more pressing business objectives.

Expert knowledge

Agencies and marketers who take on the role of managing the social media presence and accompanying profiles for small businesses have valuable experience in developing and carrying out clear content strategies that are in line with your business goals. Sometimes it’s best to leave it to the experts!

This is especially true when it comes to paid social media advertising; those with the expertise will be able to deliver successful campaigns and give you the best return on your investment.

Reporting

Any social media manager worth their salt will provide their clients with monthly or quarterly reports which show key statistics against a pre-determined objective. This takes the laborious task of navigating complicated backend dashboards and compiling reports, off your hands.

Outside Perspective

It’s a common phenomenon – being so close to your business that you’re often seeing only half the picture. Often outside perspective from someone who understands the ins and outs of social media will ensure that your organization is showcased in the best possible light.

Disadvantages

Access to content

One of the biggest challenges in outsourcing your social media management is ensuring that the agency or marketer who is tasked with the job knows all latest happenings in your company and has the content and the material to do it well. Some of your time may be required to feed this information through. However, there are many workarounds to this, for example, the marketer could hot-desk at your office for half day per week to uncover new content and news, or you could delegate the management of a close working relationship to an administrator or marketing assistant within your organization.

Authenticity

An outside social media manager may not understand your industry inside and out and as such may not be able to produce content that is 100% sincere.  Be sure to educate your social media manager so that they can learn about your company and its brand, along with the industry in which you operate.

Response delays and mistakes

If a fan or follower asks a complicated question on your social media page and the outsourced social media manager doesn’t have the company knowledge to answer it right away, there will be an inevitable delay in responding while the answer is obtained from someone in your business; this can be ill-received in this day and age where people accustomed to receiving immediate results. Errors can also easily be made by outside parties who are new to the game through miscommunication of information, although this is less true of more experienced managers.  As your relationship with your social media manager grows, and they become familiar with your business and industry, you should expect delayed or inaccurate responses to reduce.  Alternatively, your social media manager should be equipped with a few standard responses to address your fan or followers query, and then to escalate the query so that it gets addressed timeously.

Cost

Outsourcing your social media management can be pricey as it’s a time-consuming job and expert knowledge doesn’t come cheap. However, there are plenty of agencies out there who are able to work on a solution in your budget and build a package that is mutually beneficial without breaking the bank, however with the constant changes to the algorithms, an agency on a tight budget cannot offer your business and brand the new and ongoing opportunities that are available on social media; therefore always consider the changing pace of social media technologies when it comes to allocating enough budget.

Over to you

Have you had any positive or negative experiences outsourcing your social media management?

If you’re looking for a knowledgeable and reliable social media management service please get in touch with us.

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