Deciding to start using social media marketing is an easy call, but knowing how to get the best results is a very different story. There are benefits to either of the best two options: going full in-house, or choosing an outside team, like a social media marketing agency, local to you to do it for you. Here are some thoughts that will help you make the best choice.
The costs involved
Hiring a social media manager can be rather expensive. You can expect to pay somewhere above $51,000 for a full-time in-house manager. On top of that, there is the matter of insurance, training, time to get familiar with the company and more. Then there is the matter of letting them take a vacation and having to find a replacement during that time.
When you hire a social media company to handle it for you, you can figure that it will cost about $17,000 or so. This is about one-third of the cost, and you don't need to worry about vacations because someone will be there 24/7 - plus, you save the cost of health insurance.
If one of your employees or a new hire handles your social media, you are limited to the experience and training they bring with them. Your company's brand or marketing efforts will come up short if an employee is inexperienced in some areas. If they do not stay on top of the latest tactics and trends, the same thing happens and your competitors will get ahead.
Hiring an agency is different story. Their team members will already be experienced, because the company is looking for the best in the field of social media and only social media. Your company's social media marketing strategy would also benefit from the skills, experience and latest knowledge of a whole team, rather than one employee.
Focus of attention
An in-house marketing manager may have other tasks that they must perform in addition to their social media marketing. When one of the other tasks is demanding, then the marketing efforts will suffer from the lack of attention.
An agency will always have someone available who can perform the tasks and give their attention to it. Their full focus is on marketing and providing social media materials, even on a 24/7 basis.
Employee turnover can be destructive
If your social media campaigns depend solely on one person, then there is a strong potential for disruption sooner or later. He or she may take a vacation, leave the company or become ill. In each instance, your marketing program won't be sustaining the long-term continuous energy required to make it successful.
In an agency, someone else takes over when one person is absent, sick, or goes on vacation. This ensures that your marketing gets posted or answered quickly.
Keeping a job vs. being success-oriented
An employee in a company is often incentivized to make sure that they do enough to keep their job, and no more. Without specific social media incentives, there's no guarantee that they will do their best or use best practices, and no one else may know the difference.
When you hire an agency, however, they know very well that if they do not perform according to expectations that you will find someone else - meaning you can expect better results. They will also study the latest trends and best practices in order to keep ahead of the competition - and help you keep ahead of yours, too.
Keeping up with the latest social developments
An employee hired for other reasons will have other important tasks laid out for them by their employer. This often does not leave time to follow new developments in social media marketing. When an employee goes home, they are generally completely off the clock.
In a marketing agency, it is the employee's job to stay on top of new developments, including learning about new social media platforms. Because full-time social media experts tend to geek out about the subject, you can be sure that they will be researching some of these things in their off hours - whether they get paid for it or not. Most likely, they have been studying social media and how to use it for many years. You can also be sure that the agency will be keeping an eye on your competitors to know what they are doing in the way of marketing.
Performance of tasks
In-house employees may not have experience with all forms of social media marketing or have the time for it. Although they may be good on Facebook or Twitter, and other popular platforms, are they also good at creating videos, blog posts, slide decks and infographics, as well as knowledgeable about design, copywriting and more?
When you hire an agency, you are usually getting not only experience but also a wide range of talent. If one person cannot handle the tasks needed, another person on the team can help, or may even specialize in those other tasks. This can enable an agency to get things done faster and better. A team may also be able to get ahead of schedule and have materials ready for a week, or even a month ahead of time. It can do this because there is more than one person involved.
Depending on your social media marketing needs and your budget, you can determine which avenue you want to take. You certainly will get more talent and a greater likelihood of success with an agency than you would with an individual. With an agency, you can also be sure that someone will be there to carry on your daily marketing needs, even when sickness strikes. A good agency will take the time to understand what you are looking for in terms of success and will seek to deliver it.