Social media is much like any other creative industry – everyone has a cousin who is a photographer, graphic designer, cake maker OR social media expert.  We often hear “my niece/nephew/cousin/puppy with thumbs –  lives on social media and offered to do it for free”.  Not to argue that your free contact can’t handle your social, they likely can to a point.  As an agency we certainly believe in helping clients be the best version of themselves.  We like the idea of relieving you of the tasks we are good at so you can do the ones you are good at.  With that said, sometimes it makes sense to evaluate a company to see where they are with their social media.  Sometimes they have all the capabilities to do it themselves and other times they need a little or a lot of help.  Here are some very real Pro’s and Con’s to consider when looking at your social media options.

In House Social Media

Keeping social media in house has lots of advantages and a handful of disadvantages too.  The important thing when thinking about the pro’s and con’s with this option is to recognize that many of the strengths can also be weaknesses. For example – having an industry perspective is fantastic and also if you aren’t careful really detrimental to content.

Pro’s:

  • It’s your business and your voice – you know you better than anyone so how can anyone do it as good as you?

  • Shared workload – share the posting tasks with employees takes the pressure off of one person handling it all

  • Specific industry knowledge and insight – an agency might take a little while to understand the culture of a business keeping it in house means there isn’t a “getting to know you” period.

  • Little or no cost – Hiring an agency has a cost that you just don’t incur .

Con’s

  • Without a schedule – does it get done? – Sometimes it does and sometimes…not so much.

  • Inconsistent voice – Sometimes you’re busy, like really really busy and that is when your social media becomes the last thing on the list.  That might not seem like a bad thing if you are already busy, however it leaves your current clients feeling like you don’t have a consistent voice.

  • Mistakes and lack of objectivity – Sure mistakes happen with anyone but are you only posting from your perspective?

  • Lack of knowledge – Do you know your analytics?  The best posting times and how to continue to develop fresh and engaging content?  You could find out some of it on the google machine but now you aren’t doing other things you are good at.

Outsourced Social Media

A good social media program with an agency is flexible and must be a perfect fit in order to truly be worth it.  The lines of communication have to be open and responsive on both ends of the client agency relationship otherwise one person isn’t happy and the other person can’t do their job right.  It is the responsibility of the agency to educate and walk a business down the path of success and it is the responsibility of the business to trust the agency.  If there isn’t trust it makes for an unsuccessful relationship.

Pro’s:

  • Up to Date – on everything!  Posts, technologies, trends. It is off your plate and magically taken care of.

  • Timing – It is an agencies job to be timely and on point.

  • A Social Media Agency is making you More Money – We are here to bring you a return on your investment and the proof is in the pudding, we mean analytics.

  • We are Nerd – Do you know about Hootsuite, Salesforce, Radian6, Google+, Insight and Pagemodo are? We do!

Con’s:

  • Cost – Agencies are more expensive than not using an agency.  Things cost money and the world goes round.  The real question is do you have a budget and what would you pay to not do things your aren’t good at.

  • Getting to Know you period – As mentioned above, an agency needs a warm up period to learn about your business.

  • Too much control – If the agency takes care of everything you can be left in the dark if you part ways and find yourself confused about how to catch up and take over the same schedule.

Is there an In-between option?

You bet there is!  Sometimes a business can feel like they have a good grip on the in and outs of social media.  While they may already have their accounts set up, a grasp on timely posts and  and a voice that represents the business –  they might fall short on fresh ideas and up to date changes in the newest emerging trends and technologies.  It might make sense to hire an agency monthly or quarterly to consult with you as a business, throw ideas around and get the creative juices going so you are armed with new content and a plan.  This “in-between” option can help a business keep the cost of outsourcing down while still keeping control on the actual content in house.  Essentially this can be the most ideal option for a business that has enough time on their hands to do a good job with their social .

Pro’s:

  • Lower cost than outsourcing all social media

  • Control on content/voice of business – It is a collaboration from the professionals all around

  • Stay up to date – Know the all of the latest trends in the Social media world without having to do the research on your own and comb the internet.

  • Fresh perspective on how best to promote a business or product

Con’s:

  • Business isn’t being honest with time allocation for social media – resulting in a waste of funds for consulting

  • Incorrect implementation – The agency sat down with you and it sounded great! – The goal now is to translate that brilliant collaboration session into a post and maybe a little or a lot is lost in translation.

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