So, you’ve got to the point where you need to make a serious commitment to your social media marketing. You’ve dabbled with it over the past few months and you’re really starting to see its value. But you haven’t quite got the resource to invest in it full time. Question now is, do you hire an in-house social media guru or approach an agency who have a specialised and dedicated team of social media experts? And if it’s the latter, are you asking them to manage all of your social media or are you approaching them to come and train your team?
Whatever you choose there’s bound to be pros and cons; after all, everyone’s business is different. But, whatever your business background, you’ll likely take into consideration three vital factors when making your choice: cost, expertise and results.
An in-house employee is going to cost you an annual salary (obviously!) as well as any other benefits such as annual leave allowance, pensions, bonuses, medical, etc. Then there’s the cost of equipment, software, training, marketing tools and application licenses. You also need to remember the cost of staff turnover. As much as we’d all love to hire for a position just the once, the chances of that coming to fruition are pretty low.
Hiring an agency to manage your social strategy or to provide social media training will almost always get you ‘bang for your buck’. Think about it, an agency employs people who specialise in different marketing disciplines. These people live and breathe their speciality, have access to a lot of tools that the everyday employee doesn’t and are incredibly focused on driving results.
Anyone you employ in-house will be in the business, living and breathing it every day just like you. They’ll know all the ins and outs. Whoever you hire may be an all-rounder rather a specialist, which means they can lend a hand in other areas of your marketing as and when required. Winner!
When it comes to agencies, you hire them to take care of your social strategy, social media management or to whip your existing team into social media whizzes. Are you getting one expert? Nope, you’re getting a team of them. Yes, there’ll be one person managing it but the great thing about agency colleagues is that they’re all experts in their field. You don’t just get one person’s expertise, you get several.
Of course, your employee may have eight years’ experience, just like Jack does at the agency, but then the agency also has Jill, who has seven years’ experience, and Bob who has four, etc. You’ll probably find it an uphill struggle to find an employee with all the necessary skills to execute every aspect of your strategy. But an agency has all the skills collectively and can either execute your strategy for you or deliver an in-depth training session for your team.
The trainer can advise you on how to pull an effective strategy together, create engaging content and analyse the statistics. Once you’ve had the training session, you’ll be left with several members of the team that have the knowledge on how to manage your social media channels. You may even find that your employees may choose to specialise in a discipline or channel of social media marketing. This means you’ll be working towards having a multi-skilled social media marketing team.
The driving force for anyone creating a campaign is the need for results. These don’t just have to be monetary; you might be looking for higher engagement levels or leads. But, whatever the end goal is, you’re going to want to see ROI.
When comparing an agency to an in-house social media manager, the agency will usually be more results-driven. Why? Because an agency has a reputation to uphold. They don’t want to risk running a mediocre campaign with okayish results. Successful, results-oriented campaigns keep agencies’ reputations in tact – or grows them further – so that they can attract repeat business and new clients.
An agency’s invaluable all-round knowledge and experience also means they’re best placed to tweak a campaign and maximise ROI. After all, an agency wants to provide effective social media management and solutions and you want to successfully grow an area of your business – a goal-alignment match made in heaven.
So, employee, agency or trainer? Well, it will depend on your resources, the abilities of your existing staff and, of course, what the agency can bring to the table. The decision, of course, is yours!
Get in touch to see how we can help with your social media needs, be it management, strategy, content creation or training.