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Social Media Agency vs. In-House Social Media Manager

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Arguably your most powerful resource for business development, social media marketing is all too often left to the last minute or assigned to an intern who may have limited knowledge about your brand. Well-executed social media provides your business with a distinct voice and personality online, and this aspect of your marketing should not be handled arbitrarily. Below, I have listed the advantages of hiring a social media agency vs. an in-house social media manager.

Cost: Employees Cost Too Much

No matter the company, there comes a time when every CEO decides to take his (or her) product or service to the next level. For this example, we’ll call this CEO, Ben. Ben notices that all of his competitors are using social networks to engage with their fans and customers so he decides to finally join in. He hires a social media manager (named Max) to handle his company’s social marketing and pays him an annual salary of $60,000.

Now, it’s a known fact that hiring a full-time employee costs a lot more than it seems. There are payroll taxes, health benefits, equipment needs, office space, training, paid time-off. . . you see where I’m going with this?

Alternatively, what if Ben used his $60,000 budget to hire a social media agency. For starters, that agency won’t require health and other benefits that Ben would have to offer to Max (his social media manager). In addition, Ben can also be certain that his $60,000 annual budget will be stretched to encompass a full social media marketing campaign including: research, planning, strategy + execution and in most cases will include various services such as design, video production, public relations, social community management, short-term and long-term campaigns + promotions, social aggregation, analytics + reporting, and more.

People: Agencies Have More Brain Power

A successful social campaign includes design, video production, PR, strategy, and everything else I mentioned before. So, unless Max is superman himself, we can’t really be too certain that he will have all of the skill sets required to handle all aspects of the campaign. In most cases, Max is probably a very talented writer with strong communication and presentational skills. He’s a very organized person who loves planning and is very optimistic.

Still. . . unfortunately, he cannot do it all. I mean... “he’s not superman, you know!”

Hiring an agency, on the other hand, is like hiring a team of 10+ people for the price of one. Most agencies are made up of executives, designers + illustrators, strategists, copywriters, bloggers, social enthusiasts, PR representatives, web developers, even entrepreneurs; all of whom live their own lives and have their own experiences that they bring to the table. So when they’re all included in the social strategy meetings or the brainstorm session, Ben can rest assured that his campaign strategy will be looked at from every angle.

Oh. . . and what happens when Max is out on vacation (or worst, sick)? . . . We’ll tell you: questions aren’t answered, fans aren’t updated, campaigns aren’t being managed, and etc. But, as an agency, not only can someone else pick up where the other person left off, we have the tools and know-how to pre-plan/schedule posts when needed.

Having a great agency relationship is also beneficial for companies as they grow. The higher your marketing budget, the more capabilities the agency can provide for you.

Tactics: Agencies Breed Social Nerds

Did you know that there are a pair of headphones out there that you can use to listen to any conversation happening at anytime. If so, then did you know you can use those headphones to listen to the people who are talking about your company (both good and bad)? And if that isn’t enough, did you know that you can also use those headphones to listen to people that might potentially need your company?

That headphone, my friend, is a very cool tool/platform that we’ve all grown to know as Twitter.

Twitter has an amazing advanced search feature that agencies use to control and join conversations happening around their client’s brand. The agency can then engage with satisfied customers, not-so-happy customers, and curious potential customers in the most appropriate form.

Like I said: agencies breed social nerds.

Did you also know that a new social tool was launched by the time you began reading this article? The social world is always evolving.

Agencies make it their top priority to stay-up-to-date with and learn all about the new tools and tactics emerging in our social world; either from each other inside the agency or from outside sources. In other words, an agency will challenge themselves to evolve and modify social campaigns as new (& better) alternative tools and tactics appear on the scene.

Conclusion:

Hiring an agency to manage your social media efforts can be a great option for a lot of companies, just choose your agency wisely and make sure they are credible. Keep in mind that not all agencies are the same so it’s important to do thorough research before choosing to hire one.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on hiring an agency vs. in-house, feel free to comment below or tweet me @ChronicleXMedia.

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