Social Media Management: Outsource or Hire?
August 17, 2021
When it comes to handing your business’s social media management over to a professional, how do you know which option is better for you—outsourcing to an agency or hiring in house?
Making the right decision will depend on a few key areas that will be unique to every business.
Key Area ONE // LEVEL OF SUPPORT
Outsourcing—you’ll have a set amount of time for strategy sessions and office hours. There will be deadlines for content changes and your account will have set community management hours. If event coverage is a need, you will likely pay additionally for this type of service.
In-house hire—you will be fully in control of their time. Account management hours will be set by you and you’ll have more flexibility for things like last minute content changes. If event coverage is a need, you can work that into your hire’s schedule.
Key Area TWO // LEVEL OF EXPERTISE
Outsourcing—when working with an agency you will be getting expert-level work in all areas involved in social media management. Most agencies will have strategists, community managers, graphic designers, copywriters, photographers, and videographers, on staff or contracted, to handle every area of your account management.
In-house—when hiring a person for this role you may find yourself with someone who is strong in one or two of those areas, but not in the others. If you are looking for expert level-work in all areas you may still find yourself outsourcing or hiring an additional position for some tasks such as graphic design, photography, and videography. Please do not expect a single person to possess all these skills as many employers do when hiring for social media positions. They are all very different skill sets and they don’t all fall into the category of social media management.
Key Area THREE // YOUR BUDGET
Outsourcing—agency services can vary greatly depending on the agency and the scope of the work involved. The larger the scope and the more platforms you want managed, the higher the investment you can expect to make. You can also expect to pay more when working with a larger agency. Because of all these variables, it’s difficult to provide an estimate. However, you can anticipate basic services for one platform to start around $1000 to $1,500 per month when working with a small agency. Outsourcing gives you control over the amount you spend by increasing deliverables based on the season and goals of your business.
In-house—you’ll have to budget for the position’s base salary and benefits. This can vary greatly depending on the level of the position you’re seeking to fill, the market value, and your location. You’ll also have to factor in expenses for tools you will have to provide them with such as hardware, software, etc. You will not have much flexibility to increase or decrease the allotted budget based on the seasonality of your business.
Your brand’s social media presence and strategy are key components to your marketing strategy. Choosing the right person, team, or agency to take it on is a decision that deserves time and evaluation. You should meet with a few agency owners and conduct thorough market research to determine which option suits you best based on the three key areas discussed above. You may even find that a combination of the two is your optimal solution.