Thinking of outsourcing social media marketing activities to get a grip on ever-evolving platforms, algorithms, and audiences?
You’re not alone. SocialFresh says that only 57% of social marketers, at brands, are doing all their social advertising in-house.
And with most companies looking to ramp up efforts on social media this year, there’s more evidence that businesses may need to consider outsourcing social media marketing tasks.
A recent survey by American Express noted that:
“…four in ten business owners (43 percent) say they plan to increase their company’s focus on social media over the next year.”
Social media marketing is outsourced for a few reasons — let’s look at why and how and see if the benefits make sense for your business or team.
Outsourcing Social Media Marketing: The Why
We recently wrote a post on the future of outsourcing social media marketing and how hybrid teams are becoming more common.
In an effort to work smarter and not harder, companies are pushing internal teams to focus on what they’re good at and hiring outside for the skills that are missing.
This is especially true with social media marketing because:
- It’s expensive to hire top-tiered, experienced roles
- The tasks for social media roles are time-consuming
- Strategies and tactics change rapidly
- The skills needed are often considered “specialty skills” (like advertising or audience development)
Combine the above with lack of time, resources, or know-how and you can see how internal teams are overburdened with executing social media duties.
Outsourcing Social Media Marketing: The How
How do companies choose social media agencies to help achieve social media marketing success? Shopping, of course!
Outsourcing social media marketing to a well-qualified team takes a little homework.
We suggest the following six steps to find an agency that will fit your needs:
- Know thyself first. 1) WHY do you want to use social media? 2) WHAT problems are you trying to solve; WHAT goals are you trying to accomplish? 3) HOW do you define success (which leads to WHICH KPIs and metrics will measure success)? 4) WHO is responsible or in charge of social media internally? 5) HOW much are you willing to spend?
- ASK. From questions about their experience to their client base, to the skill-set of their team and core competencies, ensure your agency isn’t a jack of all trades and master of none. What platforms or abilities do they focus on? How is their team certified to professionally manage your work?
- Understand. What deliverables (reports, stats, etc.) will be provided and at what frequency?
- Obtain. Get recommendations from outside vendors or consultants, as well as past and current clients.
- Make sense of the scope of work, terms and conditions, and negotiate from there.
- Be curious. Ask questions and remain an active partner in the development and execution of your social media marketing strategy.
By doing your homework, asking questions, and checking references, you can drastically reduce the risk of hiring an agency and outsourcing social media marketing duties.
Outsourcing Social Media Marketing: The Benefits
Compared to hiring an employee (who requires payroll taxes, sick & vacation time, benefits, training, overhead costs, etc.) hiring an agency can be much more cost effective. With B Squared Media, and probably most other agencies, you’re getting a whole team of people rather than just one employee (who probably doesn’t work after hours, weekends or holidays).
Other costs to consider for savings are:
- Ad buying
2) TRIED-AND-TRUE SYSTEMS
The right social media marketing agency will have systems in place that can immediately improve efficiency.
A huge benefit to outsourcing social media marketing means your new partners have already researched the best processes and workflows for scalable results.
Here at B Squared, for instance, you don’t need to rely on vague indicators of success. Our system pulls from thousands of data points and relies on only the most useful metrics, allowing us to work with you to make pinpoint adjustments and always continue to improve.
3) TIME SAVED ( = MONEY EARNED)
The biggest pain point we hear is, “I don’t have the time.” And trust me when I say, social media strategies and executing related tactics is a full-time job.
Too many businesses spend huge amounts of time and money on social media without the assurance of results. When you outsource your social media efforts, it’s not your job to dabble and see what works; it’s the agency’s responsibility.
Your partner should not only figure out the most efficient strategies for performance, they should implement and manage those strategies for you.
Not to mention, as algorithms change (like Facebook’s latest blow to brands) and demand a new game plan, your internal team can focus on driving the business forward while your agency tests new workarounds.
4) SPECIALTY SKILL SETS
A social media manager needs an incredible amount of skills to be successful.
Some of those skills may be considered “special” skills, like:
- Audience development
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Advertising certifications (example: Google AdWords certified)
- Content curation
- Analytics & pattern recognition (beneficial for finding our clients’ “seesaw metrics“)
- Visual thinking
A good agency will have employees who possess these special skills. And again, you’re saving time by allowing the agency to implement their system for finding and hiring these skilled workers.Here are 4 BIG benefits of outsourcing your social media marketing tasks.Click To Tweet
Is Outsourcing Right For You?
Outsourcing social media marketing strategies and tactics can be a daunting decision for any company.
But if you do your homework and find the right fit, you can reap the benefits of putting your organization in expert hands.
Do you think outsourcing social media marketing tasks to an outside team is a good idea? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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