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In-house vs. Outsourced Social Media

In Marketing, Social Media by Esther Anderson

By now I shouldn’t have to convince you of the need for your business to be engaging on social media, but in case you forgot the reasons or just aren’t sure if your business needs social media, check out our previous post.

First, let’s define terms. What is in-house vs. outsourced social media (SM) management? In-house SM management is when you or one of your staff members who is on site, takes photos, makes videos, writes articles, and generally works hard to manage your company’s social media accounts from within the company.

Outsourced SM management is when a company hires a social media firm or an out-of-office part-time worker to handle social media. They don’t work at your business, if they ever step foot in your business. They haven’t met your customers, and they don’t have intimate knowledge of how your business works.

We get it: It would be nice to pass off all those pesky posts to someone else to focus on the part of your business that you care the most about.

Here are the major reasons we think it’s important to have an in-house employee trained so that your business can have in-house SM versus outsourced SM.

Here are the top three reasons outsourced social media management doesn’t work:

  1. Inconsistent Content

An outsourced SM manager sounds easy, but it also drastically decreases the quality of your SM accounts. The point of SM is to let your customers see inside your business and to build brand trust. Now imagine if someone who doesn’t know your company, doesn’t know all of your company values, and who doesn’t know the minute details of the way your business works tried to run your business social media? That could get awkward right? Your content will be inconsistent and might miss important business messaging.

  1. Bad Content

Where is the outsourced SM manager going to get pictures? Where are they going to film? If you hire that kind of social media manager who is willing to actually go onsite and take photos and video content, then you’re looking at about a $1,500 a month contract, just starting out as a base price. Additionally, even if they come in once a week for photos and content gathering, they are still going to miss a ton of solid gold content. If you’re outsourcing your SM management, you’re still going to have to gather content to send to your manager, which is more than half of content creation. They will miss company parties, exciting behind the scene photos and stories, because they won’t be at work all day every day, like an actual employee.

  1. More Expensive Bad Content

If you paid for one of your employees or yourself to be properly trained on different social media platforms, it would just be a slight reallocation of your employees time and tasks for the same price of what you’re already paying them. Hiring an outsider usually costs anywhere from $50-$200 an hour, which really adds up depending on how comprehensive of a social strategy your business has.  It’s sort of like the old adage, Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish, he can eat for a lifetime. The same principle holds for social media. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll spend less money in the long term if you or an employee spend a few minutes or an hour a day working on and following through your social media strategy. You’ll be able to post more frequently, instead of paying someone too much money to create and post mediocre content once a week.

Those are the top three reasons we are in favor of well-trained in-house SM management for businesses. You will have better, more timely, more brand consistent content posted more frequently, for a fraction of the cost of outsourced content.