If your organization is looking at diving into social media for the first time (or is ready to expand it social media efforts) you’re probably wondering: Is this something we should do ourselves, or should we hire someone to do it for us?
Ideally, you want the best of both worlds.
Social media requires an internal commitment from your organization. A social media strategy simply won’t be sustainable if you aren’t investing time and resources from within. You can’t have everything handled by a third party. People want to interact with real people at your organization, and the authenticity and immediacy of that experience is essential. In fact, for social media to work, you need a social media point person – someone who will lead your efforts and who has the authority to make social media an organization priority.
At the same time, there are many good reasons to supplement your efforts by outsourcing some of the work – from set-up and design, to ongoing technical assistance and content creation. Above all else, it’s very easy for social media to take a back burner if you try to handle it all internally. For that reason alone, securing outside help is a good idea. If you’re paying someone to do the work, then the work will get done, not languish at the bottom of someone’s to-do list.
In addition to just getting things done, there are a number of other benefits that make social media outsourcing a good idea – regardless of the size of your organization or the scope of your social media plan.
- Speed: If you are new to social media – or ready to embark on a broader social media strategy – outsourcing can get things up and running quickly.
- Training: An outside team can teach you how to do things, set up workable systems and schedules, and then transition some duties back to your internal team over time if that makes sense for your organization.
- Reach: You will have access to the outsourced team’s existing networks, which can help your social networks grow bigger – and faster.
- Experience: You’ll also benefit from your outsourced team’s experience with other clients. This will allow you to avoid pitfalls and learn about options and alternatives.
- Synergy: An experienced team will be able to create integrated system of social media tools and channels, rather than a loose patchwork, allowing you to maximize your social media “nodes” for greater impact.
- Branding: You want to select a partner with marketing and design capabilities in addition to social media know-how. The right team will make sure that everything you do supports your overall marketing strategy, including branding and identity.
- Strategy: An outside social media team can help you develop a strategy and keep you focused on achieving long-term goals.
How much of the work you will want to send out-of-house (and how much of it will need to stay out-of-house over time) will depend on several factors, including your staff’s knowledge and familiarity with social media, how much time your staff can spend each week creating content and tending to your social networks, and the overall size and complexity of your social media plan.