To outsource, or not to outsource? That is the question frequently arising in management discussions regarding businesses’ Social Media Marketing Campaigns. And it’s a good question, as there are a number of different factors a business needs to consider when making this decision. There are pro’s and con’s to outsourcing any business operation. When deciding whether to outsource a function that directly impacts brand image and customer engagement, such as Social Media Marketing, it’s important not to make any rash decisions. Although each case is unique, we at Catalyst feel most businesses would benefit from outsourcing at least some aspects of their Social Media Marketing.
It appears industry trends agree with our thoughts. According to Social Media Examiner’s “2011 Social Media Marketing Report,” the number of businesses outsourcing Social Media has increased from 14% to 28% just in the last year. A likely cause of this increase is due to Social Media Marketing being taken much more seriously by business owners, mainly because it’s proving to be quite effective. For this reason, business owners want their campaign to be the best it can be and are turning to the experts in the field (Social Media Agencies) for guidance.
When evaluating if outsourcing social media marketing is the way to go for your business, consider the following:
Costs/Resources: An effective campaign often requires more time and resources than one may think. Many find that it’s more cost effective to outsource to an agency when compared to performing the work internally.
Urgency: If it’s important for your company to get its campaign off the ground as soon as possible, the right agency may be able to accomplish this faster than internal staff.
Training: Although simple in concept, there is more to successful Social Media Marketing than meets the eye. If you would like to perform the work in-house, a great idea is to hire an agency to get your campaign up and running first. The agency will teach you the tricks of the trade, and over time they can be phased out if you’d prefer to utilize your own employees to manage the campaign instead.
Strategy: With all of the Social Media tools out there today, unless a company has an in-house expert, it will not know how to effectively use them all. A good agency will be able to select which tools make the most sense for your business and determine how they will be used with one another and to what extent.
Return On Investment: It can be next to impossible for a business owner that is inexperienced with Social Media to calculate a return on investment. An agency will have analytical procedures and tools that will tell a business owner if their resources put towards Social Media Marketing are effective and worth the time/costs.
It’s becoming apparent that if your company doesn’t have a well-run, effective Social Media Marketing Campaign, it is most likely losing business to your competitor that does. Each business’s objectives and resources are different, so your business should put the time into evaluating insourcing vs. outsourcing. If your business decides to outsource, Catalyst recommends using an agency that solely performs Social Media Marketing. These agencies are the most specialized in this area of marketing and are often the most qualified to handle your needs.