Having an effective social media strategy can take your business to the next level. It helps legitimize your business, reach potential customers and promote your brand. While every business should be on at least one social media platform, social media can sometimes be overwhelming.
It can be hard to keep up with the never-ending updates and new features. If you find yourself frustrated with the lack of progress you've made online, you might want to consider outsourcing your social media. Business News Daily talked to social media experts, and here's what you need to know before outsourcing your social media.
When should you outsource social media?
Not every business needs to outsource their social media. With the right social media tools and enough time, business owners can learn how to make social media work for their business. But, sometimes businesses don't have enough time or knowledge to reach their social goals.
"The best time to outsource is when you have specific goals to reach, and you can't maintain the type of social media presence you want on your own," said Taylor Kincaid, social media director at Online Optimism. "Social media is truly a full-time job, especially if you are cultivating an engaged community."
Find a social media manager you trust
It's vital you find a social media manager you trust. What's said on your social media accounts should reflect well on your brand. If something negative or off-brand is posted, it could damage your business's reputation.
"One of the main concerns business owners have is trusting an outside party with the voice and image of their business or brand," Kincaid said. "Think very hard about the onboarding process, whether you're working with an agency or an individual."
Kincaid said at Online Optimism they take their time onboarding clients to ensure the social media team can speak as the business owner or marketing manager would. She also recommends finding more of a partner rather than a temporary manager. You can build a relationship with someone you trust and who comes to better understand your business and its needs.
Rachael Samuels, manager, social media at Sprout Social, suggests taking the same steps you would if you were to hire someone in-house. "It's about finding someone with the right experience to help you achieve your goals," she said. "It's important to find someone who understands the audience and messaging of your business, as well as the goals behind the product or services your business is offering."
What to expect when you hire a social media agency
When you first hire an agency, you should expect some bumps in the road and to communicate with them regularly to relay goals and expectations.
"Expect a learning curve at the beginning as you and an agency partner put together the scope of work, project plan and begin to share knowledge across teams," said Nick Verlaney, social media strategist at DEG Digital.
The amount you pay to outsource your social media is usually up to you and what you want done. "Typically, this number is determined based on internal ambition around strategic services, creative services and project management services," Verlaney said.
The pros and cons of outsourcing your social media
One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing your social media is that an agency typically has more experience and expertise than just one social media manager.
"When outsourcing social media efforts to an agency, businesses typically have access to a team with broader expertise," said Samuels. "Social media agencies have a breadth of knowledge of each social platform, and they know how to leverage each network for specific industries and businesses."
When you're working with an agency, more people are working together, which usually leads to better content. "Hiring an agency partner … can lead to outside-the-box thinking, top-notch creative content, specific points of view and proactive recommendations from channel experts," said Verlaney.
While there are many advantages to outsourcing social media, there are also a few drawbacks, including cost and time.
"Internal employees know their brand the best, Samuels said. "When outsourcing aspects of the business, like social media, it's important to understand that it will take some time to bring an outside team up to speed on existing business needs and messaging guidelines."
Verlaney explained that working with an agency may mean more back-and-forth communication. "Cost can also be a factor, depending on the internal team's budget," he said.