Last week, I ran a blog on different considerations when hiring or outsourcing your social media program. Here’s the follow-up review of the pros and cons for each! Like most important strategic decisions, there are pros and cons to retaining and outsourcing the management of your social media program. Here are several to consider:
1) Social Media expertise: Unless you’re the part- or full-time social media manager for your organization, you’re likely not as up-to-date on today’s trends as you need to be. Many universities now offer certificates or even degrees in social media – often completed online. This might be an opportunity to further your education; conversely you may choose to outsource your social media activities to a professional whose livelihood depends on remaining current in this ever-changing area.
2) Innovation: Change, especially in social media, happens daily. Consultants should be familiar with successful social media initiatives and can bring a fresh perspective to your program. These professionals can breathe new life into a tired or underdeveloped program: for a price.
3) Brand control: By continuing to manage your social media activities in-house, you’ll retain full brand control where the price becomes the time and effort you invest. Partnering with a third party typically involves at least some loss of control as you hand over the reigns to a professional who will handle these tasks for you.
4) Evaluating results: I have served as the social media manager for several different groups for over three years. As a meeting planner, my social media-related responsibilities weren’t always at the top of my to-do list. Measuring and evaluating the results of our social media campaigns often regrettably falls to the bottom of the priority list. A consultant can deliver these results and analyses to you.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to deciding on whether to retain or outsource your social media program. What may be right for your company may not be the right fit for the next. If your organization’s in-house social media program is small, yet well established and fairly well routinized, it likely makes sense to keep the program in-house. Budget constraints may also help you to arrive at this same decision.
If your program has stagnated or you don’t have staff to support it, outsourcing is definitely worth a look. Social media experts are current on the trends and strategies that you probably don’t have time to study much less implement. Seeking a third-party evaluation of your current program may well be a good idea either way. Your consultant may present you with some fresh ideas, perspective and strategies that you hadn’t previously considered.
See you next week!