Should you manage your social media presence internally or hire an outside consultant?

It’s the eternal client dilemma, especially at a time when social media plays an increasingly prominent role in B2C communications, from customer service to web content. Everyone knows that businesses need to be where their customers are.

Nowadays, people use social media to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues, which means a social media presence is non-negotiable! So, who should manage your social media—an internal employee or an outside consultant? Both options have their pros and cons, so ultimately, it comes down to preference. Read on for our take on this topic.

Managing social media internally: Greater flexibility

The main advantage of entrusting this task to an in-house employee is flexibility. Imagine that someone’s just been nominated for an award: the nominee will be able to react in real time and share the good news immediately on your platforms.

However, we often underestimate the skills and time commitment required for social media management. For your internal social media manager to be successful, they will need strong writing, graphic design and content creation skills to help your company stand out in a saturated content market. They’ll also need excellent organizational skills to keep their schedules in order.

If they’re pulling double duty with another role, they’ll need to have time blocks set aside strictly for social media management—if their schedule gets hectic, social media management will likely be the first thing to fall to the wayside.

Hiring an agency: A whole team at your disposal

When you hire an outside agency, you have a whole team behind you! It’s rare for a single employee to possess all the skills required to successfully manage a company’s social media presence. A team, on the other hand, offers the combined strengths of multiple people.

At Pratico, for example, our clients are supported by a project manager who has access to data for other brands, an editor, a graphic designer, photographers, videographers and a social marketing specialist. We often say that it’s like having another person on your team to offer you marketing advice.

That’s what they do; that’s what they’re there for! A team can work much more quickly and efficiently than a single person who, for example, has to reread their work 10 times to make sure there aren’t any typos in their posts. And don’t forget the importance of quality content: it’s representing your brand online, after all.

Knowledge sharing between team members (training, info on new features, data sharing, etc.) can also work in your favour. And lastly, a major asset: Agencies have a good understanding of what is being done by other brands and can recognize new trends. That data alone is worth its weight in gold!