Not that long ago, managing a company’s social media presence was a one-person job. What’s so hard about updating Facebook and Twitter a few times a day, right? But then, something strange happened. Social media started to take over the marketing landscape, rapidly becoming the primary way in which companies connected with their customers. It’s no longer a one-person job at most mid-size or larger companies. In fact, many companies are even outsourcing the job to dedicated social media marketing services.
As with any other business expenditure, it’s essential that you understand what you’re paying for when considering a contract with a social media management firm. Why hire an outside firm to “build brand awareness” and “build relationships” if, in practice, this means paying $100/hour to have a $15/hour worker post semi-relevant stock images and a product page link to your Instagram feed? Until you know the specifics, and agree on clearly defined metrics, don’t sign that contract.
The real value provided by most social media marketing services is time. For a small marketing team tasked with representing a company across multiple social platforms, time is everything. To illustrate this point, consider how many hours would it take your in-house marketing team to manage the following activities:
- Create fresh, engaging, and on-brand content for multiple social media platforms.
- Developing traditional and retargeting campaigns for your company’s key audiences, continually testing and refining results.
- Respond to comments on posts, reply to direct messages, and track relevant brand/company mentions.
- Identify and connect with key influencers in your industry, steadily building these high-value relationships.
- Engage in social listening, tracking customer sentiment about your brand and marketing.
- Track the performance of the competition, noticing and responding to any changes to their marketing strategy.
- Collecting, analyzing, and reporting on essential social media marketing data, from increases in audience engagement to post-specific spikes in conversion rates.
That’s a lot of activities to stay on top of, and most in-house teams would be stretched to their limits trying to keep up. Clearly, it makes sense to hire this time-intensive work out to social media marketing specialists. Right? Not so fast.
When paying for social media marketing services for your business, it’s important to keep all the available options in mind. You could hire an outside firm to handle all of these little headaches, buying back more time for your in-house marketing team, but there’s a hidden cost you might not have considered. When you contract your social media marketing, you’re also handing over control of your branding and messaging.
If something goes wrong — a badly worded tweet goes viral for all the wrong reasons, for instance — it’s your company’s reputation that will take the hit. Even the best agencies will struggle to have the insight into your products, services, company culture, and customers that your in-house team has. Sincerity matters on social media, and it’s hard to contract that out.
So what’s the alternative? Why not give your in-house marketing team the tools they need to deliver the same results as the best social media marketing services? By leveraging cloud-based, AI-driven tools, a small marketing team — or even a single marketer — can achieve exceptional results. These powerful software solutions can also dramatically reduce costs, resulting in visible improvements in ROI.
Social media marketing services can deliver a lot of value, bringing creativity and fresh ideas that in-house teams often struggle to find in the day to day grind, but that doesn’t mean they are the right solution for every company’s needs. Before hiring out your company’s social media presence, why not test drive a proven social media marketing solution that keeps everything under one roof?
Find out how Sysomos tools can help your in-house marketing team manage social media more effectively. Get a demonstration today.