Social Media Strategy: Hire, Outsource, or DIY

Social media is now officially a business, and as such, a working social media strategy is as important as you can ever imagine. For many in this industry, social media has always been business since its inception but the lid was tightly put on it and the profits largely milked in private. You would have seen people claiming to be social media gurus, experts, strategists, and even marketers a few years ago in the tens, but today, they are now in the hundreds and tens of thousands.

So as companies, startups, huge corporations, and freelancers rush to get on social media and have a taste of the larger cake, one of the first questions people often ask is if they do it themselves, or if they should employ someone solely for the social media strategy or even outsource is to the so-called social media strategists you’ll find on online freelance marketplaces.

While it’s a good question, and an important one at that, as you can guess, the answer to that question is anything but simple.

So instead of taking you on a trip of each option, we will be presenting simple “pros and cons” analysis of each of the options.

I used to work for a social media strategy firm, so naturally, my bias will be towards outsourcing. But I will be trying as much as possible to gear this article towards being an informative piece and not just some sales pitch, so you’ll not just be getting my opinions, you’ll be getting the facts.

Do you hire a person or people to handle social media strategy exclusively for the company?

­­—Pros —

If you hire a person or team to handle your company’s social media strategy, you enjoy complete control of the message, branding, and promotions.

You also get a staff who is dedicated to your job, so the staff can stay focused on your projects and not on several client projects.

You also enjoy campaigns that are created around the employees themselves, so they are part of the process, they know they belong.

–Cons—

The expenses are often there. You search for, hire, train and pay any social media strategist(s) you have on your team.

You deal with everything and the stress that comes with employing someone. All the holiday and leaves and extra expenses that are expected to be part of the deal.

You might have to deal with a lack of experience, and this will cost you quite much.

Your chances of a bad press are heightened, as compared to a small team or agency that specializes in social media strategy, you might not have the time and money required to monitor all that’s going on online on all social media sites.

Do you outsource to a social media strategy firm

— Pros —

Social media strategy firms are often experts, so they know what they are doing. They have a lot of free resources, accounts, profiles, and contacts. They also have dedicated staff working around the clock on client campaigns and getting the buzz to the top.

Speaking of costs, it’s cheaper to outsource than to hire a person or a team in the long-term.

You just have to communicate your goals and monitor the results. That is not something you get when you hire a person exclusively for your social media strategy.

The social media world is ever-changing. These sites are regularly changing a lot of things, so what works today might stop working tomorrow, so having a company that’s always in the playing field has tremendous benefits.

— Cons —

One of the biggest cons is often hiring companies and individuals who don’t know shit about social media, not to mention social media strategy. So it’s often not easy to pick the dirt apart and find the best ones.

With your social media strategy outsourced to teams and individuals, you have no control over how things play out. They know what works, so trying to send them in a different direction is often really hard to do.

Should you do it yourself or have a current employee add it to the workload?

— Pros —

Cheap – all it takes is time

— Cons —

It takes an awful amount of time. So are you ready to make other important tasks suffer? Your choice.

Lack of experience also comes in. Say you have a lot of time on your hand to take online courses, read eBooks and how-to guides and blogs, do you know the qualifications of the teachers and sellers of these courses? Truth is that some work and some fail.

Since you have so many other things doing, the execution of your social media strategy is often poor. And poor execution of your social media strategy is worse than not having one at all.

So whatever it is you choose to do. Be flexible. When something isn’t working, it’s often best to kill it and move on to the next. This often includes even those you hire, outsource to or DIY.

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