Social Media Manager Laura Hall explores the things you need to consider when deciding if you should outsource your social media

The chances are that if you work in marketing, you have a very strong opinion about the use of agencies vs in-house team. In my experience, those opinions become all the more passionate when discussing who should be responsible for social media. In-house advocates will tell you that agencies are simply too far removed to be able to deliver the most effective social media strategy. Equally, agencies will point out their expertise and experience in social media, which can be hard for an in-house team to match. The fact is, there are poor social media agencies, just as there are ineffective in-house teams. So how do you decide whether to outsource or build an in-house team? Here are some things to consider when making the decision:

Budget

One accusation often levelled at agencies is that they are more expensive than in-house teams. The truth is not that simple. There are hidden costs associated with hiring an in-house team which must be taken into account. According to PayScale, the average wage for a social media manager is £26,870 per annum. Beyond this there are recruitment costs, administration costs, the cost of the office space, all the way down to the electricity they use, benefits packages and tax. Absences are also a cost to the business. There is also staff turnover to consider. Statistics show if an employee leaves, it costs on average 21% of that employee’s annual salary to replace them. This is a cost you do not have to worry about with agencies.

Expertise

A clear benefit of an in-house social media team is the opportunity for them to immerse themselves in the running of the company. This can be more challenging for agencies, who work with multiple clients and are by their very nature removed from the business. However it is also worth considering breadth of expertise. While an in-house team may know your business back to front, a good agency will have an in-depth knowledge of social media, gained from working with a variety of clients and operating for a number of years.

Communication

With an in-house team, there tend to be more direct lines of communication between the social media team and the rest of the business. You don’t have to chase anyone by email or leave voicemails; people can speak to each other directly to get things done. However, in our experience, if a team has trouble communicating with an agency there are usually two causes: they are working with a bad agency or they have communication issues. If the latter is the case, this will also affect any in-house teams too. Agencies will have experience of a variety of different client-agency relationships. This means they are ideally placed to identify any communication issues and ensure that processes run as smoothly 

So who to choose?

The team at Bravr has worked client side and at other agencies before – and we unanimously agree the answer to great social media is to combine the best of both. Even the slickest in-house team could benefit from the consultancy of a social media agency. Equally, we have found working with in-house teams can work very well; with great communications and a transfer of knowledge and skills,  an in-house team understands what we are trying to achieve and can assist us in driving changes. Ultimately, whether you choose to build your in-house team or work with an agency, the most important factor is people. At Bravr, we take the time to invest in our people, ensuring that we have the best possible team who are consistently working to exceed clients’ expectations. Contact us to discover how our digital marketing offering could benefit your organisation.