Welcome to the first installment of our three-part series on social media agencies! Over the course of this series, we’ll be exploring the ins and outs of working with a social media agency to help your business succeed on social media. Here’s what you can expect from each part:
Part 1: In this installment, we’ll be tackling the question of whether or not your business should consider hiring a social media agency in the first place. We’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of working with an agency, and help you decide whether it’s the right move for your business.
Part 2: Once you’ve decided to work with a social media agency, the next step is figuring out which type of agency is best suited to your needs. In Part 2, we’ll explore the different types of social media agencies out there and help you understand which one is the best fit for your business.
Part 3: Before you sign on the dotted line with a social media agency, there are some key questions you should be asking to ensure that you’re making the right choice. In our final installment, we’ll provide you with a list of questions every business should ask before hiring a social media agency.
The Functions of Social Media Agencies
Many businesses may not be fully aware of the types of services provided by social media agencies, as this is a relatively new industry. While these agencies certainly help manage a business’s social media presence, it’s important to understand exactly what that entails.
Tasks Handled by Social Media Agencies
Social media management agency offer a range of services to help businesses manage their online presence. Some of the common tasks they handle are:
Social Media Strategy Development: These agencies can help businesses develop a comprehensive social media strategy to achieve their marketing goals. This includes identifying target audiences, selecting social media platforms, creating content calendars, and setting metrics to measure success.
Social Media Consulting: Agencies also offer consulting services to businesses that want to improve their social media performance. This can involve providing advice on best practices, analyzing social media data, and making recommendations for improvement.
Community Management: Agencies can handle the day-to-day management of social media communities, including responding to comments and messages, monitoring mentions of the brand, and engaging with followers.
Crisis Management: In the event of a social media crisis, such as negative comments or reviews, social media agencies can help businesses manage the situation and minimize damage to their reputation.
Social Content Creation: Agencies can create engaging and relevant social media content that aligns with a business’s brand and marketing goals. This includes creating graphics, videos, and blog posts.
Social Advertising: Agencies can develop and execute social media advertising campaigns to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, and generate leads.
Social Promotions: Agencies can create and manage social media promotions, such as contests and giveaways, to increase engagement and grow a business’s social media following.
Influencer Engagement: Agencies can help businesses identify and engage with influencers who can promote their brand to their followers.
Measurement and Monitoring: Agencies use social media analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns, track key performance indicators (KPIs), and adjust strategies accordingly.
Social Listening: Agencies use social listening tools to monitor online conversations related to their clients, and gather insights into customer behavior and preferences.
It is important to note that while some agencies offer all of these services, most specialize in a few areas. In part 2 of this series, we will discuss the different types of social media agencies and how to evaluate your needs to find an agency that specializes in the services you require.
Assessing Your Social Media Requirements
Determining your digital marketing needs is crucial before deciding to hire a social media agency. While it may seem like the obvious choice, you may be surprised by how much your existing team can handle. You may already have employees capable of managing some or all of the necessary tasks, or you could consider hiring a dedicated social media manager.
Start by reviewing the list of services provided by social media agencies mentioned earlier, and add any additional tasks that are specific to your business needs. Next, identify which tasks cannot be handled in-house by your current team. Tasks such as responding to questions or accepting new followers can be managed internally, but more specialized tasks like Facebook Ads require expertise.
Once you have a clear list of your needs, you can weigh the pros and cons of hiring an in-house social media manager versus a social media agency.
Comparing In-House Social Media Managers and Social Media Agencies
After identifying your business’s social media needs, the next important decision to make is whether to hire an in-house social media manager or outsource to an agency. Many businesses assume that they need to hire a social media agency without first evaluating what their existing team or an in-house social media manager can do. This section provides an overview of the pros and cons of each option.
In-House Social Media Manager
- Greater Control: Hiring an in-house social media manager gives you greater control over what they do, and provides them with an inside look at your business that an agency may not have. This allows them to better represent your brand and understand your company culture.
- High Priority: With an in-house social media manager, your brand becomes their top priority, unlike an agency which has multiple clients to manage.
- Works With Rest of Team: An in-house social media manager will work closely with other employees, including marketing, sales, and customer service, providing important information that can benefit the entire team.
- Difficult to Find the Right Candidate: Finding a qualified in-house social media manager can be a challenging task for businesses lacking experience in hiring for this role. Conversely, agencies typically have reputations and clients that make finding a suitable candidate easier.
- Limited Skillset: No marketer can be an expert at everything, so your in-house social media manager may have gaps in their skillset. Conversely, agencies typically have a team of specialists for each required skill.
- More Expensive: While it is possible for an in-house social media manager to be less expensive depending on payment structure, businesses must factor in additional expenses such as benefits and office equipment. Social media agencies have economies of scale working in their favor, which means that their monthly cost is typically lower.
Ultimately, the decision to hire an in-house social media manager or a social media agency depends on your business’s specific needs and budget.
Social Media Agency
- They Are Experts: Social media agencies are experts in their field and typically have a lot of experience managing social media accounts.
- Saves Time: An agency has all the necessary tools and resources to manage your social media presence efficiently, which can save you time.
- Full Team: Hiring an agency gives you access to a team of experts, each with their own skillset, such as design, SEO, and content creation.
- Less Control: Outsourcing to an agency means you have less control over the day-to-day management of your social media accounts.
- Less of a Priority: Since agencies have multiple clients, your business may not be their top priority.
- Harder to Communicate: Communication with an agency can be more complicated than with an in-house social media manager, which could impact your social media strategy.
With these pros and cons in mind, you can decide which option works best for your business. If you’ve determined that a social media agency is the way to go, be sure to check out Part 2 of this series, where we’ll help you choose the right agency for your business.