Need a social media manager? Consider these vital factors

The primary decision is whether to work with an in-house employee or outsource the duties to an agency or specialist. That’s just the start, though. Read on.

If you’ve tried to incorporate social media management into your job, then you already know how difficult it can be.

It’s hard to make it a priority over customer phone calls, sales, accounting and staffing (and the list goes on). If your online presence is a crucial part of your overall marketing strategy, then finding help is essential to keeping your social media engagement consistent.

When it comes to hiring someone to take on your social media presence, deciding the best way to handle it can be a challenge.

Do you hire someone or outsource it?

Ask yourself these questions first:

  • Is there room in your budget to hire someone?
  • Is social media a vital component of the marketing strategy?
  • Are you savvy with social media marketing but short on time to maintain it?
  • Do you have time and energy to train and oversee another employee?
  • Can you provide the equipment that person will need to get the job done?

If you answered “yes” to the all of the questions above, it’s likely that hiring someone to be a part of your organization is the better option.

Hiring an in-house social media manager

There are lots of benefits to having an in-house employee managing social media that can’t be matched by outsourcing. First, a company employee will be more involved with daily operations and have a better opportunity to find interesting content. Engagement online is much higher when you share photos of the inner workings of your business. Only an employee can show off that company culture.

Your in-house social media manager is also going to be more agile and in tune with your ever-changing marketing program. He or she can write and post in real time from company events. He can be more consistently aggressive, posting frequently if you’re promoting something heavily. As you have last-minute ideas, an in-house employee is better able to make those happen quickly than outsourced help could.

What to watch out for

Be aware of your bandwidth and knowledge of social media. Low-wage managers or interns need a lot of guidance, training and hands-on management. If you can afford a good wage, then you can find someone with more experience to help you. If your position is part-time, however, be prepared for turnover. If you’re thinking about asking an existing employee to help, you will have to budget extra hours to ensure your social media is handled properly.

Outsourcing to a social media marketing agency or freelancer

This tends to be the better fit for business owners. Agencies and freelancers have a lot of experience managing social media for clients, and they’re going to pass that knowledge along to you when you work with them.

In addition, working with agencies takes the headache out of hiring help, managing turnover, training, paying payroll taxes, etc. Agencies tend to have pretty easy-to-follow onboarding programs for their clients and systems in place that make outsourcing much more affordable than hiring a part-time or full-time employee.

What to watch out for

There are two big things to look out for when researching which agency or freelancer you want to use. First, make sure they have a track record of happy customers and can demonstrate up-to-date knowledge on the ever-changing world of social media marketing. You don’t want to hire someone who can’t assure you he or she will be in business in a year. There are lots of fly-by-night social media companies out there. Do your research before you hire anyone.

The second thing to watch out for is larger agencies or businesses focused on selling you a generic package without any customization. There are plenty of options when it comes to social media automation, and you can feel too far removed from your online marketing if you hire a large company that doesn’t offer a personal level of service.

A version of this article originally appeared on Hot Dog Marketing.

COMMENT Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from directly in your inbox.