Social media has woven its way into our culture so much so that if you want to find success marketing your agency online, you cannot afford to ignore it. Outsourcing social media marketing is a debated topic in online marketing. I know many agencies who keep their social media marketing in their agencies, and I know others who outsource it.
Should you outsource your social media? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. What works for one agency may not work for yours. Not everyone has the time or the staff to keep their social media marketing in their agency. Here are four reasons why you should outsource and four reasons why you shouldn't.
Why to Outsource Your Social Media
- Fresh Ideas
Part of the challenge with social media is coming up with the content to share. It is especially challenging if you are trying to do it all yourself. An agency marketing firm can provide you with the outside perspective you need to find new concepts and ideas. Sometimes the objectivity from that outside perspective is the key to identifying the next big campaign.
Digital agency marketing, including social media, changes so fast it can be dizzying. A good agency marketing firm should have in-depth knowledge of the different social networks and the changes they make. Just like your expertise is in analyzing quotes for the best coverage at the best price for your clients and reviewing policies to identify gaps in coverage and determine what your clients need to be protected, a marketing firm's expertise is digital agency marketing, including Facebook and Twitter. If you don't have the time to stay on top of social media and its changes, outsource.
- No Stale Profile
What's worse than not having a social media presence? Having a dormant profile. It is easy to say you will update your social media regularly. However, it is harder to do in real life when a customer service issue arises or you're focused on selling insurance. While it is hard to measure social media compared to other forms of lead generation, that doesn't mean your brand can afford for you to abandon your profiles. When you outsource your social media, your profiles are never in danger of going quiet.
- Market Insight
An agency marketing firm can share insight about the campaigns and methods other agencies use and have found successful on social media. They can point out opportunities you may be missing and spend the time you don't have on carrying out those fresh ideas from earlier.
Why Not to Outsource Your Social Media
While you may not have expertise in social media, you are an expert in insurance. There are some agency marketing providers who work exclusively with the insurance industry and can represent your agency well on social media. However, a plethora of agency marketing firms work with a bunch of different industries and may not know much about insurance. Granted, they will make it part of their job to learn so they can represent you correctly on social media. But, if you want to avoid the learning curve of a provider who is not an insurance expert, you may want to keep your social media marketing in house.
- Customer Service
Social media is a great tool for your customer service toolbox. Many consumers find asking questions or share their thoughts about a business easier to do on social media instead of calling. Do you want someone who is not in your office and is not an expert on insurance fielding these queries and comments? If you have an understanding with your outsourced agency marketing firm that questions and comments should be sent to you and you can respond in a timely manner, then it may work for a time. Keep in mind that your response should be slow, and consumers expect quick responses on social media.
This one can be a con or a pro. Social media management takes a lot of time and patience to find success. The cost of outsourcing your social media marketing may be more than what it would cost if you or another person in your agency did it. Or, if your time is better spent elsewhere in your agency, the cost may be worth it. Whether the cost is a con or pro for you depends on your agency marketing firm, what you're paying, what you're getting and what it would cost you to keep it in house.
Those agencies that are seeing success on social media have one thing in common: their personalities shine through. No one knows your agency or can portray your personality better than you. If you care about how your brand is perceived on social media, it's better to do social media yourself and not outsource it.
Do you outsource your social media marketing, or do you keep it in your agency? How did you decide that was the best way for your agency? Tell us in the comments.
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder