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Social Media Management: To In-House or to Outsource—That is the Question

social-mediaIn a recent conversation with a business owner, I was asked whether managing social media accounts in-house or outsourcing the management of social media was a better business decision. It’s a common question these days. While most companies recognize the importance of social media, small-medium sized businesses often lack the time and resources necessary to staff the position full-time internally, so they turn to outsourcing.

With this business owner, I listed common cons to outsourcing social media management:

    • While Facebook and Twitter accounts are often updated when outsourced, they generally seem to feature only one-way communications. Typically nobody comments, shares, likes, or retweets content.
    • The number of fans and followers tend to stagnate, falling below the fans and followers of competitors.
    • The value of the content provided by outside management does not seem to resonate with the public.
    • If failing to reach the public in an effective way, social media management becomes an expense and not a significant revenue-generating marketing channel.

While there is “no cost” to handling the SMM in-house, according to Forbes.com, it can take up to 32 hours a month for a midsize company to effectively manage just one social media platform. However, this time seems well spent.

Keeping social media management in-house generally insures that:

      • Facebook and Twitter accounts are getting updated on a regular basis.
      • Social Media Management (SMM) responsibilities are being rotated in the office so there is no “real cost” associated with keeping it in-house.
      • Messaging and tone are more easily controlled.
      • An in-house person—best suited to answer the questions of fans and followers—can promptly respond to comments.

What do you think are the pros and cons of outsourcing social media accounts? Do you currently outsource, or do you prefer keeping accounts in-house? If so, why or why not? Let us know your thoughts in our comment section below!