As a Digital Marketing agency we deal with the question every day, The answer is not always in our favor, and that's OK.
Before you shake your head and say “NO” to an agency. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
Costs: Is it more cost-efficient to hire an employee or agency? Time: Is it worth our employees time or could they be spending it elsewhere?
Training: How much training, equipment and resources will be required?
Results: Who is more capable of producing the results I am looking for? Consistency: Who will be the most consistent with social media activity?
We are not going to knock the benefit of hiring an in-house employee to manage social media. Employees are normally more involved with the day to day operations. They are able to capture images and content of your business in real time, and are normally updated with company news.
However, through good communication with your agency, this can be effectively managed.
According to Indeed, a full-time social media managers make an average salary of $50,489. An effective social media marketing program at an agency would cost $8,000 to $18,000 per year. With a salary that is 3x more expensive, you would also have to consider additional costs associated with social media training, software, applications, equipment, employee turnover, and payroll taxes. Interns and part-time employees are an option. However, they require a lot of guidance, time, training, and hands-on management to be able to execute your social media strategy effectively. Employee turnover is also more frequent amongst part-time employees.
As social media continues to evolve, ongoing training is a necessity for social media managers. What happens when your social media manager resigns? All of the training you’ve spent developing your employee will go down the drain. The messaging, tone, and quality of your brand will be at risk. In addition, you will have to start from scratch and train a new employee about your company and how to use social media for marketing. By hiring a marketing agency, you do not have to worry about employee turnover or training. In fact, most agencies will use more advanced training platforms and techniques.
Many employees who are given social media tasks also have many other responsibilities. Other employees are given the task simply because they post a lot on their own social media, and management feels they are best suited to manage social media. This may cause inconsistency in your social media activity, decreased results, poor communication and ultimately missed opportunities to grow your brand. In comparison to social media managers, agencies are more results-focused. Why? Because the success of their agency will be depend on the results that they are able to provide for you through social media. You want to grow your business through social media marketing and agencies want to keep their clients by providing effective social media marketing solutions. In this scenario, both goals are aligned.
The benefit of hiring a marketing agency that specializes in a specific marketing function, such as social media, is the ability to leverage their experience. Niche-specific agencies eat, sleep, and breathe the latest news and strategies in their niche. They work in team environments of multiple social media specialists, with decades of combined experience in the field. The amount of expertise, support, and knowledge available to agencies does not compare to what a single full-time employee can provide.