Corporate Social Media: Internal vs. External Management
Should a company outsource their social media management or should they hire internal personnel?
It boils down to three things: cost, experience and (the usually forgotten) leveraging of technology. Of course, it may seem that I am biased because we offer both Social Media software and Social Media services, but my opinion is based on first-hand experience. The biggest mistake that our company sees from businesses is that they don’t fully commit to their final internal vs. external decision. Let’s take a look at the three major facets of making this decision:
Cost – This part of the decision revolves around the goal of receiving the highest possible return on each dollar spent. In this particular area the comparison between internal and external solutions tend to be difficult because the costs can appear very similar for many companies. From our experience, the cost comparison becomes considerably more uneven if a company is based in a larger city such as New York or San Francisco, because the cost of a full-time employee is more. This is also a problem for larger companies as it isn’t just one full-time job but many that are needed to maintain their social media presence. This article from the Altimeter Group contains insights into the changing number of socially-focused employees in companies.
Experience – Actual experience in Social Media is an extremely valuable asset in a social media manager, be they internal or otherwise. Next to gaining corporate buy-in, a social media manager that has experience with social media, your brand and your industry will be paramount in this decision-making process. This facet will also help you analyze and compare your company’s internal vs. external options. Social is about building relationships between your company and its audiences, and whether you decide to use internal or external management services, you need to understand the Social Marketing process.
Technology - This part of the decision-making process will typically require the most research as it can lead to a long-term commitment and dedication of resources. Leveraging Social Media technology can help you empower your entire organization, that’s right everyone from sales to the C-suite, but requires a solid game plan with many small goals that point to the company’s North Star. Think through each of your options, establish real and attainable check points that produce quantifiable results, and make sure your company is ready to fully commit to the direction you choose.
Remember when making this important decision that no matter which you choose, internal or external, your social manager will need content to push. Check back soon for my next blog post, Content: Marketing vs. Sales.
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