Every start-up CEO has to answer this difficult question at some point – Should I hire an external agency to handle my social media, or should I handle things in-house? Now, if you had a chicken laying golden eggs every single day, then the obvious answer would be to hire the biggest and best agency in the world to focus solely on your social media. But, clearly you’re not a character from Jack & the Beanstalk, so let’s get real.
1. Are You Even Qualified?
Do you actually have real know-how of how the social media world functions? Are you technologically savvy? Can you optimise social media ads effectively? Are you a witty copywriter? Do you have graphic design skills? There’s a new platform launching all the time, and existing platforms keep rolling out new features. If you have a solid grasp on social media marketing, combined with good copywriting and graphic designs skills, then perhaps you actually can handle social media on your own, until you have more resources at your disposal to hire another entity to take over. However, if you aren’t multi-talented at social media, copywriting and graphic design, then cutting corners to save money might damage your branding and back-fire by costing you a lot more in the long-run. It is always best to set things right from the start.
2. Do You Have Enough Humans On Board?
Now, even if you or your tiny, close-knit team has the creative and technical skills to handle social media decently, do you actually have the time to dedicate several hours every week to this important job? Social media requires consistency, because it’s an ongoing dialogue between you and your audience. Posts must go up every day. Hash tags must be tweaked on an ongoing basis. Messages must be monitored and replied to in a timely fashion. Analytics need to be checked regularly. If you don’t have someone who can set aside ample time to these tasks, then a social media agency will offer much needed extra pairs of hands and minds, so you can focus on more pressing concerns.
3. Do You Have Extra Money?
Is your business performing pretty-well? Did you strike a pretty big deal or sale? Is someone ready to invest a substantial amount in your company suddenly? Did Santa Claus just visit you early (please send him to us, too!)? If you have an extra source of cash flowing into your business, then it is always advisable to hire the pros to do the job. Nothing can beat that, so don’t be stingy!
4. Is PR & Influencer Marketing Costing You Your Kidneys?
Are you placing a higher emphasis on PR and tie-ups with thought influencers in a particular campaign phase? If yes, and it is costing you an arm and a leg, then cutting costs by handling social media in-house might not be a bad idea. Once you have more funds in place and/or the cost of investing in PR and thought influencer tie-ups go down, you can always allocate that budget back to social media. Temporary roadblocks can be worked through!
5. Are You Still Beta-Testing?
Are you still in beta-testing mode? (Goodness, hurry it up!) If yes, then it is probably not a good idea to put in too much money on social media until all your ducks are in a row, from your Website and marketing materials to your products and photo/video shoot files. It is best to invest in roping in an external agency when you are truly ready to intensify social media in full swing.