Whether you’re a small business owner or the CEO of a large organization, you’re all about efficiency and impact. And that extends to your decision-making around outsourcing or hiring – especially when it comes to high-value work like your marketing outreach.
At Oh Snap! we’re a boutique agency with a laser-like focus on using social media to drive killer leads into our clients’ inboxes. We’re dangerously good at what we do, but we totally get that you’re wondering why them?? instead of hiring your own in-house team. Good Q, friend!
Let’s break down the pros and cons of going the agency route vs keeping it in-house.
Contractors: what you can (and can’t) expect
Going the contractor or boutique agency route is ideal for organizations who want someone to take over the strategy reins. Going out-of-house gives you access to top talent with real, on-the-ground experience honed across a ton of different contexts and industries. You’ll get depth, breadth, and serious smarts.
Here’s why outsourcing your social media efforts is great for business:
- They’re pros. When you engage a contractor, you’re hiring someone skilled and experienced in the area you’ve hired them for. They’re generally focused on the one thing they do well – instead of wearing a ton of different hats and juggling a bunch of different things.
- They’re self-starters. They embody that entrepreneurial mindset and are motivated to do the work. They make things happen, and they’re great at it – which is generally why they’ve hung out their own shingle.
- They’re full of ideas. They’ve been doing this for a long time, so they’re usually brimming with great ideas and solutions. Let them know what you’re after, and empower them to problem-solve for you.
- They’re efficient. When you’re a pro you don’t need to YouTube things or waste time on trial and error. You can get right to it – and deliver the goods in a fraction of the time that a novice would.
- Cheaper than hiring. Compare those engagement rates with what you’d pay a full-time employee (plus benefits!), and usually you’ll come out ahead. You’ll be getting a pro – or team of pros – plus you won’t need to train them up.
But there have to be some cons, right? Just a couple:
- They have other clients. Unless you engage them on a full-time basis, your contractor or agency has other clients on their roster. They’re not going to be in the trenches with you all day, every day. Set your expectations and plan well, and all will be fine.
- Can be more per hour. Those engagement rates might seem higher than what you’d pay a generalist employee, but know that you’re getting a specialist in the field and training professional with heaps of experience – and that overall you’ll be getting more bang for your buck.
Contractors can tap into a ton of knowledge and expertise to deliver epic results – but you’ll get the best outcome when you’re willing to step up when they need you. This means being okay with helping brainstorm ideas, getting in front of a camera, and generally being comfortable with having some level of ownership over the work. It’s your business, after all, and you know it best.
What about going the in-house route?
Maybe you prefer to keep your social media efforts close to home. That’s fine – and depending on your goals and willingness to chip in, it can work. Here are the benefits of doing your social media in house:
- They’re on your team. An in-house team has one boss, not several. They’re there with you every day as advocates, fighting for you and talking up your brand.
- They’ve got skin in the game. In-house employees are there for the long-term – especially if you’re looking after them with great perks and benefits. That investment buys loyalty and a team who’ll stick around for you.
- They’re there with you. When you’re working with an in-house team you can easily check in with them or loop them into a meeting. Your employees aren’t going to be available every single second, but they’re generally more available than contractors.
But keeping your social media close to home isn’t all roses. Here are some of the cons:
- Overworked employees. Typically in-house employees are wrangling a bunch of different task that they’re not always a pro at…yet. This can mean they take longer to get things done – plus the results aren’t necessarily top-notch. This can hurt you in the long-term, so try to figure out what they’re good at and where you can hand something over to someone else.
- More expensive. This depends on a few factors, but with an in-house employee you have extra costs to contend with – think benefits, vacation pay, and a full-time paycheck every month for the foreseeable future.
If you’re going to give in-house social media a shot or perhaps an intern (here’s my rant on thinking twice about delegating your social media to an intern or the technically savvy teenager in your neighborhood), it helps to have a clear vision of what you want done – and then pick an employee who’s a “doer”.
If the idea of ideating, strategizing and then handing over your biz to someone who needs a ton of oversight gives you the heebies, give the agency model a chance! At Oh Snap! Social, we’ll handle your strategy and your content so that you can handle the wins. Start with a Pulse Check or a full Strategize package – and let’s get social!