In-House, Freelancer, or Agency: Navigating Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

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Every day, 4.26 billion people open social media and engage with their friends, followers, and favorite brands and creators. For businesses and brands that want to connect with their target audience, few platforms are as effective as social media.

Since social media users are passively scrolling, these platforms are the perfect place to advertise—social ads aren’t intrusive like pop-ups, and users are already in a mindset to consume content.

Before you can start reaping the benefits of social media marketing, you need to develop a strategy. This is where things can get difficult.

Do you bring your social media efforts in-house? Hire a freelancer? Or partner with an agency? There’s no universal answer, but there are some key factors to consider when making your decision.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at each option.

Why Is Social Media Marketing Important?

The benefits of social media marketing are vast and well-documented. A strong social media presence can increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads and sales, and build meaningful relationships with customers and potential customers.

With so much data available, businesses can also use social media to better understand their target audience and create content that resonates.

They can even use social media data to improve their products, determine which markets to enter next, and track their competition. Social media marketing is an essential piece of any comprehensive marketing strategy—and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

What Does Social Media Marketing Involve?

Every company’s specific marketing mix varies wildly depending on:

  • Which platforms its audience spends most of its time
  • What types of content the audience primarily consumes
  • What kind of messaging will resonate with the audience
  • How much money the company is willing to spend

In general, social media marketing efforts can be divided into two broad categories: paid and organic. Organic social media marketing involves creating valuable content—posts, images, and videos—and then sharing that content on your social media channels.

The goal is to build a following of engaged fans and followers who will regularly consume and share your content. Paid social media marketing, on the other hand, involves using the paid features on each platform—ads and promoted posts—to reach a wider audience with your message.

Hiring an In-House Social Media Team: Pros and Cons

Many believe that the best way to control your social media marketing is to bring it in-house. After all, who knows your business better than you do?

An in-house team also gives you more control over the direction of your social media strategy and allows you to respond quickly to changes in the market or feedback from customers.

On the downside, an in-house team can be expensive to build and maintain. You’ll need to hire social media specialists, content creators, and a dedicated social media manager. These individuals are costly to hire and provide benefits for. They also cost lots of money to onboard.

Unless you have a large team, you might not be able to effectively cover all the different social media platforms—meaning you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to reach your target audience across as many channels as possible.

If social media is an integral part of your business and you primarily interact with your customers on different social platforms, bringing your social media marketing in-house might make the most sense.

It would also be a good idea if you consistently run new campaigns. If you’re running a smaller brand that’s just getting started with social media or you’re strapped for cash, working with a freelancer or agency might be the way to go.

Working with a Freelancer: Pros and Cons

One of the main benefits of working with a freelancer is that they’re usually more affordable than an agency or in-house team.

You also have the added benefit of working with someone who’s familiar with your brand and knows your target audience well. This can be a huge advantage when it comes to creating content that resonates and drives results.

On the downside, freelancers generally don’t have as many resources as agencies, and one person can only do so much.

You might also have trouble keeping your freelancer motivated or interested in your brand over the long term—especially if you’re not paying them enough.

Since freelancers are always working multiple projects and chasing higher pay as they build their portfolios, there’s a greater risk they’ll move on to other clients if you’re not providing enough value.

If you’re just getting started with social media marketing or you’re on a tight budget, working with a freelancer is a great option.

They are an excellent resource for businesses that need help with content planning and execution on a limited number of platforms.

Just be sure to set clear expectations from the start and make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to deliverables. Also be sure to be respectful of their time and recognize the fact that they won’t be on-call all the time.

Hiring an Agency: Pros and Cons

When it comes to social media marketing, agencies have a lot to offer. They usually have a team of specialists who are experts in different areas of social media, from strategy and planning to content creation and community management.

This means they can cover all the bases and make sure your social media presence is top-notch.

All of this expertise comes at a price. Agencies can be expensive, and you might not get the same level of personal attention as you would from a freelancer.

You’ll also have less control over the direction of your social media strategy since you’ll be working with a team of people.

Agencies can be a helpful resource for medium to large-sized companies that want to strategically expand their reach on social media. Many companies that have in-house teams even use agencies for specific tasks or campaigns.

If you’re looking for more comprehensive coverage and you have the budget to support it, working with an agency is a great option. For more information on what it’s like to work with an agency, click here:

End Note

In some cases, businesses might use a combination of in-house, freelancer, and agency resources to create a well-rounded social media strategy.

No matter which route you choose, social media marketing can be a valuable asset for any business. The key is to find the right solution that fits your needs, budget, and level of expertise.

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