It’s official. Social media is here to stay, and with that realization comes a few sets of challenges. Companies are realizing that managing their social media isn’t as simple as posting daily content on a Facebook page or uploading a few SEO-rich blogs every month. For social media to be truly integrated into a marketing strategy, you need a team to manage the process.
Google Wildfire reports that 45% of the $1 billion companies employ 50 or more social media employees. Community managers, strategists, graphic designers, copywriters, directors, account managers, etc., are only the beginning of the social media structure of these companies. But they’re not doing it alone, because 66% of those $1 billion companies are using some combination of in-house social media managers and outside agencies.
If the top companies in the world have in-house and agency employees working together on social, why can’t your business? Here are the three reasons why your in-house social manager shouldn’t be afraid of hiring an agency.
- Set the expectation that the agency is empowering the employee, not replacing them. Social media communities are a point of pride, especially if it was the difference maker in someone being hired. Lots of time and effort has been invested into building a successful social community, and in-house managers may have reservations about handing over the keys to their baby. If you want your in-house employees to feel good about delegating certain duties to your new agency partner, you have to empower them with the agency, not give them anxiety about losing their job.
- Use it as an opportunity for growth. Chances are, your in-house social media managers are millennial. They probably have unrealistic expectations of how long it takes to climb the corporate ladder. Nobody wants to be a community manager forever, so present an agency as an opportunity to manage a team of people dedicated to accomplishing business goals through social. If your agency does reporting the way Splash Media does, your in-house social employees will shine during quarterly reviews.
- Show how this paradigm shift is better for the company. Hiring an agency is a big decision and—with businesses continually seeking to accomplish more specific goals through social—an expensive one. If possible, allow your in-house social media managers to see a larger snapshot of the state of the company and what hiring an agency means for the future. They’ll appreciate being kept in the loop, and will have more context around the day-to-day decisions being made with their new friends at the agency.
If you invest a little time in your in-house social employees and make a commitment to play nice with your new agency, your company’s new social team will almost certainly surprise you with their newfound collaborative brainpower.
Rob Howe is an account manager at Splash Media Group, LLC in Addison, Texas. Connect with him on LinkedIn.