Social Media: To Hire or Outsource?

Like CEOs and business owners everywhere, TAB Members understand the ever-growing value of social media engagement. At the same time, they often despair of finding the time and resources needed to get fully involved in the social media realm—and thereby ceding its potential market value to their competitors.

A key element of this problem is determining whether to add yet another full-time position (in-house social media manager) or bring in a marketing agency that specialises in social media. Compelling arguments can be made for both options, but it comes down to each business’s place within its industry and the assessment of just how important social media can be in terms of future growth.

Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of the two options:

Social media agency

Pros

A social media agency has a lot to offer with respect to building platforms, generating content, posting at the right intervals and overall strategy. After all, these agencies “eat, sleep and breathe social media, and they have an array of experience across numerous industries,” notes marketing expert Jason DeMers. Such firms likely “have an understanding of which networks your company would most benefit from, and they know the ideal approach for execution of your campaign.”

Just as importantly, a first-class agency knows how to produce content on a regular basis—the type of content designed to draw prospective customers’ interest and otherwise steadily build greater awareness of your brand. They’re also experts in social media analytics, compiling and evaluating data that helps formulate a comprehensive social media marketing strategy.

Cons

The biggest challenge is, simply, the services of a good social media agency aren’t cheap. Fees will vary, but they’re often beyond the reach of startups and other early-stage businesses, as well as companies with limited budgets. An agency that contracts to provide a full range of services can run up a sizeable bill in a short period of time.

Also, a social media agency is unlikely to know the nuances of your brand, core products and services, and the audience you serve. The time involved in learning these subtleties can only add to the overall expense.

Social media manager

Pros

While it may take time to craft the proper in-house job description, then recruit and hire a social media manager, it’s still worth considering. After all, it probably takes just as long to search for and find the right social media agency. And when you go the in-house route, you get an individual who’s attuned to your company values and vision (especially if you’ve promoted from within)—the kind of knowledge that works best in communicating your message on social media.

“Having a person sit in your morning meetings, engage with your audience on a daily basis, and be privy to internal and external conversations will only make your platforms stronger,” notes marketing strategist Alex Honeysett.

An astute social media manager can, if the situation demands it, build from the ground up. This means establishing a solid foundation on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and any industry-related platforms on which your business should be represented.

Cons

Perhaps the greatest drawback with the in-house option is deciding to add “social media responsibilities” to an employee’s existing job description. As DeMers points out, when your employees are already busy, adding another task may be “simply asking too much.” This can easily “spread members too thin, leaving other areas of your work to suffer.”

It’s also critically important to hire an individual who’s well-versed in social media and has the right instinct for which platforms to target and which to bypass.

In the end, business owners must determine for themselves whether in-house or external resource is most appropriate. But we can all agree that, in 2018 and beyond, social media is a force that must be reckoned with.

Want to learn more about marketing and planning for your business? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

 

How to Stay Above your Paygrade, by Tony Penn

If you own or manage a business, you wear an important title; you’re the boss. But for many business owners, that title doesn’t mean much because they’re constantly working below their pay grade.

What I mean by that is they are doing tasks that could easily by done by someone whose time is, frankly, worth much less. This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to any one industry. It’s a universal problem all businesses wrestle with.

Time, money and people

These are the main resources in your business, right? So which of the three do you have the most control over? I’d say it’s your time. Even though you can’t change or stop time (how you wish), you have 100 percent control of how you spend it. There will never be enough hours in the day, but there are plenty of options for what you do with yours.

Know your worth

How much would you say an hour of your time is worth? $200, $300, $500? A business owner’s time is highly valuable – I’d say closer to $500. But business owners tend to be control freaks (in the best sense), so it’s natural for them to take hold of a problem and convince themselves no one else is capable of solving it.

The thing is, most of the time, someone else really can do it – for much less than what your time is worth.

One of our Board Members at TAB told me this story after we had discussed this topic a couple meetings ago:

He and his business partner agreed to assign a value, $450 an hour, to their time and work to ensure their time was being spent on the right activities. So a few weeks ago he noticed she was leaving the office with keys in her hand, and asked her where she was going. She said she’s going to pick up their important client at the airport. Our TAB member replied, “how long will you be?” She said it would take about three hours to get to LAX and back. He mentioned that would cost the company $1350. He suggested they arrange for a car to pick up their client at a cost of $150. She did, and folklore has it that she landed a large contract while they were waiting for the client to arrive.

So where do you start?

If you’re ready to start working at – not below – your pay grade, I recommend three steps to give yourself the necessary tools to effectively manage your time.

Step 1 is to build a list of what I call Platinum Activities.

These are the tasks that bring the greatest value to your business: creating a Strategic Plan, establishing culture, building strategic partnerships, communicating effectively with your employees and speaking with your customers.

Think about your day. What are your Platinum Activities?

Step 2 is to create your TO DON’T LIST.

If you take one thing out of this article, pull out a sheet of paper and label it “TO DON’T LIST.” Keep it in your top drawer and every time you find yourself doing something that could be done by someone else, write it down. We do this in our Board meetings all the time and our members are shocked at how many tasks they’ve been able to delegate to others.

Step 3 is to designate a time of day as your PRIME TIME.

How many of you are morning people? Your prime time should be first thing. Do not read email, take calls, etc, and commit to only working on Platinum Activities during your Prime Time. Even if you have to pick one day a week, designate some good hours to spend working on the most important activities

I get it. You’re a business owner, and sometimes you have to go in and do a task just to show how it’s done or because you’re in a pinch. But doing it regularly is a waste of your time and your strategically invested money. And this isn’t just about you; as you delegate tasks, you build a staff that are able to handle situation and make important decisions without your handholding. Everyone wins.

Article by Tony Penn, The Alternative Board Newport Beach, California – Penn Ultimate Consulting

If you want to learn more, contact The Alternative Board Australia