Hiring a Social Media Manager: In-house or outsourced?

Are you one of those companies who are looking for a Social Media Manager? Are you not sure whether this job should be done by someone in-house or whether it would be worthwhile to outsource it? Ollie Whitfield compares the advantages and disadvantages of both options when it comes to hiring a social media manager.

Lots of businesses look to use social media to attract and generate leads. They feel they now have to use social media, and if they don’t have someone to “do social media” for them they will hire or try to outsource it. There are of course benefits for both, but since I have gained relevant experience playing both roles, I will explain which option I feel is the best route to go down.

Hiring a Social Media Manager in-house: Pros and Cons

You need to realise that you are an outright cost to the business. You’re working full-time, you need tools and the support of the team. You will try and make a difference, get content and raise the profile of the business. You have real intent on doing well and getting promoted.

Those are all pros and cons. It highly depends on the culture of the business and how much they will truly get behind you and help you. It could be tricky at first, but if they are fully supporting you and create content, improve themselves and more you could be working for a great business.

hiring a social media manager If not, you will have a hard time doing something meaningful. Twitter followers are great, but what do they really do? They act as a way to speak to people, but if you have nothing relevant to talk about, they are nearly meaningless.

As well as that, if the business starts to lose clients or goes through a tough patch, guess who is the first on the list to be let go? YOU will be the chosen one, sad but true. In reality marketing is the team driving sales, so to lose marketing means sales will not be working on hot leads, and will have to be generating them itself. But nonetheless, you can be let go of.

Hiring a Social Media Manager by outsourcing: Pros and cons

hiring a social media manager You don’t have to worry, you will get what you pay for and will have a person doing exactly as they should for as long as you pay them. No office cost, no salary, no hiring and firing.

BUT… They won’t be pushing hard to develop the business and make sure it creates content and does what it should to use digital marketing to the fullest. They will do as they are asked, because you have given them instructions on what you expect. It’s almost nothing to do with who does the social media, it’s your attitude towards it.


The winner?

When it comes to hiring a social media manager I always prefer an in-house social media manager because they are there all day, trying to develop the business and drive leads. Having an in-house social media manager aboard also means having a much better understanding and a real view of the business. They are there to represent the business effectively online. They have the right attitude when using social media and don’t just blast out some tweets and achieve nothing from it.

hiring a social media managerI appreciate that not all outsourced social media managers or freelancers are bad at all, it’s a credible trade. What I would like to emphasise is that outsourcing means you are giving a person a very manual, hard graft piece of work to do. It takes time to set up the feeds of content, write tweets and to spot the right people to engage with. It’s not as easy as setting up a Twitter account, getting leads, and you will pay for that.

With an in-house social media manager you will have to wait to see the results but you will be able to speak strategically and tweak your activity or goal. With an outsourced social media manager I feel you are more likely to pay more than you’re comfortable with, you might as well hire an in-house social media manager and have more control over it.

Be digitally proactive, strategic and positive!


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Ollie Whitfield

Ollie Whitfield works in the B2B space pushing lead generation campaigns, social selling and inbound marketing results for Creation Agency and its clients. Follow @OllieWhitfield_ on Twitter.


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Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh

Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at www.Careerheads.com. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” (http://careerheads.com/product/ebook-44-tips-for-a-successful-video-interview/). She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.

2 thoughts on “Hiring a Social Media Manager: In-house or outsourced?

  • In some of my social media pages, I’ve outsourced them. In fact, one of my remote team members today just started with us as a freelance social media manager. Though freelance, she always does her best. Even when giving her instructions to follow, she always expresses her thoughts on how we can improve. I was so pleased with her performance that I hired her full time.

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