Should you outsource social media?

You have a lot to do. Business to win, projects to execute, employees to manage. You don’t need one more thing on your to-do list, yet you know that social media has taken a back seat in your marketing strategy.  And then someone comes to you and says she can handle your social media needs for you. On one hand, that’s one less thing for you to do – YAY! But, you’re worried about giving up control of your brand’s voice online.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of handing your social media reigns over to someone outside your company:

First, the downside:

  • Lose authenticity – It’s hard for someone else to think like you, talk like you and sound like you. Agencies or freelance social media contractors are likely to be formal or entirely too casual for a while until they find the right tone.
  • Takes longer to post – Imagine this. You’re at an event, you snap a great photo and want to post it on Facebook. So you send it to your social media consultant, but he’s in a meeting and can’t get to it for a couple of hours. In some cases, this won’t be a big deal. In others, it can be the difference between an engaging and fun Facebook page and one that mostly posts photos of things that happened yesterday.

Now, the upside:

  • You get more time back in your day – Don’t let anyone fool you. Social media takes time. Even after the strategy has been determined, it takes time to execute a post. You need to take the photo, edit it, post it, think of a witty caption. There may be logging in and logging out logistics. You need to be check in several times a day to see if there are any new notifications. You can get caught up in the time suck of Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Hand over the social media responsibility and get your day back.
  • You get an expert on your team – This is especially key for start ups, non-profits, or small businesses. If you’re thinking about outsourcing social media, you’re likely getting an expert. (If you’re not, rethink it). This person will have great ideas, probably gleaned from previous experience. And she’ll know what’s most likely to work, will be able to track your trends and metrics to quickly determine what your audience reacts to, and can manage the technical part of social media that makes many executives crazy.

So, how do you decide if it’s right for you?  It’s time for a gut check. If you don’t outsource it – will YOU do it? And will you give it the time it requires every single day? If the answer is no, it’s time to talk to a social media consultant or to your PR agency about adding the service to your contract.


  1. Great break-down, Krista. Have you seen a hybrid option work? Outsource portions of the social strategy, while still having freedom (staying on message) to post as needed?

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