Like Me? Follow Me.
I came across a post on the Sprout Social blog this morning on the pros and cons of hiring an agency to handle your firm’s social media. It’s actually from early last month, but the points it raises are still perfectly relevant.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’d like to take issue with the ‘cons’. Please note: all quotes from the post are abridged; I’m not going to re-publish the entire post so to get the fairest take on my arguments I’d recommend you read both posts.
“Con: Lack of Industry Knowledge What does the agency know about your business or your customers? How will the agency choose and distribute content that’s appropriate to your audience?”
There is an element of truth to this. An agency will never know as much about your firm as you do, and they’ll struggle to answer technical questions if your business is particularly niche or technology-based.
However, it’s easy enough to overcome this issue by allowing for communication between your agency and a representative of your firm.
It’s also worth remembering that agencies are flexible, and able to offer solutions designed specifically for your situation. Perhaps you’d rather have an in-house member of staff manning your Twitter or Facebook during the day. That doesn’t mean you can’t hire an agency to provide training and social marketing strategies.
“Con: Lack of Authenticity No one wants to communicate with a “company.” What people really want — especially those who are using social media — is to communicate with the people behind the business.”
I’m not sure people necessarily want to communicate with ‘the people behind the business’ – as long as the person they communicate with is polite, knowledgeable and able to answer their questions, they don’t care who they are.
When you employ an agency to handle your social media, they become representatives of your business online. It’s in their interest to demonstrate the value of social media to you and to grow your business, and that means keeping your customers happy.
The employees of an agency have just as much of a vested interest in ensuring your business is well represented online as your own employees.
“Con: Profits vs. Relationships The primary goal of a social media agency is to maximize its profits for any contract it undertakes. That means it’s focused solely on the bottom line; as stated earlier, social media is its business. The agency doesn’t really care about building a relationship with your customers, it cares more about building a relationship with you.”
Of all the points made in the post, I’d say this is the one I take most issue with. Of course it’s fair to say that agencies focus on their own bottom line, but surely the best way to improve that bottom line is to do a great job for your clients?
In social media the only way to ensure you maintain a good working relationship with your client is to maintain a good relationship with their customers.
Together is Better
The best social campaigns depend heavily upon excellent communication between client and agency. The client provides the in-depth knowledge on their brand and product whilst the agency does the leg-work, recommending the most appropriate accounts, setting them up and populating them with good quality, relevant content, producing the avatars, backgrounds and custom tabs and putting together a marketing strategy.
To find out more about how I-COM can help you construct a fantastic social campaign, visit our social media marketing page.