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Should I keep my social media strategy in-house?

By Jon Brown

When you're working on a digital PR strategy, make sure you put enough effort in your chosen social media channels as they will  play a significant role within your PR activity.

Our 'The Ultimate Guide to B2B Digital PR' eBook can guide you on what you need  to get started in B2B Digital PR.

Social media is a deeply personal part of a brand’s identity, from tone of voice, to content posted or things liked and shared, each channel is a direct reflection of “who the company is”.

Therefore, owning well managed, well presented and captivating social media accounts is key to helping not only with lead generation but also with brand awareness.

But when it comes to doing social media, should you keep this activity in house? Or should you look to outsource to an agency?

In truth, there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Keeping social media in-house

A key advantage for many clients choosing to keep their social media activity in-house is that they understand their own company more thoroughly than anyone else.

Social media accounts are a direct reflection of who a company is – it's values and mission - so keeping this in-house with employees who are bought into the company values, know the daily goings-on and have a deep knowledge of the product or service makes a lot of sense.

Media posts often perform substantially better for engagement on many platforms such as Twitter, so having someone able to report on office activity and company culture can be a great way to show a business’ personality. Photos of a staff party or employees having a good time always go down well.

Keeping things in-house can also add peace of mind. Anything that goes out into the public domain from a business account reflects back on the business, and with so many social media fails, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to risk losing control.

However, situations like these can be avoided when agencies and clients have a working strategy in place. An engaged relationship focused on understanding house style, tone and code of conduct, with robust sign off processes in place will help avoid any embarrassing situations.


Outsourcing to a partner agency

In today’s digital world, any PR agency worth its salt should be constantly monitoring social media - whether it be for breaking news or understanding which platform is being used by their target audience. Not only should they know the ins-and-outs of how platforms operate, but they should know how to track and monitor success and produce mistake-proof posts consistently.

A question to ask any agency managing your social media accounts is: "Do you have the internal resources to properly manage and measure social media activity?" How they respond will give you a good understanding of their capability. 

Using an agency for your social media activity is as much about maximising your available resource as it is producing nice content. Agencies can dedicate time and resource to monitor social media channels, to analyse the explore different pages/ posts and craft campaigns that target your audience on a regular basis using your relevant content. If you're a small internal team, you might not have the luxury of this resource.

In our experience, we've found that in-house social media activity will start well for a period of time before, being falling away as other business needs take priority. This can really hurt a brands reputation when customers see social channel activity fade away and so it's important to give it dedicated resource. 

ITPR founder and former CEO Bob Dearsley, likened social media to a ‘cocktail party’ in one of his blog posts. And it's important to remember that you don’t want to be THAT person at the party who only talks about themselves and how great they are! 

Use your social media platforms to talk to others, ask questions, engage with your audience on their interests. 


In or out - what should you do?

So what should you do? In-house or outsource? Both approaches have their advantages. 

Consider this; do you have the resources to manage a variety of channels consistently in-house? Don’t miss out on the benefits of paid social, measurement or scheduling tools if it’s because you simply don’t have the personnel nor time available to manage them.

Whichever you chose, creating a strategy and measurement along the way with social media activity is key. Aligning it with your other PR activity by promoting blogs, positioning business execs as thought leaders and community engagement, is our tip for success.

We believe in the power of social media connecting you to the world and hope you share that vision with us.


If you want to read more on our tips for success on social media, here's a blog with 7 key steps.

B2B Digital PR

Tags: Social Media