Does Your Business Need A Superhero, A Social Media Manager, Or An Agency?

Discover the importance of social media management for business growth. Learn why not every superhero can be a social media manager, the benefits of hiring an agency, and cost-effective hybrid solutions.

superhero social media manager

Growing Your Business Through Social Media

Ryan Holmes, CEO of Vancouver-based Hootsuite, declared the role of Social Media Manager dead. While it’s true that positions with this title have decreased, the need for social media skills has not. Social media hasn’t gone away, on the contrary, it has moved closer to the center of business.

Studies show that 94% of business buyers research online first. 58% of customers (and 64% of millennials) research products on Facebook before buying. It’s not a question of whether or not a business needs a social presence, it’s just a question of who is going to handle it. If social media keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the agenda it might be time to hire an in-house social media specialist or a social media agency to ensure that your company is making the most of social marketing opportunities.

The Superhero Dilemma: What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

The role of Social Media Manager is evolving. It used to be simpler, now it’s a multifaceted role better suited to an experienced communicator with superhero-like digital skills. A Social Media Manager is a communicator first and foremost. Whether she’s speaking for the company as she replies to tweets or strategizing about a campaign, she is constantly communicating. Beyond the words these managers need a keen eye for numbers, a strong sense of strategy, a good understanding of sales and the creativity to nimbly hop between platforms.

Why Not Every Superhero Can Be a Social Media Manager

In the world of social media management, having a superhero on your team might seem like the ultimate dream. But let’s take a moment to consider the practicalities of this scenario.

Imagine hiring The Flash as your social media manager. With his super speed, he could post content, respond to comments, and analyze data in a blink of an eye. He could probably manage the social media accounts of multiple businesses at once, all while saving the city from various threats. Sounds perfect, right?

But wait, his speed could also be his downfall. Imagine him typing at super speed and accidentally posting confidential company information or a post full of typos. His rapid-fire responses might also come across as impersonal or automated, lacking the human touch that is so crucial in social media interactions.

Moreover, The Flash’s super speed doesn’t necessarily come with super attention to detail or strategic thinking. Social media management isn’t just about speed; it’s about understanding the brand, engaging with the audience, and creating a strategic plan to achieve specific business goals.

So, while The Flash might excel in speed, he might not necessarily have the right skill set to be a successful social media manager. This highlights the importance of not just looking at the surface-level skills (or superpowers) of a potential social media manager, but also considering the deeper, more strategic skills that are required for the role.

The Challenges of Being a Social Media Manager

Being a Social Media Manager can be challenging. It requires staying up-to-date with the latest social media trends, constantly creating engaging content, and dealing with negative comments or crises.

The Benefits of Hiring a Social Media Manager

Hiring a Social Media Manager can provide a number of benefits. They can help to increase brand awareness, engage with customers, generate leads, and much more. 

Considering Hiring an Agency?

Hiring an agency or an individual immersed in new trends in online PR, content marketing, and mobile marketing will keep a business ahead of the pack. Some companies have found success hiring an agency to develop a social media strategy first. Hiring a social media marketing agency rather than a full-time Social Media Manager in-house manager can save time and money. It’s a particularly good choice for medium to large businesses with a healthy budget and some in-house marketing staff. Working with an agency lets a company’s social media presence grow as business grows.

In 2023, the cost of hiring a social media agency can range from $2,000 to $10,000 per month depending on the services provided. If that’s out of reach for small businesses, there’s another way.

A Hybrid Solution: Social Media Management Services

For businesses looking for a more affordable solution, social media management services can be a great option. These services provide social media posting and management at a fraction of the cost of hiring an agency. Here are some examples:

  1. Sprout Social: Their social media dashboard pricing starts at $249 per month for the Standard plan where you write all of your own posts. 
  2. Social Marketer: Offers a competitive price starting at $249 per month where Social Marketer writes and schedules all of your posts for you.
  3. LYFE Marketing: Their social media management pricing starts at $600 per month.
  4. Social Media Co. UK Their basic “update my feeds’ social media management package starts at £350 per month.

These services can handle all aspects of social media management, allowing businesses to reap the benefits of social media without the need for a full-time in-house social media manager or the high cost of an agency.

Looking for a Place to Start?

Consider speaking with me (I’m a social media consultant) to help you develop a social media marketing strategy that’s based on measurable business goals. Learn more about me and my social media consulting services. If you’re looking for social media services you can resell to your clients, check out Social Marketer for white-label social media management.

In the end, it’s not about finding a superhero to manage your social media. It’s about finding someone who understands your business, your brand, and your audience, and who can use social media as a tool to drive growth and engagement. Whether that’s a dedicated social media manager, a social media agency, or a hybrid solution like a social media management service, will depend on your specific needs and resources.

Related Reading

  1. What is Social Media Management?
  2. What Does a Social Media Manager Do?
  3. How Much Do Social Media Managers Charge?
  4. What Do You Do As a Social Media Manager?
  5. How Much Should a Social Media Manager Get Paid?
  6. What Do You Need to Be a Social Media Manager?
  7. What is the Role of a Social Media Manager?
  8. What Are the Challenges of Being a Social Media Manager?
  9. How Do Social Media Managers Stay Organized?
  10. What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Social Media Manager?
  11. What Are the Key Skills of a Successful Social Media Manager?
  12. 5 Social Media Trends That Will Dominate 2023
  13. Social Media Stats for Social Media Managers
  14. 50+ of the most important social media marketing statistics for 2023
  15. 10 Social Media Statistics You Need To Know
  16. 15 Social Media Trends Smart Marketers Will Leverage In 2023

FAQ’s: Agency vs In-House vs Freelancer vs Social Media Management Service 

As you evaluate different options for managing your social media — hiring an in-house manager, partnering with a large agency, using services from Social Marketer, or hiring freelancers — we know you might have questions. We’ve answered the most common ones below.

  1. What’s the cost difference between these options?

Hiring an in-house social media manager often means a commitment to a full-time salary plus benefits, office space, and resources for professional development. The average salary for a social media manager in the US ranges from $50,000 to $70,000 annually, excluding benefits and additional costs. Large agencies typically charge more due to their extensive resources and broad capabilities. Outsourcing to a service like Social Marketer offers a more budget-friendly solution. Freelancers on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr can offer the most cost-effective options, but these come with their own set of challenges, such as reliability and quality control.

  1. How well can each option understand my business and its needs?

In-house managers and large agencies can develop a deep understanding of your business due to their constant involvement. Social Marketer also takes significant time in onboarding its clients to ensure they’re aligned with your needs. Freelancers may require more guidance and oversight to understand your business well.

  1. How much control will I have over my social media content and strategy?

With an in-house manager, you maintain maximum control. Agencies provide structured collaboration opportunities, and Social Marketer allows input at every step. Freelancers usually require more direction from you.

  1. Can I scale up my social media activities quickly with these options?

In-house managers may have limits on how much they can handle, whereas large agencies and services like Social Marketer are designed to scale quickly based on your needs. Freelancers may also be able to scale, but this depends on their individual capacity.

  1. How will I measure the effectiveness of my social media activities?

In-house managers and agencies should provide regular, comprehensive reports. Social Marketer offers detailed monthly reports on your social media performance. Freelancers may require more guidance to provide the level of reporting you need.

  1. Can each option handle my specific industry or niche?

In-house managers, large agencies, and Social Marketer should all have the skills and tools to adapt to any industry. Freelancers’ expertise varies widely, and you’ll need to carefully vet their relevant experience.

  1. What if my needs change over time?

An in-house manager may require additional training or resources if your needs evolve. Large agencies and services like Social Marketer are often well-equipped to adapt to changes. Freelancers may also adapt, but it depends on their individual skill sets.

  1. What kind of commitment is required for each option?

Hiring an in-house manager is usually a long-term commitment. Large agencies often require contracts, which can vary in length. Social Marketer operates on a month-to-month basis, providing flexibility. Freelancers generally work per project or on short-term contracts.

  1. Who owns the content created by these options?

For in-house managers and large agencies, you generally own all the content created. Social Marketer ensures clients retain full ownership of the created content. With freelancers, you’ll need to ensure ownership is clearly stated in your contract.

  1. What happens if my in-house social media manager quits, or a freelancer doesn’t complete their contract?

This can create a significant disruption in your social media presence. If an in-house manager leaves, it might take time to hire and train a replacement. A freelancer dropping a contract can cause delays and inconsistencies. Social Marketer, like many large agencies, has a team in place that can seamlessly continue to manage your social media.

  1. How does each option handle multiple social media platforms?

In-house managers can handle multiple platforms, but their capacity might be limited by other responsibilities. Large agencies and Social Marketer have teams capable of managing multiple platforms simultaneously. Freelancers’ ability might depend on their experience and workload.

  1. How is the success of social media campaigns measured?

An in-house manager will likely report directly to you. Large agencies often have detailed reporting systems, and Social Marketer provides comprehensive analytics for your campaigns. Freelancers’ reporting may vary based on their skill level and experience.

  1. How can I be sure the content posted aligns with my brand’s voice and values?

With an in-house social media manager, you’ll have the opportunity to closely monitor and guide the messaging. Social Marketer and large agencies work with you to understand your brand voice and maintain it across your social media platforms. The success with freelancers might vary, as it heavily depends on their understanding and dedication to your brand.

  1. Can I expect consistent posting and engagement with my audience across all options?

Yes, but the consistency and quality can vary. An in-house social media manager should be able to provide consistent posting, but may become overwhelmed if the demands increase. Social Marketer and large agencies ensure regular and consistent engagement due to their larger teams and resources. Freelancers’ consistency will depend on their workload and commitment to your project.

  1. What is the turnaround time for creating and posting content in each scenario?

In-house managers and freelancers may require more time to create and post content due to limited resources or multiple clients. Social Marketer and large agencies have designated teams to ensure quick and timely content creation and posting.

“Deciding on how to manage your social media can be a complex decision. While there are various options available, from in-house to outsourcing to freelancers, it’s critical to evaluate the impact of these choices on your business. Remember, Social Marketer provides a cost-effective and reliable solution for SMBs seeking comprehensive social media management.”

About the Author:
Brent Purves is a social media consultant and the director of Social Marketer, a leading provider of white label social media management services. With over 20 years of experience in the digital marketing industry, Brent has a passion for helping startups and agencies grow and thrive with the help of expert social media management.