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Outsourcing Social Media Marketing: A Guide for Agencies

by Jimmy Rodela

Apr 23

5 min to read

Outsourcing Social Media Marketing: A Guide for Agencies

Outsourcing social media marketing is a risky affair. 

With your agency’s reputation on the line, it’s hard to give the keys to your clients’ social media marketing campaigns to someone you recently just met.

But at the same time, running campaigns with only your in-house team can prevent you from scaling because of your in-house team’s limited bandwidth. So, rather than sending clients out the door, agencies have no choice but to outsource social media marketing from third-party providers. 

You may be a startup that’s still learning how to start a digital marketing agency with no experience. Or, you could be an established social media management agency with in-house specialists under your wing.  

Regardless, manpower shortages are a real problem—and it’s difficult to prepare for them in a fast-paced industry like social media marketing. 

You need to know how to find the right crew to lend your social media marketing agency a hand. 

Still with us?

Great—continue reading to learn more.

Benefits of outsourcing social media marketing (for agencies)

Before we tackle the best practices in outsourcing your social media marketing, let’s talk about the benefits first. 

1. Fill skill gaps

The presence of skill gaps is the number one reason why a social media marketing company should outsource.

Let’s say your client wants you to manage their Instagram account. Unfortunately, no one in the building knows how to use the IG tools they already use.

Outsourcing can provide your agency with an opportunity to get out of this sticky situation. It allows you to quickly and reliably fill skill gaps in your social media strategy. 

2. Accommodate growing client demand

A social media marketing agency can’t always afford to say “no” to a client.

It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a prospect who wants to hire you or an existing client with growing needs. You never waste an opportunity like that. 

But what if your in-house social media management team is already slammed?

That’s where outsourcing can swoop in and save the day.

3. Save time and money

Hiring and onboarding an in-house employee cost more than hiring a freelancer on a contractual basis. This makes the latter more practical if your social media company needs to start saving money.

On average, paying an in-house social media manager costs $52,870 per year. But on freelance marketplaces like Upwork, a competent and highly-rated social media manager can be hired for only $10 per hour or $20,280 per year.  

Not to mention that you can hire full-service agencies on a per-project basis for as little as $500, especially if you look at platforms like Agency Vista.

In addition, an in-house employee needs more time to get settled. They need to be oriented on how tasks are managed and reported in your organization. 

It’s also worth mentioning that in-house employees need to learn your social media marketing tools. 

Contractors, on the other hand, can rely on their own tools and workflows to get things done. As such, they can be more reliable if you’re after quick and low-cost social media marketing

4. Bring in a fresh perspective 

Outsourcing social media experts can be the best way to discover new, untapped ideas. 

Sure, maintaining a social media marketing team that understands your brand’s voice and vision is important. But relying on people who’ve been with your company since day one can stagnate innovation. 

If you want positive and guaranteed changes in your organization, look for someone who can give you an outside perspective. 

5. Keep high-value clients your top priority

In any industry, increasing the size of the workload has a direct impact on quality and productivity. 

The same goes for social media marketing.

With new customers flooding in, it’s harder for teams to maintain the same level of quality that existing clients expect. 

To keep your core team focused on your most valuable clients, outsource social media marketing. After all, maintaining profitable relationships with current clients is more important than finding new ones.  

Outsourcing social media management tips

Ready to outsource? 

To make cost-effective outsourcing decisions, here are five tips you shouldn’t miss: 

1. Start with referrals

Before you look at freelance marketplaces or book a call with another agency, survey your network for referrals. 

Employees, business partners, and industry peers provide recommendations based on experience. This maximizes your chances of finding a “winner” outsourced team.

2. Check out reviews

Reading reviews can tell you a lot about the potential benefits or drawbacks of working with outsourced service providers.

Here’s a tip: fire up Google, enter the freelancer or agency’s name, and add the word “review.” 

In most cases, you don’t need to look past the top three results to find what you need.

Screenshot of a Google search for reviews
Image Source: Google.com

If you’re checking out freelancers, marketplaces like Upwork comes with a built-in review system. This lets you determine if you’re recruiting the right people for your social media strategy right off the bat. 

Screenshot from Upwork review
Image Source: Upwork.com

3. Consider short-term opportunities 

After outsourcing digital marketing, don’t be too keen to have them aboard in the long haul. 

You can hire a social media consultant who can help you with strategy development and content planning. From there, the consultant’s work should help you boost your results in the long-term despite the short-term collaboration. 

Suppose your Instagram client wants to ramp up their posting frequency. 

A good strategy is to hire someone who can give you expert advice on building content pillars for Instagram. This will help your agency create content at previously unprecedented speeds. 

4. Use a social platform with team features

All-around social media management platforms like Vista Social make working with outsourced talent a breeze. 

Screenshot of Vista Social's page

Vista Social lets you collaborate on the platform using notes, task management, and social media reports. Best of all, you only need to spend $3 to onboard unlimited users to your social media management dashboard. 

This will help your agency work closely with outsourced professionals for content creation, scheduling, and lead generation—no matter where they work. Using Vista Social also means you don’t have to pay constant attention to their output due to the visual tracker and calendar. 

5. Look for platform-specific knowledge

Outsourcing a social media generalist is counter-intuitive. 

What you need to do is look for a social media expert that perfectly fits the needs of your company. 

For example, if you need to use TikTok tools for a client, don’t gamble by hiring a general “video marketing freelancer.” Search for service providers who specialize in the specific TikTok tools required in your social media campaign. 

Consolidate outsourced social media efforts into your strategy

Vista Social is one of the best social media platforms for flexible agencies. 

With the platform’s collaborative features, you can outsource social media management with confidence. Track real-time progress, communicate with notes, and let the results speak for themselves. 

Expand your team now with a free Vista Social account!

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