Social media allows businesses to connect with customers, increase brand awareness, and boost both leads and sales. And with more than 3.8 billion active users, social networks are no passing trend. So, whether you run a small mom-and-pop shop or a global enterprise, social media is a crucial piece of your business’s marketing, customer service, and customer experience strategy.

It’s not hard to figure out why your business needs a presence on social media, but it can be challenging to determine who should manage it—your in-house team, or a vendor that specializes in social media management.

Your goal, as always, is to deliver high-quality content and service to your customers. Considering the unique structure and needs of your business and its clients will help you determine if you can do so through in-house or outsourced social media management (or, maybe even a combination of both).

Day-to-Day vs. Campaign Management

Social media management can generally be broken down into two parts—day-to-day management and campaign management, with the latter applying to those who are using social platforms for more targeted promotions or community outreach.

Day-to-day social media management includes creating and posting relevant and engaging content, and responding to comments, questions and private messages to gain an organic following. These tasks are fairly straightforward but can be extremely time-consuming.

Campaign management includes creating and executing paid advertisements on social media channels, or setting up organic posts to expand with paid coverage (often known as “boosted” posts on Facebook). These campaigns are used to promote specific marketing initiatives, such as generating sales, building an email list, or increasing brand awareness. Social media campaign management can also include the development of ad creative and setting targeting rules for your ads or sponsored posts. This is generally the most technical part of social media management and needs to be carried out by someone with the appropriate training and experience.

Unless you have an in-house social media specialist, a third-party agency or consultant is often a good fit to coordinate campaign management for optimal performance, while day-to-day social media management could either be performed in-house or outsourced—or could even be handled through a hybrid of the two.


Generally, in-house social media management is more cost-effective if you already have someone on your team with the right skills. If you don’t, recruiting and training someone for this role can be costly—a social media marketing manager can earn up to $75,000 per year, not including additional benefits.

Outsourced social media management services are generally paid by contract, avoiding the training and overhead costs of a full-time employee. Determining which option will be the most cost-effective for your business greatly depends on your specific needs and the members of your team.

Management Considerations

Generally speaking, it is typically easier to manage the production of day-to-day social media when it produced in-house rather than coordinating with a third party vendor. Having an in-house resource allows you to immediately communicate what is going on within your organization as new events occur, and timelines for review and approvals are typically quicker. That said, social media management can be time-consuming, and the hidden cost of in-house social management often means that whomever is responsible for your Facebook and Twitter feed is splitting that time that might otherwise be allocated to other responsibilities.

On the other hand, outsourcing paid campaigns to a 3rd party vendor can be done quite efficiently with a little planning, as the timelines for those efforts usually allow for setup, development, reviews, and approvals when planned properly. 


Outsourcing social media management is popular primarily for the quality of content that it generates. Most businesses do not have team members who are already experts at graphic design, copywriting, social media strategy, and more. Additionally, social networking platforms are constantly changing formats and algorithms, making it nearly impossible to keep up with unless social media is your full-time focus.

These things may not be quite so critical for day-to-day management, but when you’re spending money on a paid campaign you want to make sure that you have the right team for the job, whether it’s in-house or outsourced.


Appearing authentic in any marketing venture, but especially on social media, is very important.

In fact, some research has found:

  • 86 percent of consumers said that authenticity is an important factor when deciding which brands they like and support.
  • Photos that feature faces (especially those of your team, your customers, or your community) are 32 percent more likely to receive comments and 38 percent more likely to receive likes on Instagram.
  • 91 percent of consumers are willing to reward a brand for authenticity by making a purchase, investment, endorsement, or taking a similar action.

If the person (or people) handling your social media does not post content that aligns with your brand’s voice, your audience is unlikely to engage because they will not see it as authentic. Your in-house and/or outsourced social media management team needs to have a deep understanding of your brand identity and voice in order to be successful.

Generally, it is easier to create authentic content via an in-house team. But even if you decide to outsource your social media management, it is essential to have someone within the organization on hand to generate “day in the life” content, such as employee profiles, sneak peaks into cool new projects, or fun staff bonding activities and traditions. For example, at one of the senior care centers we work with, their activities coordinator regularly posts photos of the residents on field trips or doing fun crafts, which their audience really enjoys.

Strike a Balance Between In-House and Outsourced Social Media

At HSS, we generally advocate for a hybrid approach to social media management, whereby marketing campaigns are outsourced to specialists, and day-to-day management is handled in-house. This allows the benefit of experience and a targeted strategy that aligns with your business goals for paid campaigns, balanced with the authenticity and efficiency of in-house management for day-to-day efforts. 

Whatever approach you take, the key is to ensure that you have a plan for managing your social media presence responsibly, and translating your organization’s goals into an effective strategy that will produce results.

To learn more, simply complete the form below and we’ll be happy to follow-up with additional information, including:

  • Needs Assessment
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