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Social media: Using automation software vs going it alone

Most businesses now understand that social media is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Yet the majority also know that it is time-consuming. With so many social media management companies out there though it’s safe to assume that outsourced social media management is needed – and it’s effective. But what about emerging sites which promise to enable business owners to manage their social media effortlessly in-house?

At Search and More we incorporate social media marketing into our holistic SEO strategy – but we also recognise that some businesses still prefer to go it alone. In this article we explore the various methods companies can use to take this lucrative marketing medium on in-house to secure social media success without the hassle.

Is it better to keep social media management in-house?

Some experts maintain that it’s a risk letting outsiders take hold of your social media campaigns for you. But whilst the benefit of internal insight can’t be underestimated, neither can the importance of getting it right. Although social media is accessible to everyone, to secure results commercially expert attention is often needed – either in the form of content creation, a dedicated social media manager who knows what they’re doing, or both.

Retaining control of social media in-house depends on two things – your goals, and your time. Do you have lofty ambitions and strong objectives for social media? Is it going to form a significant part of your marketing campaign – will it be your main revenue stream? If so, don’t leave its efficacy to chance. Similarly ask yourself whether you have the time to dedicate to social media. Are you stacked out at the moment? If the answer is yes then you won’t be able to find enough time to run your social media platforms effectively.

Is automation software a good alternative?

Automation platforms (like Buffer, SocialOomph and HootSuite) are becoming increasingly popular – and it’s clear to see why. For a fraction of the cost of social media management businesses can allocate some time to schedule all their content for the following month at once, so they can sit back, relax and forget about it. Or can they?

The nature of social media is instantaneous. So whilst automation software is brilliant (and is often used by professional social media managers) you’ll still need someone on hand to answer tweets and engage with other users throughout the day.

How do I know what to write?

Content makes a social media campaign – because without engaging, interesting material your strategy is unlikely to be successful, however many times you tweet or post. Yet this important element is something many people who take care of social media in-house struggle with. Each platform is different and has varying audiences who need to be reached in a certain way based on their environment. Context is everything – therefore content needs to be audience appropriate and platform appropriate. If you struggle to come up with content you can enlist the help of a content specialist – or attend social media training to understand your audience and the content they need to receive better.

Want to know more about digital marketing and social media? Take a look at our related articles.

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