Really? Social Media Better Done “In house”

Results of CMO Club Weekly Poll published on BW blog made some interesting reading. Question that was asked was “Which of your groups is best equipped to help you with your social media efforts today?”  114 CMOs responded:

  • 65.6% In House
  • 15.6% Interactive Agency
  • 9.4% PR Firm
  • 9.4% Social Media Agency
  • 0% Creative/Ad Agency

Why majority of respondents preferred In House Agency rather than entrusting the work to outside firms?

Answer lies in the fact that Social Media is still a very new subject and unexplored medium – constantly evolving. More importantly, Social Media/Interactive/PR/Creative/Ad agencies have not done a good job of defining their offerings and articulating them well to clients. And in absence of any well defined service offerings from agencies, clients prefer to do Social Media in-house.

What Can agencies do to remedy the situation?

  • Come out with well defined service offerings
  • Articulate their service offerings well to clients
  • Offer a result oriented approach to induce clients to try out Social Media
  • Hire best available talent who understand Social Media well and how to leverage it for Brand Promotion

Agencies will have to take a lead on this and guide their clients. Early birds will get the best returns! What do you think?

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4 responses to “Really? Social Media Better Done “In house”

  1. Hi Harish — I have a different reaction to the poll. I’m sure agencies can do a better job articulating and (especially) demonstrating their social media capabilities, but companies really have to do a lot of social media themselves. Agencies can help with strategy, with monitoring, with creation of social platforms and channels, but companies have to invest serious time in listening, learning, connecting, and engaging themselves if they really want the benefits of the conversations. Customers and others want to connect directly with subject matter experts at the company. Agencies can facilitate that, but if the in-house experts don’t engage, the value disappears.

    • Thanks Rob for your comment:

      I agree with you that companies have to invest serious time and resources on Social Media engagement. But they do need outside help in coming up to the speed. Agencies can help facilitate that. Moreover, all tasks that are repetitive in nature, can be standardized should be delegated to agencies – who are more flexible when it comes to staffing (they can increase or decrease staff as per requirement) and are less expensive (as vendors have less over-heads than employees). Agencies can also bring in Subject Matter experts that a medium sized organization may not be able to hire otherwise.

      So, while it is important for any organization to invest time and resources on Social Media efforts, it is equally important to seek outside help from agencies/consultants to help bring the staff up to the speed, set up Social Media monitoring and engagement program and adequately train resources. Lastly, agencies/consultants are more cost effective and flexible and all tasks that can be standardized can be delegated to them.

      Hope this helps and thanks again for your insightful comments.

      Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  2. Hi Harish — I have a different reaction to the poll. I’m sure agencies can do a better job articulating and (especially) demonstrating their social media capabilities, but companies really have to do a lot of social media themselves. Agencies can help with strategy, with monitoring, with creation of social platforms and channels, but companies have to invest serious time in listening, learning, connecting, and engaging themselves if they really want the benefits of the conversations. Customers and others want to connect directly with subject matter experts at the company. Agencies can facilitate that, but if the in-house experts don’t engage, the value disappears.

    • Thanks Rob for your comment:

      I agree with you that companies have to invest serious time and resources on Social Media engagement. But they do need outside help in coming up to the speed. Agencies can help facilitate that. Moreover, all tasks that are repetitive in nature, can be standardized should be delegated to agencies – who are more flexible when it comes to staffing (they can increase or decrease staff as per requirement) and are less expensive (as vendors have less over-heads than employees). Agencies can also bring in Subject Matter experts that a medium sized organization may not be able to hire otherwise.

      So, while it is important for any organization to invest time and resources on Social Media efforts, it is equally important to seek outside help from agencies/consultants to help bring the staff up to the speed, set up Social Media monitoring and engagement program and adequately train resources. Lastly, agencies/consultants are more cost effective and flexible and all tasks that can be standardized can be delegated to them.

      Hope this helps and thanks again for your insightful comments.

      Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

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