Businesses rely predominantly on their in-house staff for social media marketing, followed by marketing software, according to a survey by The Manifest. Based on the answers of 344 social media marketers, the survey highlights the struggles businesses are facing when it comes to social media marketing.
85% of respondents said they used in-house staff for their social campaigns, whilst 43% used outside software, followed by digital marketing agencies (28%) and just 9% utilised freelancers or consultants. The results highlight the lack of human and financial resources to schedule successful social media campaigns.
However, in-house staff often lack the necessary experience to maximise social media campaigns.
“Understand which marketing tactics your business needs and the resources and skill level needed to do it,” explained Julie Howell, Marketing Director at Postali. “If you’re interested in social media and doing a weekly newsletter, you can likely find a local specialist and hire in-house. If you’re looking for more comprehensive marketing services, an agency is a better bang for your buck as they often have staff skilled in many areas of marketing.”
Companies looking for quality help often rely on referrals (43%) to help assess a suitable social media marketing agency. Among those who had previously hired a social media marketing specialist price was a dominant reason (40%) followed by referrals from colleague and friends (37%) and cultural fit (31%).
“Companies are made up of people,” added Tom Bernthal, CEO of Kelton Research. “And when CMOs need results, they don’t need a name on the door, they need a team of partners that is sharp, creative and dedicated.”
When it comes to the core challenges businesses associate with selecting a relevant agency partner, 43% of respondents cited tracking results as a main challenge, followed by understanding the company strategy (41%), innovative ideas (37%), project management skills (33%) and executing a strategic plan (33%).
Just 11% of businesses said they had experienced no issues in working with an agency.
When it comes to selecting the right software tools for social media purchasing decisions, 40% of businesses prioritise based on features and capabilities, whilst 32% consider costs, and 27% choose solutions based on free trials.
Social media marketing can be a challenging task for most businesses. It is worth assessing multiple options and trialling a mix of in-house and specialist outside resources to find out what works best.