To Out Source or Not To Out Source: Social Media

It’s a question as old as blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Should you outsource your social media duties?

Social media is unavoidable, even for companies that believe they’re doing fine without it. They may be finding some new clients without social media, but they miss important opportunities for growth. Outsourcing allows a company to take advantage of these opportunities, often cheaper or more efficiently than they could manage on their own. The trade-off, of course, is relying on someone else to manage one of your company’s most visible outlets.

The Pros

You can avoid the learning curve.

While blogging, tweeting and many other aspects of social media are often designed to be user friendly, they still have a learning curve. Rather than dedicating company resources to learning the difference between a wall post and a direct message, or what actions might be prohibited by Facebook or Google+, outsourcing to an expert means you can start a social media campaign quicker, avoid costly setbacks, and maximize your message’s effectiveness.

It’s cheaper.

Drafting blog posts and tweets, planning a Facebook marketing campaign, and developing and maintaining profiles on a variety of sites can take a considerable amount of time, and even more if you don’t have staff knowledgeable in the various forms of social media.

If your staff is unable to handle the additional workload, this can result in paying overtime, or bringing on additional staff and all the costs associated with that staff, such as benefits and taxes. Outsourcing to a third party can allow your company to grow a social media presence by paying for the resources you need without diverting your staff from their current duties.

The Cons

Your representative becomes you.

Your clients, your competitors and the media will treat your social media campaign as an extension of your company. This means that what your accounts tweet or post, whether or not you approved the message, reflects upon you and your company. You have to rely on your social media experts to clearly understand your company’s vision and message to prevent your clients from receiving mixed messages.

More importantly, you have to rely on these experts to provide security to your accounts. If your account passwords are common knowledge at the company, then a disgruntled employee or a lapse in security can tarnish your brand through harmful or offensive posts.

A hacker that learns your company’s password can quickly gain access to your clients and customers, collect sensitive information, or direct people to submit personal information. Depending on how closely your accounts are monitored, it can take hours or even days to cut off unauthorized access.

You’re one step removed.

While you can insist on reviewing every message before it goes out, this may slow down communication with potential customers and clients and create a bottleneck. If clients or customers turn to social media to voice dissatisfaction, then your delayed response can further complicate the situation.


By outsourcing your social media operations, you can save precious hours learning and adapting to the nuances of social media, but there is a risk in relying on a third party to manage how many people will see your company. To most people, your social media presence is an official channel to the company, so you need to make sure your message is consistent and professional.

Dean Saliba

Dean Saliba is a freelance writer, professional blogger, media enthusiast, dirty football player and huge professional wrestling fan who covers a wide range of subjects and niches including, making money online, traffic generating, pro wrestling, blog reviews, football, how-to guides, music, internet marketing and more.


  • I think if a majority of the company’s workforce is completely new to social media, it might be a good idea to outsource at first to get the ball rolling while at the same time, they are taught how to use social media for the company’s benefit. Then once they are well versed in its effective usage, gradually put them in charge and maybe leave the specialists to participate in a consulting role only.


  • While I like the idea of outsourcing, it does take a while to find reliable help, which may end up costing a lot of time and possibly money, but once you do find someone suitable it is a big help to your business.

  • Hey Jen,

    Social media is definitely unavoidable and the best pro you gave for outsourcing is avoiding the learning curve. You will be able to maximize your efforts and focus on other blogging tasks at the same time. However, finding a social media expert you can rely on to portray your company’s message the way you want it portrayed can be a little tricky.

  • I’d be very wary of outsourcing social media for all the reasons you highlighted in your blog post. You are removed from your customer and you’re not in total control of how your business is portrayed on various social media platforms. Any malfeasance on part of the people handling your social media duties can be disastrous for your company’s image.

    I’m not saying that’s what will necessarily happen but, for me personally, it’s too much of a risk.

  • For me, outsourcing social media isn’t a bad idea. It’s one way to give more time to more important matters. You just have to discuss the details from your contractor on how you want to go about it.

  • With social media being a prominent mode to gain popularity, companies streamline their efforts to build an entire presence through twitter, facebook & other popular social media outlets.

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