By Mark Skroch, President, BCV

How did we ever get rooms booked before the internet?

Travel agents? That’s so 80’s throwback. 

Calling a property to check pricing and availability? How quaint.

As you are well aware, the game today is all about the social media strategy and execution that drives online booking. As you also know, that means content creation, distribution, paid media, sentiment monitoring, and stats showing all programs’ ROI. So complex! How can an internal team ever hope to do all that? Better round up some digital agencies and hire one, right?

If you scanned my bio, you might think you know where this is going. But please, don’t jump to any conclusions.

Making a case for not hiring an agency.

Let’s start with the premise that you’ve got everything covered in-house. And I firmly believe that you might just have everything you need already in the hearts, minds, and skills of the people on your team. Please note that I didn’t say you have everything–just everything you need.

Do you REALLY need to do everything?

Social media eats up staff hours voraciously. It is a bottomless pit that needs constant feeding. So, the question becomes how you put that beast on a manageable diet. I’m suggesting that you prioritize the scope of your in-house program by limiting it to two or three possible benefits. What is more important and valuable to your business? Is it the time necessary to run a program? Is it the money required to run a successful program? Or is it the expertise needed to be on top of the ever-changing social media landscape? Let’s look at all three.

Time.

Content Creation takes time. Consistently.

Do you have the time from current staffers to create all of the content you need? 

Is this going to be someone’s job? Or are you thinking that since we all have camera phones, they can be grabbed on-the-fly? We estimate that content will take an internal 10 – 15 hours per week, including content creation and the time it takes to distribute the content thru paid and organic channels.

Money.

Running social media programs that include organic and paid media is an ongoing investment. The staff hours required to run a program vs the outside costs of an agency can be ball-parked. Just look at your volume for the entire program. Then decide if there is enough for an in-house staffer–or if it is enough for an in-house staffer to manage an agency resource.

Expertise.

There are infinite possibilities in the social media world. New tools, formats, data, trends, and channels pop up almost daily. Most properties don’t need (or want) to be on top of the latest and greatest. Other properties want to understand their options and opportunities.

In-House vs Agency Evaluation

It’s really a matter of figuring out what is most important in each category of your social program. 

  • Content
  • Posting
  • Analytics
  • Marcomm Tech
  • Paid Media
  • Reputation Management

Here’s a head-to-head comparison to help sort things out:

Social Category

Internal

Agency
Content
  • Good Enough
  • Lower Cost
  • Limited Formats
  • Higher Quality
  • Higher Cost per post
  • All Formats
Posting
  • <5x Per Month
  • Some Channels
  • >10x Per Month
  • All Channels
Analytics
  • Baseline Reports
  • Data Points
  • Generalist
  • ROI Reports
  • Strategic Insights
  • Dedicated Experts
Marcom Tech
  • Basic Tools
  • Learning Curve
  • Licenses Needed
  • Advanced Tools
  • Mastery
  • Marketing Stack Owned
Paid Media
  • Some Skills
  • Some Placement
  • Simple Ad Units
  • Dedicated Team
  • Precision Programs
  • Emerging Ad Products
Reputation Management
  • Emergency Alerts
  • Damage Control
  • Passive Listening
  • 24/7 Monitoring
  • Damage Prevention
  • Active Listening

In conclusion, there are clearly a bunch of factors that come to play in deciding who should do the work on a social program. And it really depends on the blend of time, money, and expertise required by your property or properties. Performing an honest evaluation of what you want versus what you need will help you decide. And if you need some outside input on it, I’ll be happy to help you sort it out, starting with the opinion that you might not need an agency. Unless you do, of course!

About the Author

Mark Skroch
President
BCV, A RateGain Company

Mark Skroch is the Global President for BCV Social. Previously, Mark held senior positions with leading agencies such as Energy BBDO, Digitas, Ogilvy & Mather, and J. Walter Thompson. An entrepreneur and a seasoned leader with over 25 years of experience, Mark has led and implemented integrated communication strategies across various industries, from telecommunications to packaged goods, hospitality, sports, retail, spirits, mobile devices, insurance, and financial institutions.

Ready to work with us? Let's connect.

CHI
DEL
DEN
DXB
LAX
LON
MIA
NYC