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Can in-house mean dog-house for corporate social media?

Lack of internal social media expertise is holding many companies back says new report

First the good news: the penny seems to have well and truly dropped with companies that they need to embrace social media within their marketing efforts. The not so good news, according to an article on eMarketer, is that success is being severely restricted by a lack of in-house expertise.

The article points to a recent Ascend2 survey of marketing professionals from around the world, which seems to highlight an uncomfortable truth: many of the difficulties surrounding corporate social media start very close to home. For, when asked about their main obstacles to social media success, nearly half (43%) of marketers admit that ‘lack of in-house resources/skills’ is their biggest concern.

Aside from the human element, a similar proportion of marketers (42%) found the inability to measure ROI an issue, while 39% stated that effective social media strategies were not being put in place. Other problem areas included a lack of interesting or engaging content (a concern for 34% of respondents); lack of integration across marketing strategies (31%); not enough budget (28%); and a lack of agreement about the importance of social media (23%).

Previous studies seem to support these findings says eMarketer. For example, a Hootsuite poll conducted in October 2014 found that 67% of marketing professionals said their company struggled to measure the effectiveness of social media; with a further 62% saying they found it difficult to come up with a clear social strategy.

Another report, this time from the US, revealed that more than half (58%) of marketers admitted to spending five hours a week or less on social media activities. With marketers’ time being increasingly stretched across multiple channels, this perhaps comes as little surprise. So in order to deal with their additional social media responsibilities, more and more marketers are now outsourcing some, or all, of their social media activities; in fact, the Ascend2 report found that 53% of respondents are currently doing just that.

The in-house vs outsourcing social media debate is a huge topic in its own right, and one I plan to address more fully in a future post. In the meantime, if you’re a CEO or Marketing Director scratching your head about which side of the outsourcing argument you and your business should be on, you could do a lot worse than check out this very balanced archive piece from the wonderfully named ‘Bad Rhino’