When most individuals think of social media sites, the big names generally come to mind. However, there are possibly hundreds of lesser-known social media apps and sites operating now.
Influencer Marketing Hub listed 128 social media sites it believes will be important in 2023, and no doubt many more are in development as this article is being written. Around 58.7% of the global population uses social media according to Search Engine Journal, and the biggest platforms are Facebook, YouTube, Whatsapp, Instagram, and Tik Tok.
At number 10 sits Twitter. Although, with the Elon Musk takeover, it remains to be seen what happens there. Reports of users migrating to other platforms such as Mastodon are rife.
As far as businesses are concerned though, these platforms provide powerful marketing tools. And because of the sheer volume of them, many businesses choose to let third-party agencies control their accounts.
Why would you let an agency control your social media?
The first and most obvious reason a business would let an agency control its social media is resources. A small business may simply not have the time to run multiple accounts over several platforms. Then there is experience and the understanding of how to run social media successfully.
For instance, Blend Mode offers to provide custom content, grow audiences, and interact with them on a daily basis. They would take over the time-consuming work of social media expansion and would be in effect your brand’s voice on these platforms.
What are the benefits of a third-party handling your social media?
The right agency could help to build a social media strategy suited to your business, and choose appropriate platforms. Different social media sites attract distinct demographics, and not all will be the right fit for your business.
In the US, the majority of TikTok users are between 10 to 29. This age range covers about 62% of the US user base. The majority of TikTok creators are 18 to 24, and 57% of users are female.
So, if your company was in the business of selling golfing equipment, this might not be the best platform for you. A good agency will determine which platforms your business should be active on, and concentrate on building audiences there.
A full-service agency will help to align your brand’s voice on social media along with other aspects of your digital marketing including SEO tune-ups.
The benefits of a third party running these accounts can be organic audience growth, increased customer engagement, and a rise in traffic to your site.
What could go wrong if a third party holds your social media accounts?
Unfortunately, several things can go wrong if you hand over the reins to the wrong agency.
There is a big distinction between letting an agency manage your social media accounts and handing over complete ownership. If you allow an agency to create and fully control your social media then it will be completely out of your hands. With this can come a host of problems.
Branding and PR
Whoever handles your social media will need to stay on brand and be the voice of your company online. One of the benefits of social media is a direct link to customers. If your agency handles this badly it can damage reputation and trust.
Your chosen third party will have access to your social media accounts with all the risks that entail. How safe are your passwords with them? Having your social media account hacked could be a PR disaster, although when it happened to Burger King it resulted in 30,000 new followers in just 1 day.
Who else is the agency helping? Are they controlling social media for any of your direct rivals too? If so, they may not be as committed to pushing your social media growth as you may hope.
Fake accounts and bots
Not all agencies operate in the same way. A good digital agency will use approved methods to grow your following and develop quality content. This can genuinely help you to create a respected social media presence.
Yet, other growth services use fake accounts and bots. Even celebrities buy Instagram followers on occasion, but this activity can lead to your brand losing genuine followers. You can lose loyalty and trust, and even get banned for using these types of growth agencies.
Should you use a third-party digital agency to manage your social media? Well, the answer may depend on the agency you choose, and how much control you hand over.
Keeping control over the accounts but hiring an agency to manage content and audience growth can take the strain off a small business. It can prove cost-effective compared to hiring an internal social media team, and the agency can also provide further digital marketing services.
The key is to only use legitimate agencies and avoid ones that use fake accounts, bots, and any other black-hat growth techniques.