agencyMouse99: A third party just doesn't know what's going on in your company or with your brand on an intimate level. They don't have access to inside info, gossip, stories; they won't have an inherent understanding of your office culture or the tone of your conversations. Insider info should, of course, not be leaked out into the social media space, but having that inside access will fire up new ideas and innovative ways to share information appropriately and connect with people. And more importantly, understanding the inner workings of your company means you also know what not to say.
DigitalDiva: Think about it -- do you really want the customers to have access to your office gossip, or to the atmosphere at your company? I didn't think so. As long as you give the agency folks some space and allow them to feel like a part of your team, they will reward you with great work. Think about how to best engage them. Let them participate in meetings. Ask them for opinions and listen to what they have to say. Be communicative and open-minded. Give them the access to your brand and it will transform your social media strategy into intelligent, authentic, and informed campaigns.
agencyMouse99: Sure, the agency is accountable. But how do you know that they're not leaving your trusted brand in the hands of an unpaid intern? You can have a wish-list of what you want, but at the end of the day, agencies have their own priorities and their own daily dramas, and the very important job of communicating with your customers might get relegated to someone who really has no business handling it.
DigitalDiva: Are you paying the agency or not? Sure, there are some sub-par agencies with unmotivated employees out there, but the solution is simpler than you think. If they are not delivering and fulfilling the objectives of the campaign that they themselves set up, fire them. Are they doing a good job with the account or not? As long as they are interacting with your audience on the social networking sites and as long your fanbase is growing you have nothing to worry about.
After long and draining argument about the virtues and flaws of agencies' social media expertise, we decided to agree to disagree. But we can see the other's point of view, as both arguments are valid.
Which side do you trust the most? Would you or would you not hire an agency to do your social media campaign? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
Editor's note: This article was submitted to iMedia under the condition of anonymity. We felt that the opportunity for an unobstructed view on debates that are likely going on behind closed doors throughout the industry would be valuable to our readers. Should you have questions for the authors, or our editorial staff, please feel free to leave a comment below the article, or