In-House vs. Agency: What's Best for Your Social Media

Looking at the pros and cons of both in-house and agency solutions

Hey, welcome to Mind Your Marketing. The weekly newsletter that gives you actionable social media advice for your brand.

Today’s article looks at the pros and cons of hiring an in-house social media team vs. an agency. 

Enjoy below!

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I always feel a bit weird broaching the topic of agency vs. in-house marketing teams.

I run an agency. But, I’m not always pro-agency as a solution.

The answer is more nuanced than simply saying one is a better option. Let’s look at the situations where an agency or in-house solutions make sense. Agency vs. in-house marketing teams for social media.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are a few things I would look at before deciding which route to take for your business.

The Case for Hiring an In-House Team:


  1. Deep Brand Understanding: Who knows your brand better than your own team? They live it, breathe it, and have a front-row seat to your brand's evolution. This intimate knowledge often translates into authentic content embodying the brand's voice and values.

  2. Swift Decision-Making: Need a quick response to an ongoing trend or a customer question? An in-house team can act on the spot without jumping through multiple communication hoops.

  3. Company Culture Integration: In-house teams are typically more in tune with the company culture, which can lead to campaigns more aligned with the company's overall ethos and messaging.


  1. Limited Perspective: While an in-house team may be deeply entrenched in your brand, they might also be in a bubble. This could limit creative diversity and a fresh perspective on campaign ideas.

  2. Resource Allocation: Keeping an in-house team means additional HR responsibilities, training, and overhead costs. This can easily eclipse $250K in resources for a small business.

  3. Scalability Issues: As your business grows, your in-house team might struggle to handle the increased workload, potentially affecting the quality and frequency of content.

The Case for Hiring a Social Media Agency:


  1. Expertise Across the Board: An agency brings a collective experience from various sectors to the table. Their exposure to diverse campaigns and strategies can be a treasure trove of creative ideas.

  2. Scalability: Agencies are equipped to handle workloads of varying intensities. This means they can scale up and down with your needed workload.

  3. Cost-Effective: While the upfront costs might seem higher, in the long run, hiring an agency could be more cost-effective. No overheads, training costs, or benefits to account for.


  1. Less Control: With an external team, there's always a certain loss of control. This might not sit well with every brand, especially if communication isn't seamless.

  2. Potential for Misalignment: Even the best agencies need time to understand and capture a brand's voice. There's always a risk of potential misalignment in messaging or tone.

  3. Less Immediate Responses: While agencies are professional and timely, they might not always be able to provide the immediacy an in-house team can, especially in crisis situations.

Choosing between an in-house social media team and an agency isn't a matter of right or wrong. It's about understanding your brand's current needs, forecasting future requirements, and assessing the risks you're willing to take. In the past, I’ve been excited to pitch a business only to realize they’d be better off by hiring an in-house team–it happens.

Remember, there is no ‘playbook’ that’s going to be transferable from company to company. As you grow, you need to look at what’s mission-critical to your business success/survival and the resources most equipped to take on those tasks. Sometimes, it’s an in-house team; other times, it's an agency. Most of the time it’s a mix of both.


P.S. If you want to connect on social media, where I share tips throughout the week, follow me on X (Twitter) or Linkedin.

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