That moment has come when your brand can no longer manage its Social Networks. You were looking to increase your presence on Social Networks for marketing, but perhaps you did not have the time or the necessary resources.
Either way, it’s time to find a Social Media marketing agency to do it.
As director of Content works Agency, Loren Bartley explains how to find a Social Media marketing agency, what things should be avoided, and what to ask to find your ideal agency.
Let’s start by looking at the three phases you’ll go through when looking for a digital marketing agency.
Phase 1: Define what you are looking for in an agency
You know you’re hungry when you go to the supermarket without a shopping list and finish with a bag filled with junk food you didn’t want or need, and you quickly regret it.
This example applies similarly when searching for a digital marketing agency.
Many brands contact agencies without having a clear idea of what they want to achieve.
It’s fine if you don’t know exactly how to manage your Social Networks, but you must be specific about what you expect the agency to do with them. Here are some things you need to define for your search to be successful:
Your needs: Why do you need a marketing agency on Social Networks? This is important as it will help you define which tasks you cannot complete internally. For example, do you need someone to manage your accounts on Social Networks? Which? Do you need me to post every day? Do you need someone who can create interesting content to post?
Your managers already agree: Do you already have the approval to hire a marketing agency on Social Networks? If you don’t have it yet, you may be about to waste your time and the involved agencies. In addition, it can take time for large companies to get approval to hire an agency. Therefore, you may need to put together a plan that justifies this action and goes through all the necessary channels, including your marketing manager, finance manager, etc.
Don’t drag your agency into this process. Get your company’s approval first before starting your search.
Your KPIs (key performance indicators): What are your KPIs? From a Social Media perspective, these typically include: increasing engagement, increasing traffic to your website, attracting new customers, connecting with influencers, or improving customer service.
Phase 2: The online search
Before you contact any agency, search the internet for your candidates. This can be a tedious process beyond typing “Social Media marketing agency” into your browser and contacting the first ones. Here are some tips:
Search Engine Results: If you open Google and type “Social Media Marketing Agency,” you will see thousands of results. Although this is a good start, you must remember that the agencies that appear in the first places on Google are the ones that pay to be there. This may mean that your ability to create good organic content in terms of SEO may not be as good.
On the other hand, this is not an indicator of your ability to manage Social Networks.
Reviews: The reality is that many reviews can be fake, especially those on the agency’s website. That’s why it’s important that you also read reviews on public forums like Yelp, Google, and Facebook. Try searching for your agency with the word “evaluations” or “reviews” to find out what people say about it.
If no one starts an argument, you can start the conversation yourself. However, if you notice something suspicious or alarming, ask the agency directly and see how they react.
Pages on Social Networks: It goes without saying, but you must review the agencies in mind. Are your pages updated? Do they respond to comments and evaluations? Are your posts well written? Do they interact with their fans?
Don’t be afraid that their style isn’t exactly what you’re after for your brand. This is their brand and not yours. A good agency will be able to create a style that suits yours.
Do not forget to look at their number of fans since they are often false.
Phase 3: The final conversation.
Once you’ve selected a couple of agencies you’d be interested in working with, it’s time to start the conversation. The first conversation you have with them will be crucial to understand if they are the right agency for your business.
This is what you should ask them:
What do you think of our channels on Social Networks today?
This question is somewhat difficult for an agency, especially if your channels are very bad and they don’t want to be rude to you.
On the other hand, this question is very important to know if the agency has done its homework.
Assuming you gave them enough information to find your brand on Social Media, the agency should have had enough time to research more about you and your needs.
You can tell how serious that agency is about their work if they make an effort to learn more about your brand ahead of time.
With this in mind, if you discover that the agency knows absolutely nothing about your brand and still decides to offer you your services, it is a bad, very bad sign.
What type of agency are you?
Many companies offer digital marketing services, but are they trained to manage your Social Networks? Many agencies identify their strongest areas as content, video, or multimedia agencies. This is why you must know what they are specialized in.
- Digital Marketing Agency: A company’s comprehensive marketing idea sounds perfect. The truth is that every digital marketing agency has its strengths and weaknesses. These agencies are often founded by a web or graphic designer who hires the rest of the team to manage social networks.
- Content marketing agency: Agencies specializing in content marketing put your content at the center of their strategy. This can be good for me if you’re looking for clever, original content rather than just spending money on ads. They also generally offer services on social networks to promote their clients’ content.
- Marketing Agency in Social Networks: An agency that identifies itself in this way must have extensive knowledge about Social Networks. They probably offer you Social Media Management services, ads, retargeting and reporting. However, they may not be that good at creating content, so don’t forget to ask them.
Do you have any case studies we can look at?
A good agency will be prepared to show you one or several examples of brands they have worked with. This can include work on websites, channels on Social Networks, reports of return on investment in social networks, etc.
Many agencies sign confidentiality agreements with their clients, so they may not be able to share such information with you; however, they will surely have one or two examples that you can look at.
How will you measure the results of the strategy in Social Networks?
The agency you hire to manage your Social Networks must know how to define and measure the key indicators of their efforts. This means that they will have to present you with monthly reports on the results of their work. They can monitor your results in a variety of ways, including the following:
- Growth in Social Networks: How many new followers do you have in each network?
- Reach in Social Networks: How many people did your strategy reach?
- Interaction in Social Networks: How much has the interaction with your followers increased (comments, reactions, likes, etc.)?
- Traffic to the website: How much has the traffic to your healthcare website design increased due to the Social Media strategy?
- Generation of prospects in Social Networks: How many new prospects were generated from your profiles in the networks?
These metrics will also depend on the access you give the agency to your website and on communicating clearly with them.
If you use a Social Media management tool like Agorapulse, you can be confident that your metrics will show up clearly and provide the required data.
Do you have experience managing social networks in our industry?
This is a good question, especially if your business is in a niche industry.
The content works agency, for example, works primarily with the financial services sector, which surrounds itself with specific rules, regulations, and terminology. If your industry is also very specific, it helps to work with an agency that already has experience in that area. The more experience they have in it, the better content they will produce and achieve your desired results.
If they have worked with your industry before, you can ask them what they thought and what were the biggest challenges they faced. If they don’t have anything about your industry, ask what they know about it and its presence on Social Media. This will also show you how much they researched you before your meeting.
How much strategic direction will they give?
If your company does not have experience in marketing on Social Networks, you will surely need someone to direct your strategy. It is important to check if your future agency can do it and how much it will cost you. You will have to pay more time for training, reporting, planning sessions, etc.
How often will you contact me?
When hiring an agency, communication is crucial to know what is happening and how your projects progress. Therefore, before committing to an agency, ask their plan to contact you to discuss their progress and meeting goals, whether they send you just a monthly report or more frequent calls.
Every agency has its limits, so don’t expect someone to be available on Skype all the time for you. Instead, decide if they will meet fortnightly or monthly and let everyone do their job.
Do you subcontract your services?
Another important point to investigate is whether someone outside the company will have access to your accounts and whether they have confidentiality agreements ready for subcontracted staff to sign.
Do you like what you do?
This is a compulsory question to ask in a face-to-face interview to see the reactions of the staff. Passion and creativity are essential for Social Media Marketing, which is immediately reflected in the results. Surely you want to hire an agency with great proactive ideas and that approaches you with suggestions for your brand.
For this, you must also be passionate about your work. Remember how hard it is to work with someone who hates their job. It wouldn’t be easy for the agency either.
- What are the elements that can be handled in Social Networks?
The question is whether they can cover your needs completely. Some of the things you can ask are:
- Can they create content for your blog and Social Networks?
- Can you answer customer questions in private messages or comments on your profiles?
- Can they locate and talk to influencers in your industry?
- Can they manage your ads and your budget?
- Can they create images and videos for your Social Networks?
It’s not often that an agency is strong in all of these categories, so you’ll need to decide your priorities.
After completing these three phases, you will know which is the ideal agency for you. Although selecting your ideal agency can be exhausting, it will pay off in the long run.