When it comes to digital marketing, social media is one of the most powerful platforms you can leverage for your business. It provides an easily accessible mechanism for audience engagement, real-time feedback, and fast, agile strategy shifts.
But it can also be fraught with risk: just consider the many (many!) social fails from major brands including BIC, Tinder, McDonalds, SeaWorld, and more. Keeping your community on-message while building awareness, generating leads, and converting followers can be tough, and missteps can be costly in terms of reputation and lost opportunity. An experienced social media marketing agency can help you navigate this terrain successfully and harness the power of connection.
When searching for an agency to help you make the most of social media, what key attributes should you be on the lookout for?
- Their Content. You have heard often enough that content marketing is key to engaging customers and providing what they seek: value and answers — not a hard sell. In this case, you are the customer. Look to see that potential agencies disseminate thought leadership.
Do they have a blog or resource library to answer your questions and provide you with relevant information? Do they maintain current and engaging social media presences? Do they feature case studies showcasing their work with other clients? This helps you determine whether they have the knowledge and experience you need to elevate your brand’s social status. It also tells you whether they “practice what they preach,” so to speak.
- Your Objectives. An experienced agency focuses far less on selling social media marketing services than they do on learning about your company’s unique objectives, challenges, and pain points. Instead of generic strategies, they will be able to deliver targeted solutions that will help you achieve your specific goals. Look for an agency that has a process by which to learn your business and then the means and experience to put plans into action.
- Plan for Measurement. How will the social media marketing agency measure the efficacy of their efforts? First, they should help you clearly identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and then tell you how, and how often, they will measure and report on them. This includes everything from social media growth and reach to lead conversion.
Also be sure to ask what they plan to do if a given strategy or campaign does not yield results. How will they course-correct?
- Industry/Sector Experience. Your social media agency should have relevant experience so they can hit the ground running. Often target audience, tactics, and results will be industry-specific, and expert insight can help shorten or eliminate the learning curve, while accelerating results.
- Logistics. You need an agency that will be communicative — on your terms and at your convenience. Are they easy to contact? Do you have a specific point of contact (e.g. a dedicated account manager) who is deeply familiar with your brand? How frequently do they call you? (If the answer is “never,” look elsewhere. Your agency should make the effort to schedule a call at least twice per quarter.)
Even during your search process, how long did it take to respond to you? Were they timely? Accessible? How they treat you before you engaged them is highly indicative of how they will treat you after.
To make sure that you get the answers you need, conduct online research: read reviews and ratings. Look at case studies, blogs, webinars, podcasts, etc. Contact agencies; ask for references. Talk to them, and ask them your most burning questions.
A bit of due diligence on the front end will save you untold time and aggravation in the long-term. Strong social media marketing services can help put your brand on the map. Trust only the best agency to get you there.