Over the past decade social media marketing has become a true specialization. For brands and companies with limited resources, hiring a social media marketing agency may be the only reasonable solution to meeting the increasing demands on their time. Thankfully, there are countless social media marketing firms out there and even in relatively small cities you have plenty of options, but that can be a problem.
If you come from a traditional marketing background, it can be hard to quickly gauge the skills and experience of a social media marketing agency. How do you know which firms are truly capable? How do you avoid wasting time and money on agencies that are more style than substance?
In this guide, we’ll explore six of the most important details to consider as you search for the right social media marketing agency for your brand or business.
- Proven Track Record: If you’re going to trust your brand’s social media reputation to a social media marketing agency, you need to have absolute confidence in both their capabilities and their professionalism. Great marketing agencies will be happy to provide you with examples of their previous work, highlighting specific results from their most successful campaigns. They will also gladly provide you with recommendations from current and previous clients, and even current contacts at those companies who are willing to share their experiences about working with the agency.
- Big Picture Thinking: There’s no question that the details matter in social media marketing. There are audience segments to identify, content calendars to create, style guides to approve, and dozens of essential strategies to nail down. One hallmark of a skilled social media marketing agency is the ability to occasionally take a step back to consider the larger context. Their job isn’t just to get you more Twitter followers and Facebook likes, but to ensure that your overall social media marketing plan still aligns with your brand’s overall goals.
- Full Transparency With Clients: Trust is important in any business relationship, and it’s absolutely essential in social media marketing. If something isn’t working — your campaigns aren’t reaching their engagement goals, or your brand’s messaging isn’t hitting the mark— you need to know that your marketing agency will tell it to you straight. If they’ve made a mistake, you need to trust that they will own up to it immediately, and do whatever it takes to fix the problem.
- Customized Approach To Client Goals: The last thing you want from your social media marketing agency is a cookie-cutter approach to managing your online presence. The world of social media is crowded and noisy, and to capture your customers’ attention, your brand needs to be uniquely visible. You need a marketing agency that is comfortable with change, and ready to adapt to your brand’s needs.
- Continually Improving Technology: The rules of the game are always changing on social media. An engagement-building technique that once worked brilliantly may suddenly stutter and fail, all because Facebook’s developers changed a line of code. Keeping on top of these changes is part of the agency’s job, as is continually refining their marketing software and analysis tools.
- Results With Tangible ROI: A huge part of the social media marketer’s job is regularly demonstrating the value of their work. This means wrestling with the analytics data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the rest, and turning abstract numbers into reports that actual human beings can easily understand. Their results may be obvious — a 200% increase in website conversions, for example — or they may be more subtle, like an increase in brand mentions by key influencers. At the very least, the social media marketing agency that wins your business should be ready to ready to show the return on every dollar invested in their efforts.
Great social media marketing agencies aren’t always easy to find. They also tend to be expensive, which can seriously impact overall ROI. Thankfully, even small marketing teams can benefit from the right social media marketing software. If your brand is struggling to find an affordable, trustworthy, and capable social media marketing partner, it may be time to consider a technology-driven marketing solution instead.