How to choose the RIGHT social media agency for your brand?
Based on my conversations with people in and around the industry, I have compiled some quick pointers for everyone looking at hiring a social media agency/ team but have no idea how to go about it. These points will act as starting points to your evaluation.
Check the knowledge of the agency with respect to YOUR industry
Every agency has a different level of expertise with different industries. They may not have necessarily worked in your industry before, but they should have the capabilities to understand and create an effective strategy for you.
Choose an agency which has good knowledge with respect to your industry but at the same has not already exhausted their ideas by working with too many people from your industry before. You don't want left-over ideas from that of your competitors.
You should have a good understanding with them
The agency you choose will be partnering you in your journey to achieve success hence, there has to be good rapport and a good understanding between the two of you.
The culture, energy and work methods between the agency and you should be at a similar wavelength. I the ideas and thoughts are too different, there might be a considerable clash at some point.
Do they make an effort to understand what you want?
A good agency or a good marketer is a good listener too. A marketer will listen to you first, understand your goals and objectives and then create a strategy to meet those goals.
The best way to determine this is to go back and go over your first call/ chat with them. Who was doing the maximum of talking? And was the talking based on what you've asked or is it just another marketing pitch?
See how personalised is your marketing strategy. Or does it include merely posting on social media and generating LIKES.
Every brand is unique and hence, should have a unique strategy. I'm sure you would want your brand to stand out amongst your competition on social media. That is exactly why, you need a unique strategy.
Sometimes, because of the endless pressure of generating 'likes', marketers and marketing agencies start operating based on a generic plan which just helps you maintain your existence on social media. This in turn, leads your other objectives like branding and sales to get 'out of focus'.
In the end, you want to stand out and not get lost in the crowd.
How nicely do they present themselves on social media platforms?
This is one of the most important points and the easiest to analyse. Simply go check out their social media channels to get an idea on how they present themselves.
Most social media marketers do not focus on their own channels because they are busy managing numerous social media accounts for their clients. Which is absolutely OK. They need not be posting everyday. What you need to check is WHAT they post when they do.
How do they determine social media success? What kind of KPIs do they use?
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are the metrics which are used to measure your success. If you have been measuring your performance with the number of likes and reach, then you have been doing it wrong. Likes are subjective and are based on numerous factors which may not be related to your success.
The metrics to look at which measuring success should be CTR, Engagement Rate, Conversion Rates, etc. KPIs like these would help you identify the effectiveness of your campaign.
How easy is it for you to connect with their team? Are they available for you when you need them?
The availability of the team when you need them is very important. Even though your queries may small, they should be address and answered.
If you have to always 'schedule' a meeting or a call, you need to rethink a bit. A good team should be able to answer your queries promptly and only 'schedule' meeting for more detailed discussions.
Are the prices too cheap? It may not always be a good deal. Do your research.
We all know, good things come at a cost. So if you are getting something way too cheap, you may want to dig in a bit more and verify your experts' expertise.
Do they practice what they preach?
This point is pretty much direct and self explanatory.
Hope this helps.
Do let me know your thoughts in the comments below. And feel free to let me know if you need me detail out on any specific topic.