Here are 20 tips that will help you out when you are looking to select the best social media marketing agency:
- Make Sure They Have High Engagement Rates
A social media marketing agency is supposed to be an expert on increasing engagement rates. This means it only makes sense that they are able to use a winning strategy to do that for themselves and their other clients.
Take a look at what they are doing online. Are the social media accounts they manage getting plenty of likes, comments, shares, and follows? These are real-world proven results that can say a lot about a particular social media marketing agency you are considering hiring.
- Look For a Company That Loves What It Does
Identify the companies that are showing they love and care about the work they are doing to help other businesses succeed on social media. The company you end up partnering with should be clear about what they stand for. It should have its heart in what it does.
- They Should Have Excellent Customer Service
Customer service used to be optional, but today it is definitely mandatory. A quality SMM agency will deliver great customer service and always stay cordial, no matter how nasty someone may be in a comment somewhere on social media.
Customers will sometimes run to the social media accounts of a business when they have a complaint. If that business is an agency you are considering, take a look at how they respond. Are they deliberating on their response and acting diplomatically? The best companies will do whatever they can to satisfy customers, even if they are of the disgruntled variety.
- They Value Strong Customer Relationships
The best social media agencies will value all of their customers. We already established that they have their hearts in this game, which means they want to see their customers achieve great success with their help. They will be highly responsive and be proactive in making sure their customers are satisfied and hitting their targets. Following through on promises is also a major sign of an agency valuing strong customer relationships.
- They Deliver Results Beyond Vanity Metrics
Having a lot of likes, comments, and followers is nice and all, but are those vanity metrics translating into more leads and sales? Any social media marketing agency can increase vanity metrics quite quickly. The difference between most agencies and the best ones is that the best of the best will be tracking the important metrics that result in more leads and sales. They understand the goal isn’t vanity metrics alone.
- Find Out If They Understand Your Niche
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of hiring the right agency for you comes down to whether they understand your niche or not. Ideally, they will have experience with working in your niche and target audience. That’s because there are many nuances that can come with these that may get lost in translation. You want to work with someone who knows how to create the most effective messages and get the best results possible.
- They Treat Your Social Media Presence As If It Were Their Own
A great social media agency will get it. They will own it. They will take charge of your brand just as you would. You want your business to be as successful as it can be, and they will want that as well. Your success is their success. Great agencies look at the social media presence of each client as if it were their own. There is a level of passion and a drive to achieve meaningful results that stems from that.
- Data-Driven Decisions Are Paramount
The best decisions for your business are the ones driven by hard data. Great social media agencies take advantage of the latest technologies and techniques available to monitor and evaluate data and metrics of all kinds. This allows them to identify what works and what doesn’t. The strategy being used will be modified if necessary.
- Creativity Will Flourish But Within Reason
For the sake of unabashed creativity, some social media marketing agencies will go a little overboard with their creativity. While you want your brand to stand out, if an agency is getting a little too outrageous with their creativity in social media posts, it can actually backfire. The best agencies will be creative in a way that sets your brand apart and forms an online community around it, while respecting your brand’s values and what it already is.
- Make Sure They Can Deliver Quick Results
The world of social media moves fast. That means things need to move more quickly than they do on websites. The most successful social media campaigns will go as fast as the conversation does. That means the best agencies will be able to deliver creative content with speed. However, you also want to make sure they’re not just putting out shoddy work to quickly put something out there.
- A/B Testing and Analysis Is Used
Split testing, or A/B testing, is a method of seeing whether one type of copy content is more effective than another when it comes to increasing engagement and interaction. A/B testing and analysis will help your brand achieve its full potential. This is a marketing tool that should be used on social media just as it’s used on websites.
- They Make An Effort to Learn Your Objectives
An agency that actually cares about your success will want to understand your marketing objectives very well. That means they won’t simply default to some generic process they go through with every client they work with. They will make an effort to understand what your objectives are and then design a unique strategy that matches your needs and wants. If an agency is not making an effort to become clear on your goals, then it is unlikely that it will deliver the kind of results you are after.
- Check If They Have Proof-of-Concept
Do they have case studies you can take a look at? Are there verifiable success stories they are able to point to? These would be previous clients they worked with. If they don’t have any displayed publicly, reach out to them and ask them to provide you with links to them. They should have no problem sharing their successes with you, so if they aren’t doing so, its a major red flag. Ideally, these should be social media campaigns they are currently actively managing. Take a look at the results and see whether they are similar to the kind you would like to receive.
- Their Communication Should Be Frequent
Communication is essential when it comes to social media. After all, it’s social. You want to work with an agency that knows what industry it’s in. If they are not continually giving you the scoop on what is happening, that could be a problem. The best agencies make clear and frequent communication a major priority. They will deliver progress reports regularly and keep the two-way channel of communication with you wide open.
- They Do Their Work In-House
You should find out whether the agency is outsourcing and acting like more of a middle man than someone working directly on your social media presence. Are their employees overseas somewhere? You should know who you are working with. It’s not an immediate cause to reject a company if it does outsource to a third-party provider. However, this should be something you see as a potential issue. That is because whatever you tell the agency may get lost in translation when they tell it to the third party, resulting in lower quality effort and results.
- Find Out How Many Clients They Manage
It would be a good idea to find out how many social media accounts they are managing at any given time. If they are working on too many for the number of people working for them, this could lead to producing lower-quality work that won’t achieve the results you want. If each one of their employees is working on two dozen social media campaigns, they’re unable to dedicate enough quality time to each one. There is simply not enough time in a day to do so! When less social media campaigns are worked on simultaneously, you will get much better results due to the greater focus on your campaign.
- Understand How Cheap Is Too Cheap
If you’re running a small business and have little in terms of a budget, you may be enticed by low prices. However, be forewarned that a social media marketing agency with very low prices may indicate a problem. They may be outsourcing their work or saddling their workers with too many social media campaigns. If you find an agency that looks great but has low prices, find out a little more about their process. If it makes sense, great! If not, move on.
- Check Their Online Reviews
Social proof is used for the products and services we buy today, and SMM services should be no different. In fact, it should be even more critical given the cost of these types of services. Research and read their public reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Google, and anywhere else they have reviews. If someone said something alarming, bring it up with them and take a look at how they respond to it.
- Check to See If They Have a Blog or Other Informational Content
There is a lot you can learn about an SMM agency by skimming through their blog articles, watching their videos, and looking at any other resources they may have freely available. You can identify what their perspective and angle is regarding social media marketing. Each agency will have its own processes, methods, and tactics that they use to help their clients grow. When you find an SMM agency that aligns with your take on things and the way you want your campaigns to be done, then you will more readily achieve your objectives.
- They Take a Holistic Approach to Your Campaigns
A great SMM agency will look at your overall marketing in a holistic way. They will not just focus on your social media presence, but will also review and analyze the rest of your marketing efforts. That’s because they are all interconnected. If there is a common thread that weaves through all of them, you have a higher degree of success possible. They should ask you about any other marketing campaigns that you may be running at the time, either online or offline. That type of outreach demonstrates they are seasoned and know what they are doing.