As social media continues to prevail in our daily lives, more and more companies and individuals are claiming expertise in the field. While many are indeed experts, a slew of others merely know how to play the part and will fall flat when it comes to delivering actual results.
It is often difficult, and will usually take some time, to tell if an agency is right for your business. However, there are some quick and easy ways to determine if a social media agency can amount to its claims before signing it to work for your company.
- Do your research.
Browse the agency’s website and beyond. Does it have a robust social media presence that is maintained regularly with valuable information, tips, advice, insights and the like? The trick here is to look at the social channels being utilized by the agency, how those channels are managed, and most importantly the type of content being shared. Do not focus too much on the quantity of fans or followers since many good agencies have modest audiences, composed of valuable individuals rather than many people who are entirely irrelevant. In fact, a huge audience, combined with a lack of daily social media content, is a definite red flag that the agency may be claiming to be more than what it actually is.
- Ask questions.
When searching for an agency to help manage or consult your social media marketing strategy, find out exactly what you are getting. Will there be a launch call with your account manager or account team to discover your business, its customers and overall goals? How often will you communicate with your account manager and by what means (email, phone call). How often will you receive performance reports? What platforms do they excel in and what tools do they have for posting, engaging and monitoring your communities? The list of questions goes on and on. However, the most important question you need to ask is how the agency plans to deliver value to your business and achieve its goals via social media. In other words, how do they associate Likes, retweets and engagement to actual results that your company aims to attain?
Again, as social media continues to grow, change and increase its necessity for business marketing, the competition among social agencies will continue to increase in a relative, if not a more aggressive, proportion. While this is a benefit for companies seeking the services of such agencies, the added choices will make the decision process a tad more difficult. Businesses must invest some time, effort and education into selecting an agency that fits their needs the most and vetting the real-deal social media solutions from those that are merely playing the part.