If you’re a client-side marketer who’s debating whether or not hiring social media agencies is worth a go, then you should definitely give this one a read.
When I’ve conversations with colleagues and fellow digital marketing geeks, a very common question I get is,
“Is social media effective in driving sales? Should I hire an agency?”
The answer lies in your social media agency and its ability to convey two things:
Social media marketing is about engagement and meaningfully connecting with your audience, and
There has to be more to the ROI than fluff matrixes like ‘engagement’ or ‘fan base’, which I’ll be explaining in this article
As an expert on the subject matter, your agency should fully understand that social media platforms have evolved to take on more than just one role in our lives. Networking, keeping in touch with friends and family and watching cat videos keep us all warm and fuzzy inside.
But they don’t pay the bills.
Many client-side marketers are questioning social media as a tool for brand awareness, community management, and engagement. And so should any social media agency worth their salt.
As digital marketplaces sprout widely and wildly a phenomenon that is social commerce (s-commerce) is born.
And if you’re in the retail line, and the social media agency hasn’t recommended this feature to you yet, you should raise some red flags.
Why? Because Marketplace on Facebook has been available for a while now.
What social media agencies should be proposing
Many brands here hire social media agencies mainly for top-of-the-funnel activities to drive brand awareness and pique interest. And the ROIs for those are important metrics such as reach and engagement.
However, some SMEs simply do not have the luxury to spend all that much time or money on what I hear a lot of folks from top management describe as “paying someone to surf Facebook all day”.
I don’t blame them for feeling that way because once upon a time in the era of billboards and print ads, they never had access to the seemingly mind blogging reports.
However, with the vast ocean of both native and third-party tools, social analytics with meaningful metrics for your business goals are made possible.
Social media agencies should, therefore, be proposing KPIs based on:
- Number of leads that come in through your various social media messenger services
- The number of conversions derived from social media on your website/ landing pages
- The number of assisted conversions derived from social media
If social media is a platform where you can potentially generate a substantial amount of leads, your social media agency should clearly state out your returns on investment.
What your social media agency should continually advise
Many social media agencies are slowly becoming more sensitive to the fact that leads and customers are the priority for most businesses here. Engagement and awareness are hence deemed secondary.
This often results in client-side marketers to write copy or produce content that may appear to be overly hard-sell of their product or service. Doing so will definitely turn fans and followers off.
Social media agencies should offer guidance on a holistic content strategy that piques your audience’s interest so much that they would take it upon themselves to research about products or services your company has to offer.
With such strategies in place, the agency should be able to advise how to attribute direct sales to the performance of their social media campaigns.
For these reasons, if your internal team is unable to manage the content planning and production, you may consider hiring a social media agency who has a strong content and creative production team to help you with that aspect of content marketing.
Research that your social media agency should do
Before pitching an idea or launching a campaign, the social media agency in question should have researched your brand’s tone of voice, personality, and visual identity.
This helps If no digital brand guide is available, which is common among many SMEs, the agency should do due diligence by studying the style and guiding visual brand principles.
They should also let you know how their overall content strategy proposal is influenced by by:
- Your competition
- Target audience profiling
- Your content strategy
Such research and planning require a considerable amount of resources such as a social media manager, a multimedia content producer and time.
Successful social media agencies are able to strategize and execute social campaigns, while understanding social media users and business results.
The social media agency you’re considering should meet your needs, above and beyond the aesthetic side of things. They should also show you how they add value by presenting ROIs that are important to your business.
What are your considerations when considering a social media agency? Let me know in the comments below!