With more than 3.1 billion active users around the world, social media marketing has become one of the most effective ways to connect with followers, promote a brand, boost sales and increase traffic.
Many businesses attempt to run social media campaigns without formal training, without purpose and without determining their goals. Usually, this fails to bring results, and businesses end up hiring a social media marketing agency to provide much-needed direction.
If this resonates, consider finding a social media marketing agency to help your business. Companies can spend anywhere from $500 to $15,000 per month for social media management, so make sure you select the right agency to empower you to achieve your goals.
Instead of relying on a Google search to find a social media marketing agency, try one (or more) of these seven ways to locate the agency that’s right for you.
1. Look at what agencies are used by brands you admire
It’s important to determine what agencies are behind the brands you actively follow and enjoy on social media.
2. Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations
Another way to find a social media marketing agency is to ask friends and colleagues what agencies they recommend. You’ll get the inside scoop on these agencies, including their communication style, their experience and what kind of results they produce. Always ask about any downsides of working with the agency, and then address these points with the agency during the interview.
3. Check out independent agency review sites
There are several independent agency review sites including Agency Spotter that can help you in your search. Simply type, “best social media agencies” or “top social media marketing agencies” and look at review sites and blogs that list the highest-rated agencies around the world. Be cautious, though, as an agency may use the keyword “best social media marketing agency” on their site to bring in traffic. Don’t trust the agency’s site alone; get verified reviews to ensure that the good feedback from customers you’re seeing is legitimate.
4. Research their social media pages
Once you’ve found a few agencies you’re interested in, it’s time to go a little deeper. Look at the social media pages of the agency itself and their clients. A healthy social media page will be updated frequently with a mix of original and industry-related content in the form of videos, images and written text. It will engage with followers by retweeting/reposting their content and commenting back. On Facebook, they should have a good message response rate. Every social page should include a brand’s website, contact details and other relevant information so prospects and customers can easily get in touch.
Examine what kind of posts are going up, how many followers the page has, how often the pages are updated and, most importantly, whether or not people are engaging. Engagement can let you know whether followers are fake or not.
You can also use a social media auditing site — like Instagram Fake Follower Bot Checker or Social Blade — to determine if followers are legitimate. For instance, if someone has 30,000 followers but only a few comments on every post, that’s a red flag that they might be buying followers. But if someone has 30,000 followers and dozens or even hundreds of comments per post, then those followers are likely real.
5. Glance at employee reviews
Employee reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed will tell you a lot about the social media marketing agency you hope to hire. If they have a number of negative employee reviews, that’s a bad sign. You need to work with a partner that values their employees by treating them right. They should be providing workers with fair compensation, benefits and promotions.
A few negative reviews on these sites are normal; not every employee is a perfect fit, and some may visit these sites to complain. As long as the agency is responding to these claims in a fair manner, you’re in good hands.
6. View their campaign results
The social media marketing agencies you’re researching should have case studies on their website. These studies need to include how they improved a client’s social media pages and what kind of goals they achieved. For example, maybe they increased followers for Brand Y by 50% over a three-month period, or they boosted engagement by 80%. See what route they took to garner these results as well.
7. Look for flexibility with your budget
Social media marketing agencies can cost a few hundred dollars or several thousand dollars per month, depending on your budget, your goals and whether or not you want to run advertising campaigns. Look for an agency that will let you customize services as your needs change.
When shopping around, ask agencies if they can do social media a la carte, especially at first, to see if their campaigns are effective. If you want to cut costs, see if they’ll plan your editorial calendar and let you post the actual updates. After a few months, look at your ROI and decide if you want to increase your budget. A good agency will be flexible and allow you to customize it.
Once you’ve determined that social media is a wise investment, start your search for a great social media marketing agency. If you find the right partner, the positive outcomes are endless.
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During his 25-year career, he has successfully managed content portfolios for companies such as Dallas Market Center, Dell and Thomson Reuters.