Let’s be honest–sometimes it’s easier to let the professionals handle your social media marketing activities while you get on with conquering your industry. As a hands-on business owner, it might be tough to let go, but the right agency offering the right blend of social media management services can be far more effective than you could ever be on your own.
What should you expect from an agency, though, and how will it benefit your brand? Stay tuned because you’re about to find out.
The ability to conduct an audit of your online presence, as well as analyze your industry, competitors, and target market, should fall within the basic package of any social media management agency. Since each strategy will require a different approach, the provider you choose must be able to evaluate your current reach, traffic drivers, and marketing efforts, and then provide recommendations for strategies that will increase efficiency, improve visibility, ensure the right people hear the right message, add value to your brand’s reputation, and maximize results.
#2. Social Media Strategy Development
Once your current situation is properly understood, the agency should be able to establish platform-specific goals, identify tactics that will improve brand awareness, and build a model for effective stakeholder engagement. Although the strategy may be presented to you in a number of different ways, it should:
- Help you understand the value proposition of a social media strategy for your business
- Outline your marketing and communication goals
- Provide a summary of your current social environment
- Explain how you’ll tap into conversations and analyze findings
- Define your objectives and the metrics you’ll measure
- Describe how you’ll identify and approach influencers
- Map out a social content strategy
- Include a social media planning calendar
- Define how you’ll facilitate and engage in conversations
- Include relevant tools you’ll use to monitor and measure results
- Provide details of your social media marketing budget
Outline a social media policy for your business
#3. Account Setup
If you haven’t entered the social media realm just yet, the manager allocated to you will create accounts on platforms that are relevant to the needs of your business. That usually includes branding, customization, and other elements that set the tone for your social campaigns. After all, you want optimized profiles that rank well, communicate your brand message effectively, attract followers, and generate leads. If you already have accounts set up, the agency will likely recommend a few tweaks here and there to ensure your profiles are in the best shape possible.
After your accounts are set up, it’s time to put your social media plan to work and promote your strategies across multiple channels. Depending on the social sites you choose to leverage, implementation services may include:
- Business page, pin board, or tab creation
- Community management and interaction
- Content development
- Professional copywriting
- Media bursts
- Background artwork and cover design
- Vanity URL creation
- Social ads
- Competitions and promotions
- The establishment of discussion groups or forums
- Video uploads
- Conversation and trend monitoring
- App integration
- Customer service
- Relationship management
#5. Monitoring and Reporting
When it comes to social media management services, this one is non-negotiable. Measuring your performance against the targets you’ve set, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and then providing suggestions for potential improvements is a key part of any strategy. Therefore, it makes sense that an agency would offer this service.
What you need to worry about is the frequency of reporting, as well as what data is included in those reports. Can they tell you whether you’re generating ROI from your efforts? We’re not talking about “likes” here either; we’re talking about cash in your pocket. If not, you might want to look around for other options.
#6. Training and Support
Whether you hope to relieve the agency of its duties in the future, or you plan to manage your marketing efforts in-house right from the start, a professional company should be able to provide the necessary education, training, support, and advice to ensure your success. This is especially crucial if you’re using new social platforms, management, or monitoring tools.
No one will blame you if you decide to surrender this taxing task to people who can actually keep up with the pace at which networking sites change. Just imagine, you’ll never have to master a platform only to have the features change on you overnight. You’ll also never have to wonder how you’ll manage every facet of a social campaign without being bogged down by the daily grind of profile updates and stats. Whatever you do, though, choose an agency with employees who know what they’re doing. You may have to spend a little extra for quality, but it’ll be well worth it.
Are you using social media management services? What would you say is the biggest benefit of outsourcing this task? Perhaps you have a question about hiring the professionals. Pop it in the box below and we’ll do our best to answer it.