What to look for in a social media agency

When it comes to your business, you want it to succeed, whatever the cost. However, this can often leave you spending a fortune on tactics that won’t work and missing out on real opportunities that could lead somewhere. Social media management is important, but if done wrong, it won’t help your business succeed. Choosing the right agency requires a bit of research, but trust us: it’s 100% worth it.

We are here to share with you what makes a social media marketing agency great – and what makes them perfect for you.

Proof is in the (social media) pudding

Like anything else, finding the right social media marketing agency starts with a search. However, don’t be complacent with the first one that pops up on Google. Make sure you do your own research and understand what a company is capable of before forking out thousands of dollars. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Have a look at their clients’ accounts. These companies will often be very successful at the promotion of their own brand – however, what should concern you is how well their clients do online. Social media needs to be run by someone who is familiar with the business and understands it from the inside. Many agencies don’t have the tools or understanding to create successful strategies for other business models.
  • Blanket solutions aren’t real solutions. Are all of their clients’ social media accounts using the same structure? Then chances are, these strategies are not being personalised to suit each brand. In turn, these agencies aren’t able to promote businesses correctly.
  • Do they understand the sales funnel/lead cycle? Once again, check the type of posts they are doing for clients. Is the content original and creative, and does it showcase anything of value to the audience it’s targeting? If so, you may proceed. Or is it all fluffy content – “happy Monday”, irrelevant images, general quotes, explaining what the business does over and over again? Sales funnel driven agencies will always try to establish their clients as an authority in the market – don’t trust anything less than professional.

Experience first

Does the agency you’re looking at have experience in your industry or with a business similar to yours? If so, make sure you consider the success of such brands. Ask for proof of concept or case studies. Study the results and look for numbers that provide evidence of positive ROI. If the company has had proven success with a similar brand looking for similar outcomes, you’re on the right track.

Reviews are good – but not always true

Recommendations by word-of-mouth work exceptionally well at promoting any business. People are more likely to trust agencies recommended to them by friends and family; however, sometimes you just don’t know anyone who’s had the right experience. The second best thing to look out for is online reviews. It is true that people trust online reviews written by other consumers – but be vary! Online reviews can be bought or written by the agency itself. When consulting reviews, take into consideration the following:

  • Is it a testimonial or a mention on social media? If it’s the latter, make sure that the influencer raving about the agency isn’t required to do so as part of paid advertising. Generally, paid ads or affiliate links will be hashtagged as such. Testimonials are generally filtered opinions as well – meaning that they will always be nice.
  • When it comes to reviews, be that on Facebook or Google, make sure that the tone, style, and grammar isn’t the same in all positive reviews – if it is, they are likely left by the same person. Positive anonymous reviews could also indicate unreliability – why would someone happy with an agency’s services wish to remain anonymous?
  • If you really want to make sure that reviewers believe what they preach, contact them on the appropriate social media channel and ask for their honest opinion on the company.

Ask the right questions

Once you have singled out a social media marketing agency, it’s time to get personal. Make sure you have set goals and outcomes in mind for your business – otherwise, you might get tricked into spending more than what you’ve bargained for. In order to understand whether they’re the right pick for you, ask some of these questions:

  • What is your process for content development? Legitimate, successful agencies will have a solid strategy in place for you. It is good practice to stay away from agencies that think humour and memes work for every brand, or that promise a viral sensation on social media. Go for quality over quantity.
  • What is your process for reporting? No matter what a marketing agency does, if they don’t provide an efficient breakdown of the process, they are not worth your time. You should be able to monitor where exactly your money goes and whether the agency is taking the appropriate measures to modify and optimise tools according to outcomes.
  • How do you measure success? Make sure that you and the agency are on the same page when it comes to goals. By communicating openly what you want, you can avoid services that don’t match your requirements. Having a clear goal can create a focus on accountability for the agency.

There are generally a lot of options to choose from when it comes to social media marketing. It’s easy to get lost among it all. However, by following these tips, you can single out the one – not necessarily the biggest or most expensive, but the one that works for you.

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