by Katie McDermott and Jane Whitehead | Featured Contributor
The social media industry is a very noisy world, one that can be very overwhelming with the amount of companies offering social media services, from the one-man band LinkedIn expert, and the PR companies with an add-on social media offering, to your giant digital and social media agencies all over the world.
We frequently come across brand teams that either aren’t happy with their social media agencies or have signed up to outsource a social media campaign (paying a hefty fee) without any knowledge of what success looks like. Outsourcing sometimes is the only way to put the resource, energy, ideas and clout behind a brand’s social media activity, and some of the very best social campaigns have been delivered by outstanding agencies. However, brands need to be able to make informed decisions about social media and we’ve put together a few simple questions to ask and thoughts to keep in mind when choosing the best social media agency to work with*.
* Please note we are not a social media ‘agency’ so are here to give impartial advice! 🙂
#1 Do they practice what they preach?
Do they have their own social media channels, and if so do they use them? We’re not talking here about looking up an agency’s Facebook page and judging them on numbers; judge them on their content, their frequency of posts and how they interact with influential users in their industry.
#2 What does their experience look like?
Make sure you take the time look into the campaigns the agency has been an integral part of and ask them what campaigns they’ve noticed recently that they wish they’d been a part of, or could have done better. This will help you to discover what really lies at the core of their work, do they actually care about your brand and building the social media presence that you have in mind?
#3 What objectives are they offering to go alongside any social media work or campaigns?
Any activity is likely to plateau without agreed objectives and metrics in place for both parties. You need to understand what is achievable, and why you are commissioning the activity in the first place. You don’t want a campaign to reach 100,000 competition hunters that will never engage with your brand again, you want to achieve numbers based on long-term engagement with a solid strategy and objectives in place. Have a look at Kindred’s Make Mine Milk campaign here to see an example case study and for more info on strategy head to our Social Media Recipe for Success Series here or our social media strategy eCourses.
#4 How do they measure activity? What reporting systems for social media exclusively do they use?
In any other area, reporting back on activity allows you to calculate whether that activity is worth reinvesting money, time and resources into. It’s the same with social media, all activity should be evaluated ideally on a monthly basis and each campaign should end with a report on whether or not objectives have been met. It’s a good idea to ask your social media agency what reporting systems they have in place and what they measure. It’s also just as important to read and evaluate the report too, otherwise it will be pointless.
#5 Do they have a crisis plan if activity #fails?
If outsourcing social media activity to an agency, make sure you are all aware of what the plan of action is in advance of a ‘crisis’. If something goes wrong, it’s reflected on your company and can be massive on social. If they are a great agency they will most certainly have had to deal with similar situations as things can’t always go to plan, so make sure you research into how effectively past situations have been resolved.
Reasons to leave the room now…
- They mentioned that you could simply buy fans and followers!
- They called themselves a ‘social media guru’ or a ‘digital evangelist’
- They made no mention of social media engagement and content but instead talked about the number of fans and followers you’ll get with a few posts a week
If you have any questions or tips that have helped when choosing a great agency in the past, please let us know and we’ll do our best to share them.
Good luck agency hunting!
Katie McDermott and Jane Whitehead – Social Media Trainers and App Developers – Co-Founders of ‘Katie & Jane’ based in Birmingham, UK
Katie & Jane are on a mission to make their mark in the tech world through social media and app development with a difference.
Firstly, Katie & Jane are experienced social media trainers with a mission to make social media simple through bespoke training and consultancy, helpful toolkits and fun eCourses. They know social media isn’t rocket science so aim to lead and inspire people to use social media effectively in business.
Secondly, they are addicted to apps! Katie & Jane get excited about the role they play now and will continue to play in the future and the power they have in connecting and engaging people every day. Some friends go so far as to call them ‘app-geeks’ (but they don’t mind!). Katie & Jane were finding it increasingly hard to get their hands on beautifully designed apps that were fun to use, meaningful and packed with useful features, so… they started to create them!
Discover more about Katie & Jane on…