So you’re ready to outsource your social marketing. You’ve got your perfect product, your stellar site, your bold branding, and your team is poised like a panther to attack the market. Great!
But how do you tell a great social marketing agency from an only so-so one? Glad you asked! Start by asking these five questions:
Even if you don’t necessarily understand all the ins and outs of creating a social strategy, this question should give you good insight into how much they understand the goals you’ve outlined and how creatively they’re thinking about your potential audiences. It usually includes some competitive research, some understanding of the markets and demographics you’re trying to reach and basic knowledge of your product or service. And in my not-so-humble opinion, it should be part sales, part consumer response and part fun.
This will tell you how serious they are about reporting and measurement. If they’re talking all about follower counts and post likes, run away. RUN AWAY QUICKLY. Social marketers who know what they’re doing know that conversion metrics are the name of the game. How many ways can they contribute to the bottom line is the real answer you’re looking for.
The hallmark of a great social agency is having refreshed creative. Sometimes brands provide it and other times, the agency creates it. This could be with professional photoshoots, mining user-generated content, creating graphics from scratch–you name it. But it’s important to get on the same page as to whom is responsible for creation. If it’s going to be a mix of you and the agency, establish a cadence that you don’t deviate from.
At Matchstick, we preach overcommunication. If a strategy isn’t working, if sales are down this month, if an influencer isn’t delivering–even the ugly stuff has to be communicated. Make sure that your agency isn’t going to put you on hold for 25 minutes every time you call, scrambling to find answers.
Test & Evaluate
Evaluating the strategy should take place at least once a month. Things move quickly in social, so it’s pretty easy to tell if a campaign works well after a month of running it to various targets. Even if the strategy is working, evaluating can reveal new opportunities. The social media landscape changes often: new ad types, new platforms, new rules. Complacency over time is a killer.
BONUS: Want to hear a social marketer nerd out? Ask them what they’re most excited about right now in social marketing. That should get them talking. If it doesn’t, hang up the phone or leave that conference room. We’re here to chat if you need us.