Social media offers huge opportunities for SMEs, with a huge potential audience, hyper-focused targeting and the ability to start one-to-one conversations.
With the right strategy, messaging and creative, social media can make a huge difference to your business. Investing in an agency to support your in-house team can make a big difference, but ensuring they’re reputable from the get go will ensure you’re set up for success. Here are 5 key questions you ought to consider when finding your social media supplier:
1. What is their social media presence like?
This has to be the starting point. If your social media supplier is not engaging their prospects and customers on social media themselves, why would you trust them to do any better job of your brand? This isn’t a question you’ll ask directly, but a little bit of research before you meet can go a long way. An agency that hopes to guide and advise your online presence should be making efforts to keep their own to a high standard.
They may not have the content or approach that you want for your own business (they’re likely to have different objectives, after all) but the quality should give you an idea of what they can offer you.
2. What problems have they solved for their clients in the past?
This is a better question than “What can you do for us?” because it demonstrates their skillset and establishes a track record. A disreputable agency may try to overwhelm a prospective client with various tools and platforms. It’s important that as the client, you understand the business problems solved as opposed to the tools and platforms used.
The answer here should outline what their client’s problem was, the steps they took to solve it (and why that worked), and the KPIs (i.e. how they measured success). They should have case studies prepared that demonstrate that they can help your business.
3. How long have they been in business and what experience do they have in working specifically with small and mid-size businesses
There are many agencies out there who call themselves experts and yet many are one-person businesses that have literally sprung up overnight. You need to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable business that has experienced individuals with a proven track-record. If their answer here seems insubstantial, it may be best to move on.
4. How do they measure success?
Social media is so valuable in part because of the huge amount of data it gives you about your audience and campaigns. While this can be information overload without the right expertise, your agency should be able to garner insights to continuously improve and tweak your campaigns.
Ask them how they go about agreeing KPIs, how they report, and if there are any examples of where they haven’t met agreed KPIs. It’s important to see how they adapt to scenarios where things haven’t gone as they expected.
Agencies should focus on engagement and web traffic from the right audience, rather than building large, empty followings from the wrong people. You don’t need to be an expert to discern whether their strategies focus on substance or surface metrics.
5. How will you keep in touch?
Communication is vital in any agency/client relationship, and even a digitally based business should be willing to communicate in a personal way. Will you get an assigned account executive? How often will you meet? How will they keep you in the loop?
Your agency should function as a partner in your social media endeavours, and a close working relationship is vital to achieve the best results.
At HoneyBadger we’ve built a relationship with more than 50,000 businesses since 1985, so we’d like to think we know a thing or two about the client/agency relationship.
We know that we can’t work with clients if we don’t practice what we preach. This means keeping our blog up to date, being on top of our social media presence, constantly monitoring for maximum ROI, and ensuring our dedicated account teams build a good relationship with our clients.
These questions are the ones that we think will help your business choose the agency that will make a real impact on your social presence.