Facebook has over 2.38 billion monthly active users worldwide and the numbers continue to grow at a staggering rate every month. Twitter with its hundreds of millions of active users offers one of the highest engagement rates. Then there is Instagram, a platform owned by Facebook, that boasts another billion users worldwide and some of the highest user engagement rates. Almost everyone who uses the internet today has one or more social media accounts.
As a business, it requires much more than just posting regularly on your social media account to gain traction, engage with your target audience, and generate leads. It is important to get the help of an accomplished social media marketing (SMM) agency to achieve your business goals. With so many agencies competing against each other, things can be a little complex for you. Here are 8 simple steps you can take to select a trustworthy social media marketing agency.
1. Define Your Goals
The first step to choosing a trustworthy social media marketing (SMM) agency is to start with setting your goals. You can set up and define your goals using the following tips:
- Marketing Needs: Consider your marketing requirements and create a list of services the agency should provide.
- Marketing Goals: Based on these needs, set the goals of each marketing activity. These goals can be branding, awareness, leads, traffic, sales, and downloads.
- Agency Types: Look for a social media marketing agency that fits well into your business goals.
While setting your goals, it is also important to build your knowledge and understanding of social media management. For example, you can gain some valuable insights into Facebook Ads management here.
2. Define the Market You want to Reach
When choosing the right agency, it is important to define your market. You may want to reach the local or global market. Your choice of the target audience will help in deicing the right agency. For example, many agencies invest their time and resources in understanding the audience targeted by the client. There are agencies that specialize in targeting both the global and local marketplace and then there are those that specifically focus on a certain local marketplace only.
3. Define the Relationship
When you choose to hire the services of an SMM agency, you have to consider the nature of the relationship you want to build with them. You should spend some time understanding an agency to determine whether your ideas and values match.
Gain all the required information about them before committing to a business relationship. Some of the points on which you should gain information about the agency are as follows:
- Timely feedback
- Understanding your needs and goals
- Specialization in your niche
It is recommended to check their website and social media presence and their effectiveness. Check their portfolio and how successful they have been in helping their clients achieve their goals.
4. Check with Industry Associations
It is recommended to choose an SMM agency that is a member of a reputed industry association. Usually, you should be able to check this by visiting the associations’ website. Many associations allow you to search for agencies based on various factors.
Also check whether the agency has received any awards. Many digital agencies also get listed in notable Top 50 or 100 lists.
5. Get Multiple Expression of Interests
While you should evaluate different agencies based on the above-mentioned factors, you should get expression of interests from multiple SMM agencies. This should give you the opportunity to evaluate different agencies before making the right choice.
Some of the mediums and ways to put out the notice are as follows:
- Local digital trade body
- Your social media account
- Your website
Makes sure to create a landing page on your site that details your requirements. Provide a link back to this landing page.
It is also important to look for an agency that invests its time and resources in the latest technologies. For example, many digital marketing agencies are embracing latest AI technologies to study target audience more effectively and deliver more effective results to their clients. Then there are agencies that make use of big data and AI to come up with the best insights.
7. Check Review Websites
While you will be doing all the research yourselves when evaluating different agencies, you should also consider the words of each shortlisted agency’s past and existing clients. A simple online search should help you find websites where past clients have left reviews about each agency.
Such sites provide you valuable insight into the experiences of past clients. There are many ranking and rating sites. You should also consider Google reviews which can be seen right within the search rankings. In fact, you can take a further step and check the profiles of the agency’s staff on LinkedIn. Once you find a few profiles, check their references.
8. Check their Pricing
Every business is going to have a budget and you should also be having a tight budget that you want to stick to. At the same time, you should keep in mind that quality SMM services come at a price. So, it is important to maintain a balance between quality services and competitive pricing.
- Avoid agencies with low prices
- When you shortlist agencies, cross all the cheap ones
- Look for reputed agencies that can be negotiated to a more competitive initial fee
Once you have shortlisted a few social media agencies, it is recommended to ask them to provide an audit report on your current social media presence. They should also be able to provide you a list of steps they can take to help you achieve your goals.