10 Questions You Must Answer Before Hiring a Social Media Agency in 2016
Businesses of all sizes - from solo-entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses to Fortune 50 brands - often turn to social media and digital marketing agencies to help them develop a social media and digital marketing strategy. They tap into the agency teams of experts for help to implement plans and tactics, identify KPIs, select measurement systems and social dashboards, build their digital brand, establish thought leadership, nurture social communities, and the list goes on.
But it's important that before contacting a social media agency for help that you first answer some foundational questions about your own business, team and goals. You need to know what help you need, what your strengths and weaknesses are, so that the agency can best help you.
The better you understand your business, your ideal customer, your overall market and competition, the better an agency or consultant can provide assistance. This doesn't mean that you need to know all of the answers before you start, or before you engage a third party, but my point is that you need to be crystal clear on what you do know and what you don't know.
What are your greatest strengths? Who are your strongest team members that can help you win, not just stroll along with status quo? What data do you have in your marketing arsenal that the agency can leverage to help you in building, launching and optimizing your online digital and social presence?
In addition you have ti know what gaps exist. What are your greatest weaknesses? Where are you at risk? How do you plan to mitigate the risk?
What resources, time and budget do you have available to commit to the project? Many business leaders struggle with budget allocation for social media and digital marketing. They think that if they contact a ton of different agencies and request proposals from as many as they can, that they'll eventually get a proposal that's low price and delivers higher value than the rest.
The truth is that most social media agencies are not going to lower or raise the price just because you give them a target budget. Instead, the better they understand your budget, the better they'll be able to better develop a proposal, strategy and plan that'll serve your needs, help you win and can be realistically implemented with your available time and resources including money.
Knowing these details will enable the social media or digital marketing agency to help you win.
The online and social world is getting noisier by the minute - you can't just throw up a Facebook page, Twitter profile, Snapchat account or Instagram page and expect to build a brand community overnight. Success using social media and digital marketing requires research, knowledge of the broader ecosystem, an understanding of your competition and how you fit within your industry and niche.
The goal is to develop a strategy and plan with tactics that'll help you connect with your ideal customer and audience in a human and authentic way. The goal is to earn trust and bring people closer to your brand. You must trust the agency you hire with the knowledge they need to enable this to happen.
Results aren't going to be achieved overnight, or in a matter of days or weeks. You need to be invested in the program for the medium and long term, not just a short one night stand with Facebook and Instagram.
- 10 questions you must answer before hiring a social media agency
- Why you must know where you are going and why
- The importance of understanding your business key performance indicators for success
- Why you must know your budget before hiring a social media agency
- The importance of assessing the time, talent and resources available to allocate to your project
- Why you must do a sanity check on your in-house skills
- The importance of understanding your strengths and weaknesses
- Assessing the state of your digital platform
- Understanding the state of your social platform and digital brand
- The importance of a content strategy aligned with your business goals and audience needs
- Why you must understand the larger ecosystem at least at a base level
- How to clearly identify your gaps so that the agency can best help you achieve your business and marketing goals
- How to Get Your Social Media Budget Approved (white paper)
- Audience Analysis Worksheet
- Welcome to the Inspiration Age - Are You Ready?
- Welcome to the Participation Age
- How to Tap into the Power of the OPC - Other People's Content & Community
- Social Trust Factor: Ignite Results with Trust and Authority
- 8 Steps to Develop a Social Business Plan (white paper)
- How to Build a Social Business Strategy & Plan (episode 14)
How to Subscribe to Social Zoom Factor Podcast
This post originally appeared on Pam Moore's blog
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