The power of social media and subsequently, the importance of having an active social media presence is hard to deny. 42% of all Internet users use social media channels to find more information about brands. Plus, 27% of UK and US users say they discovered new brands via social media ads this year. (It shared the top spot for brand discovery with TV ads).

With this much potential, you need to know that you’re doing social media correctly to keep your objectives and business goals. You might want to work with a social media agency if you:

  • Have a budget but aren’t sure how to get the most from it
  • Are struggling to increase performance
  • Don’t know how to measure the results of your social media efforts etc.

Once you know that you’d like to work with an agency to increase your social media activity, the next step is, of course, figuring out how to choose the right one. So, here are some mighty useful tips for you:

Know Your Goals and Desired Outcomes

The first thing you must establish for social media success through and agency, is what you hope to achieve through social media itself. Your goals will inform your social media strategy and how you measure success, which can only benefit your business…

Research shows that companies with a defined content strategy achieve 27.1% higher win rates and 18.1% higher quota attainment rates. It’s important as ever to create useful content via articles and blog posts and ensuring your new agency can produce this and distribute over multiple social channels is imperative.

Add visual content into the mix then you’ve got yourself a full service agency that can both design, write and post your content and increase your engagement rate.

Having goals will also help you to allocate your budget and resources. When you know what’s most important to your business you can delegate wisely and get more bang for your buck.

Here are some fundamental social media goals you may wish to strive for:

Increase Brand Awareness

Your goal is to reach a bunch of new people on various social media channels. You want to increase your online presence and to get people talking about your brand or content. So, you might work on upping your following, mentions and share count.

Generate Leads

You want to use social media to plant the seeds of interest and encourage potential customers to enter your sales funnel. For example, you can gather email subscribers from a social media platform by posting your best gated content as ads.

Boost Sales

You aim to use social media in a way that directly impacts revenue. You might, for instance, use audience insights to advertise relevant products to the right people.

Increase Engagement

Your goal is to get people to interact with your social media posts. This boosts customer loyalty and makes people feel more of an affinity with your brand. Thus, you’ll work on getting more likes, comments and so on.

Create a Community

You may wish to boost engagement even further by building a dedicated community around your brand. For example, you might focus on creating an active Facebook page or group or use a branded hashtag to encourage regular conversations about your brand or products.

Provide Great Customer Service

It’s now common practice for people to reach out to brands for help (or to complain) on social media. Therefore, your goal might be to stay on top of those communications in order to keep customers satisfied.

Once you know what your goals are, you can share them with a social media agency and create milestones to reach together.

What Makes A Great Social Media Agency?

Bear in mind that there are a few key elements you need to look for when choosing a social media agency:

They Offer a Customised Service

Some agencies use the same social media strategies for all of their clients. This simply doesn’t work. Each client has a unique target audience and their own business objectives. So, social media strategy can’t be a one-size-fits-all thing. You need to find an agency that offers a personalised experience catered to your needs and goals.

They Have a High Level of Expertise

There are thousands of digital agencies in the US alone. Many offer a broad range of similar services. It’s no wonder then that it’s difficult to choose between them when they all offer the same thing.

They’re Proven to Get Results

A great social media agency can prove they create high-performing campaigns. Hence, you should look for case studies, testimonials and reviews that show the agency is capable.

All in all, you must seek out an agency that has credibility, expertise and offers a service catered to your needs.

How to Work with a Social Media Agency

Working with a social media agency is a two-way street. Here’s what you need to do to get the most out of your collaboration:

Align Your Goals and Expectations

The agency you work with can for sure help you with goal-setting if you don’t know where to start with social media marketing agency.

However, if you do have goals and expectations in mind you need to communicate them clearly. Because otherwise, they won’t be able to meet all of your expectations on the type of content you wish to post… unless they have somebody with the psychic powers of Professor X working at their agency.

The simplest way to make sure your goals are clear and realistic is to have SMART goals. They should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Be Transparent

A social media agency will be able to achieve more on your behalf if you share relevant documentation, guides, plans and reports with them.

For instance, you might have a documented content strategy across multiple channels, including your blog, email newsletter and so on. The social media agency will need to align what they do with your overarching strategy.

Or, perhaps, you have a strict brand style guide. Share the guide and the agency will be able to choose the right tone and design elements for any creative that they produce.

The purpose of sharing the right information is to make sure the agency gets on the same page as you as quickly as possible.

Communication

It’s not only important that you communicate your goals and the right information at the beginning of your working relationship, but also that you keep up communications throughout campaigns or projects.

If you’re able to communicate effectively and efficiently, all of your social media ads and content will go out on time and meet your requirements. This means you have to do the necessary work on your end, too, for example, sharing new company information you want to post in advance or approving content as scheduled.

Above all, communication is key throughout the entire process. A social media agency will want to help you achieve your desired outcomes, but you have to empower them to do so.

How to Find the Right Social Media Agency for You

Always research and compare a social media marketing agency before you make a decision. There are a number of places you can find relevant information, aside from a company’s website.

Seek out credible reviews from sites, such as Clutch, an independent review site for agencies, incidentally we’re featured on clutch, read more about that here and feel free to leave us a review here for a discount on our services! A Google search will also pull up mentions of the agency around the web.

You can take a deeper dive into an agency by looking them up on LinkedIn. Check out the company’s top brass and see if they have been endorsed and recommended by clients and peers.

Researching these sources isn’t just about seeing how many stars a company has to their name, however. You will also get an idea of what size clients they work with, what kind of projects they work on and the average budget of their clients. This will help you see if, generally, you’re a good fit.

Similarly, you need to know if the agency specializes in the social media services you’re looking for. For this, you may need to do some groundwork. Consider the goals you’d like to achieve and what methods or tactics will help you achieve them.

To help you along in your research, I’ve put together a shortlist of the top social media agencies for different specialisms:

Top Social Media Agencies

If you’re looking for a social media marketing agency that focuses on Instagram only, then we will of course recommend ourselves! We focus on the one social media network and we think it gives us the edge over multi-channel agencies. Contact us to discuss your exact requirements.

Conclusion

With more people using a social network to research brands and purchases, it’d be crazy not to take advantage of it as a marketing or advertising channel.

But, there may be areas where your knowledge or resources are lacking. So, it’s natural that you’d consider working with a social media agency.

The first step in choosing an agency is to know your goals and desired outcomes. The reason being, your goals will inform the strategies you want an agency to pursue for you and help you seek out experts that are the right fit for you.

Something else to keep in mind is that your new agency will like use a social media management platform like Hootsuite, Budder or Radaar etc. So don’t be surprised if you see ‘posted by Hootsuite’ underneath your posts going forward.