Managing social media accounts for companies requires the ability to operate with a fast-paced suite of media. Unlike print or direct mail, digital media management needs an affinity with the technical aspects of sharing information. Some traditional marketing agencies who are creative experts focusing on visual media, may well find expanding into social media a challenge. The digital agencies who have in the past majored on website development, email marketing and SEO might find the written content required of social media difficult.
The best social media agency will be able to combine creativity and technical ability and have a passion for keeping abreast of new technology. In a field where there is little documented best practice, your agency will need to have the confidence to adapt their social media strategy when campaigns do not provide the expected results. Depending on the size of your company, budget and available internal resources, outsourcing to a marketing agency or marketing consultant who specialises in managing social media accounts may yield a better return on investment than managing it internally or using a generalist.
What to look for in a Social Media Agency
Set out below are our recommendations when selecting a social media agency:
- Do they manage their own social media accounts actively? Do your research into their LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts. If they have few connections and infrequent updates then they are not practising what they preach.
- Are there testimonials on their website? It is important that the social media agency has had experience in managing accounts across several sectors and the platforms which are appropriate to your business.
- Do they have case studies?
- Can they provide your with references from existing clients?
- Are they local to your office? Whilst managed remotely it is important that you are able to meet from time to time. If you are based in London, then an agency with 25 miles of central London is preferable to one based in Scotland!
- Is their proposal to you comprehensive? Establishing a brief which meets your objectives is central building a good relationship with your social media agency and ongoing communications on a frequent basis will make sure that they have sufficient up-to-date news to write about and share.
- Has the agency proposed using social media management software? In order to manage social media across a number of platforms effectively, we would recommend using software such as Hootsuite.
- How long have they been offering a social media management service?
- Will you have a dedicated account manager who is responsible for your social media on a daily basis?
- What period of review are they proposing? We would advise monthly reporting and a quarterly review.
- The fees charged by different social media agencies vary widely. You do not necessarily receive a better service if you pay more. In London, where overheads are high, agencies will typically charge more than an agency which is outside London.