Hiring a social media agency? Read this!
I’ve been in the social media industry since 2012 and, over the past year, I’ve noticed a major increase in retailers hiring social media agencies. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard many success stories.
To help you prevent hiring the wrong agency, wasting money (sometimes a lot of money!) on little to no results OR to help ensure a successful relationship with your current agency, I created this resource for you. It includes things to look for and ask so you’re more informed because let’s face it. If you’re not very social media savvy, it’s hard for you to know if you’re hiring the right company/person. But don’t worry, this guide will help.
If you have any questions or want to share your experiences with me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hiring a Social Media Agency? Use the below to help find the right company:
Do they ask about your business goals?
In order for an agency to know if they can assist you, they need to know what your goals are so they can create strategies to help you achieve these. One of the first questions we ask potential clients is what their goals are and, if they’re loose, we try to tighten them up a bit by making them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed). By giving the agency your SMART goals, you’ll be able to hold them accountable and ensure they’re moving your business in the right direction.
What are the contract terms?
You should be getting a contract from the agency which includes the scope of work (more on that below), the duration of the contract and how to get out early if you need to. I personally think it’s bad business to lock people into contracts. I understand the typical reason for needing time to see what does and does not work. But hey, unexpected things happen (including things like not getting what was promised or not being in sync with the agency’s direction) and it may make you feel more comfortable having a way out.
What’s the scope of work?
Make sure they provide you in writing with exactly what they’ll be doing for you. I’ve seen a lot of proposals from other agencies that just say “social media management”. What does that mean? How often are they posting? How many ads to how many audiences? What sites are they using? Does this include other sites like email or mobile texting programs? Are they designing graphics for you or do you need to provide these? The more specific the proposal is, the better.
What is the communication schedule?
Does the agency detail when they’ll be meeting/communicating with you to ensure they’re staying up-to-date with store events, promotions, and products? Most of our retailers prefer monthly check-in calls but, depending on your products and type of store, you might need more or less. Also, be sure to specify the best way to contact you. Email might not be as you might prefer a phone call. Make sure this is hashed out right from the start.
If the agency will manage your social media (actually posting for you), do they tell you how they are going to mimic your voice?
Is there a process they have to ensure they’re best representing you? One thing I created for my Insider Members is a guide to help their employees step into the tone of the business. We used this with past management clients and often heard, “I can’t believe how you sound just like me!”. We were able to do this through our process.
If they are going to be responding to say, negative reviews, do they tell you how they’re going to do this? For example, will they ask you for approval on the response first? Or will they send it to you to respond? Make sure this is ironed out so reviews don’t go un-replied to whether good or bad.
Are they transparent on the audiences they are going to target?
If running paid ads, how did they work with you to learn about your audiences? You should be involved in this process. At Crystal Media, we have an Intake Form we send to Ad Clients to learn all about their audiences, and then we make suggestions on who we should pay to target. The retailer is always involved and in the loop to ensure we’re reaching the right people.
What kind of reporting do you get?
And when will this be sent? At Crystal Media, we send our Ad Clients reports each month that highlight things like the performance of the ads, the performance of the audiences, what worked/what didn’t and the plan moving forward.
If you know you need help with social media and are looking to hire someone, but don’t know where to go, you can click here to learn more about how Crystal Media can help.