When a friend recently asked me “what should I be looking for in choosing the right social media agency” the obvious answers were discussed and he went away with a much clearer idea of how to judge who he wanted to work on his accounts. You might ask why on earth I didn’t sell him on the idea of using Fresh Egg. The answer is simple, we didn’t provide what he was looking for, so why try to sell him something we can’t deliver, even if he is a friend and would have loved to have placed the work with us.
In a nutshell, for me at least, that’s what social media is all about on an agency level. Sometimes, no matter how hard you want the business, you have to say no and for good reason. There is little point in taking the money now in the hope you can deliver the undeliverable and then see your client go to a new agency 6 months later. That doesn’t work for either party. More importantly, the client doesn’t get what they paid for and despite the odd cowboy, social media is not the modern day highway and we aren’t Dick Turpin.
So rule number one in social media agency world is simple: Don’t take on what you can’t deliver.
From a client perspective however, they have no control over this, so what do they do when deciding their social media agent?
Actually a few sensible things to consider do exist, here are some tips to finding the right agency for you.
1. Know what you want to achieve – More followers? More traffic? Increased brand awareness? More turnover? All of these things may be dealt with differently by different agencies
2. Case studies – Have they produced social media work on a similar scale or for similar clients and what were the results?
3. Know the brand and industry – Do they already work in your vertical and/or understand its complexities and nuances? Chances are they will be a much better fit for your social media requirements if they do
4. ROI – Don’t believe what the bad social media people tell you, ROI CAN be measured in social media, it just needs to be tailored to your requirements. A great agency will do exactly that.
5. What is their own social media standing? – Check them out; are they practicing what they preach?
6. Check out the blog – every good digital agency worth their salt will have a blog. Check it out, read their opinions, understand their mentality towards social media. Is it positive, is it dismissive, and is it completely and factually wrong? Are they setting trends? Talking at conferences on the subject and predicting what will be the next big thing?
7. Do they believe that engagement should come from you, the company? Ask this because it will give you a good idea if they understand what social media is and isn’t. If they tell you they will manage this side of things for you, they may not understand that real interactive engagement should always come from the people who know the business best, YOU!
8. Make sure you have access to the people who are going to work on your account, not just the sales person showing you the next big idea. Social media is very much about the people involved.
9. Check the ideas being proposed are realistic and achievable as well as suiting your business aims. It’s all very well having an amazing pitch idea but if it can’t be executed or it costs too much, you aren’t going to benefit.
10. Do they offer a comprehensive audit that takes in to account demographics, competitors and niche social sites that may benefit your business rather than just set you up on the obvious social media networks?
There are many other things you can take in to account, but using these as a simple guide in choosing your social media agency will save you the headache of having to find a new one in 6 months time…