Finding the perfect social media agency
Social media channels need to work in the favor of the brand. The ever-changing landscape of social media can be exasperating for many. It is the agency’s responsibility to identify and implement the best strategies and tools to help your business grow. Therefore, before hiring an agency, business owners or managers should ask important questions revolving around their SMM (Social Media Marketing) goals.
1. How well do you understand our brand’s message?
In simpler terms, brand messaging is how and what the brand is trying to convey to the target audience about its products/services. Creating an image that perfectly resonates with the company’s ethos is important for brand awareness. The agency professionals should have a fair share of EQ (Emotional intelligence) along with IQ to be able to produce ideas that can fittingly communicate the brand’s message across all social media platforms.
2. Who is our target audience?
For a business to succeed, it is vital to identify its target audience and work towards their satisfaction. It is the agency’s job to research the brand’s target audience and gather detailed reports on the same. Factors such as psychographics and demographics play a crucial role while creating brand campaigns and ads on social media networks.
3. What are the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that establish our brand’s success on social media?
Agencies and companies are mostly on the same page when it comes to deciding what is important and what is not. But agencies should make it a point to highlight and explain the important social media metrics that indicate success. Even though agency professionals can offer insights based on their past experiences, the company representatives, too, should not hesitate in putting forward the company’s definition of success.
4. While marketing our brand, will you use the same approach for the different social media platforms out there?
Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok are some of the most popular social media platforms. Moving ahead with a cookie-cutter approach to market your products/services on all these platforms can prove disastrous for your brand. Each of these networks is designed to suit a certain kind of audience. Make sure that the agency understands your business type in depth so that it uses a platform that can do justice to your brand’s image. For instance, a B2B brand like Xilinx that is in the development of integrated circuits will hardly have an audience on Facebook. The agency should work towards creating content for Xilinx’s products on platforms like LinkedIn and Quora (where electronics engineers gather to discuss various circuit problems).
5. Has the agency worked with a similar kind of business in the past?
Your business will have a competitive edge over others in the industry if the SMM agency you are planning to hire has prior experience in your niche. This can work for your brand, as it means the agency is aware of the tactics that can guarantee success and the ones that can backfire.
6. What strategies do you have in mind to make our brand a social media success?
Once the agency has a clear idea of what your brand is about, it is safe to ask them what they have in mind to ensure a successful social media presence for the same. For instance, will they opt for paid content development or go for the good-old organic content development? Will they collaborate with influencers or critics to review your brand’s products/services on social media? Such questions shed light on the kind of social media strategies they are thinking of to highlight your brand.
7. Is PR (Public relations) part of your package?
Social media marketing is also about creating digital footprints on platforms other than social media. Present-day agencies also offer PR services so that the brand can create a positive impact through press releases, interviews, and reputation management. All this material is further circulated on social media platforms to increase brand visibility.
8. What is your approach toward online community management?
Community management is remarkably similar to customer support. It includes offering solutions to dissatisfied customers and thanking delighted customers, answering customer queries on various social media networks, encouraging conversations that highlight your company’s USP, and connecting with customers in the best way possible to ensure a positive brand impression. Enquire about the agency’s point of view when conducting customer support services on social media. Names like HGS (Hinduja Global Solutions) offer social media-based customer care services to big B2B as well as B2C brands in the global market.
9. What plans do you have for content?
Content is the nucleus of social media. Therefore, it should not come across as a surprise that social media marketing would require constant churning of content that highlights and educates your target audience about the company’s products and services. Do not shy away from asking questions like how frequently they will be posting content; will the content be descriptive/formal/informal/conversational; do they have skilled graphic designers and videographers to create visual content; will they make use of AI-backed tools like copy.ai and ChatGPT to generate written content; and more.
10. What kind of tools will you be using to promote our brand on social media?
Prolific social media marketing agencies have an arsenal of tools that can successfully cater to your SMM needs. From automation tools that pre-schedule and automate posts to tools that report various performance metrics such as SEMRUSH, and HubSpot, today’s agencies are 50% tech and 50% human-backed ideas. Get a clear idea of the kind of tools they will be using to monitor and boost your social media presence.
11. What is your TAT (Turnaround time)?
In every professional field, a project is assigned for a finite period. Before hiring an agency, it is important to get clarity on the number of days or months required to achieve the company’s desired targets. As a business owner, you should also know about the minimum contract length for the agency you are about to hire.
12. How much is your fee?
Most agencies are infamous for having complex and unfathomable fee structures. The company and the agency can discuss this and reach a middle ground based on the former’s business objectives and the capacity to invest in SMM.
Finding an SMM agency is difficult but not impossible
Finding and shortlisting a social media agency that understands your business requirements and ethics is a difficult job. But when you ask the right questions, the process becomes simpler. Thankfully, the market has reliable names like HGS Interactive that can add value to an enterprise’s brand by successfully marketing their USPs strategically and gradually.