Founder and President of Ideas That Evoke, an influencer and social media agency focused on the beauty, lifestyle and luxury markets.
Social media channels need to work for you. Word of mouth is a great way to start growing your business, but to take the next step, having a place that consumers can explore, tag and share is essential.
The social media landscape is constantly changing, and a social media agency’s job is to know the best tools and strategies to help your business grow. Whether you are looking for a change or hiring an agency for the first time, making sure an agency is the right fit is key.
Here are six questions you should be asking before hiring a social media agency:
Can you outline your experience growing a community?
Growing an account — whether starting from scratch or 10,000 followers — is a fundamental goal of a social media agency.
With a plethora of accounts and social platforms, it can be difficult for a business to stand out and reach its target audience. By allowing the agency to speak to the tools and strategies they have used to grow a platform in the past, you can confirm their expertise and analytical results.
How do you combine organic content development and paid content development?
Understanding the difference between organic and paid content development is the first step to this question.
Paid content development is any social media activity that is paid for or promoted. This can be a paid social ad or a partnership with an influencer. Organic content development is everything else that is free — from posting to engaging with followers.
Once you understand the difference, asking a social media agency how they will use or combine these two concepts can give you insight into how much the agency will lean on additional advertising dollars.
What are your channel growth strategies?
There are many strategies to growing a business’s social media platforms, but those strategies can range in effectiveness depending on each social platform and the products and services provided.
To make sure you are hiring the right agency for you, it is important to know which platforms will be most beneficial for your business. And it is important that the agency you work with understands your goals and target audiences.
What do you think are the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) for social media success?
Finding an agency that fits your business starts with both parties aligning on goals and how success is measured. It is easy for an agency to agree with what you find essential, but asking how they view success can shine a light on what that agency focuses on and what they think is critical for your business. But while social media agencies should be experts in the field, you are the one that knows your business best.
When looking at an agency’s experience, beware when shown vanity metrics proving their success that look impressive on paper but don’t actually move the needle with your business goals. Vanity metrics are numbers like follower count, page views and subscriber counts. While high numbers in these areas are nice, it doesn’t benefit your business if consumers don’t engage with your content or purchase your products or services.
What is the role of social media in a marketing mix?
When contracting out work to agencies, not every service is provided by the same partner. A business might have one company running social media while another provides public relations services. Both need to be able to work with your business but also with each other.
What is the relationship between PR, influencer and social media marketing?
PR, influencer and social media marketing often seem like the same thing. Still, as the digital landscape continues to grow and evolve, it is crucial to understand the differences between these fields and which will benefit your business.
• Public Relations is working with media outlets to share news about your business with the public.
• Social Media Marketing is when a business uses social media platforms to promote its products and services.
• Influencer Marketing is a type of social media marketing that involves partnering with influencers and creators for sponsored photo and video assets in exchange for product and financial compensation. Businesses use influencer marketing to extend their reach and increase sales.
Each of these is important on its own, but together they can provide the perfect balance to help your business grow and succeed. When talking with an agency, you should ask how they will balance PR, influencer and social media marketing to help you reach your goals.
Ultimately, the decision about what is right for your business is yours. By asking the right questions and understanding each potential agency’s strategies and decisions, you can choose the best partner for your business.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?