How to Choose Social Media Marketing Agency for Small Business?
Social networks is a place where your business demonstrates itself, communicates with customers and spreads information about goods and services. If you do it right, you will strengthen SEO, increase sales and brand awareness. If wrong, the effect will be reversed. Therefore, the question of how to choose a marketing agency to promote small businesses in social networks should be approached with all seriousness and responsibility.
Criteria for determining marketing goals using the SMART method. Source of the image
Marketing goals. Before you start looking for an agency, you should formulate marketing goals for yourself - general directions for promoting a brand or a specific product, on the basis of which a marketing strategy is drawn up. Usually these are business benefits (increase in sales, average check, launch of a new product on the market, become a leader in the industry, etc.) or expected result (increase in subscribers and activity on social networks).
Now marketing goals are usually determined by the method SMART:
In summary, it may look something like this:
We will publish relevant posts on Facebook five times a week: memes, life hacks, informational texts and GIFs, which will tell about the culture of our company and will be useful / interesting to readers. The marketing goal is for the average post to receive more than 10 reposts and 300 likes, as well as to increase the conversion in advertising posts to 5%.
Marketing budget. Understanding what exactly you will do and how often will provide an opportunity to formulate a marketing campaign budget. Based on the above example, we will need to calculate the cost of posts and their promotion.
If one post costs $ 10, then for a month we will spend $ 200 on them (5 posts per week × $ 10 × 4 weeks), plus $ 150 for advertising your page on social networks (from $ 5 per day × 30 days). The cost of advertising depends on the social network, niche, demand, etc.
If the company goes through all the points, enter it in the table with a list of potential candidates and continue the search. Companies that have not passed the checklist also need to be written in the table to know whether you checked them or not.
The price at this stage can be found only approximate or starting (the minimum set of services), since the cost of the services of a particular marketing campaign depends on many factors: goals, timing, niche, site, season, etc.
Company Portfolio. An extensive, detailed portfolio with the results of customer promotion is the main criterion for a good agency. Since if you want to know what a company can do for you, then the best way to do it is to see what they have done for other customers.
In the portfolio you need to pay attention to such things:
Blog and social media pages. The publication of blog articles and posts on social networks shows that the marketing agency has something to share with its customers and partners. The blogs describe use cases, industry trends, significant news, changes in the operation of social network algorithms, and also create familiarization and educational content. It’s not necessary to read everything, just check the regularity of publications and make sure that they are expert.
On social networks, they usually share news and successes, as well as links to blog posts. Sometimes there is entertaining content (memes, gifs). For you, the regularity of posts, their indicators (reposts, likes, comments), the design of the page and each post are important.
It will be rather strange if a company specializing in promotion on social networks has an ugly and unpopular page. Such artists should be screened out right away.
Public activity. Many good marketing companies participate in conferences, lectures, webinars and other industry events. Higher-class specialists conduct research and create training courses on Coursera, Udacity, Udemy and other e-learning platforms. If one of your potential candidates is noted in something like that, then this will be a big plus.
At this step, usually 5 to 20 candidates remain. All of them with a high degree of probability will be able to help you in promoting your business on social networks. It remains to choose a marketing agency with the best combination of price / quality. And here you can not do without a call and a personal meeting.
What to ask during the first call:
You need to use this: get a free audit from several companies and compare their analysis, conclusions and cost. Find the most professional (portfolio) agency and compare its analysis and findings with other candidates, if there are similar and cheaper options, choose them. Some clients specifically do a free audit at well-known marketing agencies (without even thinking about hiring them later), and then use it to look for cheaper options.
Typically, marketing agencies provide comprehensive promotion services, which include all the elements of promoting a business on social networks - from writing a short note to a serious study of the target audience. However, not all of these services you need. They need to be selected based on the characteristics of your business and marketing objectives.
For example, for a regular online bookstore, texts and photographs are almost always enough (they can be obtained for free from the network). Whereas to promote a page on household appliances and electronics can not do without videos. If we are talking about architecture, then we need 3D models that work in a browser and / or VR devices. To promote analytical, financial and insurance agencies, you need infographics, studies, specialist interviews and market reviews.
Description and cost of various types of content: