Social media has become an integral part of everyday life for countries all around the world, so shouldn’t that extend to your business as well? Well, it does in the form of Internet Marketing. Internet Marketing (also known as e-marketing, web marketing, or digital marketing) is an all-inclusive term for marketing products and/or services online. This includes Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Blogging, Web-sitting, Click-and-Pay, and a couple of other, less known methods. Successful businesses see the value of internet marketing and choose to use the easiest, and cheapest, option from the internet marketing list; Social Media.
However, many business owners quickly see a large amount of effort required to keep up a consistent flow of content and engagement. It takes time, effort, and expert social media knowledge to get your content off the board. Too bad you don’t have the time for it. Not to worry, there are actually company’s out there that can handle your social media for you! The only thing YOU need to focus on doing is picking the right one.
There are six questions you need to ask yourself before choosing a company to handle your social media. The first being ‘Do they know your industry?’ A good social media company will be adept at working successfully with any business. However, certain companies may have a specialization or experience working with a specific industry. Even if they don’t have a specialization they may have relevant experience with the same type of product or with targeting specific demographics. You can find this information by looking at the projects they’ve been involved in (both past and present). If they DON’T have a list of former clients and current projects, then they might not be the company for you. You can also check out feedback the company’s received from former clients using online sources such as Yelp!, Google Plus, and even social media conversations on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. The second question that should follow after is ‘Do they know THEIR Industry?’ This may seem like a really strange question to ask, but there are actually numerous companies who have tacked on ‘social media management’ to their services just to keep up with the competition. Typically, these companies do not have ‘social media’ in their name, as a major heading on their website, or listed as marketing collateral. It should also go without saying that the company your considering should be socially prolific themselves with clear evidence pointing to a healthy amount of social media engagement. Stay away from companies who do not meet the above criteria if your core priority is social media, as they are not what you are looking for.
Next is to address whether they outsource their work. I must stress that outsourcing social media management is not a BAD thing so long as you are working with a trusted agency. You need to be assured that all the agents working on your project are of the same caliber. The agency may simply be acting as just a ‘middleman’ and may not be able to address all the questions and concerns you may have about the handling/quality of your project as they are not directly involved themselves. It is very important that your brand values shine through in every interaction. Any good social media agency will know your brand inside and out before posting anything involving it. If you have them monitoring than they should make you aware when you need to actively engage with a response on whatever platform they are managing. Be wary of any agency that uses a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to your project. The same goes for those agency’s that want to take everything off of your hands or that constantly call you to check the work they’ve done.
Say you’ve found a company that has a phenomenal track record, glamorous recommendations on and off the social media platform, and an impressive knowledge of your industry and brand, now you have to hammer out all of the fine details. An agency can be experienced, competent, reputable, socially active and conscientious yet still be on a different wavelength to you and your brand. You need to take a look at the strategy they have developed for your project and how their culture and objectives compare to yours. Cultural differences can be something you CAN work through if you can identify what your main objective is for your project. It is recommended, however, that you choose an agency with the same culture as yourself to avoid this extra step. Before meeting with any agency, you need to know if you want more engagement, more followers, web traffic, etc. Once both sides are clear on what the aims of the project are you can move forward and talk about the closing terms of your partnership; things like the cost and how to measure whether the project was/is a success. Let us know if this was helpful or not by sending your own comments and sharing your experiences in the comment section below.