You’re a small business. And you’re busy. But you appreciate the value of marketing. In particular, the value of social media marketing. Specifically, it’s cost-effective, global reach. However, you haven’t got the time to run social media platforms effectively. In fact, you can’t afford to pay someone in-house to do it either. There’s too much else to do. This is where a social media marketing agency is the solution you’re looking for.

But, what exactly does a social media marketing agency do? What can you expect? Can you afford one?

Here are 8 things you need to know when choosing a social media marketing agency for your business.

1. How Active Is the Social Media Marketing Agency Across Its Channels?

This is an important one. That’s why it tops our list. First and foremost, when considering a social media marketing agency, it’s important to check out how active they are on social media.

Sounds obvious, but if they’re not actively posting and engaging across a range of social platforms, what does that tell you about them?

Forget follower numbers here. These are vanity metrics and don’t necessarily give you an accurate picture of how good they are as an agency. Instead, look at the engagement they get across their platforms. How regularly do they post? What do they share? Is it interesting? Original? Creative? Insightful?

Ultimately, if they’re active on social media and you like what you see, that’s a good sign.

2. Do You Feel You Can Trust the Agency?

This point almost goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. Having checked them out across social media, does the agency inspire you with trust? Do they practice what they preach? Would you be happy for them to look after your brand on social media?

It’s important to factor all these elements when choosing a social media marketing agency. Do they make bold promises? Is there evidence they can deliver on them? How long has the agency existed? Who do they list as their clients?

Generally speaking, you should get a good feel for an agency from the work they do for themselves and their clients, the way they position themselves and what they offer.

3. What Social Media Marketing Services Do They Offer?

Once you’ve done your background research, it’s time to focus on the agency’s offering. What services do they offer, exactly?

Social media is a vast and ever-changing space. It’s important to make sure that you find a social marketing agency that’s the right fit for your brand and can help you achieve your goals.

It’s at this point that you need to be clear about what you’re looking for. Are you looking for profile management? Platform-specific expertise? Creative content? Advertising? Campaign creation and management?

By and large, most agencies will offer a range of services. However, if you’re looking for something more specific or niche, you may need to shop around a bit more.

4. Can You Relate to the Team Behind the Agency?

This is another key point to consider. It is extremely important to relate to the team behind the agency. Often, agencies are considered to be third-party service providers. However, problems can arise with communication, approvals and a general detachment from your business.

To put it differently, you want to see your social media marketing agency as part of your team, and an extension of your brand. This is the sweet spot whereby everyone feels included, close-knit and working towards the same goals together.

Being able to relate to your social media team will make this easier, and greatly benefit you in the long run.

5. Where Is the Social Media Marketing Agency Based?

Sometimes a physical office location can be a comforting thing. It’s a sign of permanence and ongoing success. But increasingly, within the digital marketing space, teams are starting to operate remotely.

In fact, working with a remote or decentralised social media marketing agency has its perks. Fewer overheads. Greater global talent pool. A wider range of experience and expertise. Increased efficiency and response times. Flexibility. All these factors can positively benefit your business.

For this reason, it’s not always necessary to look for an agency in your area. And it’s also not important for the team to have one central, physical, office location in order to supply the services you require. So, don’t be afraid to look further afield.

6. What Is Their Pricing Structure?

Some agencies offer a flat pricing structure for their services and they’re quite open about it. They’ll often offer a basic package, to begin with, adding extra services to each subsequent tier of their pricing structure. This is great if you’re looking for a standardised package and a defined level of service for a given price.

However, social media marketing is a complex beast. And your needs might not be so straight forward. This is when a bespoke package might be more suitable.

Make sure you consider this when choosing your social media marketing agency. Bespoke packages are more flexible and often better value as a result.

7. Do They Have a Blog?

Blogs are a great source of insight and value. Reading an agency’s blog is a fantastic way to get to know their expertise, tone of voice and style. You get a good feel for an agency’s personality and wealth of knowledge from the topics they write about. You might even learn something along the way.

Ultimately, a regularly updated blog full of insight across a range of topics is a good sign of an active agency. It shows that they maintain an interest in the work they do and an interest in developments within the industry. And that should inspire confidence.

8. Does Their Tone of Voice or Style Suit Your Business?

Finally, an agency’s tone of voice and personality needs to align with yours. If their style and approach is the polar opposite to that of your brand then you may not be suited for each other. However, this may be exactly what you’re looking for in order to rejuvenate and revitalise your brand.

Whatever you’re looking for in a social media marketing agency, these 8 key considerations should help you settle on the right team to look after your brand’s online presence. Or, you could contact us.

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Gareth Alvarez
Gareth Alvarez

Gareth, Social INK’s Head of Content (sometimes playfully referred to as ‘spellcheck’), just adores words. He’s written copy for ads, websites, and blogged extensively. Content marketing is his bag. He loves getting creative with his writing.