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  • Writer's pictureRuby Stone

How to Choose a Digital Agency

What to Look for when choosing a Digital Agency to help with Social media?

The vast majority of businesses out there utilize online or social media marketing to some extent. Social media is one of the most popular online activities right now with people spending upwards of 3 hours a day on the social media sites, which rivals the amount of time people spend watching television. Social media marketing efforts have the ability to increase brand awareness, brand loyalty and impact sales. But, at the same time, many businesses have no strategy in place. For a lot of businesses, they have the desire, but not the time to manage their social media presence, so they turn to others to do it for them. As any decision related to your business, it is important to make sure you have the right social media company, who will become your online voice.

1. What distinguishes you from your competitors? There are thousands of agencies that claim to be social media experts, but not every single one is right for every brand. Brands need to look for a professional business that cares about the success of its clients and has a track record of that success. Also who aligns with your goals. Brands should ask potential agencies what sets them apart from the competition and specifically look for answers that include a solid track record, case studies, and a well-articulated and defined process. These answers show that a company is invested in creating a successful social media reputation and cares about the results of its clients.

2. Do I need to be on every site? This is a question that will help brands determine the honesty and expertise of an agency. If the agency answers “yes”, it could be a warning flag for the brand. Not every social network is right for every business. While there will be some overlap, each social media site will reach a different target. All of those targets may not be right for you. Businesses should strategically choose platforms based on the target audience and goals. A reputable social media agency will look into the target audience for a brand and then pick the social media platforms most likely to reach those audiences instead of simply advising every business to be active on every website.

3. What is your process for content development? Social media thrives on quality content that is informative, entertaining and rich with keywords. When a brand is interviewing agencies, one of the most important questions that must be asked is how that agency handles research, content creation, and content calendars. Quality agencies won’t shy away from the content question, but will instead have a strategy in place to find the type of content that target audiences like the most and then spread it either organically or through paid promotion. Brands should stay away from agencies that go by gut feeling, thinking humor is appropriate for every client or promise to create a viral sensation on social media. Social media is a visual medium and most of the sites are optimized for images and even video. A quality strategy will include the use of images and videos since these types of posts regularly outperform generic text based posts.

4. What is your process for reporting? Marketing is all about the metrics. Brands hiring an outside agency for social media marketing should be able to monitor the results of a social media marketing strategy and hold the agency accountable. Goals need to be set that meet the criteria for SMART goals. They should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Generic goals that are difficult or impossible to measure may sound good, but can never be properly tracked. Agencies should have a high standard when it comes to communicating updates, both positive and negative, to the brand on a regular basis. Social media marketing can take time and can have a cumulative effect on consumers. While it’s important to demand responsibility for results, it’s also key for brands to have patience. Brands and agencies should strive to communicate about results, tactics, content options, new technologies and potential strategy. It is also vital for clients to communicate to the agency to ensure that agency is on point and has all of the relevant information needed to make decisions about strategy

5. How do you measure success? Brands that invest in social media and a social media agency must have a clear goal in mind at the beginning of the process. Brands should demand that any potential agency have a set standard when it comes to watching available metrics such as engagement, click-through-rate, web traffic, organic reach, paid reach, and conversions. One of the benefits of social media is that strategies can be adjusted in real time based on the data being collected. As brands and agencies learn more about the target audiences and new technological options, goals can evolve as well. While there is no “right” answer for how to define success, having a clearly vocalized goal can create a focus on accountability for the social media agency partner.

At Stone Media Consulting, we go through these questions and more with each and every prospective client and we revolve our strategies, plans and reporting around these principles so our clients know that they are getting an effective and dynamic campaign that will drive interest, interactions and conversations. What is it your company is looking for.

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