Social media is not going anywhere. In fact, it is only becoming more and more robust. If you are a business, big or small, you may need to bring on the help of a social media firm to work on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and to help you manage review sites. You may think that it’s just playing around on Facebook, but the business implications of a bad social media strategy can kill a business. Besides, you should be doing what you do best, running your business. A social media firm should be an investment in your business that has a higher ROI than the money you put in. Once you begin to look at this expense as an investment, you’ll be on the right path. That being said, it is important that you learn how to choose a Social Media firm. The one who will get you results. There are so many out there it can be difficult to tell who will be the right fit for your business. Think of this article as your guide on what to ask the firms you interview in order to make sure your investment is a good one.
How to Choose a Social Media Firm
This is a list of the questions you should ask the social media firms you are considering:
Who Are Your Clients?
Ask the firm to tell you about their clients. If you are a restaurant and the person or firm you are looking into has done only medical, they may not be the firm for you. While not necessary, it is beneficial for local businesses to select a social media firm that understands their geographic location and their demographics, so having clients in your general vicinity will help.
How do you develop my social media plan?
You want to ask the firm how long it takes them to come up with your social media plan. You also want to ask them what they consider when crafting this plan. The answers you want to hear is that they are looking into your demographics, that they conduct competitor research, and a plus is if they say they look at Google Analytics. This is HUGE. This means that this firm is looking not just to brand you, but to drive traffic to your website.
Are there any clients of yours I can chat with?
This may get you a no answer. It’s pretty difficult to ask a client to take time to help you make a sale, but if you can get this, then you know that the social media firm has a strong relationship with their clients and this is a sign of trust.
How long has your company been around?
You don’t actually care about the length of their business, what you really want to see is how much work they have done and if they were able to roll with the constant social media changes. A company that has been doing social media for a long time will most likely have systems set up to make things work smoother.
What were your best campaigns?
This is their chance to WOW you. To show you how creative they are. But most of all, this is where numbers should come out. First, they should tell you the client’s objectives. Then they should discuss the client and demographics and the research that went into selecting the social network for the campaign. Finally, they should describe the campaign and then discuss the analytics behind their pride. How much traffic was sent to a website? Were sales generated? Did it lead to press mentions?
***I need to interject here. A social media firm is NOT a sales engine or a public relations firm. So before you go off thinking that your social media firm is going to get you an increase of 50% YOY on sales or get you on the New York Times, don’t get too excited. Sales and PR are pretty complicated. An SMM firm may drive tons of traffic to your website, but if your shipping is too high, or the website is not mobile, or if it is not optimized, this is on you. So make sure that you have that end of your business well managed too.
How does your community management work?
This is where they tell you about structure. What days of the week do they work and how will they be available to you? Is there a manager in place? Who do you talk to if there is a problem? Will they send you content calendars for approval? What social media dashboard do they use? Is it like Socialdraft where they can give you access to the dash to look at the content? What kind of reporting will be given to you and how often do you receive it? At this stage, they should also tell you what they will need from you.
What Networks do they work on and what networks do they think would be best for you?
You want to know that they are proficient in the five major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest), but that they can work on niche networks as well (Snapchat, YikYak, YouTube).
Who works in your company?
You want to learn about the people who will be working on your account. Ask about the experience of the people who will be developing content, managing customer relations, and creating images.
What happens if someone quits?
Does the firm have backups in case someone gets sick or quits? How do they make sure that your campaign runs smoothly in this case?
Who do they plan to make your community manager?
This is where they can tell you why a certain person would be great for your account and should echo your business goals.
What social networks do you think will become the next big thing?
This answer may change monthly, but you want to get some insight into the field, and you want to know that they are on top of the social media environment.
How do payments work?
You should 100% ask how payments work. Do you need to pay in advance? Monthly?
Will there be a contract?
You want a contract. And this contract should include anything that was discussed in your meetings. This is to protect yourself and your firm. Items that are in there should absolutely include:
- expected results
- reporting frequency
- work product (how many pieces of content)
- firm availability
- who owns work created
How do you keep my social media accounts safe?
You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where your social media pages are highjacked, or where an intern screws up and you end up in the news. Your firm should be able to make you feel safe about your accounts and content.
What technology do you use?
They should be able to tell you what tools they will be used to schedule your social media posts, what they use to engage, how they will monitor your brand, and most importantly what they use to measure your performance. If they tell you Socialdraft, then you’re in luck 😉
Now that you know how to choose a Social Media firm, you’ll be better armed to demand better results.
How to Manage your Social Media Accounts
Socialdraft is an all-in-one Dashboard that helps you manage multiple Social Media Accounts. It is the most robust and simple tool for agencies and teams to effectively handle social media. With Socialdraft you can:
Schedule posts to Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Business Pages (and one LinkedIn account) and Pinterest Boards
Schedule posts individually, as recurring posts, or bulk upload them as CSV
Easily re-schedule with a drag & drop action
Schedule GIFs to Facebook and Twitter
Download content calendars as PDF
Find content on Instagram and easily schedule reposts not just to Instagram but to all other social networks
Engage on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin
Download Facebook and Twitter reports
and tons more…
If you are curious about Socialdraft, take it for a risk-free trial. You’ll get to try out all the features and decide if Socialdraft is right for you.