Outsourcing Social Media Management: How to Evaluate Your Vendor Before Going into a Partnership

With the right strategy, you’ll get the power to place your brand right in front of your ideal target audience.

Social media is a game changer for modern businesses, leveling the playing field for startups and big brands alike. With the right digital marketing agency to support your strategy, you’ll get the power to place your brand right in front of your ideal target audience.

If you’re just getting started, you might be wondering if the outcome is worth the effort.

You bet it is!

With nearly 3 billion social media users worldwide, it’s an open canvas to paint the brand picture you want the world to see.

The first step in launching an effective social media strategy is to partner with a digital marketing agency that understands your message, the market, and the goals you want to achieve. 

It’s the quickest way to access the expertise and subject matter experts you need to cut through the digital noise – no matter the social platform.

Within further ado, here are five questions to help you choose the perfect agency, to grow your social media presence.

Align on overarching strategy

One of the most compelling things about social media is its ability to bring people together.

It unites audiences by making the world feel like a smaller place.

Ask your prospective digital marketing agency about their world-view when it comes to social marketing and advertising.

How does their agency fit into the big picture? How will they incorporate your brand?

The companies with the clearest messaging and most airtight strategies have an unwavering understanding of how they work as a team and with their clients.

Part of that understanding is the ability to communicate your unique voice effortlessly.

Not sure what it sounds like yet? No problem.

Partner with an agency that can help you define the voice you need to attract and build your social media audience.

Once you understand the approach, it’s time to talk about content.

Get down to the details

Social media marketing revolves around frequent, high-quality content. It’s the lifeblood of user engagement.

Find out how your digital marketing agency approaches content creation and how much they plan to create for your business.

Will they curate content, create it from scratch, or use a combination of user-generated and custom content?  User-generated content (UGC) is generally less expensive, more accessible than custom content, and can lend credibility to your voice.

Ask the agency how they repurpose blogs, videos, and other web content for social media. Smart social media marketing agencies know how to take what you create and put a brand new spin on it.

Next, ask how the agency creates and uses graphics. After all, social media is the perfect marriage of pictures and prose.

Lastly, get clarity on how the agency plans to use social media content in conjunction with other marketing channels like email marketing or other tactics.

Keep in mind that custom graphics are often expensive, but just like content, you can repurpose imagery and keep it fresh for many social campaigns to come.

Content fuels the next step in your social media marketing journey – community.

Ensure two-way communication

Your community is the heartbeat of audience engagement.

It’s where your customers will ask questions, talk about your brand, lodge complaints, and interact with you.

Regardless of the social platform, you need an active presence in your community to keep engagement high and your brand top-of-mind.

How will your digital marketing agency help you manage community activities?

Do they have dedicated resources to manage each platform?

What is the expected response time for customer service and other online engagement?

You can cut down on costs by partnering with your agency to divide and conquer community management. Decide upfront who will manage which activities to ensure that your customers always feel heard.

Now, with all of this engagement comes a wealth of great data, and that leads us to the next question.

Know what success means

If you’re just starting on your social media journey, your digital marketing agency will help define which metrics matter most to help meet your goals.

Get a feel of how long it will take to start seeing the initial results of your efforts and how often the agency will update you on progress.

You’ll need consistent measurements along the way to pinpoint areas for improvement and to double-down on what’s working well.

Find out how your prospective agency defines “success” for your brand and how they tie measurable goals to each tactic they employ for you.

Which data points do they track?

Why do they matter?

What does your contract include and what will cost extra?

While success looks a bit different for each company, an experienced social media marketing agency can take your brand’s unique voice to achieve the outcomes that really matter to you.

Finally, before you partner with your agency, tie everything together to define ongoing support.

Understand what’s your involvement

You may be looking to count on a digital marketing agency to help manage the time and TLC it takes to grow your social presence, but you’ll still need to be involved.

Find an agency that will openly communicate with you about progress while they confidently take your goals and run with them.

It takes the burden of day-to-day management off of your plate so that you can focus on strategic areas of the business.

Ask your agency what level of support they need from you to make your partnership a success. 

How often will you communicate with them?

Through which channels?

How will you escalate concerns if needed?

Setting expectations upfront is a sure-fire way to keep your social strategy running like a well-oiled machine for years to come.

Partner with a competent digital marketing agency

Ready to get started? Our team is ready to take your social media strategy to the next level – whether you’re just beginning or looking for a fresh approach.

Contact us today for more information or to start building your social community. We love making new friends!

Lisa Tan

Lisa Tan

Lisa wears multiple hats at Appiloque - digital strategy, agency operations, and content marketing. To keep herself sane, her favourite form of entertainment is free and involves reframing reality, changing it up to something ridiculous and playing out imaginative scenarios. No, she's not mad. Yet.

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