Have you wondered how you can work with a social media marketing agency? Well, help is here!
By now, we’ve all heard by now about the importance of having a social media marketing strategy to complement one’s marketing communications plan.
In an age where virtually everybody is on either Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn, forums, or blogs, it is important for companies to have a robust and well-considered social media marketing plan on the various online and social media channels.
To do so, one could consider two possible options.
The first approach is to Do It Yourself (DIY). With practically all the tools available for free, what you simply need to do is to devote time, energy and lots of creative juices to generate oodles of great content while cultivating awesome relationships. After all, aren’t membership to all of these wonderful social networks mostly free?
Of course, that probably sounds easier than it really is. To do well in social media marketing, you need to not just be active on social media – you need to also learn what works and what doesn’t in engagement, community management, and influence.
Trust me, I’ve been in this space long enough to understand how difficult it is.
The second and perhaps more practical approach for most organisations is to partner an agency to conceptualise, develop and implement its social media strategy. Hopefully, along the way, your team members can learn from the experts on the dos and don’ts of digital influence, and eventually do it themselves. Of course, you can also work on a long-term retainer if you find an agency/consultant whom you can trust and rely on.
Before you engage any firm, however, it is probably important to explicitly state what you wish the agency to achieve for you. As a general guide, such a brief could contain the following:
This covers your vision, mission, values, primary activities, company history and other vital corporate and brand information.
What is your unique value proposition? How do you differentiate yourself from others in the field?
It is also useful to outline what your current brand identity is. Are there any personality attributes to be considered? What about its overall look and feel? Note that promoting an organisation is slightly different from promoting a brand on social media.
These help your agency to develop campaigns that are coherent with your brand.
Describe your existing online properties (eg websites, blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Youtube channels etc) and the current activities undertaken (types of campaigns, levels of intensity, frequency, and so on).
Where possible, be candid about your previous successes and failures. These help your agency to understand the road you have taken thus far and to be more precise moving forward.
Who are your targeted customers on social media?
If they are PMETs (ie Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians), which subset within this huge group are you pinpointing at? Are you able to paint a brief profile picture of who these folks are?
Some demographic/behavioural information may be useful. In addition, do include any prior historical knowledge you may have on who these desired customers are. They could include their online behaviours and preferences, as well as their offline interactions with your brand.
What is the overall goal of your social media marketing programme? Here, it pays to be as specific as possible.
Generally speaking, most marketing objectives fall into one of three categories:
A good way to do this is to break it down into specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and targets. These can be broken down into the three categories as highlighted above:
If possible, include both qualitative and quantitative indicators of success, bearing in mind the principle that sometimes less is more. If possible, you should also specify specific timeframes, ie use the SMART acronym (Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic, Time-bound) when determining your KPIs.
This is where it can get a little tedious. While one can write a blank cheque and hope for the best, it may be fairer to both parties if the expectations for the job are clearly defined.
These could include the following:
If you are “kiasu” (ie fastidious), you could craft the above to be as specific as possible. For example, you could specify that you want two blog posts every week, or daily updates on Facebook. However, bear in mind that the more you ringfence the tasks, the lower the flexibility for the social media agency.
With so many “gurus” out there claiming to be social media experts, one would be hard-pressed to select an appropriate partner without screening these candidates. Here, you may wish to specify the following:
Don’t go into any new web or digital platform without ensuring that your IT Department has got your back covered (unless of course, they’re absolutely unhelpful). Consider the following:
Unless you plan to track your social media influence on your own, it is useful to plan what your agency can deliver to you in terms of reports and updates. Weave in the following:
Be clear about the extent of your engagement as it extends to the following:
Finally, ensure that your contract with the agency minimally covers the following:
Naturally, the above simply serves as a guide. What’s most important is to tailor your brief to suit the specific needs of your organisation.
While it can be painful (trust me, I’ve been there), taking the time to list down what you’re looking for helps a great deal. By doing so, you not only reduce the ambiguity of the relationship between the client and the agency but help to cement it into a mutually beneficial win-win partnership.
Courtesy of Tom Fishburne
Sign up to receive monthly updates