Social media marketing can be a powerful component of your overall digital strategy. Whether you are exploring social media for the first time, or you are looking for new ways to engage with customers on your social channels, how you integrate social media into your existing strategy and leverage each platform depends on your business.
Why Hire a Social Media Agency
Deciding how—and where—to spend your time and marketing dollars on social media can be a significant undertaking. While there are many advantages to having an in-house social media team, there are also plenty of reasons why it might be time to consider hiring an agency to manage your social media marketing.
Facebook Ads Manager is a tool that social media specialists use every day. What’s more, the Ads Manager interface changes regularly, on average a few times a month. Multiply that by three (LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter), and that is a significant amount of hours just dedicated to working through new features to do a routine task. For someone that doesn’t have the time to stay on top of platform updates, it can be difficult to become an expert. As an agency, it is our job to make sure that we know the inner workings of every new update and feature and how to apply them to fit their current strategy.
Beyond just technical expertise within the platforms, hiring an agency extends the knowledge and history of best practices your internal team has at their disposal. Each strategist at our agency manages a handful of clients across different verticals. While every strategy is unique, it is surprising how pieces of a social media strategy from an HVAC company can be applied to a travel company in creative and interesting ways. While experience in the vertical of your company is a must, diversity of an agency portfolio can improve the versatility of your teams in ways that are hard to find elsewhere.
How to Find the Right Agency
These days, there are plenty of agencies and freelancers that offer social media management services. Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not they are the right fit for your brand. At Portent, we have the opportunity to work with a lot of interagency client teams and that gives our team insight on normal practices across the industry. We know what works, and we have seen what happens when relationships fail. We also know what clients can and should expect from their agency partners. Here’s that list.
Transparency and Ownership
The process of getting and giving access to social media accounts used to be challenging, and when onboarding a new client, we would frequently hear “our previous agency owns our ad account and pixel.” Fast forward to today, and all the major social platforms have put measures in place to easily give access to third parties, like agencies. All accounts should be created on the client side, even if you need help from your agency to do so. You own the ad account. You own the pixel.
In the same vein, agencies should give their clients full access to raw reporting. After all, you are in control of your performance data. You should trust your agency to distill the information into something actionable, but it is also your data to request as you please. If your agency can’t or won’t send raw performance data, that is a red flag.
Experience in Your Brand’s Vertical
If your business needs a social media strategy that can be deployed with speed, the best way to avoid road bumps is by hiring an agency that has experience in your vertical. This is especially true if your business is in finance, healthcare, or another regulated industry since each ad platform has unique policies for ad approval in these markets. Additionally, if your business has strict policies for ad compliance, hiring an agency that has experience planning ahead of a long approval process will set your business up for success.
One of the key components of any successful relationship is establishing a good fit between your agency and your internal team. You can execute a better strategy, push boundaries when incorporating new ideas, and better move the needle on the entire marketing program if everyone is plugged into the vision of your organization.
Whether your expectation is a closely integrated engagement or you prefer a slightly more hands-off approach with monthly check-ins, this is something that needs to be communicated during the vetting process. Choose an agency that fits well into the team you already have, regardless of the size.
Seeing the Bigger Picture
Social media is just one component of a digital marketing strategy. A properly executed social media strategy can drive revenue and build community for your business, independent from other channels. Social media can be an even more powerful tool if your agency understands how social media impacts other channels, and how they can leverage strategies across disciplines to create a cohesive approach. This includes things like how social media impacts paid search, how social media impacts SEO, and how to use your paid search strategy on social media.
If your agency can’t help you connect the dots between channels, or at least understand the relationship, you might be missing opportunities in more than one area of your marketing plan.
Portent’s Approach to Social Media
If you’re interested in learning more about how our team thinks about social media, you can read more on the Portent blog.
We offer social media marketing services for companies of all sizes. If you’re interested in working with Portent or learning more about how we could work together, reach out!