Social Media has become a must-have space for all brands. From small scale setups to large businesses of crores worth of turnover, each brand wishes to be a leader on social media. Companies have begun to invest massively on social media, and they should not? Have you not seen these growing numbers about social media in 2014?
A study by Ernst & Young last year states that 41.5% of the organizations are spending 1-5% of their marketing budgets on social media. A little over 25% of the organizations surveyed spend over 2 crores on social media marketing. These numbers are proof that brands are only getting more and more conscious of their social identities and are increasingly seeking expert guidance from leading digital and social media agencies.
If you are looking to hire a social media agency or have already hired one, these 5 points are going to help you make the most of your agency to grow your brand socially.
1. Collaborate and sync up
Don’t treat hiring a social media agency as outsourcing. The agency is supposed to bring in expert knowhow and value but that can only be put to use when you, the brand custodian, get involved. Remember, they are experts in social media, but you are an expert of your brand. They know the technique, but you know the communication. They know how to get to your audience, but you know who exactly it is. There are many such parameters where you and your agency must compliment each other. Only then will your social media strategy work for the betterment of the brand.
If your social media was being managed in-house or by another agency till now, then be prepared for the transition period when the accounts will be handed over to the new agency. Keep an open communication to make it as smooth as possible and ensure all passwords and admin rights are removed from the older agency. The new agency must be given the chance to understand the story so far and that usually takes a couple of weeks to a month.
2. Set objectives and missions. Not numbers.
Before you begin work, have an orientation with the new agency team members. Introduce them to the brand, its philosophy, its beliefs, its legacy and the larger picture of what your brand strives for, not just on social media but overall in all spheres of its existence. Set short-term and long-term goals for your brand and clearly define what is expected out of the social media efforts – tangible and intangible.
Invite the agency team to your company office/store/factory. Show them the back-end working, how your products are manufactured, what your employees do, what is the office work culture. You never know when they might find a story worth talking about socially or might create an awesome social media campaign for your brand.
3. Accountability & reporting methods
This is a vital process as it sets the metrics to decide what is working and what is not. Discuss with your agency and mutually identify what reports, numbers, insights would be required by your marketing team. Clearly define timelines and schedules for these reports. Also, understand what data is required on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. If you have a social media tool already in-place, give access to your agency on the common dashboard. Let them utilise the tool and pull out reports that will help your sales and marketing team to plan upcoming quarters.
Ask your agency not only for numbers but suggestions and recommendations about how to turn things better. If there was a drop in engagement or traffic your agency will have a opinion about that, ask them for corrective measures as well.
4. Involve and Evolve
Social media is ever-evolving and unveiling newer possibilities with each passing day. An idea that is a big hit today is obsolete next month. Trends change in the blink of an eye and your agency must be updated on what’s new in the market. Not only that, you must get the latest updates from the arena to keep evolving with the changing media. Treat it like a teacher-student relationship where you both keep changing roles.
Conduct group sessions every quarter to discuss and brainstorm about possibilities of placing the brand in more interesting ways. Keep this open-ended and involve people from different departments of your company. You will be surprised to see how many unique ideas will come from people with a non-marketing background.
Empower your employees on what their company does on social media. Hold social media knowledge transfer sessions, workshops, brainstorming sessions with the agency team and key people from your company. Get the latest download of new features brought in by Facebook or Twitter and identify if anything can be adopted by your brand. Early adopters always have the biggest advantage.
5. Believe in them
Once you hire an agency, you must set the path and then let them free. Give them guidelines, inspirations, material and content and let them come up with how, why, when and to whom they want to talk to. Keep a check on what’s happening but refrain from deciding on how social media should operate.
Social media is all about taking decisions and doing things spontaneously. You must believe in your agency’s capability to do what’s right for the brand and your agency must have the confidence that you trust them.
Share with us what challenges you face while selecting a Social Media agency? You might also want to get a free social media audit powered by Digital Insights.