Welcome to this blog, social media can be simplified and using a strategy can be helpful. Sometimes depending on the size of your business you may need to look at hiring a social media manager or agency.
Before choosing the right person to look after your business asses, social media you should look at having some questions ready to best ensure that person/agency is the right fit for your business.
Lets look at 15 questions that will help you work on this process.
Who will be managing my account?
If looking at employing an agency, you really need to know is there one person who’s in charge of your account? Or will multiple people be helping and adding to the creation of your social media plan and strategy and marketing? Once you build a rapport with one person and that person leaves or gets promoted, then you don’t want to lose the momentum that you would have created in your social media marketing message.
2. Do you develop the strategy and how do you do this?
If you approach a social media agency, consultant, freelancer and they don’t tell you that a strategy is the first step to your success, then you probably should get your boots on and run as fast as you can because if you don’t know where your ship’s sailing, how are you going to get there? A strategy provides that for you and your business. Now, a strategy is not a business plan that’s set in concrete or stone, it’s a live document that will move and be fluid with the trends and whatever is happening within your market online.
3. Do I provide the content or do you?
Some agencies will actually get you to provide the content and then they will do magic with the content. Others will actually prefer to do it with you depending on what sort of strategy you had. If you had a video strategy then that might be a mix of both, of the agency going on and filming that content with you, and or you filming it and sending it to the agency or the consultant. So it’s really important to understand who is providing the content and have a strict deadline or system and timeline in place to ensure that everybody knows where they at, otherwise the social media marketing when posting will fall flat when we don’t have the right content and the timeframe to actually create it.
4. Is the content that you create and share, used for other businesses or is it uniquely created and shared with me?
Generic content like quotes and gifs and things like that can be generic and go across multiple platforms and multiple businesses but really social media is about being authentic, entertaining, educating and showcasing the real you. So you can’t do that from 365 generic posts, you really need to have content that is uniquely driven and created in line with your business, your mission, your vision and the ethos and the culture that you have there at your workplace. So that is really important.
5. How do we develop social media updates, images and other content for my brand?
How do we develop it as an agency or freelancer? And that’s really important because you’ll need to give them the style guide and any logos, and you will have to approve the template or the look of the social media postings. That can be quite hard if you have an agency or a freelancer that is not getting what you want, and then you can spend a lot of time going backwards and forwards and not actually getting that bit of magic that you were hoping to get online which will create engagement and get people to respond and notice you as the brand expert, or the expert in your space.
6. What type of content will you be posting? Will all the updates be about my business? Will they be about my personal? Is it about my kids? What’s going on here?
This is another reason why a strategy session to start with is crucial, you will need to sit with the social media manager and or agency and map out a unique strategy plan which will involve the content that you will need to create or co-create together.
7. Will the content have my brand’s voice and personality?
Oh my god, I hope so. I hope it reflects who and what you are. And that’s where a great agency or consultant will actually be able to create this for you, ensuring that your business is being heard the way that you want your business to be depicted in the marketplace.
8. How do I know what you’re posting on my social media channels? Will I get updates, or will I just get a bill?
That’s really important. A good manager or agency will be keeping you in the loop and sending you out reports and statistics to showcase what’s actually working, what they suggest should change, and what they suggest they should keep the same. If you are having a live show, one would hope that you were on that live show with your agency. What I do at my agency with the live streaming is I am part of the broadcast. I am the host that interviews you. It’s not about me and my show, it’s about you and your show, which allows you to really get your message across in that livestreaming platform or place.
9. Will you be posting different content on my social media channels or will it be the same generic content?
Each platform has different criteria, different audiences and one boot doesn’t fit all across social media. So really we’ve got to think about how do we change up one post and possibly repurpose it across multiple platforms that actually has that individual feel for that platform or that network?
10. How will you set my brand apart from my competition’s? Do you look at what they’re posting?
Well, anybody in business, including yourself, should really be looking at your competitor’s information and what they’re posting online. A little hack in the back of your Facebook page is you can actually set up up to five of your competitors and you can actually track what’s doing really well. So I would hope that you’re already doing that, but if you work with a social media agency, that is a really good question. You need to know have they got their finger on the pulse or are they just taking your money, your hard earned money and just creating content?
11. Will my social media followers see that it’s not me posting your content?
No, they shouldn’t know that it’s not you. Done correctly, your agency should have access to your business manager or your admin and they should be posting as if it’s you and your business, which is extremely important.
12. Who responds to the followers’ questions, comments and messages?
Now again, it depends on what package you take and what the agency’s offering, but normally a social media agency or manager will do this for you. So again, you don’t need to be online 24/10 answering questions. But one would hope also that your agency sets up a messenger bot that streamlines that question and the person’s not sitting around waiting forever to actually get a response from you or your brand on social media.
13. I love this question, how quickly will my fan base grow?
You have two choices, paying for traffic or it’s organic. Paid traffic will get you a bigger following quicker, so it depends how much money you’ve got and how deep those pockets are. Organic traffic is a little bit slower, but again a social media manager should be able to forecast what they see should happen for you.
14. How often do you review my analytics and what will my analytics look like and what does success look like?
This goes back to your strategy. If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you measure that success? Some people use social media for just branding, so how do you measure the brand? Well, people will perceive you to be everywhere. Some people use it for leads and sales, money in the bank, leads, messenger bot subscriptions, email subscriptions. This will come back to you and your strategy and what you’re hoping to get from your social media. But definitely the manager or the agency should be looking at your analytics at least once a week, if not more often, and then collating a report for you monthly. I’m sure that if you ask them for a report more often, they would be happy to do that for you.
15. What other digital tactics would compliment my business and how do you see yourself improving and offering those services to me?
For me, when I do a strategy session with a client, I like to really give them everything that could possibly make their marketing strategy just blow up. Some people don’t like that, but when you’re dealing with an agency, you want your agency to be thinking outside the box. You want them to be offering what is current, what is futuristic. What can they do today that your competition isn’t doing? And that all boils down to you actually turning up as well. I know live streaming works really well, but a lot of businesses aren’t doing it. So if I was to employ you at my agency, then I would be coaching you to do a live streaming show and then we would repurpose that across multiple channels.
But again, it comes to the agency, at the end of the day when you sit down with this person or this company, you will know in your heart whether they’re a right fit for you and your business. They’ll either be doing the hard sell and trying to get you to sign on the dotted line, or they will be giving you the information so that you can make the right decision for your business and your marketing strategy.
Look, marketing is the only expense on our profit and loss that does give us a return on our investment, yet it’s probably the first expense account other than cleaning that we will probably remove when times get tough. And times have been tough with COVID-19, and I know that many small, medium businesses don’t have the money to actually outsource a manager or an agency. So if you can’t afford to do that, make sure that you get onto a good social media specialist if you now of anybody that delivers quality training that’s affordable, and you can definitely learn yourself in the interim until the money starts coming back in.
If you’re interested in any of my training, click on the link and I’ll have a link to the social media school where you can find affordable training for your social media needs. And if you are employing a manager or a social media agency, don’t forget to ask them the 15 questions that will help you make the right decision for you and your business.