17th May, 2013

Most companies are eager to keep up with the pace of the online marketing world, wanting everything offered to them that looks like it will gain results and potentially a return on investment. Social Media seems to be one of the buzz words amongst all competitors therefore they think that they need it in order to compete. A lot of businesses that I speak to who have either SEO or social media tend to just leave it up to their supplier to get on with. If you’re the business owner, these services are coming out of your pocket, so surely you want to know what work is being done and will want to know where the money is going? This shows that you as a business owner cares about your social media campaign and what you’re getting for your money. For the social media agency, it’s about making sure you’re as transparent as possible and the client is getting what they’ve paid for, simple.

You’d be surprised with the amount of people we speak to who, when asked, don’t know or really seem to care what work is being completed, they’ll just pay the fee at the end of each month.

The Guru

social engaging

In the world that we live in today, a degree in Marketing is fast becoming an increasingly popular choice for undergraduates with the prospect of getting a job with an exciting job title such as:  social media consultant or digital marketing executive.  Your general computer savvy people are now classed as social media ‘experts’ just because they can use LinkedIn and Google+.  Be wary of this though, anyone can use the tools i.e.  Facebook and Twitter, but can they deliver a monthly strategy which keeps your campaign varied and updated more than twice a day? Each social media agency or specialist will have their own interpretation of what a strategy actually is. This needs to be demonstrated visually and you need to know what is being done at what time and what date, whether that’s a job for you or the company. Therefore it is vital that you ask the right questions.

The Test

One thing before you get started with any social media agency is to ask them how SEO and social media work together.  Do they? How do they and what will we benefit from it? If they can’t give you a solid answer to that, thank them for their time and look elsewhere! Something that we find quite common amongst the SEO industry too is the fact that companies will hide, not tell or show what they are working on. These are serious signals. You as a customer need to be as much involved as possible, not only for your own peace of mind, but so that you’re aware of what’s being completed for the money you’re spending.

The Goal

What are the goals and targets? Generally this will be one of the first things you will ask when looking to set up with an agency. So for example your goal might be to increase a ‘following’, ‘likes’, increased sales or brand awareness. Then your target will then be to achieve that goal in what time period?  So for example, if we put that into context, this agency is going to get you 100 new ‘followers’ or ‘likes’ in the space of two months. Why is the goal so important? On a daily basis you need to be thinking: “are we still striving towards this goal” because it’s far too easy to get distracted away from the main point of why you’re doing it. Some companies may initially set out to tackle short term goals i.e. the first three weeks of a campaign and once that’s done, to look at the long term goal over a length time.

linkedin network connections

The Strategy

The strategy is how you’re going to execute your goals and targets.  It’s where your social media journey begins. As a client you need to make sure you know what’s happening on what day and what time. If something hasn’t been done by the agency you need to ask why.  There may be a perfectly good reason why but it’s always worth double checking. This is the most important part, it’s where everything you’ve aimed for comes together. It’s not necessarily where you have to ask the right questions, it’s about you being involved day in day out with your campaign knowing that everything is being completed on time. As well, if you end up getting replies and engagement on your website, it’s about being on hand to respond to that as you are the voice of your company, imagine you’re answering the phone.

The Completion

Throughout your campaign you will need to review how things are going. Some companies will do a monthly review meeting, others might only do one every three months.  As a business owner, you want to know where your money is going as much as possible, therefore, if your agency is only calling you up once in a blue moon, you should be asking questions. Here at Essential we hold monthly review meetings just to make sure our clients are kept in the loop at all times so there are no grey areas between client and company or vice versa.

Keep in mind that social media, if implemented properly, can be your game changer, however, generally speaking it’s a way of broadening your avenues of generating engagement. After that, the engagement should (if planned properly) generate traffic towards your website from your social platforms. The way I like to remember how to deliver a decent social media campaign is to think, you need to plan, monitor, manage, respond, review, enhance and then edit (any changes).


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