How to hire the best social media marketing agency in 2022

specialists at a social media agency

No other marketing channel changes as fast as social media. Changes to the apps, new tools, and trends pop up every day. It’s hard to ignore that social media dominates our daily lives. Gen Z social media users report spending an average of 4.5 hours a day on social media, while Millennials and Boomers each spend 3.8 hours.

You may have already played with the idea of hiring someone to do social media for you. You’ve thought about hiring a freelancer or virtual assistant but landed on working with a social media marketing agency to get the most out of your efforts.

Our partners at Attention Expertsfootnote 1 are experts at attracting and converting ideal leads, and they’ve generously given their best tips on vetting and hiring the best social media marketing agencies.

Let’s get into it.

What do social media agencies do?

Social media marketing agencies develop advertising campaigns across social platforms. Campaigns hinge on a number of goals like: 

  • Brand awareness: Having your brand seen, known, and recognized
  • Engagement: Creating deep, meaningful interactions with those most likely to buy from your brand
  • Generating leads: Capturing contact information so that you can nurture leads into buyers
  • Directing website traffic: Driving more views, clicks, or interactions with your website
  • Increasing video views: Getting your videos watched all the way through
  • Retargeting: Displaying content to someone who already is aware of your brand 

Social media agencies provide social media content creation and optimization services for both paid or organic reach. Some agencies also offer to consult or train in-house staff.

Why hire a social media marketing agency in 2022?

Simply put, social agencies can help you stay ahead of your competition on social media channels. Instead of researching and keeping abreast of all the newest social media changes, an entire team of experts does it all for you.

“The social media and digital marketing landscape change constantly. So agencies have to make sure they are keeping abreast of information every day,” says Marketing Communications Coordinator, Yuli Sáenz. “As an agency, we have to help our clients understand how these changes may affect their business.”

The social media and digital marketing landscape change constantly. So agencies have to make sure they are keeping abreast of information every day.

- Yuli Sáenz, Marketing Communications at Attention Experts

“At Attention Experts, for instance, we are Premium Facebook (Meta) Partnersfootnote 2. This allows us to stay informed and get updated quicker, directly from Facebook. With this, we can help our clients by becoming the point of contact between Facebook and their accounts, helping them to solve any issues as fast as possible.”

What should you look for when researching a marketing agency?

Google ‘social media marketing agency’, and the results will be hundreds of pages long. Knowing there are so many agencies out there, there are a few things Attention Experts suggest you look out for.

Specialized skills 

If your plan of attack is to dominate on a specific platform, you want to look for an agency that specializes in that platform. For instance, if you want to focus on Pinterest, you will look for an agency with lots of special knowledge of the platform and good examples of content they’ve created in that space and medium. When researching agencies, get granular in seeking specialized skills and apply them to your vertical; for instance, e-commerce founders want to work with agencies that have an e-commerce focus. 

Reviews

Just like when purchasing a product on Amazon or renting Airbnb, reading reviews can affect your purchase decision. It's helpful to hear from people who’ve recently used the same products and services. In the case of an agency, what are other people saying about that agency's work? If they work with a specific client pulling results you want, it’s likely they can help you get similar results. Get on a call with the agency and ask about that particular client. What specific things did they do to help get such great results? Or you can take another route and reach out to the client directly to ask about their experience with the agency. 

Case Studies

Case studies are another way to see how agencies have achieved results for their clients. Case studies come with an added layer of storytelling. Case studies are formulaic; they highlight the client’s business, the problem, and exactly how the problem is solved. If interested in working with any marketing agency, peruse their websites for case studies. You may discover an issue you didn’t even know you had, and as a bonus, have an idea of how to fix it.

Awards

Awards can be looked at as a third-party vouching for a specific business skill or accomplishment. They point out areas in which a company is accomplished. This can be influential in attracting the best talent, as awards signal excellence. Working for a company with prestigious awards can be a source of motivation and pride for current employees, so it’s likely an award-winning agency is packed with high performers. If you come across a social media agency with many prestigious awards, don’t pass up your opportunity to collaborate with them.  

Fast response time

A fast response time is probably the best factor to determine whether social media will make a good partner or not. For social media, in particular, time is of the essence. Take DMs for example, they come in from customers who expect answers in real-time. And what if something goes amiss and needs to be corrected immediately? You need to make sure an agency can respond quickly and provide you with an open line of communication as to what’s happening. The expectation shouldn’t be full access to the agency's employees at all hours, but instead an agreement on the hours you can contact one another. If an agency can’t respond to your needs promptly, they may be too overloaded to give you the time and attention needed.

Why are some agency fees higher than others?

There are a few main reasons that some agencies’ services may be priced higher than others. Let’s take a closer look.

Outsourcing is a big player that impacts costs and fees. Less expensive agencies generally have an outsourced model where operations run overseas or hinge on hiring freelancers. While the costs of hiring an agency on an outsourced model can be lower, the model can cause many problems for your business. For instance, working across multiple time zones can affect the immediacy social media requires.

Freelancers at an outsourced agency don't have to care about your business, whereas a traditional agency will likely go to greater lengths to retain your services and ensure content quality is top-notch. Freelancers are likely more focused on getting their work done.

Quality of work is another factor why some agencies charge more than others. The quality is based on time and materials and paying an experienced team that comes with salaries.

Additional services and levels of customer service can also affect agency costs. For instance, maybe you need your social media agency to help build an email list based on leads from social media. Or perhaps you need them to cover responding to all your social inbox messages too. Those additional services may require more lift from the agency partners, plus are more time-consuming and require more training and a more in-depth understanding of your business.

Feel like your agency is not delivering upon your expectations? 

Attention Experts recommend taking a close look at the analytics and performance metrics of your campaigns. 

“A deep dive audit allows you to dive into all the business's social media channels and get a clear report on what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve it,” says Yuli. “This can give you an indication as to whether your agency is delivering or not, and if they have allowed any gaps that another external viewer would pick up.”

When starting with your new agency, make sure all goals are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). Don't set too many KPIs at once; otherwise, you decrease the chance of hitting your goals. Instead, try to create a reasonable approach to your goals and benchmark your KPIs. 

Attention Experts is a leading social media agency in New South Wales, Australia that grows business through high-performing social media campaigns. Experts at attracting and converting ideal leads, they’ve generously given their best tips on vetting, hiring, and firing social media marketing agencies.

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