Finding the right client-agency fit can be a difficult and time consuming process. It takes a fair amount of confidence, with both parties needing to establish trust early in the partnership (as with any relationship).
Maybe you are hiring a social media marketing agency for the first time, or your previous agency has let you down and you promised to be more cautious the next round.
Whatever the case, it’s important to do your research before recruiting a marketing agency. To decide whether they would be a good match for your business, it is crucial to ask the correct questions that will aid you in choosing the right agency for your brand’s success.
We have a list of sixteen helpful questions that our clients often ask, and a good agency should be able to answer them easily.
16 Questions To Ask Your Social Media Marketing Agency
Different agencies specialise in different aspects of marketing – digital and/or offline. Hence, collaborating with an agency that’s an expert in their chosen field is essential. It will be a great start when the agency’s speciality aligns with your business goals.
Working with a full-service provider has its pros and cons. There will be advantages of having a full team who are able to create a coherent plan and serve all requirements.
However, the age-old saying of “jack of all trades, master of none” applies as well. Working with companies that specialises in specific fields will enable you to get the best service possible for each channel.
For instance, our main bread and butter at Plexxie is providing social media marketing services (specifically Facebook & Instagram). We cover areas of social media marketing such as creating a social media strategy, creating contents, executing campaigns, data-driven Facebook & Instagram advertising, influencer marketing and more. This experience allows us to understand the market of our customers at an extended level, identify specific opportunities and developing an effective data-backed success plan.
Scenario example: You’ve just sent the agency an email which includes a brief of the services you’re looking for and a few days later, the agency replies you with their quotation.
Has this happened to you before?
This is a huge red flag! A passionate agency will always challenge your brief by asking the right questions. This allows them to dig deeper into why you’re interested in their services, and to find out what you truly want to achieve for the company. Some might even advice if your expectations are realistically possible to achieve. Give them the chance to study your brief and ask you questions, and this will give you a glimpse of their strategic approach.
A good agency is transparent about the amount of time they devote to managing, monitoring and optimising your social media accounts or campaigns. If they try to avoid this question, watch out!
You have to consider how much of their time you are getting for the amount you’re paying.
It is important to consider how the agency communicates and collaborates with you, as this is vital for success. Do they want meetings that are face-to-face or via video communications applications such as Zoom? Does the agency work with remote teams? Can they collaborate with your other agency partners? Will you have direct access to their team or will you be communicating only with an account manager?
Service and accountability should be as critical as the work itself. A good agency will have the systems and processes to ensure these are built into the way they work with you.
I’ll repeat – everything comes down to your business requirements, but it is important to know the precise protocols as it helps to establish a smooth working relationship. This causes lesser time spent on misunderstandings and more time spent on creating constructive work.
An experienced and professional social media marketing agency will have the skills from day one to help guide and transform your marketing strategies. Ask your potential agency what it will be like for the first 30 days of working together. When they start walking you through the deliverables and their procedures, and you will be able to judge if the agency has the correct vision for your brand.
We like to hit the ground running, usually performing in-depth audits of the accounts and digital properties of our clients to determine the areas of greatest strengths and opportunities. Without knowing the history of a campaign and the current digital structure, it is difficult to build a well thought, targeted and strategic roadmap that is optimised and ready to be executed. Otherwise, you’re only adopting a ‘one size fits all’ plan that should be avoided at all costs.
After conducting an audit, we map out exactly what will be done and the tactics to execute to achieve both short and long-term results using data-driven strategies.
If an agency has little to no experience in your industry, it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. This may introduce fresh strategic and creative ideas. However, you need to ask what steps they’re going to take to become an expert in your industry and the competitive landscape you work in.
Social media accounts of businesses can be used for both brand awareness and customer service. Have they experienced a social media crisis of some kind in the past? If so, what was their action plan and what were the outcomes?
If your agency has been around for a long time, that is great as it indicates that they are experienced. But in the digital marketing world, things change fast. Real fast. Ask how do they keep up with these fast-paced changes and how much time do they spend on training.
How are you constantly learning about emerging developments in the world of social media?
What blogs are you following?
Are you attending webinars or taking classes online?
You want a social media marketing agency who’s always at the forefront of new trends and who are eager to try new things.
Be wary of social media marketing agencies who promise that you can expect significant ROI in a short period.
To produce meaningful results, marketing campaigns focused on social media takes time especially if you’re just starting to build your brand. Once you’ve built your branding, you’re in it for the long haul.
At Plexxie, here’s the timeline that we share with our clients who ask about the amount of time it takes to see results when using social media marketing with an advertising budget or media buy:
1 to 3 months: Building of brand on social media with little results.
4 to 12 months: You should see positive results compounding each month. Start to see a growth in social media followers and engagement.
12 months to 24 months: You should see a substantial growth of traffic to your online store or physical location(s), as well as collected a substantial audience using the Facebook Pixel events to Customer acquisition.
Apart from the polished case studies showcased on their website, a social media marketing agency who is passionate about what they do would be able to point out examples of campaigns that hit the objectives.
So be sure to ask them!
Everyone makes mistakes that lead to failures, some more than others. What you want to find out is how they have learned from it. By listening to how the issue was resolved, you’ll gain insight into their coping skills and how they deal with negative feedbacks. Pay attention to what they’ve done (or not done) to make sure the mistake won’t happen again for your brand.
A true social media marketing agency often uses paid software to manage their clients’ accounts. This paid software allows the agency to schedule posts, execute social media listening and read important data that are automatically imported from the respective social media platforms.
If they’re only familiar with free softwares that only allows them to schedule posts on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, it’s another red flag to look out for.
Ask them what they like about the different tools, and which features they use most.
Ask about the budget needed for the retainer plans or campaigns they want you to invest on. Bear in mind that cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better. With the costing in mind, ask these additional questions:
What are the deliverables you should expect?
What is the length of the contract?
Can you get a discount if you extend the length of the contract?
What happens if you want to terminate the contract?
The size of an agency can influence the kind of service and attention you’ll receive, so this is where you can channel your inner Goldilocks. Consider what’s most important to you and your brand and find an agency that’s just the right size.
If your chosen agency is large with a long list of clients, they might not have the time or motivation to focus on your business as much as you’d like. You could end up being a small fish in a big pond – even if you’re a reputable brand with a decent budget. However, larger agencies can have a great breadth of experience and expertise that comes with working with a wide array of clients.
Smaller agencies, by comparison, will be more likely to dedicate their time to your company, getting to know your brand inside-out. They live and breathe your business because it matters more to them – you’re not just another number. They’ll also want to go that extra mile for you.
Choose an agency that provides a healthy balance of both knowledge and dedication.
Signing the retainer contract? Take a step back from your business marketing goals and ask your potential agency about theirs.
How did they decide on a particular strategy?
Do they study current trends?
What are the outcomes of their marketing campaigns?
What key lessons did they learn from executing their tactics?
A social media marketing agency that practices what it preaches is a good indicator that it is a keeper. The agency should be able to demonstrate that they are their marketing practices’ best case study.
For example, an important strategy on Instagram this moment is to build your brand by having a branded hashtag.
At Plexxie, we encourage every client to build their brand hashtag. How did we know this? Because it has already been tried and tested by us, and we’re still at it! We’ve built our branded hashtag #Plexxie ever since we started our agency and now we have over 24,000 user-generated content.
15) Do You Have Your Own Blog Or Do You Regularly Publish Content On Your Own Social Media Platforms?
This will show you how well-balanced they are, and also what kind of content creator they are, in all aspects of digital marketing. Having their own blog and/or publishing on their own social media pages not only shows that they understand the importance of pushing multimedia content, but it also showcases
When it comes to social media marketing, there is no straight forward solution that you can apply. Trends change all the time, and communities continuously evolve. Not to mention, the ever-changing algorithm and user interface. However, a good social media marketing agency should still be able to advise you on simple actionable steps that you can execute on your own to see some results.
For example, maybe you can start with creating a social media marketing strategy for your business.
Hiring a social media marketing agency may seem like a daunting task but it is not as difficult as it seems. Use these questions as a guide to ensure you put your best foot forward. Once you decide on the right agency to hire, work closely with them so that all your goals and objectives are aligned and they can plan a strategy that will meet your expectations. You’ll have a winning combination if you ask the right questions, so never shy away from asking!
P.S. All examples shown are works from the social media channels of our clients that were executed by us. If you’re interested in knowing more about how Plexxie can help your business, feel free to drop us an email.