The latest research by Datareportal shows that more than half of the world now uses social media (60%). It is a well-established marketing channel for brands, and a presence is essential these days to connect with your customers directly.
Many SMEs may not have the capability or capacity to build an in-house social media team and instead turn to specialists. The number of Google searches for ‘social media agency’ reached a new peak this July. A straightforward first step for businesses without a large social media presence is to use a paid social advertising agency, as platforms have successfully monetised to ensure brands invest in them regularly. What exactly should businesses look for when searching for a paid social media agency?
A data-driven approach to delivering consistent results
When the paid social agency talks through its experience, you will learn whether or not the agency understands its data or not. What did they learn from this campaign? Are they measuring the right metrics for the campaign? Did they use data insights to inform their tactics and creative? All paid social agencies will claim to be data-driven and solution-minded; however, not all can back up the claim. The best paid social advertising agencies present you with a track record of turning insights into tangible actions relevant to your business. There should be no fluff, but clear metrics and KPIs.
Holistic capabilities but a tailored solution
Social media is a dynamic marketing channel that is constantly updating; you will want to see best-in-class platform understanding. Can they offer solutions across all platforms, so that you can effectively maximise your ROI with your budget and objective? A good agency will demonstrate through their proposals that they have listened to your needs and appropriately audited your current performance. During your proposal, the agency should use their platform and strategic knowledge, to create a tailored solution to your brief. If it sounds cookie-cutter, you are best picking another agency that will customise to your needs.
Cultural fit with your business
Paid Social media agencies often claim to be the right cultural fit for your business, but is there any substance behind this? Do the agency representatives demonstrate both enthusiasm for your business objectives and integrity in their behaviour? Beyond basic professionalism, are they embodying their stated values in their operations? After looking through case studies and further proposals, some intuition can help determine whether this will be the right collaboration for your brand, or a clash in teams and values.
A breadth of case studies
Case studies enable you to see the type of work the agency does and how it helps clients improve their performance. A breadth across industries demonstrates the agency’s competency in their paid social service. Catering to a range of different market characteristics shows a strong understanding of its clients’ business objectives, giving you confidence that they will perform for your brand.
While it’s convenient if you can find a case study in your industry, it should not be a dealbreaker if you cannot find a direct match. Case studies present a select few projects, but experienced agencies will have many more in their archives.
Awards and industry recognition
Industry awards have a jury of experts assessing entries, holding candidates to superior standards. For example, the Drum Awards jury panel use three main criteria: clear strategic thinking, creativity and innovation, and tangible results. Receiving awards offers a more objective perspective on the agency’s performance, showing how well their work is regarded by their peers in the industry.
Blog posts demonstrating subject knowledge and expertise
To assess the credibility of the paid social media agency, you can have a quick review of their blog section and social media posts. A good paid social media agency will regularly publish quality insight articles, on various topics, from their experts. Beyond the content itself, you can assess the agency’s presentation across its website and social media platforms. Is the agency applying its expertise successfully to itself?
Are you interested in finding out more about our Paid Social services? If you would like to start or improve your paid social media strategy, get in touch with our experts today.