By Steph Jones

How to choose a social media agency

January 24th, 2023
6 min read

Choosing a social media agency for your campaign, training or ongoing social media management is an incredibly important task for any marketing manager. Social media agencies come in many shapes and sizes with varying degrees of expertise and experience within their company.

Even if you’re unsure where to start, be mindful that this company is going to influence your brand’s perception online to current and potential customers and collaborators and, therefore, the agency of your choosing needs to know what they’re doing.

Social media marketing is increasingly central to a business’ success so it’s no wonder more and more businesses are using social media marketing companies to further their knowledge. But do you need a social media marketing agency? And if so, what do you need them for? 

Imagine you have a car, it has all the working pieces, an engine, tyres, fuel etc. but you’re missing the key that brings the car to life. This is akin to many businesses’ social media marketing. They have all the tools necessary, a team to run their social media, an idea of what areas of social media need to be covered, but are missing the knowledge of how to implement it effectively. This is where a specialist agency comes in.

You want to maximise your return from social media marketing but without in-depth knowledge, it’s going to be a long, time-consuming process. Knowledge of traditional marketing will only get you so far as will a basic understanding of the functionality of the social platforms.

Don’t make this mistake:

Failing to realise that there is a BIG difference between using social media for personal use, and using it as part of a commercial marketing strategy.

Knowing exactly how to communicate with your audience through content sharing is one thing, but being able to increase the size of that network and then begin to influence their decisions are completely different ball games!

Social media is more than just being able to send the occasional tweet and upload a new blog post each week. When using social media for business marketing, it’s about knowing how to reach and interact with your target audience whilst keeping them engaged to see an increase on your ROI. This is precisely what you need from a social media specialist.

Beyond the theory, there are also a number of third-party applications and software that an agency will invest in the management of multiple accounts, many of which are relatively expensive for the individual or microbusiness (especially if they’re not be utilised to their fullest!).

There are essentially two main ways a specialist will help you move forward – delivering consultancy to empower the in-house team or take on the full management of your accounts.

Choosing a social media agency – what to look for

Does sifting through the digital fog for a reliable social media agency seem daunting? We wouldn’t blame you! That’s why we’ve put together this short checklist to help you make the right decision when it comes to gain input from an agency.

This is the first thing:

Track record

Track records of social media agencies are an incredibly important guide as to how capable that company really is. Given social media has only been seriously harnessed by the majority of companies over the last half decade, most social media agencies do not have as much as you might have hoped. The key here, however, is not to look for a traditional marketing company who have 20 years of experience in other areas of digital marketing because the carry-over to social media is simply too small. You need to find an agency that deals specifically in social media. Find a social media agency who has worked with clients in a similar sector if possible, or at least one who can show you the techniques they have previously used successfully and why they will work for you.

Don’t take “we can’t track return on investment” as an answer!

Reputable social media companies will be confident they can display the return on investment through a number of means and for a number of key performance indicators. The tools are out there to at least give you a good estimate of the impact of social media management even if all of the positive effects cannot be accounted for. Examples of reports they have compiled for other clients should be made available so you can see exactly what your budget will earn you.

Create more than a presence

Paying a social media agency to simply give you a ‘presence’ is fine, but it’s a vanity thing and you’re unlikely to see any tangible return in terms of web traffic and lead generation. If you’re serious about capitalising on the social media era, you need a social media agency that will act as a genuine marketing tool to generate a return on investment. Ask yourself, ‘what am I really going to get myself for £150 per month?’ That’s just £5 per day.

If you know your audience is on social media and that’s where you’re going to make new sales and leads, find a specialist social media agency. There are countless companies who will take your money for their social media services and they won’t be a social media agency. There are a number of types of businesses that have bolted on their social media arm in an attempt to increase their monthly retainers of their existing clients. This is very typical BUT if you’re after social media specialists, these are not they!

Remember that social media is an incredibly important facet of your overall marketing campaigns in the 21st century. Getting the right people on board who you can trust with your brand’s reputation and can fully adopt the voice and ethos of that brand is crucial.

Steph Jones.
Steph Jones

Head of Social

A hands-on Head of Social, with extensive experience across Charity, Retail and eCommerce, both agency side and client side, with brands such as WWF, Virgin Pure and Purity Brewing. Steph considers all facets of the customer journey through social and paid media, as well as creating engaging content in line with the business goals to capture attention and convert audiences.