Written by Anna Sonnenberg

How to Find a Social Media Marketing Agency

 

Overwhelmed by all the social media agencies out there? Here’s help to wading through them all and finding the best one for your specific needs.

If you’re considering outsourcing your company’s social media, an agency can help.

But how do you hire a social media marketing agency—and what can you expect when you do?

Learn how to find the right digital agency for your business, whether you need content creation, community management, lead generation … or all of the above.

How Do You Know Whether You Need a Social Media Marketing Agency?

For some businesses, building an in-house social media team makes a ton of sense.

But you’re better off hiring a social media marketing agency if you want the following.

An efficient approach

Do you want to outsource a small aspect of your organic social strategy? Would you rather contract out a series of high-budget paid campaigns?

Either way, an agency can move quickly. You won’t have to wait for an agency to hire and train new employees or test out tools.

Instead, an agency team can be ready to take action immediately.

Access to expert marketers and advanced tools

Most agencies handle dozens of clients simultaneously.

By working with a wide variety of clients and projects, agency teams constantly gain new skills and master cutting-edge techniques.

They can put their expertise and enterprise-level social media tools to work for your company, helping you achieve impressive results.

search for a social agency

A way to enhance your own team

Even if an agency handles the majority of your social media marketing, your in-house team can learn from their expertise.

By using advanced tools and analyzing agency reports, your team can improve their skills and add more value.

Establish Your Social Media Goals

You may think your business just needs social media management. But what does that really mean?

Some digital agencies specialize in a single area of social media, while others provide a wider spectrum of services.

Take some time to think about your marketing goals and what kind of assistance you need.

Many businesses hire social media marketing agencies for services like:

  • Social media management: Overseeing social media campaigns from content creation and scheduling to engagement and reporting
  • Social media strategy: Analyzing your social media presence and designing campaigns to meet your goals
  • Content creation: Organizing video shoots, arranging photoshoots, coordinating live streams, and writing captions
  • Social media monitoring: Following brand, campaign, and industry hashtags to assess trends and manage your company’s reputation
  • Community management: Engaging with followers and building a loyal community around your brand
  • Influencer marketing: Finding influential figures in your niche and forging partnerships to promote your brand
  • Paid social media: Developing advertising campaigns to accelerate progress toward your goals
  • Lead generation: Identifying your company’s target audience and connecting with potential customers
  • Social media training: Teaching your in-house team how to create content, analyze results, and use advanced social media tools

Set a Social Media Marketing Budget

You want to hire the best social media marketing agency.

But how much are you willing to spend?

Think about the value an agency would provide to your business and how much you can afford to spend on a social media budget.

On average, agencies charge anywhere from $500 to over $5,000 per month.

Agencies typically charge monthly retainers based on one of these standard pricing models:

  • Services: Want an agency to handle every aspect of your social media marketing? Some agencies offer comprehensive management, while others charge separately for each service.
  • Platforms: Eager to build your social media presence everywhere? Agencies often charge a fee for managing each social media platform.
  • Audience: Have a huge social media following with tons of engagement? Some agencies price based on audience size so they can manage engagement effectively.
  • Ad budget: Hiring an agency to manage your social advertising? You may have to pay a flat monthly rate plus a percentage of your advertising spend.

Search for Social Media Specialists

Once you’ve decided on goals and a budget, you can start your search for a social media marketing agen

Although a Google search can deliver some results, you’ll have better luck with one of these options:

  • Solicit agency referrals. Asking fellow business owners for agency recommendations can streamline your search. For best results, ask for referrals that meet your service, location, or budget requirements.
  • Browse a social media agency directory. With a directory like Social Agency Scout, you can easily find providers with the right specialties. You can filter by minimum budget, agency size, and location to narrow your search.
how to find a social media marketing agency

Use Social Agency Scout to help find the best social media agency for your specific needs.

When you have a shortlist of candidates, head to their websites to get a better feel for what each agency does.

Look for service descriptions to make sure they handle what you need, and check for pricing structures to see if they fit into your budget.

Read Reviews and Check Case Studies

Next, read reviews of each agency to find the best fit. Directories like Social Agency Scout feature reviews and allow clients to rate agencies based on the value, service quality, communication, and results that they deliver. Google reviews can be another helpful source for client comments and ratings.

how to find a social media marketing agency

Reviews on Social Agency Scout

Then skim some of the agency’s published case studies or reach out to ask for one.

As you read, pay close attention to the types of problems the agency has dealt with and the way they seek solutions. Case studies can also give you a good impression of the agency’s areas of expertise and the kind of results they might be able to achieve for your business.

Prepare a List of Interview Questions

When you’ve narrowed down your list of candidates, reach out to set up an introductory call or an initial consultation with the top few.

What to ask an agency

Before the call, write out a list of questions that can help you decide if the agency is right for you:

  • How familiar are you with my company’s industry?
  • How do you develop social media marketing strategies for clients?
  • What does my in-house team need to provide—content, customer lists, style guides?
  • Will you create original content for my company’s social media profiles?
  • Can I approve the agency’s social media content before publication?
  • How quickly will you respond to comments and messages?
  • Who will manage my company’s social media and do you outsource?
  • What types of social media tools do you use?
  • What other expenses will I be responsible for—tools, subscriptions, content creation?
  • How do you communicate with clients and how quickly can I expect a response?
  • How do you measure results and how can I track your progress?
  • What kind of results can I expect from working with your agency?

Establish Expectations With Your Agency

Once you’ve decided to move forward with a social media agency, work together to set appropriate expectations.

Here are a few to consider:

  • Timeline: Know when the agency will prepare content, how much time you have to review, and when campaigns will begin and end.
  • Communication: Clarify whether to communicate via call, chat, or email as well as the typical time frame for responses.
  • Workflow: Understand how your agency structures projects and tasks, especially if your in-house team is involved in any part of the process.
  • Reporting: Mark your calendar, so you know when to expect reports and analyses from your agency.

In Conclusion

With so many agencies to choose from, hiring the right one can seem like a serious challenge. By following these steps, you can find the ideal social media marketing agency for your brand and start making progress toward your marketing goals.

How to Find a Social Media Marketing Agency
Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg is a digital marketer who specializes in paid social strategy, social media management, content strategy, and email marketing. For over six years, she has run Sonnenberg Media, a digital micro agency that works with small businesses in the natural food and beverage industry, health and sustainability market, and travel space.