How do I choose a good social media marketing company for my small business?
What traits, achievements and qualities do you need to look for when hiring the best social media marketing experts? What are the right questions to ask aside from the cost-related questions?
Finding a good social media manager can be a little tricky. There's so many people who think that using Facebook every day or sharing their dinner snaps on Insta qualify them as an 'expert'. Our advice is to do your research.
Ensure they've used social media for business. Running effective paid ads and content creation requires a lot of skill and differs greatly from the way a casual user interacts with their socials. See what client reviews they have, see if the brands they work with align with yours and then meet the person. It's really important to spend a little time with the incoming social manager to ensure tehy understand your brand, your objectives and your tone of voice.
When we take on new clients we like to work as closely as possible with them to set boundaries and expectations. Are you looking for set posts per week, X number of leads, or X% growth. We love it when people are crystal clear in thier minds as to what they need but can also help identify objectives with our clients if needed. That way everyone is on the same page form the get go. Making life easier and results stronger for everyone : )
There's two things you want from any external marketing support - fresh ideas and knowledge of your industry. Knowing how the social media systems work is important, but creating content which is effective for them changes *constantly*, so it's more about keeping up with those changes and being adaptable than knowing the intricacies of optimisation.
Knowledge of your industry - do the experts understand the motivations of your customers? What problems the customers are experiencing which motivates them to come to you for help? Anyone who is promoting your business should have an understanding of this before anything else, then be able to provide messages which convince those wallets to open up.
Fresh ideas - if you do what everyone else is doing, you'll get mediocre results. So if they know the motivations of why the customers would spend, how are they going to influence those motivations? What are they doing differently to inspire confidence, trust and support that your solution is the best?
Once you have these two questions answered, you should have a good indication of whether they're the right match for you.
Oh and beware the retainer - you should avoid paying an ongoing fee from the start. Think about what you're trying to achieve and set a goal aligned with that, to a fixed time frame - launching a new venue over three months, bringing out a new product. Then once you get a feel for each other you'll know whether it's a relationship you want to keep investing in.
Finding the right social media manager for your business takes time but it is time well worth invested.
Research and explore what social media managers present well online and that you feel might work well with you and your business.
Then set up a 'meet and greet' with two or three social media managers that you identify with. Introduce yourself prior and let them know your intentions (that you are exploring which social media manager might be best for you).
During the meeting keep it casual and come prepped with questions important in working towards your first six to twelve months of business goals.
Here are some areas to research so that you have a better understanding of what a social media manager actually does for you;
- content strategy
- content creation
- audience creation
- retargeting / remarketing
- split testing
- conversion rate optimisation
From this process, you should have a better understanding of direction and an idea on which social media manager best suits your needs.
Good luck and I hope this helps!
With all the social media platform options, it’s hard to know where to start. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram boast the greatest volume of users per month, but which of these popular networks is right for your business?
To develop a strategy that builds your following and allows you to communicate with consumers, you should have an understanding of the best social media for business, each platform’s unique purposes and which platform your target audience uses. Let’s take a look at what differentiates the big five networks, so you can feel confident starting your path toward social media success.
To begin, frame your evaluation of each platform with the following questions:
- What is the unique purpose of this social platform?
- Do its attributes relate to my business’s needs?
- Which target audience does this platform serve?
- How much time on this network is necessary to have the best impact?
Evaluating purpose and unique attributes
There’s no shortage of social-driven platforms, so spend time exploring. You’ll find that the big five, or some combination of them, are most likely the places with the highest concentration of your key demographics. In examining the purpose and unique attributes of each, you’ll notice that though they are all “social,” they have different strengths and selling points.
Primary purpose: Builds brand loyalty and reputation. Establishes your business as an authority through interesting content and informational posts.
- Reaches a variety of segments of an audience with one post
- Offers opportunity to create ads to drive traffic to your website or blog
- Encourages dialogue and depth with a customer base
- Ideal for sharing personal stories, testimonials, detailed information about your business
Primary purpose: Shares breaking news and quick updates. Promotes new products, content or brand contests. Collects instant feedback from your audience.
- Serves people looking for quick info, company news, and immediate responses to questions about products or events
- Focuses on dialogue creation and starting conversations with customers
- Known for its hashtag (#) communication functionality
- Best platform for PR or publicity purposes when traditional media does not respond
Primary purpose: Acts as an online scrapbook. Showcases products. Displays brand essence through inspiration boards.
- Generates leads and drives traffic to other content, or back to your website
- Visually promotes and highlights products and services through images
- Provokes immediate or future call to action (CTA) responses
- Allows you to microtarget your search with clearly defined categories
Primary purpose: Fosters a professional community, one that’s especially beneficial for B2B companies, to build meaningful relationships.
- Makes it easy to target by industry, job title and other keywords
- Ability to join LinkedIn Groups, where you can invite your target market to communicate
- Allows you to reach out to real people based on mutual business connections
- Promotes professionalism and builds trust when you post information about your company and employees
Primary purpose: A place to share videos and images that evoke feelings about your brand through the use of visual.
- Provides unique filters and video styles
- Lets your company take a more playful approach to connecting with customers
- Shares your message primarily through images, not the written word
- Allows for users to hashtag and get involved with your brand by showing your products in use
Understanding and finding your target audience
Defining your target audience and knowing where to find them is the foundation of navigating the nonstop maze of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram each have significantly different mixes in regards to average age and gender:
Average age range of users: 25-45 years old
Gender of users: 60% female, 40% male
Average age range of users: 18-29 years old
Gender of users: 50% female, 50% male
Average age range of users: 18-35 years old
Gender of users: 80% female, 20% male
Average age range of users: 22-54 years old
Gender of users: 46% female, 52% male
Average age range of users: 18-40 years old
Gender of users: 58% female, 42% male
If you’re looking for ways to define the particular needs of your audience, consider developing personas for your target social media audience. This will create a precise vision of exactly who they are, what content or information they’re craving, and where you should focus to communicate with them.
Considering the time commitment required
The key aspect of social media is “social” — probably the most understated and forgotten portion of the equation. Not unlike good public relations, businesses should use social media as a source of two-way communication with their audience, regardless of the platform. This means that in addition to posting articles, videos, and other relevant posts you want your audience to “like” and “share,” you need to interact with them.
How often should you post to your social networks?
Facebook: 1-2 times per day
Twitter: 3-4 times a day
Pinterest: 2-3 times per day
LinkedIn: 2-4 times per day
Instagram: Once a day
The average amount of time spent by small businesses on social media per week? Six hours and counting.
The bottom line
Don’t feel pressured to be on every platform. Start with the one that connects you with the right audience, aligns with your business’s needs and can regularly be managed depending on your resources. Then, expand from there.
2. Case Studies
3. Understand the ROI
4. Make sure both agency and you are on same page in terms of marketing & sales goals.
5. Marketing is not a short term investment, it usually pays in long term, make sure that you discuss with your shortlisted agency about the growth plan.