Are you plan to hire a social media agency? Read this before you proceed. Social media has had a significant effect on the search advertising landscape in the last ten years, and many companies are gradually starting to lean towards hiring a social media agency to handle their online activities. Some companies have opted to create an in-house team to drive their social media efforts, but they have found that the results from this route take longer to manifest.
Hiring a social media agency notably cuts down on this time and helps companies take advantage of the massive number of Singaporeans are embracing social media at a lightning-like pace.
Choosing a social media agency is not always easy. The many choices in the market can lead to analysis paralysis. Fortunately, there are many questions you can ask to separate the chaff from the wheat.
Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Social Media Agency
Who are your previous clients?
A good number of agencies have worked with some of the best companies in Singapore and are proud of the results they achieved. Many are more than willing to share this information with a potential client as they understand the hesitancy of businesses when it comes to social media marketing.
In fact, many agencies regularly use the words of previous clients on their websites as testimonials. They post this information either as a case study or feature a guest post from the client on their blog. Going through these posts will enable you to get more specific questions to ask the agency.
You can ask questions such as: What was the agency most proud of in their previous campaign? Did they achieve all the goals and objectives they set in the beginning? Was the client satisfied?
However, it is vital to note that not all agencies will disclose this information to you. Some companies do not want the public to know that they are working with an agency. They thus sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to prevent the agencies from sharing such information. Agencies might also be unwilling to share information about their current clients.
What are your thoughts on our current social media efforts?
The best agencies are always prepared for meetings with potential clients. They use this opportunity to wow the business owner with their research skills. Your business most likely caters to a specific demographic, and these research skills are proof that the agency will be able to craft compelling messages.
The agency should, therefore, have thoroughly gone through all your social media handles. They should be able to tell you what they think you are doing well and what can be improved. The icing on the cake is if they can give you a brief take of the strategy they intend to use to ensure your social media goals align with your overall business goals.
What social platforms do you suggest for my company?
Singapore has a social media penetration rate of 85%; it is one of the countries with the biggest percentage of social media users. However, certain social media platforms are more popular than others.
WhatsApp leads the way with 73% and is closely followed by YouTube and Facebook at 71 and 70% respectively. Instagram is a distant fourth with 44%. These are crucial statistics that you should know before hiring a social media agency.
Agencies regularly use these statistics when deciding which platforms they should prioritise. The normal process of building an online presence is first choosing one or two platforms to start with and then gradually branching out.
The nature of the business also determines the social media platforms that will be used. For example, an agency will put more effort on marketing on Instagram for a company that sells visually appealing products while Facebook will be the choice of platform if the business sells services that require clients to first explain the issue.
Ask the agency and social media influencers which platforms will be best for your business. This will give you sufficient information on whether to greenlight the project.
How much of my time will go into the project?
You are hiring a social media agency because you do not have enough time to worry about your online presence constantly. Nevertheless, you will still be required to spend a small part of your time with the social media agency.
For example, you will need to paste a Facebook pixel code on your website if you want to run advertisements on the platform. The code will enable you to collect data, track all the conversions from the ad, build the audience you want to target in future and remarket to people when they visit your website.
The agency will need explicit consent from you to do this and may also involve you in the crafting of the message in the first ad. You can also suggest that they do this from your office so that you can better monitor the situation.
There are several other things that they may also require your attention. It is vital to ask this question during the presentation so that you can be on the same page with the agency every step of the way.
Who will be my contact person in the agency?
Agencies typically do the groundwork as a team and then assign a particular company’s social media handles to an expert. The expert monitors the progress of each platform and produces reports for the agency’s leadership. The title of the expert is usually ‘account manager.’
The agency might decide that the account manager is your contact person as they are in the best position to answer your questions. This can also be the person who sends you progress reports. This should not alarm you as it is a common practice with many agencies.
However, you need to know how available the account manager will be to you and what forms of communication to use in case you need to make contact. Excellent agencies give their clients the Skype, phone number, and email address of the account manager. That way, you can be sure that you will be able to get a hold of the person quickly.
Is social customer service part of the deal?
Social media is increasingly becoming the go-to place for clients whenever they have an issue. According to SocialMediaToday, nearly 70% of people have tried to solve an issue through a company’s social media at least once. Sprinklr, on the other hand, states that 80% of people use social media to engage with brands.
It is not only crucial to have a strong presence on these platforms but also to respond quickly to queries raised by people. Studies have shown that online consumers expect a quick response and that it leads to customer loyalty.
The best news about social customer service is that it costs six times less to solve an issue via socials than via a call center. An agency may charge you more because they offer this service, but the cost is worth it as you can discard or reduce the size of your call center.
Asking about social customer service will enable you to plan and develop an efficient workforce.
Have you handled a crisis before?
Mistakes happen however much a company endeavors to maintain a solid online reputation. A client may get the wrong order, they may receive terrible service at the company’s physical shop, or a new product may spark outrage online. Some of the best companies have been victims of the latter.
A press release can help in cooling the online outrage, but the statement that will be delivered by the company will not be timely; the announcement will reach the intended target audience at least 10 hours later. The statement may not even contain the right accountability language that online users want.
An agency that has worked through a crisis before will help you craft the right message and deliver it on your social platforms promptly. You will be able to move on to other business activities and avoid a costly public relations nightmare.
What is your social strategy?
You need to know the type of content you need before hiring a social media agency. The most popular types of content in Singapore are text, graphics, and videos.
The text on the various social media platforms should not be long, and graphics should be included in it to increase the chances of engagement. Studies have shown that the use of graphics on social posts increase chances of engagement by 7-10 times. Users also like to see content summarized in visually appealing graphics.
Video content is also very popular in Singapore; there are 4 million YouTube users in Singapore. Video content created by the agency, therefore, has a very high chance of being consumed.
The social strategy of an agency can be the use of text only, text and images only, or text, images, and video. Agencies that use video are generally more expensive than agencies that use text and images only. Knowing this will enable you to make an informed choice.
What kind of data analytics tools do you use?
Data analytics has become so intertwined with social media marketing that it is almost impossible to separate the two. Every single decision taken on social media is informed by statistics collected over time.
As such, several companies have gone out of their way to develop good data analytics tools for social media marketing. Google created Google Trends – a free tool – to help in monitoring the use of a particular keyword on the various socials. This allows agencies come up with better content as they understand the terms people are using.
BuzzSumo was created to help users find the most shared content across the multiple social platforms, and Hootsuite has analytics that can help you find out how your content is performing online.
Before hiring an agency, you should ask if they use some of the tools mentioned above. Several companies may try to convince you that using the free in-built analytics of social platforms is enough, but a good agency is one that uses both.
How do you measure the return on investment (ROI) on your social media efforts?
Knowing that the time and effort put in developing social media presence is one of the top questions business owners ask before hiring a social media agency. The process of measuring the ROI on social media is relatively simple.
The first step is calculating the total amount of money you have spent on your social media efforts. You can do this by calculating the money spent on online ads and the amounts paid to influencers who help you reach more people.
The second step is signing up to a web traffic analysis tool such as Google Analytics. Such tools enable you to track conversions on your website. For example, when a client clicks on a social media link and buys a product on your site, the credit will go to the specific social channel for enabling that buy.
The last step is to subtract the amount of money generated by social media from the amount of money spent.
A top agency should be able to guide you through this process by explaining how positive the numbers of their previous clients were. They may not be able to give you the exact figures, but they can give you the percentage which is just as good.
How long will it take for me to see results and what should I expect?
Agencies can estimate the time it will take to see results based on the previous campaigns they have managed. However, they may only give you a slight idea of what to expect as no two campaigns are similar.
You can ask this question to gauge the sincerity of the agency. The right agency will not promise you the moon right away.
Your online presence is critical to your business goals only if it is being driven by the right agency. The questions above will help you in hiring a social media agency that delivers; ask away to find the perfect fit.
Call us today at +65 6789 9852 for custom social media marketing services in Singapore.