Nine Tips For Selecting a Social Media Agency
During the recent Blogworld Expo in Las Vegas, SocialFresh Founder Jason Keath led a panel entitled How to Hire A Social Media Company. On the panel were Edelman's David Armano, Ignite Social Media's Jim Tobin and Digital Dads' C.C. Chapman. Out of the panel, emerged tips for brands (and even agencies) looking for social media expertise.
1. Define what social media means to you. What your goals? What part of your marketing needs help?
2. Make sure you have a knowledgeable person in the social media role before you ask them to seek a social media agency.
3. Start slow. If you have limited dollars, take baby steps. Listen and observe. Then take your first step.
4. Establish your business plan first. Then the marketing plan. Then the social media plan. Each helps frame the next.
5. Examine case studies. Both from companies you are considering and those from other companies and brands that have been published.
6. Don't necessarily expect full ideas at the pitch stage like the way traditional agencies do it.
7. Be sure to specify a budget when seeking a social media agency. If you don't, you make it very difficult for an agency to respond accordingly. And it just wastes everyone's time.
8. There is no such thing as a five year plan in social media. Don't ask for it. Why? Social media didn't exist five years ago. No one can know what this landscape will look like in five years.
9. Get your feet wet in the space first. Try Twitter. Look at Foursquare. Open a Facebook account. It's just the tip of the iceberg but it will help educate and make it easier to make an informed decision when choosing a social media firm.