The short answer to the question of where to find a social media marketing agency is to look in the section of the Influencer Marketing Hub related to Social Media Agencies.
If you want more detail, then you might prefer to look at our Top 25 Social Media Marketing Agencies for 2020 or Top 12 Social Media Agencies You Should Try Out in 2020.
However, if you aren't yet ready to select and use a social media marketing agency, this post will look more at why you would want to use such an agency to help you with your social media marketing, and what you should look for when selecting the best agency for your needs.
How to Find a Social Media Marketing Agency:
- Why Should You Use a Social Media Marketing Agency?
- An Agency Is Likely to Have More Experience of Social Media Than You Have In-House
- Agencies Work on Multiple Campaigns Simultaneously
- In-House Staff Learn from the Work of Agencies
- Agencies Have Access to Many High-Quality Tools
- Limitations of Social Media Marketing Agencies
- Typical Tasks Performed by Social Media Marketing Agencies
Why Should You Use a Social Media Marketing Agency?
In some ways, social media acts as a double-edged sword. It has the potential to have a significant effect on the success of a firm's marketing efforts, particularly if you sell a product that attracts the types of people who love using their social accounts. For example, frequent social media marketing can do wonders for sellers of fashion and beauty. However, it can be hard work to do social media marketing correctly, and it can easily swallow up resources. Things are even worse if you and your staff aren't regular social users, and don't truly understand the social habits of your potential customers.
This can be particularly the case if you are a small or medium-sized business. You might find that it is more cost-effective to hand over your social media marketing to an agency, rather than trying to do it yourself, reducing your productivity on your other business activities at the same time.
An Agency Is Likely to Have More Experience of Social Media Than You Have In-House
The number one reason for working with a social media agency is that they have the expertise that most firms lack. They can run multiple campaigns and have the in-house knowledge and experience to make things work.
Most of the significant social networks operate advertising systems where you bid to position your ads on the pages of suitable people. This can involve advanced targeting, along with clever copywriting.
Even once you have managed to land advertising spots on the "right" people's accounts, you still need to monitor your analytics to establish the performance of each ad. This can be very time consuming if you don't know what you're doing. The social media marketing agencies are professional, so know the correct metrics on which to focus, and can easily make changes when required.
You will often sell a product to different types of people. This means that you have to create specific audiences for each campaign to ensure that you target the right people with each ad. This is particularly so for mass-produced items that appeal to a wide range of people. Imagine trying to describe all the customers for a place like McDonald's, and then targeting them correctly.
Yes, you could put together your social campaigns. But does it make sense for you to devote your time and energies to the task, or would paying an agency be a better use of your team's talents?
Agencies Work on Multiple Campaigns Simultaneously
Many businesses don't restrict themselves to running a single advertising campaign at a time. They might have multiple products targeting different audiences, and they spread their marketing budget across numerous campaigns. This can be challenging for an in-house social team, particularly if their resources have been spread thin.
If you look across an agency's entire client base, there are likely to be numerous campaigns running for multiple clients at any time. They are used to juggling the work, shifting staff, and other resources between campaigns as required.
And it makes little difference to an agency how they run their campaigns. They might operate a single campaign for each of three clients, or three separate campaigns for an individual customer. The only difference is how they allocate the staff's hours and how they allocate their billing.
In-House Staff Learn from the Work of Agencies
If you contract your social media management to an agency, this will free up your staff so they have the time to work on the activities they are best at performing. Economists call this Comparative Advantage – you should focus on doing the things that you are comparatively better at, leaving other activities to those who specialize in them.
However, that doesn't mean that your staff is likely to "set and forget." Hopefully, they will take notice of the work done by the agencies, and learn what works for your business, and what fails. Each campaign provides additional information about social successes and failures.
This can be particularly important if you don't intend to establish a long-term relationship with an agency. You might prefer to start working with an agency, and then break away once your staff better understand how everything works.
Agencies Have Access to Many High-Quality Tools
There is an old saying that you are only as good as your tools (and another one that says you should never blame them when things go wrong). The problem is that in most fields of life, high-quality tools come at a high price. And in the case of social media management, the cost of the best tools is often prohibitive, when you are only running a single account. Indeed, many of the best tools are made with the sole intention of being used by agencies and possibly enterprises – certainly not small and medium businesses directly.
While most of the social media management tools we have reviewed offer a range of plans, suitable for both agencies and individual firms, some of the best features are only made available on the highest plan tiers.
Limitations of Social Media Marketing Agencies
It is important to remember that although an agency may represent you on your social accounts, they aren't you. They won't be able to answer every question that somebody asks, and there may be times that they need to throw things back for your attention.
Also, not all agencies work with every niche. It is all very well using an experienced social media marketing agency, but their value will diminish if they have never worked in your niche before. Look for an agency that has other clients in your field, preferably with a resident specialist or influencer in your topic of expertise.
As with any online marketing, you are going to want to ensure that you and your agency align in terms of your social media marketing goals. There is little point working with an agency that focuses solely on building social followers if all your goals relate to engagement or lead generation, for instance.
Typical Tasks Performed by Social Media Marketing Agencies
Every firm is different, so each will have its own requirements from a social media marketing agency. However, there is a range of typical services offered by most members of the industry.
Managing Social Accounts
Undoubtedly the most common job undertaken by social media marketing agencies is to run and manage the social accounts of their business clients.
This takes away much stress from time-poor firms, particularly smaller businesses, where everybody is already tied up with their other tasks. Imagine a sole-charge plumber having tome to run his social accounts when he's running around trying to fix leaky taps and install new showers and toilets.
Running Paid Social Media Ads
You undoubtedly see many Boosted Posts and ads on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, or other social accounts. You may even have tried paid advertising yourself, possibly being upset by less-than-stellar results.
Paid social advertising can result in highly lucrative returns. However, it can also result in a colossal waste of money if you don't know what you are doing. And the average casual businessperson definitely doesn't understand the intricacies of this type of advertising.
Most social agencies specialize in this kind of work and know the ins and outs of audience targeting and ad copywriting. They create ads, test ads, modify ads, and track the results.
While content marketing is arguably a separate type of marketing from social media marketing, the fact remains that you need content to share through your social accounts. Not all firms have the time, resources, or skill to create awesome content that is begging out for people to share. Many agencies are happy to generate content for their clients' social accounts.
Often you will want to take a longer-term perspective of the operation of your social accounts. You might want to make an overarching strategy plan – even if you leave it to your everyday internal staff to implement the plans.
An agency can work with you to create the best strategy to meet your business goals. It can help you decide which social channels should be your focus, and any you can safely ignore. It can also recommend the number of posts to make each day and the types of posts to make.
The thing about social media is that it is supposed to be … social. Brands that merely broadcast rarely succeed. They come across as self-serving advertisers. Successful brands engage with their audiences, ensuring that it is a two-way conversation.
The problem is that community management can be extremely time-sapping, particularly if you have an audience that covers multiple time zones. If you spend all of your time answering your followers' questions and concerns, there is a real danger that you will have little time left to carry out your primary business activities. It often makes sense to leave this to an agency, who can make posts, participate in communications, and converse with your followers on your behalf.