All businesses including solo entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businesses and even huge multi-national businesses alike turn to social media agencies to help them create an effective social media marketing strategy. They need the assistance of these experts to implement various plans, tactics, identify KPIs, develop a good digital brand and establish social communities. The list goes on and on!

The better you understand your business, your potential audience as well as overall market and competition, the better a social marketing agency can help you. You need to be crystal clear on what you know and what you don’t.

Handing over the control of your brand’s social existence can either make or break your social marketing. It is vital that before reaching out to a social media agency for assistance, you understand what help you need as well as what your strengths and weakness are so that the agency can assist you efficiently.

With the stiff competition in online marketing nowadays, you just cannot randomly throw up a Facebook page or post on your profile, create a Facebook live session or Instagram page and expect to develop an overnight community for your brand.

Whether you own a non-profit business or a manufacturing company or something in between, you will definitely require to answer the million-dollar question:

How do I hire the appropriate marketing agency that will work wonders for me and will provide the best return on investment for my marketing capital?

So, let’s dive into the various questions that will assist you in choosing the right marketing partner for your business.

1. How will your agency adapt to our company and help us achieve our goals?

The right agency will give a certain idea of what outcomes you can expect based on their previous campaigns. Ask them the results they got for their earlier clients.

Work on finding how they function as a team when it comes to producing effective results. Look for answers on how will they be able to improve your visibility and increase the traffic on the site leading to increased sales.

2. Will your marketing agency’s team fit with our company’s personality?

We all want to work with an agency that has similar values to our own. Are they friendly or cold or not hard-working or analytical? This question forms a foundation over all other aspects as these qualities determine how the agency will work with you. Look for an agency that strikes the right balance.

3. How are you different from your competitors?

This is a vital question that expresses the confidence a social media agency requires to work for your company. One of the ideal ways to figure out how an agency places itself in the marketplace is to ask them to contrast themselves with their competitors.

If you cannot see how a social media agency stands out from the crowd, then how will they be able to help you stand out in your competitive market?

Take out from them as much as possible as to how they can bring a unique approach to your company’s social media marketing. Some agencies work with large sized businesses, others work primarily with small family businesses. Some just work with businesses in the auto niche and others work with all kinds. Find out if the agency you are speaking with works with your kind of business and caters to brands in your industry.

4. What are the factors that make your content successful?

The content they create for you should be original, authentic, thought-provoking, helpful to the users, and with strong headlines which act as cherries on top. Quality traffic can be driven only when these factors are taken into consideration. Thus, hiring agencies that copy from others would be an ineffective decision.

5. What makes a social strategy effective and successful?

It all varies according to what you deal in. For example, if it’s an airline then the social media success has more to do with responding to support requests as soon as possible. Conversely, for a record store, social success would have to do with the website visits driven by social posts.

6. How many client accounts do your employees manage?

This a very important question, because some agencies treat their staff worse than supermarket employees. They overpromise their clients and overwork their employees. An overburdened employee will never be able to produce quality work, which in turn will harm the results for your business!

7. What are people saying about your agency via online reviews?

Hiring a social media agency is a big deal. Thus, it is vital to do good research before jumping into it. Read through Google and Facebook reviews and see how people really feel about them. If you find something alarming, ask the agency about it and see how they react.

8. What are your packages? (Why are they so cheap? If applicable.)

As a small business owner with a limited budget, it is always easy to go for a social media agency with the cheapest price. However, low prices may indicate these issues: agency outsourcing and/or unhealthy employee work balance. If there is an agency that charges low prices for their labour, try to learn more about their process and see if it makes sense. Always keep the old saying in mind, “you get what you pay for”. The cheapest option will more than likely have very few success stories and little strategic direction to offer you.

9. Do you outsource your work?

Find out how the company you are considering operates on a regular basis. Do their employees work alongside them at their office or do they outsource their work overseas? It is vital for you to know who is behind your brand and how they are monitored. It is always best to hire a company that does all their work in house.

10. What social media platforms would you recommend for our brand?

When starting out, you don’t need to pay attention to all social media platforms. According to your brand message and target audience, the agency should tell you which ones are relevant for your brand. If you are a small or medium sized business, be wary of any agency that wants to put together a plan that includes more than 3 to 5 social media platforms. A good agency will focus on one platform first, and then branch out towards others.

11. What is the most important thing a social media manager should be doing?

This helps in understanding what they think social media marketing is and how it must be done. The best answer will be a version of listening to or monitoring your audience and your competitors. The old saying about two ears and one mouth is especially relevant in social media management.

12. What is your content publishing schedule?

Ask the agency if they have a content publishing process in place. Get their schedule so that you know when each upload will go live and this way you can keep a check on your published posts.

13. How do you deal with negative comments or a brand reputation crisis?

The way they describe “crisis” can tell you a lot about how much experience they have. If they haven’t had a real social media crisis in their own experience, they should at least be familiar with some famous brand reputation blunders. Dealing with negative comments or reviews properly is important for this position, thus, ask for examples.

14. Can you provide us with a list of client references?

Whether you want to make phone calls and emails to references or not, ask the agency about references. If they produce good work and appear to have a good reputation, it would not hurt to reach out to references to make sure they are the right company for you.

At the end of the interview, it is recommended to take some time to jot down points regarding the pros and cons of the marketing agency. As these social media marketing agencies are growing and becoming better day by day, more and more businesses rely on them to achieve success in their field. Choosing the correct social media agency is a very vital decision and one that should not be taken lightly.

There are various other aspects that need to be focused on, but the abovementioned questions form the foundation of choosing the ideal social media agency. Your online presence will be the first step for your success and a path for the potential customers to interact with you, therefore you should make sure that you find the correct people to manage it.

Social media managers must be highly skilled, and these 14 social media marketing questions are designed to bring the best out of your potential new hire. Remember to utilize social media when on the hunt for your perfect candidate or agency.

We at Socinova are one such social media agency, that stives to be the best in the field. Socinova’s social media marketing services are focused on placing your company in a better position to tap into the two-way conversation occurring between you and your clients. We’ll be happy to help every way we can if you choose us. Happy hiring!