After deciding to professionalize its social media presence, an organization will be on the search for a social media marketing company. This form of marketing is big business and there are many established and up-and-coming providers to choose from. Before investing time and money in one, organizations should consider a range of factors, including services provided, experience, monitoring, and support services.
Plans and Prices
The very basic questions to ask before hiring out the services of a social networks promotion company are “what will you do for me?” and “how much will it cost?” Many social media marketing businesses offer an array of packages, with services ranging from basic social network marketing to more advanced brand management initiatives that include search engine optimization, link building, and web design. Get all of the information you can about the company before you sign up for more (or less) than you bargained for.
Before settling on a social media marketing company, organizations should do whatever they can to find out the company’s experience and reputation. Ask for references or case studies from recent customers and then contact those customers to get their unmediated feedback. Simply looking at years in the business is not a clear indicator of the quality of a company, since social media marketing is such a new and emerging field. Additionally, spend time on the company’s website and social media profiles; this will give you a sense of their new media philosophy, approaches and tastes.
Find out which platforms the company has experience with. If an organization wants to infiltrate Pinterest, but a social media marketing company works primarily in Facebook and Foursquare, then it might not be a strong fit. Look for a company that has a breadth of knowledge across platforms, and not only the giants like Facebook and Twitter, but also some of the mid-tier social media sites like Stumbleupon and Reddit.
Be sure to have a strong sense of what social media user data you’re most interested in before hiring a marketing company. These companies, many of which include search engine optimization and online public relations branches, can produce a wealth of data for interested organizations, from site visit tracking to insights analysis to general analytics to pay-per-click management. This data can be organized by many different factors, including geography. The clearer an organization’s vision for what social media data they want to produce, the better prepared they’ll be to find the perfect social media marketing company.
As is the case with any professional service for hire, organizations will want to know what kind of support system a social media marketing company offers. How can clients contact the company, and in what format? Do they offer 24-hour chat support? Can you reach them on nights or weekends? Do they offer training for an organization’s staff, or are they only willing to do the work themselves? How long does it take to change or update content? These are all important questions to ask.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the many online marketing options available to organizations today, but luckily there are experts who have made it their primary mission to help others navigate the world of social media marketing. With billions of users worldwide, social media is certainly the place to be. By researching a marketing company’s reputation, offerings, and range of experience, organizations can make a well informed decision about who to hire.