In the current business climate, it’s not enough to have just one social media account like Facebook, potential clients will expect you to be on multiple channels like Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram. Add in video platforms like Tik Tok or photo-sharing apps like Snapchat and it’s easy to see why social marketing can become all-consuming.
With this level of demand, many companies are turning to managed social media services to handle their social media output. Companies with a team of experts that can generate on-brand graphics, write interesting captions, and even manage customer comments or messages are useful for helping business users to keep their accounts up to date.
But using an outsourced service costs money, and different companies offer different services, So how do you determine what you need and make sure you get the best bang for your buck?
Check exactly what you are getting
With the service offerings and possibilities being so extensive across social marketing services, you will need to understand exactly what it is you are getting. With such a broad range it’s hard to define an average cost for social media marketing pricing. Depending on what is included, the work involved, and the level of oversight given to your accounts, prices can vary dramatically. However, it is worth keeping in mind that the cheapest is not always the best, but conversely, the most expensive services are not always the best either.
Review previous work
Any decent social media management service should be able to provide samples of previous work done, name drop a few clients, and show where they drove results in terms of follows, likes and engagement. If these are not evident on the company website then ask directly for examples of previous work and check the quality. Graphics, captions, hashtags should all be on point, look professional and not have errors like spelling mistakes or overcapitalization. Remember, anything that is posted to your social accounts is directly representing your business, so it’s important to make sure everything looks good. A good social media marketing service should be able to create posts with graphics that are well written and on-brand, featuring your company colours and incorporating elements like your business ethos or core values.
Ask about strategy
With so many posts competing on social media, you will need to have a social media strategy to be effective. Creating amazing posts and churning them out across your social channels may keep your account feed full, but it may not necessarily drive engagement. Work with your social media management service to understand the strategy they will use to represent your business. Do they focus on follower growth or are they more concerned with driving engagement? A custom strategy may include specific posting times for different accounts, designed to maximise the reach across your desired audience. Collaborating closely with your social media manager will help to tailor a strategy that works best for you and devise a systematic approach to using your social accounts effectively.
Shop around multiple providers
With so many self-proclaimed social media management services out there it can be tough to find the right one. Social providers can range from one-man-band, freelancer style businesses to large corporate style companies, and everywhere in between. Each one will have their own style, approach and unique abilities to bring to the table. Some may base their strategy strongly on analytics, some may measure success solely by engagement, or other means. It can be worth speaking to companies from small, medium, and large organizations to understand what they all offer. Even if one company charges a higher amount than the next, you may decide that the higher price offers you enough added value to commit to using their services.
Look for a money-back guarantee
Most social media management companies that have confidence in their abilities will provide new customers with some kind of guarantee. This may be a money-back offer, or it could be the assurance of supplying additional items for free if you are not happy with the service. This tactic is so commonplace it would be wise to be wary of any management service that does not offer it. Failure to give new customer’s some kind of reassurance may indicate that the company is new, or just not that good. A guarantee is also a good way for you to experience what their service can offer you at the minimum financial risk. For small businesses that need to be conscious of expenditure, this can be a real advantage when choosing a provider.
Research the company
In any kind of business is it usually best to work with an established provider. If you have selected the social marketing company that you would like to work with, take some time to perform a bit of due diligence. Check how long the company has been in business and see if they have a good track record. Read reviews on Google My Business and any other places you can find. Look for customer testimonials and check out the reviewer’s social accounts to see if they are genuine. Even a couple of bad reviews may not be a deal-breaker – not everyone can be pleased and it is often interesting to see how a service handles a bad review. Was it responded to timely and professionally? Did they offer a resolution to the client to repair the damage? The way that the business handled the complaint can often be indicative of the service you can expect to receive.
Find the best social management provider for your business by determining the services you need and eliminating those that are unnecessary or that do not apply to your business. Look for quality and responsiveness before committing to pay for monthly services.