How to choose a social media advertising agency

Ligia AguilharLigia AguilharStrategy
How to choose a social media advertising agency

With the massive surge of social media advertising in the past few years, you’ll have to implement a clear strategy to remain competitive. But for many businesses, social advertising is an all new and elusive frontier.

Thankfully, social advertising is a rapidly growing industry with hoards of great companies that can help businesses remain competitive in the social space. This isn’t just for the novice media buyer, though. Even established companies with teams of seasoned social media buyers could find benefit in an outsider’s perspective.

The trouble is, how do you know if a social media marketing agency is going to be the right fit for you and your company’s needs? There are a few things we’ve outlined below that you’ll want to keep in mind as you dive into the search process.

1. Make sure their core competencies align with your business goals

As with any business partnership you are going to embark on, you want to be certain as to whether or not your two companies share the same set of values. In the case of social media advertising agencies, it means that they will present your company in a way that is true to the values you promote.

To accomplish that, first, list the most important things you need from a social media marketing agency. This process will help you navigate through your options and create a definitive list of your potential partners.

Once you define your top five options, list all the the solutions they offer and match them with your interests. You should not only understand the products and services they offer, but also analyze who are their existing clients and what were the experiences other companies had with the agency. Are they experts in your industry?

Next, check their pricing and make sure there are no hidden costs that might impact your contract.

2. Check if they have software and supporting tools

This is all about Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS), right? At the end of the day, you are investing money in social media advertising companies because you want to see measurable results.

What you’ll realize very quickly as you dive into the social media advertising world is that simply using Google Analytics isn’t enough. It only tracks numbers, and if you’re investing in a social advertising agency, you ought to be asking what else they can offer you.

You want to ask what software and tools they have that can make a discernible difference in the results of your advertising. Is this a proprietary software? Does it use new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to generate smarter results? Will you and your team be able to use this software internally? List the core competences you need and check if the agency can fulfill these needs.

3. Ask about their reporting and feedback loop

It’s the basic foundation of any relationship: communication is key. This is an important question to ask in the first meeting so you can know early on how business between the two of you would be conducted should your companies form a partnership.

How transparent will this relationship be? Will you be able to see the work the agency is doing and get details on the strategies being performed at any time? You shouldn’t feel bad about asking these questions. It’s important to be in close communication with them to make sure everyone is happy with the way the relationship is going.

4. Know how they are staffed and who will be working with you

This may seem like an intrusive question to ask, but it’s important to know the company that is going to be representing you inside out. In this case, you want to know how the company is staffed because it will let you know who is going to be handling your social media advertising.

Does the ad agency you are prospecting do all of their work in-house or do they outsource it to a third-party company? If they outsource, then the ad agency may function as more of a middle man and communication might become less of an open line and more of a game of telephone. This leads to lower quality efforts and results. You always want to hire a company that does their own work over one that doesn’t.

5. Know their metrics for success

You probably want to have a return on every dollar spent or your social ad (ROAS), but other than that, you need to make sure your agency is going to draw important insights from your campaign's numbers.

The best metrics for success are the ones that tell you if you are reaching your goals. Those metrics will vary according to your objectives: do you want to generate awareness? Downloads? Sales? Your agency needs to be a pro when it comes to knowing which are the best metrics for you.

Choose your social ad agency wisely

As social media advertising becomes more and more essential to the business world, it is important that businesses have an effective strategy for conducting their social advertising. In many cases, that means working with another company that specializes in social media advertising.

Like any business partnership, you want to make sure beforehand that investing your time and money in a particular company is worth it. Don’t settle for less than your standards because at the end of the day, you only want the best representing your company.