You and 50% of marketers consider social media to be the most difficult tactic for execution. That doesn’t have to be the case! Hire one of the social media companies listed below and make the first step towards online marketing success.
Taking into consideration the core meaning and the idea of an ideal SMM company, analyzing hundreds of online materials and sites, and going through a large number of user reviews and ratings, we’ve defined the most crucial factors that play a role in determining whether an agency is worth hiring or not. You’re about to read a list of these factors, each of them explained in detail.
The first thing we looked for when analyzing top social media marketing companies were the services offered. We gathered this data by analyzing the companies’ websites and the services they offer to their clients. What’s also important here is just how good is the agency in the services they provide. We analyzed this matter from various aspects:
Answers to these questions gave us a better understanding of whether a company is a social media focused marketing company or one of the full service digital marketing companies with a broad spectrum of services.
In the ever-changing digital world, creativity is critical for staying on the top of the game. And at the same time, it’s our second most important ranking factor.
Again, mainly relying on clients’ reviews and their view of the solution the agency they hired offered them, we measured social media management companies’ creativity and innovativeness in several areas:
In social media marketing, it’s all about delivering results and reporting them in numbers. In our research, we focused on getting data from users on the actual results provided by the social media consultant companies they worked with. Some of the questions we needed answered to gather the necessary data were:
We’d say that measuring the performance of the agencies based on user ratings, comes down to 3 major factors: the improvement of the ROI for the client, the increase in online visibility, and the increase of conversion rates.
The online world is a tricky place – which is why we rely on quality reviews and user ratings to make decisions. For our ranking of the best social media companies, we asked the listed SMM companies to remind their customers to leave reviews and rate the companies on our platform. We also made sure to reach out to previous customers of the listed companies and get a review from them as well.
For the ratings, we focused on getting information on the following essential aspects:
In addition to carefully designed questionnaires for clients, we also examined and verified the company’s reputation across the web. This is done by ascertaining if the company has famous bloggers who are writing blog posts, case studies, and similar. Social profiles of key people in the company are also checked for existence and activity, as in the online world, it’s highly recommended that owners and key people working in this industry are aware of the latest trends.
All data gathered from real users, competitor sites like Clutch and social media profiles of people in the company were aggregated to form one, comprehensive result.
Another important factor in ranking social media companies is the existence of case studies, certificates and awards won by the agency itself. Here’s why:
Company culture doesn’t include just the internal organization and company lunches. It’s much more than that, and it has a considerable influence over the quality of a social media marketing company on the market. Company culture encompasses factors such as:
All these aspects allowed us to create an overall impression of the company culture that rules on the subject we analyzed for this website.
Last but not least on our list of factors that influence the ranking of social media marketing companies is how much they charge for their services and the value for money clients get when hiring their chosen agency.
How agencies define their pricing depends on which agency you choose, as there’s no industry standard at the moment.
We interviewed managers of the most significant SMM companies and analyzed the websites of our subject companies to be able to confirm the dominance of the following three pricing models:
Agencies that use this pricing model exchange time for a set price. This model has many disadvantages, and it’s often criticized by many agencies in the industry as it emphasizes agencies’ costs.
According to our research and performed analysis, this is the fairest pricing model as it benefits both parties. Usually, the top 10 social media companies that use this pricing model focus on the result entirely, instead of focusing on their costs. In fact, they’re motivated by the shared risks and rewards as their client and therefore, work towards achieving results which they will charge for later.
Fixed fee or project-based pricing model is used mainly by large social media consulting firms that take on large clients and are hired on a long-term basis. At the core of this collaboration is a relationship that both sides work on and nurture during an extended period. The client sets clear goals here, and how they’re achieved is up to the agency’s professionals to work out. This is a lucrative pricing model and works perfectly well if you can acquire clients on whose accounts you’ll work regularly.
Our analysis won’t be complete without pointing out the essential aspects an SMM agency must be able to carry out.
In this part of our comprehensive analysis, after interviewing the managers of our subject companies, we concluded that there are five essential elements an SMM agency must be able to carry out to deserve and retain its place in this industry.
Interviewing managers of our top 10 social media agencies gave us the “not so surprising fact” that 99% of the success of any SMM company lies in creating a stable, thorough strategy for achieving their client’s goals.
But what exactly is included in this strategy? What are the elements of a good plan? Through our research, we found out that three elements constitute a grand strategy:
As a client, you need to work with your chosen social media consulting firm to present your business goals as clearly as possible. The agency, on the other hand, must work to define how it can use social media to contribute towards achieving those set goals.
An agency must set clear and SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, time-bound) targets that will guide the way from point A to point B (the expected results). These objectives are also parameters that define when a goal is considered as achieved. They make goals measurable and tangible.
Research competition - your agency of choice must be able to conduct a full competition analysis and gain insight into the market you’re competing in. This is a critical element in designing a solid strategy that will drive results and maximize your results. If the agency doesn’t offer such a service, there are plenty of market research specialists they can outsource to.
Content is at the core of social media marketing. Without reliable, on-point and customized content, any effort is useless. A good social media advertising agency will have strong creative abilities in the form of a well-prepared team of creative people: content writers, videographers, photographers, graphic designers. Beyond checking the boxes from our custom criteria for content marketing agencies, we assessed the agencies for the following three crucial elements:
The content an agency creates is nothing if it’s not targeted to the perfect customer for the goal you’re trying to achieve. If you know the ideal customer well, you can create the type of content he/she wants to consume.
According to most interviewed managers, a good agency should be ready to create and deliver all kinds of content at any time. So blog posts, longer content assets, video content, animated content, photos, etc. of the highest quality should all take place in an agency’s content arsenal.
Based on what the ideal customer wants, the frequency of delivering content should be in accordance. The social media marketing agency would examine the best times of the day for posting as well as how often should materials be displayed so that the target persona is satisfied.
If you already know your target audience well, then you know where they hang out most on social media. Your chosen SMM agency should be able to recognize this and be proficient in using the right type of channels for proper and targeted distribution of content.
At this point, an agency should be able to design a solid distribution plan based on the analysis of your target audience and develop a strategy around the social channels your buyers frequently visit. For example, Facebook advertising experts should also cover other essential platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and more.
Furthermore, they will have to assign roles for different tasks that need to be done on different channels.
According to our research and analysis, a good strategy is successful only if the tools for activation are both appropriate and adequately used. Tightly connected with the defined budget and the strategy execution fees, tactics must be prioritized to produce results within the specified time frame. According to our research, social media marketing companies’ tactics fall into one of two groups:
These are activation techniques that produce the fastest ROI. They are performed at the beginning of every strategy. These tactics include advertising and social referral.
Long-term tactics - for more significant and attainable ROI, long-term activation tactics include fan acquisition, quality content creation, engaging paid influencers (or establishing a solid collaboration with the top influencer marketing outfits to do so), and long-term engagement with your audience.
Social Media Marketing companies are only as good as the results they achieve and present in their reports. Goal measurement and analytics report are tools that any agency must be able to provide and moreover, base their work on explaining them well.
When it comes to measuring goals and tracking progress, a good analytics report provided by SMM companies should include a few elements:
The report should consist of numbers on the desired effects such as form submissions, downloaded materials, email newsletter signups, online purchases, video views, social interactions, etc.
If your agency is using different platforms to achieve your social goals, then the report should include analytics from each platform. How well are your performing in followers numbers, social interactions and other desired actions on each platform?
Social media marketing companies should also provide reliable reports on the campaigns they run as well. Here, the report should include metrics like time spent, cost of ads, ROI on ads, as well as activities performed to launch the campaign.
Hiring an agency to take care of social media marketing endeavors for you isn’t easy. It’s an investment, and as such needs to be done right. We’ve researched a lot of online materials and conducted many interviews with key people in the industry to create a list of things that any business owner needs to consider before and after they hire an SMM agency.
Before you go into hiring a social media agency, it’s advisable to know what you want to achieve. It’s important to know if you’re going to have a well-managed online presence for your business and utilize social media only to raise brand awareness, or you wish to turn social media into a sales channel?
Depending on your business goals, you’d have to choose from the different types of agencies out there. As online marketing is a broad area that includes many different niches, consequently there are many different types of agencies as well. You can choose between:
Another classification method that is also worth considering is the type of service the agency specializes in:
Finally, what you want to look into, is whether the agency’s primary area of expertise matches your goals and marketing objectives. If so, that would mean that the agency in question can contribute towards reaching your goals, therefore making it a suitable choice. Best marketing companies often offer the whole package but make sure whether you need the bundle because it may hurt your budget.
The bottom line is, you must have your marketing goals defined internally before you start narrowing down options and deciding which type of agency to choose.
Another aspect of choosing from a list of SMM companies accordingly is whether you want to expand your reach globally or locally. If you’re more interested in conquering the local market, you may want to go with a local marketing agency for two reasons:
If your goals are to expand your reach globally, then you may want to move forward with a more popular agency that has resources to push your brand to the global market. Mainly, here we refer to the professionals that are part of a particular agency’s team and have the knowledge and insights to achieve your goals on that scale.
When you create a shortlist of companies, the next step is to discuss their strategy and outcome expectations. As you’re hiring an agency to work on your social media presence, you want to know how will they create the plan, execute it and what outcome should you expect. When it comes to discussing results, you want to know how will they drive them to realization, can they do it within your budget limits, and within a previously defined timeframe.
For instance, if you’re dealing with real estate, social media marketing companies can develop a successful strategy to popularize your business. Likewise, you can check the outcome and see if their campaign has brought any results in increased sales or whichever your goal was.
To confirm what you agreed on during your strategy/outcomes discussion, you want to ask for a sample report from the agency to see if you’ll get what you asked for. This sample report should include metrics like reach, growth, engagement, traffic, and lead generation.
If you’re not on social media, it’s like your business doesn’t exist. Social media marketing companies exist because it’s that important to have a well-managed social media presence. There are many more reasons why social media presence is a must for businesses in today’s world, and we’ll emphasize just a few:
Since it’s of such importance to have a social media presence, SM agencies do precisely that: they promote your business online, on social media platforms and channels. Furthermore, these agencies use various tools and strategies to put your business in front of as many competitors as possible.
If done right, everyone can benefit from social media, as the basic concept of social media is to serve the audience who searches for answers with suitable solutions that your business may be offering.
Therefore, with the right strategy conducted by reliable and well-organized social media agencies – you can benefit as a company, and the audience can find great use of your success as well.
You, as a company will benefit as you’ll have your products and services put forward to a broad audience who has shown interest in what you have to offer by actively searching online for those exact or similar products and services. You’ll also get reviews from satisfied customers who will raise brand awareness about your business and give you a chance to change and become even better in future.
The audience will also benefit from your cooperation with one of the top marketing firms, as people will find what they are searching for and encounter an experience that they’d be happy to recommend.
The best way to learn about a company’s experience and customer satisfaction is to go online and read materials that offer proof, like customer reviews and case studies by the company itself.
Case studies along with the company’s portfolio are the best indicator of their experience, while customer reviews are your gateway into quality customer satisfaction insights. If you’re using Google as your social media marketing companies near me tool, you’ll end up on websites like our own, www.clutch.co or www.upcity.com and read many quality customer reviews that will help you make a decision effortlessly.
Case studies and customer reviews aren’t just good for businesses looking to hire an agency, but also for professionals who are looking to get into that industry as well. If you have your entrepreneurial spirit up high and wondering how to start an SMM agency, checking how other agencies work and where they fail may be a good start.
Finally, since many different social media marketing companies focus on various aspects of advertising online, choosing the agency that will work on your social presence is an extensive process. Make sure you check all the boxes before you decide to make this investment.