How To Work With A Social Media Agency

By Valerie Jennings, CEO and founder of JSMM & VBM

If you are seeking to hire a social media consultant, employee, vendor or agency, you need to be aware of the following issues. One important caveat: Most social media professionals are very trustworthy and invaluable to the growth and development of the industry. However, this goes out to the few who may not have been as straight with some of our clients. Please note this is an educational opportunity for those who are interviewing or who wish to interview pros in the future. If you have any questions regarding any of these items, please contact me via email. Happy Hunting!

Photo: kibsri /

1. Don’t get caught up in the hyperbole. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t know social media. If you know your business, marketing or how to measure ROI, then you will be able to cross-pollinate your knowledge. A good social media agency, vendor or professional will help you analyze your brand, strategy, analytics and quantify your ROI. You are always the smartest person on the room. Don’t forgot that, but always be sure you understand what they are saying and make sure to create a list of questions in advance about what all of the buzzwords mean, etc.

2. PR solves all of your problems. We have been led to believe that the word PR means you get famous. Not true. PR can and will showcase your brand and help you become semi-well known. If you want to be famous then just pull a prank, commit a major crime or be absolutely offensive. I might be exaggerating a little, but if you aren’t spending beaucoup bucks, then forget it. Some people get lucky, some get creative, but most smaller brands get covered up in the dust. It’s a hard road to haul, but you can develop high quality relationships with very influential people, bloggers, media and gatekeepers. I would say you are talking about more relationship-driven marketing which pays off better in most cases. Dive in and begin working in the trenches to build high-quality relationships with bloggers, reporters and key online influencers via Twitter. The media is everywhere, but your targeted opportunities are few and far between until you build up a strong relationship with those who will be there for the long haul to promote your brand. We develop media, influencer and blogger lists to start with, analyze the lists and develop strategies to start breaking down barriers right away for our clients. This is hard work, but it is well worth the pain.

3. Give your dog a bone!  If your social media is singing to you, then leave it alone. But if you need a fresh perspective or a high dose of vitamin C to get your creative juices flowing, then have someone look at your social media for you. With that said: Know when to say when!  If you just can’t seem to find the magic potion to get the engines fired up, then call it a day. There is a very pragmatic rule of thumb here: If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. On the flip side, the reverse is also true: If it ain’t workin’, you need a better mechanic or you are grasping at straws. Social media is one of those things where more is sometimes less, meaning you do not need to be on every single social network, channel or emerging platform, but you do need to find your groove with your target audience and spend time building up a base. Don’t tackle everything at once and get your content map organized first. If you don’t have a working content plan, then this is not going to work. Often times, that is the best place to start building a working relationship with a social media pro. By the way, if you are interested in knowing what might happen with the right social media team, here is a list of ways to measure and/or results to track over time.

  • Fantastic SEO results

  • Incredible PR opportunities

  • B2B and B2C sales

  • Amazing discounts

  • Email acquisition

  • Website traffic

  • Lead generation

  • Cool coupons, promotions and profit  increases

  • Online branding

  • Online monitoring, reputation management and targeting buyers

  • Increase in overall fan engagement if targeted to the brand

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Looking forward to hearing from you.