Do I Need to Hire An Agency, or Can I Do It Myself?
One of the biggest expectations for businesses in today's world is to have an active and professional web presence, and this extends far beyond your website. Social media channels offer a platform for businesses to reach prospective customers, engage with existing customers as well as develop and maintain a strong brand image. Some of the core benefits of social media marketing include:
- Improve Brand Awareness
- Directly Engage in Real Time
- Get Customer Insights & Data
- Increase Web Traffic and SEO
- Facilitate Targeted Advertising
The time and effort involved in creating a sleek, professional and effective social media presence is often underestimated. Therefore, it’s valuable to consider bringing in an agency to manage your channels. You may feel like nobody knows your business better than you, and be reluctant to hand over the reins to a third party; but there are huge benefits to using an external agency. Here are just some of them!
Building Brand Recognition
A lot of companies try to be everywhere at once (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest…to name just a few) but an agency will have the experience and market insights to determine where there is true value for your business. Social Media professionals know where to start, which platforms to use, and what types of content will yield the best results. Social media trends and techniques are constantly changing, and it’s unrealistic to expect team members who are not solely dedicated to social media to keep up. It takes all the above to get your brand in front of your desired audience
Generating Leads and Increasing Sales
The ultimate goal for the majority of businesses is to increase revenue, and social media is an effective tool to generate leads and directly impact sales. There is more to it than a post or two every day; social media managers act as community ambassadors, sharing relevant and trending content, liking posts and directly engaging with your target audience. It is not a one-way conversation; it's imperative to both capture visitor’s attention and meet their needs, turning them into buyers or permanent clients. Direct web traffic should increase, in addition to a boost in brand recognition and awareness of your business, product or service.
Showcase Your Company
The information hosted on your website can be relatively static; whereas your advertising and social media communications have much more flexibility to focus on a variety of messages – promoting the practical, emotional and other benefits of your company, product or service. A skilled social media agency will be familiar with your brands core values and understand the right time and place to enable customers discover them. Check out the recent reaction to John Lewis Christmas ads to see how effective this can be!
The best thing about social media is that it allows your business to be “always on” – and engage with your customers when it’s convenient for them. This makes prospective customers easier to reach, and more amenable to direct communications from your business. But, if you don’t have the right team behind you, this can also be one of the scariest things about social media! Reputation management on your channels is critical, and how you handle complaints or criticisms online is integral to success. You want to have dedicated professionals on hand to respond before things get out of hand. Remember what happened to Applebees?...
Getting Ahead of the Competition
Nowadays nearly every business is active on one or more social media channels, so being average is not going to cut it! Social media professionals will always undergo competitive analyses in the social space and are familiar with industry trends that will inform their activity - knowing where, when and how you should execute your social media strategy. They will not only promote your brand, products and services but help place you ahead of competitors in the marketplace.
Do It Better, Faster.
The more you do something, the better at it you get. Not only that, but the faster you get at doing it. This logic also applies to social media professionals; while your companies internal team may be able to do the job, an agency will undoubtedly be able to do it much more efficiently and effectively. This is not only due to expertise, but also down to the plethora of social media management tools at their fingertips. Outsourcing a time-consuming but necessary part of the marketing process can ultimately save you both time and money.
That said, there are some questions you need to be able to answer before you bring a social media agency into the mix. Its important to outline your objectives and goals, as well as identify your core offering. It’s also helpful to have some market insights to offer. Here are some things to consider;
What are you trying to achieve?
Do you have any KPIs, or specific goals you wish to reach?
Who is your target audience?
Who are your main competitors? How do you differentiate?
What are your brands strengths and weaknesses?
The better you understand your business, your customers and your competition, the better a third-party team can help you. Success via digital marketing efforts requires expertise, research and an understanding of the marketplace to determine how you fit within your industry and niche, what your customers will expect from you and how to meet their needs. Knowing what you want to achieve is equally as important; this will inform your social media strategy and allow an agency to effectively reach your goals!
Download our guide to creating a successful social media strategy here.