How to hire a social media vendor
As a business owner, you may be considering hiring a social media vendor to help you with your online presence. But what should you look for in a vendor, and how can you ensure that they’re the right fit for your business? Read on for our tips on finding a great social media vendor.
Define your goals – what do you want to achieve with social media marketing?
Social media marketing can be a great tool to help you reach your goals, whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or generating more sales. To get the most out of any social media vendor, you need to have a clear strategy with some quantifiable objectives. A great way to do this is by identifying what success looks like for your business and setting specific, measurable goals. Maybe you want to be more visible and can set goals around the number of views you want. If you want leads, then set some objectives around the number of leads you expect from your social media efforts. Whatever your goals are, make sure you have them documented and gain clarity on how you will track and measure the performance of each initiative. With careful planning and execution, social media can be a valuable asset in taking your business to the next level so make sure that you have clear objectives before you bring in a vendor.
Research potential vendors – look at their portfolios and see if they’re a good fit for your brand
Researching potential vendors and their portfolios is an essential step when considering who to work with to further your brand. It’s important to be thorough so that you can make sure they are the right fit for what you need. Look beyond their portfolio, too – look out for vendor reviews, and check out their social media channels and website content to get a better picture of how they can interact with your brand. Doing your due diligence upfront will ensure you enter a partnership confident and prepared.
Set a budget – determine how much you’re willing to spend on social media marketing
Developing an effective social media marketing strategy and then implementing it can be costly, so it’s important to prepare budgets and forecasts in advance. Your marketing budget should take into account the amount you’re willing to spend on a strategy AND a range of tasks, such as paid advertising, content creation, or choosing tools to support your campaigns. Social media management costs go beyond just labor, so while you should expect fees for design, video editing, copywriting, and research, you need to factor in other costs. They can include social media planning
and scheduling tools, research tools, design tools, and licensing for stock videos, images, and any production costs for custom videography and photography.
Prioritize what you spend money on based on your goals
When setting a budget for costs associated with social media management, make sure also to think about specific objectives and goals: What do you want to achieve? How much are you willing to risk? For example, if your objective is to generate leads, then maybe you can prioritize running ads with a handful of posts over generating organic content every day that will cost you thousands to produce but will not likely get you new customers as quickly as ads. Once you have a realistic number in place that is related to the approach that makes the most sense to meet your objectives, stick to it. Being disciplined with budget control is essential if you want to measure success on the correct terms.
Contact the vendor and schedule a consultation to discuss your goals and objectives
Schedule a consultation with multiple vendors to discuss and clarify your goals and objectives. This is an important step in ensuring a successful match. Having all employees’ expectations aligned is essential for creating and executing a comprehensive plan. Take advantage of the knowledge, experience, and skills of the vendor by asking questions during the consultation that will help define the scope of the project. A successful consultation will allow you to refine a plan to work towards mutually beneficial goals set out beforehand. But be very careful not to rely on the vendor too heavily for strategy. Why? Because a vendor will always offer strategies based on what they know how to do well and what they have learned to monetize for their business. Sometimes it is exactly what you need, but sometimes, it’s not. So make sure that you have clear goals that make sense for your business with a strategy to match your needs and that the vendors you talk to don’t have room to push their agenda above yours. Don’t hesitate to embrace new ideas – it’s an essential element of your project strategy
. Just make sure they make sense for your business and support your goals.
Ask for references from previous clients to get an idea of their work ethic and results
Asking for references from a potential client’s previous customers is one of the best ways to get an idea of their work ethic and evidence of successful results. It’s a great way to get insight into what it’s like to work with them, as well as the quality of their work. Of course, it can be hard to know who to contact – that’s why it pays to do some research ahead of time; find out who they’ve worked with before and reach out. Asking key questions such as ‘are you happy with the quality and timely delivery?’ will help paint a clearer picture of any individual or company you may be considering working with. But please do consider that many times social media vendors may not be open to disclosing or connecting you with their customers because they may have confidentiality agreements in place. So don’t be discouraged from working with a vendor who is not able to disclose their client list to you.
Make a decision and hire the vendor that you feel is the best fit for your needs
Making the strategic decision to hire the right vendor for your needs is essential to your success with social media. Doing your homework, researching potential vendors, and evaluating your options are important steps to successfully finding and vetting a vendor who has the exact skills you need to execute your unique strategy successfully. Taking the time to compare services, pricing and expectations are well worth it in order to make an educated decision that will benefit you long-term. Research can provide valuable information on what is available in the market and even help you determine exactly what you need. With all the necessary details at hand, you can confidently make a well-thought-out selection that will bring mutual benefits.
Look for a vendor that can look and sound like you
When looking for a social media team,
it is important to consider their ability to create content that looks and sounds like you and your brand. The team should have the knowledge and understanding of your brand and its unique voice, as well as the ability to write, design, and format content that resonates with your audience. To ensure this, look for a team that has experience in your industry or who is willing to hire a copywriter, designer, project manager, or strategist who does and can lead the content strategy. You can also arrange for them to work closely with someone on your team to help them until they get the hang of it.
Plan to give your vendor some time to ramp up
Before hiring a social media team, it’s important to set realistic expectations and give them the time they need to ramp up. While you may expect immediate activity and results, understand that it takes time for any new team member or vendor to fully understand your business, its goals, and objectives, as well as the environment in which they will be working. There are also a lot of tasks that they may need to complete before they make the first post, such as gathering your design assets and making sure their team has access to your accounts and platforms. There is planning, brainstorming, and project management activity that needs to happen as well. Investing more time upfront can help prevent costly mistakes down the line, so make sure that you provide clear direction and feedback during onboarding.
Make sure you maintain an open dialogue
Make sure that there is ample room for open communication with your vendor; this allows them to ask questions about strategy or clarify points of confusion if needed. The more accessible and open you are to questions from your vendor and the team who will be executing your strategy, the better. It gives them an opportunity to download what you are about so that they can get the hang of your brand voice and image faster. The time you spend upfront will pay off later. You’ll have an easier transition when bringing on a new social media management partner and ensure success from day one.
Keep it legal
When you have identified the right vendor for your needs, it is important to be prepared to sign an agreement that outlines expectations and delineates any terms of service. This ensures both parties are on the same page about what is expected and when, who owns the content created, how payment will be handled, and more. It also protects both parties from potential misunderstandings or disputes down the line. A well-written social media contract should include a clear description of services provided by each party as well as detailed timelines, deliverables, costs associated with those services, and other relevant information specific to your project. Two areas that are often overlooked are creative rights and liability. One common scenario is paying for social media content and having the right to the content only for use in your social media. What if you want to take a post that is designed and edit or redesign it for something else, like your website?
Do you have the rights to the images and editable files? When it comes to liability, who is responsible if someone posts something that hurts your brand? Does your vendor have professional insurance? Do they have cyber security insurance covering you if there is a breach in security and your accounts are hacked? Having a thorough legal document in place can help ensure that everyone involved is working together toward a successful outcome while avoiding any issues along the way.
These steps should help you hire a social media marketing vendor that is right for your business. Defining your goals, researching potential vendors, and setting a budget are all important first steps to take before you hire a vendor. If you need help with a strategy you can hire a consultant like a Marketing Boss
CMO that is experienced yet neutral and will make recommendations that make the most sense for you. Once you’ve done your preliminary work, reach out to the vendor and schedule a consultation to discuss your specific needs and goals. Be sure to ask both technical and non-technical questions to get an idea of the quality of work that you can expect. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect social media marketing vendor for your business!