We are living in a social media-centric world. From hopping aboard Tiktok trends to keeping connected on Facebook, the vast majority of the population are active online, with over 4.26 billion global users – and counting. Your target audience can be readily found on social media, making it one of the most powerful marketing tools for businesses: a mere click away. Social media has evolved from a purely social space to a thriving hub for business, where companies can find new customers, build communities and communicate their brand identity to international audiences – at an instantaneous rate.
For this reason, social media is a core part of all businesses’ digital marketing strategies. However, as many will attest, social media management can be akin to a full-time job! The task of managing your social media accounts demands more than simply posting occasionally; it consists of social media strategy, content creation and consistent engagement with followers. Each of these core activities requires a specific skill set – and hours of devoted time! – therefore, it isn’t surprising that many businesses turn to the experts for help! Social media agencies are designed to fulfil all your social media-oriented needs, taking full control of your accounts. Not only this, they should transform your accounts, propelling your social media growth to new heights. At Social Chameleon, we don’t call it transformative marketing for nothing!
Before we launch into how a social media agency can transform your business, let’s explore the ins and outs of social media marketing: where it began, why it’s important, and what you need to know before seeking help from an agency.
Social Media Marketing: Where It All Began
Social media marketing began at the dawn of the millennium. Traditional marketing dominated the business world up until the expansion of Facebook in 2006. But if we rewind slightly, we’ll find that the first official social media site was formed in 1997: Six Degrees. This website allowed users to create a profile and befriend others on the network, very much setting a precedent for future platforms. Alongside this, several blogging sites such as Open Diary, Blogger and LiveJournal gained popularity in the 1990s.
However, social media truly took off with the birth of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook (or should we say Meta?). Zuckerberg soon brought the platform to businesses’ attention with the launch of Facebook ads, which he described as “a completely new way of advertising online,” allowing “marketers to be part of the conversation”. Facebook subsequently paved the path for similar platforms; LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram soon followed suit – with LinkedIn, which was founded back in 2002, quickly establishing itself as a network designed for professionals. Those who sought business-to-business interaction were, therefore, initially found on LinkedIn – and this remains the case with modern-day B2B marketing!
Gone were the days when companies purchased space on billboards and television adverts, in newspapers and magazines; instead, marketers relished taking to the social media sphere to launch advertising campaigns and build online connections with their customers. In the initial days of social media, businesses particularly appreciated their new-found ability to collect and analyse user data and performance metrics, allowing them to target their campaigns to a specific audience – and to vitally know what worked and what didn’t! It wasn’t long before high-profile advertising campaigns hit the net, and the first social media influencers were born on Myspace (remember Myspace?!) and YouTube.
5 Things to Know Before Reaching Out to an Agency
Since then, social media has boomed – and is continuing to do so. While many of us are still avid bookworms, it is plain to see that social media is by far one of the most consumed forms of media across the globe. Therefore, it would be utterly nonsensical to put your business’s social media presence on the backburner; on the contrary, it should be central to your digital marketing strategy.
If the concept of social media marketing is overwhelming – don’t panic! You can enlist the help of a social media agency. There are a range of agencies out there: stand-alone social media agencies or full-suite digital marketing agencies like Social Chameleon. If you work with an agency like ours, you will have the freedom of choice; for example, if you want help solely with your social media, we can offer you a tailored social media package. Alternatively, if the entirety of your marketing strategy needs a makeover, we can provide the full house of marketing services for you.
However, it’s important to ask a few key questions before you put yourself out there. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses seek help without realising the fundamentals of who they are as a company!
1) Know Where You’re At
Firstly, consult the Marketing Funnel: this will help you establish where your business lies on its marketing journey thus far. For example, if you are still at the brand awareness stage, you will be right at the very beginning of your foray into the world of social media, and will therefore be discussing the launch of your brand with your potential social media agency. The agency may even be setting up your social media accounts from scratch! However, the initial conversation with said agency will be different if you are already making your way down the funnel. Instead, you will likely be discussing the best strategies to grow your accounts and how they can most effectively transform your business on social media.
If you’re still unsure where you fit within the Marketing Funnel, don’t fret – social media agencies like ours are qualified to know, and can help guide you. However, it’s always good to have a personal understanding of your own business prior, to ensure you know exactly what you need from an agency.
2) Know Who Your Target Audience Is
This is an important one. While a good social media agency will undergo extensive competitor research for you, it’s best to already have a clear awareness of who you are as a business – and who you’re targeting. Frankly, the main purpose of social media is interacting with your audience, with the attempt to build a community of loyal customers, so this is key information!
It is essential that you know, for example, the age range of your target audience, as this will inform which social channels you want to focus on. Different age groups tend to gravitate more to different social media channels: an older audience is more likely to respond to activity on Facebook, with working professionals found more on LinkedIn, whereas younger generations respond better to short-form video content on platforms such as Instagram or Tiktok. If you come equipped with this information, the agency can get cracking with your social media strategy straight away! And, again, don’t worry – if your new-found marketers feel your analysis is slightly off, they will gently guide you to the correct social media platforms – and perhaps even a corner of your online community that you hadn’t yet considered!
3) Know What Your Goals Are
Whilst a social media agency will certainly help you to shape these, it is important that you already have some idea of your long-term and short-term goals as a business. Not only will this heavily dictate the direction of your social media strategy, but it will also help you to decide which social media agency – and which specific package – is right for you. The Marketing Funnel we mentioned earlier can be incredibly helpful in establishing your goals; for example, you may wish to increase brand awareness by reaching that follower count milestone, or you may be at the stage of driving sales via increased traffic to your website. Regardless of your goals, these will be broken down into attainable, measurable objectives – which your social media agency will help you define and achieve.
4) Know What You Want From An Agency
Nowadays, we are spoilt for choice. It’s hard enough deciding what to order off the takeout menu, or which series to binge next on Netflix! However, it is crucial that you know precisely what you want from a social media agency. This will likely be informed by the above factors: which stage your business is at in its marketing journey, who your target audience is – and how they are currently responding to your content, and what your future goals are. You also need to consider any areas of focus: do you want an agency renowned for their innovative content creation? Or are ad campaigns your main priority? Likewise, which working approach would suit you best? Are you looking for a hands-on agency that feels like an extension of your in-house team? Or, to begin with, would you prefer less input? How much creative control are you willing to hand over? These are all questions you should ask yourself before that all-important search!
5) Know What Your Budget Is
Last but certainly not least, it is crucial that you consider your budget. For example, if your business is a start-up, you are less likely to have excessive cash to spare. Many claim that investing in a social media agency is worth the financial sacrifice (which we would certainly agree with!), as your business’s subsequent growth more than makes up for the initial monetary hit. However, be smart; don’t fork out for a social media package that you simply can’t afford yet. Besides, many agencies offer the option to ‘level up’, so you can always request to increase the number of hours as your budget increases.
What Is A Social Media Agency?
A social media agency is a team of marketing experts who will help your business harness the endless potential offered by social media. This team will typically be made up of numerous roles, including social media managers and strategists, account managers, community managers, content writers and graphic designers. This may vary depending on the size of the agency and the social media package you’re purchasing. Regardless, every agency will undoubtedly provide a dedicated social media manager for each account, alongside the perks of a fuller team. Some businesses opt for a freelance social media manager over an agency; however, there are a plethora of reasons why a social media agency is preferable – offering far beyond the services of a singular social media manager.
So, without further ado, let’s deep dive into the heart of what a social media agency does. Many are under the illusion that an agency merely babysits your accounts – but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Prior to any form of social media management, comes strategy. A social media agency creates a strategy for your social media, setting goals and tracking progress against industry benchmarks and competitors. If you’re working with a top-tier agency, there certainly won’t be any content posted without a significant thought process behind it! Social media management involves managing your social media channels: content creation, post scheduling and engagement with your online audiences. Social media agencies can also provide other services to enhance your social media presence and, ultimately, drive more sales – such as ad campaigns and influencer marketing. Influencer marketing has especially taken off in the last few years; it connects your business with established social media influencers within your industry, who exert ‘influence’ over their many followers, encouraging them to engage with your brand through the exclusive, exciting content that they share.
7 Benefits of Working With a Social Media Agency
So, now that you know what a social media agency is, and whether your company is readily prepared to collaborate with one, we’ve reached the ultimate question: how can a social media agency transform your business? There are a whole host of benefits to working with a social media agency. Follow our lead as we guide you through our top ten!
1. Save Time and Money
As previously mentioned, social media management can be like a full-time job! Therefore, placing your trust in a social media agency will save you significant time, and you can, instead, focus on the overall running of your business. What’s more, social media management requires responsive and instantaneous action, so you’re far better off leaving that responsibility in capable hands! When working with a top agency, you’ll be able to hit the ground running from the get-go. Any time that would be wasted wising up on the ins and outs of social media can be used elsewhere – as your team of experts will be able to get cracking with your online strategy straight away, with all the necessary resources at their fingertips.
Some businesses opt for a freelancer over an agency, believing this to be more affordable. However, working with a social media agency is far more cost-effective: you will undoubtedly be getting your money’s worth! Also, if your business has set aside a marketing budget, a social media agency is designed to help you to make the most out of it. Agencies offer numerous social media packages and recommend strategies that will provide the best return on investment for your business.
2. There’s no ‘I’ in Strategy
Speaking of strategies, social media agencies are known to be the ultimate strategists! An agency will take the reins of your accounts and help you to build a clear social media strategy, which includes measurable goals. Frankly, agencies know what works, and will have an array of strategies up their sleeve – which they will then tailor to your business. A social media strategy is crucial as it gives you a clear vision of your business’s future: where you want to be in the online sphere and how you will get there.
3) Know Your Audience
We could wax lyrical all day about the importance of knowing your target audience. However, a social media agency is paid to know your audience better than you do! We recommend that you work with an agency with experience within your industry. This will give them better scope for understanding your audience: targeting the right customers at the right time on the channels they use, and creating content that resonates with them. In fact, a good social media agency will know your audience and industry inside out, allowing them to tailor your social media strategy to this specific demographic. Remember: social media marketing starts and finishes with your audience. Without an intrinsic target audience-focused strategy, your social media presence won’t convert into those all-important sales!
4) Brand Identity is Everything
Your brand identity is how your business is presented to the world. From the aesthetic of your feed to your brand voice, it is crucial that you communicate your business’s identity to your customers – and ensure that it is garnering the results you want! The right branding will underpin and strengthen all of your other social media content, helping you to connect with new customers and build loyalty with your current customers. Fundamentally, you want your audience to remember you!
Working with a social media agency can help you to craft a strong brand identity. They will inject fresh, creative thinking into your potentially stale social media strategy, elevating your brand’s voice loud and clear across social media. A good social media agency will take the time to get to know you and your brand, and ensure that your brand identity is highlighted across all the content they post.
5) Stay Fresh & Current
The face of social media is ever-changing. Therefore, your business must keep ahead of the curve – particularly in comparison to your competitors. Social media trends come and go, which should be reflected in the content that you post. Enter: your social media agency. Social media agencies are designed to be in the know about shifts within the algorithm, platform updates and the most popular trends. Every agency’s morning naturally begins with a roundup of major social media updates, which are shared agency-wide. Not only are they in the know, but they will also adapt and optimise your strategy appropriately and ensure that your business is, at all times, social media savvy!
6) Access the Latest Tools
There are many perks to hiring a social media agency. Not only will you have access to their top expertise, but you’ll also have access to the latest tools and technology. As previously mentioned, the world of social media is constantly evolving. For example, who would have thought that the metaverse would play such a significant part in our online future? There are also constant developments in social media management software, making life easier – and more insightful!
From the latest social media tools to industry-leading analytics and insights, your social media agency will have you covered! Hire an agency to ensure that you are always on the cutting edge of the industry.
7) Trust the Experts
Three little words: trust the experts! If you work with a social media agency, you’ll work with a range of specialists. Each agency member will be working within their speciality: from social media managers to graphic designers, and from account managers to copywriters. This is the beauty of a team dynamic; every member thrives in their role, thus providing the best possible service for you and your business.
Social media management is multi-faceted, to say the least. And frankly, an in-house marketer or freelancer cannot provide specialist knowledge and skill in every single area! Therefore, your best bet is to put your faith in a social media agency like Social Chameleon: trust us, we know what works.
How To Choose the Social Media Agency that’s Right For You
So, now you know the sheer scope of benefits that a social media agency can provide for your business – what’s stopping you? Get out into the wilderness of the World Wide Web, and find the right agency for you. It is important to consider the agency’s cost, size, experience and approach to work. A great way of gauging if an agency is right for you is by taking a look at their case studies, to see if a) they have experience within your industry, and b) if they’ve delivered the results that you want. Plus – here are 5 important questions to ask a social media agency before hiring.
Now, we may be biased… but Social Chameleon won ‘Social Media Agency of the Year’ at this year’s Agency Awards, so we’re certainly not alone in our opinion that we may well be the right agency for you! We are a full-suite digital marketing agency that specialises in social media. Get in touch today for your free consultation, and we will craft and implement a social media strategy that will prove transformative for your business.