January 30, 2013, Issue #19
Top 30 Questions You need to Ask Before Hiring a Social Media Agency?
- How long ago did you start using social media and why?
The answer you can expect is early or quickly adopted it later and updated to current trends and new techniques. The purpose will be to build the brand and reach target audience, provide Customer service, build relationship, maintain reputation etc..
- What do you personally use social media for and why?
Apart from personal communication, posting funny photos etc.. a good social media professional will show you, how he / she used it for the business by engaging with fans, finding key influencers, building relationship with them and promoting business with their help.
- What is your background other than social media?
A good social media marketing agency should also know about search engine optimization and leveraging different search marketing techniques. Some agencies may also know about various digital marketing areas, which is an added advantage.
- What have been your measurable results from using social media?
Good consultant will give you with an example of their own or clients example and show you the results of ROI in terms of conversions, fan engagement, active community, social reach, reputation management, handling negative reviews effectively and customer support.
- What you know about our business module, explain briefly?
A good one can explain you about the competition where you industry is now at present and how it will move further. He/she will also say about the growth strategy according to your company goals. If the consultant knows some details about your business then you can judge that before he/she came to you, has done some good homework.
- Why Social Media is important to this organization?
In different geographic areas people will react to different types of discussions. According to demography each social media strategy, plans, offers and communication methods will differ. Each company should watch the changing trends in the market and demography to understand what people are looking for and they should act accordingly. The advantage of social media is you can reach as many people as possible in short time for free.
- Do I need to be on every social media site?
The answer should be 'NO'. Because you need to create the accounts in relevant social media sites, where your target customers are hanging out and engage with them. Be active in those social media sites to get good results.
- Explain me a major problem you solved using social media?
If the consultant has worked for any other brand or for their own brand on social media he/she may explain about customer service problems like giving support to customers through social media, product & service reviews and improving quality standards from customer's feedback.
- How will you coordinate social media with our other communication functions?
The good consultant may give you the integration systems they use according to your organisation working module or they may sit and work out a strategy by analysing the work process or by knowing the work process of your organisation.
- How you will reach influencers and build relationship with them?
3 types of engagement and building relationship
Organisation can also think about social causes that are supported by their buying people, lifestyle and passion of those people.
- Community to people: Bring people together and engage with them to make them a part your community
- People to people: people want to talk each other, find new people, share and gain knowledge about the social object, have fun etc...
- Community to community: "Talk Worthy..!!" people feel to tell and share things with other people and friends who may not know about an interesting information so that other part of the people will also in turn will become the part of the community.
- Do you blog?
A blogger knows how to get more traffic to his blog if he is blogging with good information for their own brand or any of their clients.
- How will you handle content creation?
A professional social media agent will create original brand related content, which will help to get more fan engagement. He/she should also know how to create original content related to your brand, which your fans and targeted customers may like.
- Provide me the steps for creating our social media strategy and tactics?
Consultant should tell how they will reach more people related to your business module, by creating the unique content on blogs, creating videos, sharing photos, network specific landing pages, reviews & ratings, discussions and polls etc.. Creating review influence campaigns to get as many customers leave their review on different review sites. Analysing and defining the objectives according to your requirement like if you want more hits, conversions, fan engagements etc.. Creating action plans in content marketing and promotions by defining the platforms which fits to your brand and strategy.
- Do I need to stop my other marketing/advertising?
Each and every business is different other marketing and advertisings are still a big component and it can be integrated with social media. Social media is one component in digital marketing.
- Will this fix my business?
Social media helps to improve the business; it alone cannot fix the business.
- Do you guarantee followers?
Anyone can get more numbers to show on the page but guaranteeing that they will follow and engage on your page is bit difficult and sticky.
- How will you track our program's performance? How do you measure ROI?
There are lots of free and paid stuff and tools are available to track, measure & monitor social media fan engagement, followers, peoples comments, likes, readers taste and for analysing the readers psychology to understand what they are looking for and measuring website & blog traffic, conversions, subscribers, total brand awareness and total % increase in the sales graph with finance sheet etc.. Some of the best paid tools are sysomos, Radian6, Lithium & Collective Intellect. Other best tools recommended by pro's are socialbakers, Kurrently, blekko, Social Mention, Klout, PostRank Analytics, Twitterfall, Friend or Follow, Argyle Social, TwentyFeet, Inside View, Nod3x and more free tools
- How can you generate PR using social media? Explain me with examples
Google loves social media. If you made your website and brand lovable to people then Google will automatically love your website and brand. If people are engaging on your social media pages and profiles then they like your content you will be getting more hits and links which you will get from high PR sites will give you good ranking.
- How do you leverage search marketing?
The social media agent must have a good knowledge on search engines and seo. Because search engines will always search for unique and good content in the web and optimize the pages accordingly. He/she can mix social media optimization and search engine optimization to get fruit full results.
- What technology do you use to leverage social media? What is the technical proficiency of your team?
Most of the internet users spend time in social networks create custom tabs by creating applications tabs on facebook and add enquiry forms to opt-in the customers, run contests, provide offers & mix with tweets, use linkedin groups effectively, Using web based and normal tools to market, track, analyse & monitor the social media marketing. Provide Social support to customers using social CRM tools. Engage other world in real time by real time interaction with the people. Spread content in social media using tools like Hootsuite, tweetdeck, friendfeed, ning, fouraquare etc.. Consultant will explain about their technical team skills.
- How you will maintain online reputation?
Online reputation should be maintained in different sites including social media, wiki's, blogs, complaint forums, networking sites, Video and photo sharing, Microblogs and microsites, Podcasts & profile sites. SMM Agency should handle the negative reviews and provide social customer support and organisation should also provide good quality services to ensure it.
- Provide your top 3 case studies?
He / She will explain about their client's case studies.
- Who will be our brand ambassadors?
Find out whether one person is working or a team of members are going to work on your brand. Who is the single point contact for you?
- What you need from us?
Agency person should ask details about your brand, company history and products and services of your company. They may also ask what marketing methods you are using how you are doing presently, what are company's goals, mission and Vission.
- What about reporting system?
Know about their frequency of reporting and what reporting system they will follow. Who will send the reports for you; ask for sample reporting system formats and ask them to go through.
- What are your weaknesses?
Ask for at least minimum of 2 weaknesses and how they are working to come up with that.
- How will you manage legal risks?
Most people forget to ask this. How they will handle reputation issues, information leakage, data loss, piracy and infringement, corporate espionage, reconnaissance, organization financial matters, content management, content taxonomy, ownership, control over published data, censorship, moderation / the social media police, permanence of data, representatives speeches, forensics, extracting and archiving the content (ediscovery), privacy rights, private investigators (social media as an investigative tool), cybercrime & hactivism, attack vectors etc...
- Why you?
They will say about the USP's of their company. Quality standards, cost effectiveness etc..
- How much time will it take?
It depends on the brand and the investment that you want make to reach the market. Social media agency may also offer some plans according to their service standards.
- How much will it cost?
Cost effective with high quality and effective solution plans can be approved.