Some Tips for More Effective Agreement with a Social Media Marketing Provider
April 29, 2013 by 0 Comments|
Many businesses are realizing the need to be part of the Internet revolution, especially social media. As Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Flickr, among many others redefine customer engagement and transform the dynamics of branding, the challenge becomes bigger and bigger, especially in building relationship with new and loyal customers.
But why some are still not seeing the hidden gems of social media? One obvious reason is fear. There is fear that ROI is hard to quantify or achieve if you have a short-term goal of recouping all your investments in social media marketing. Another cause of worry is the question of whether it is more beneficial to engage their own workforce in social media or to leave such engagements to social media experts or third-party service providers. Of course, the longer you dwell on the questions than on answers, there’s some obvious opportunities loss.
But before we resolve that, let’s first talk about customers. Who they are, what technologies do they use, and what keep them engaged using different social media channels are just a few of the questions to ask when we contemplate social media marketing. Knowing the answers are important because we will deal with customer engagement on a fairly consistent basis.
Doing social media on your own, your company will first need to align your organization’s engagement strategy with your customers’ expectations. Usually there is no wrong or right way of doing your own planning or implementation of your broader marketing program, but there’s a trial-and-error phase to deal with.
Some reality check
Admit that your organization may not immediately have the capabilities or know-how to effectively deploy and leverage social marketing. If you are a small or medium-sized startup, you may be better off hiring an outside company who specializes in brand marketing and social media.
The agreement between your company and your contractor will largely depend on the degree of control you are willing to concede to a social media company, not to mention the frequency of engagement required, and the desired results, to say the least. So for both parties to benefit from the agreement, the service provider is expected to be more transparent in what it can deliver, extent of what it can only deliver and those important concerns that will be beneficial to both parties.
To evaluate whether or not you need the help of an outside company, it is a must that you evaluate your strategy on top of what you already have in-house (e.g., required resources, capabilities, etc.) to handle the social media overhead on your own. Are you willing to invest in developing your own team via trial-and-error over a period of time? Or you would prefer tapping into these skills by the outright acquisition of or signing a contract to let a third party do the job?
What’s at stake when you finally decide to get an outside company or a social media outsourcing provider? Make sure that all parties know your concerns: your company’s reputation. Whoever you select to be your contractor and have signed an agreement on to lead your social media must be informed that you have a reputation that you protect. Your additional online exposure will either make or break your reputation, so make sure you are clear about this.
Who would want a tarnished reputation, eh? So to stop or at least diminish the possibility of having your online reputation fall like a cookie crumbs, make sure that you have conducted due diligence efforts on the agency or social media company who you will engaged. Ask for your service providers to enlighten you with their credentials, portfolio of real life case studies to their current and former clients, and their proven track record in mounting campaigns relative to social media.
You could customize and agree on a service level agreements that will let the service provider select staff on board during the the design and delivery phases of your social media marketing campaigns. Hence, delegation of social media efforts must be done with careful thinking.
Now, that ROI
The successful undertaking of your social media strategy with the help of an outside company or agency can expect a return on investment (ROI) and that’s for sure. A well-executed strategy will reinforce your company’s brand to your target customers, which can then lead to a much improved top and bottom lines. When your customers find your brand messaging resonates to these people’s “inner values,” you can take a sigh of relief, because man, you just successfully built a relationship with your customers.