Although social media has been around for many years we, business owners, still have trouble coming to grasps with making the advertising work. Much of the problem is that the platforms (and user culture) seems to change the moment you feel you have a firm understanding; you wind up having to relearn it all gain or spend many hours of the day just keeping up.
As a business owner there are far better activities you could be doing whether that’s managing the team, networking, or making the big decisions that grow your business. Spending a great deal of time in the trenches of social advertising is often best left to those experts.
Social advertising has its benefits:
- Your business may reach a massive amount of individuals
- Your business can dramatically decrease expenses with social vs traditional advertising
- Your business is able to tap into the viral nature of social and word-of-mouth marketing
Doing this on your own may take months (or years) of trial and error (not to mention the costs associated with learning the numerous platforms).
With that being said we have gone ahead and put together an 8-step guide to finding the right social advertising agency for your business (to increase those leads, keep costs down, and really show the power of your brand on the networks & platforms).
Step 1: Is it something you need?
Before you even begin to implement a social advertising campaign you should ponder whether it’s something well worth your effort.
Are there other aspects of the business that could use an improvement before advertising (such as the customer service or improving the website usability)?
If you feel there are important aspects of business that need addressing first it may be wise to do those prior to dumping money into advertising before your business is truly ready to take on the new leads.
Step 2: Have an overall goal (even if it’s meant to change)
Be honest with yourself and question whether you have a real goal for the advertising outside of simply “increasing profits” because there is more to social than just that such as the experience, reaching new prospects, and enforcing great relationships with prior customers.
Failing to see where it all goes? Align your business to the goals so that the advertising, too, falls in line so all efforts are directed at creating incredible campaigns that pay off.
Your goal, even though it may simply be to increase earnings, should also take a look at all the other benefits and rewards from being on social. By having a goal in mind you are able to approach these agencies with a clear path for which you need them to take and by doing so you can greatly cut down on the R&D time, budget, and hassles that go along with setting up campaigns.
Step 3: Take a look at the prospects
The Web is your go-to source (obviously) but outside of using a generalized search for an advertising agency it would be within your interest to ask others within your business network. Combine the recommendations with your due diligence (from search) and you should be able to create a top list of possible candidates to handle your social advertising.
This is still all generalized at the moment so instead of looking at what end-goal you should learn about what a business may present with their offering. Figure out what respectable social advertising businesses do and you’ll gain an upper hand.
Step 4: Narrow it all down
Now that you have that top list of candidates it all comes down to narrowing it down. In this part of the process your best bet is to use a variety of qualifiers to ensure you’re choosing the right one:
- Track record (showing their value and expertise)
- Association (with commendable companies)
- Transparency (if they are up-front with what they do)
The big thing is to remain humble to avoid falling for the hype. There are many businesses that can stir up your excitement but fail to deliver. To get the best you need to look at it from a logical viewpoint and choose the one that can deliver hard data.
Step 5: Have them turn over the real numbers
Let’s talk about data.
You wouldn’t hire a sales person just because they have a nice smile or sounded great over the phone. The same needs to be done with the prospect when you’re choosing a social advertising agency.
A strong business can hand over reports and data for you to examine and make a judgment. These pieces of data may be through whitepapers or through actual campaigns (omitting the client) so that you may see exactly what was conducted and how they helped their client reach their goal.
By relying on the numbers you cut out the B.S. and truly begin working with a company that has your best interests in mind (along with the right expertise to get the job done).
Step 6: Set up a roadmap and align goals
A proper social advertising agency isn’t going to try to woo you with all the bells & whistles. Though you may not understand all of the terminology and strategy they should be able to create a roadmap for your business that’s easy to understand.
Your task is to present a set of goals to which they can deliver in a logical, straight-forward method.
It’s important that you know the end-goal so that you may dictate the exact needs for the campaigns. Presenting the solid goals will allow the agency to align their work to bring the best value (and returns) to the table.
Step 7: Set the right kind of budget
Social advertising can be a tricky game which means it’s, at times, much like a roll of the dice because it happens to sway; it’s to say that the initial investment may not show much return because an agency still requires a good deal of time to “feel out” the consumers.
Once, though, the agency understands the marketplace (and has the right data) they will be able to create campaigns that are only held back by budgeting.
At this time it would be best to “test the waters” with the agency rather than giving full support (in the event they have missed their mark). Give them an ample budget within reason but don’t give them full control.
The agency should be able to provide a reasonable ROI regardless of budget (when they have the right data, target, and goals from your end).
If your business is seeing positive returns on the investment then it’s obvious the campaigns are doing well and could truly scale through additional investment.
Step 8: Track it all down (and have them help)
A major part of working with a great agency is when they are able to be accountable. In this regards it means constant reporting and updates about the campaigns.
Again, you may not completely understand all aspects of what is in motion but having the numbers presented will help you see whether they are truly delivering upon their promises.
Try to work with an agency that is transparent and will take the time to keep you updated. Do remember that campaigns take time to show real rewards (i.e. try to avoid hounding them every day).
Have an individual from the agency sit down, for a few moments, to discuss the numbers. Doing so will ensure you’ve made the right choice, your goals are aligned, and that the agency is showing real ROI from the work you’ve sent their way.
By following these eight (though quite simple) steps you are one step closing to making social advertising a major factor in driving leads to your business. Though if you remain on the edge of making a decision or need to understand the topic in further detail we, at adQuadrant, would be delighted to fill you in on the specifics. We are a simple phone call (or email) away.
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