4 Tips on How to Boost Social Media Results by Partnering
Posted: July 14, 2020
Ever felt like you have finally mastered Facebook, you’re just starting to kill it on Instagram, and then, in walks your new intern and they’re like – what’s your strategy on TikTok? At that point you just want to cry because, really? – another new social platform!?
The reality is, you don’t need to kill it on every platform – or even have a presence. If your target audience isn’t using it, there’s no point in you recruiting your teenagers to help you figure it out. But, there is truth to the fact that social media is constantly evolving – and quickly. So, even if you don’t end up investing in each and every platform, it’s important to understand the landscape, trends, and potential opportunities.
The problem is that keeping up-to-date on all the changes in social media – from platforms to functionality to best practices – can be a full-time job. And if you’re like most small- to medium-sized businesses, you don’t have a full-time position to dedicate to it. This is where a social media agency partnership can be particularly beneficial. That said, totally outsourcing your social media can also be a risk (nobody knows your business as well as you do!), so it’s important to structure the partnership thoughtfully.
Here are 4 tips for boosting social media results through agency partnerships.
1. Look to your agency for social media strategy – not just service.
It’s one thing to simply keep your social media channels active – all that requires is the camera on your smartphone and someone with fingers nimble enough to type on it. But in order to craft social campaigns that actually accomplish goals (whether that’s increased awareness, brand engagement, or even sales), you’re going to need an actual social media strategy. Social media strategy is more than just what to post and when, it’s a multifaceted plan that helps you prioritize platforms, curate content, edit photos, articulate (and reach) target audiences, and measure results.
An agency is the perfect partner to help with this task since they often have one or more experts in-house that have experience with similar campaigns. They understand the ins and outs of what works and what doesn’t on each platform, and they have the time to stay up-to-date on current trends, best practices, and new opportunities. Agencies can also provide you with access to related skillsets like design, copywriting, and social media advertising management that you may or may not have on your internal team.
2. Use your agency as a partner, not a complete outsourced solution.
On the flip side, completely outsourcing social media management to an agency can be risky. Nobody (not even the very best agency) understands your business and your customers as well as you do. After all, they aren’t physically on-site with you – and that makes a difference.
Agencies should be seen as partners in the social media effort. They can play a number of roles from strategy to creative to execution – but someone from your team should remain involved in the effort, especially when it comes to engaging with customers on active platforms.
Over the past 3-5 years, social media platforms have, in many cases, become an extension, or replacement, for traditional customer service channels. Users expect to receive timely and meaningful responses from businesses when they comment or message them on social media and outsourcing that customer service to an ad agency is, at best, an expensive proposition and, at worst, a pretty risky one. Not only is your internal team best suited (and most efficient) at handling customer service interactions, but it’s also important for you and your team to keep a pulse on customer sentiment and see feedback first-hand.
3. Take advantage of your agency’s social media connections.
Since agencies work with multiple clients (often in multiple industries) at a time, they’re able to see the broader social media landscape, and often, they can help identify and facilitate partnerships that wouldn’t otherwise come together. Things like pairing a retailer and a clothing brand for a joint giveaway or knowing the perfect foodie influencer for an organic coffee promotion are easier to do when you have a “little black book” filled with current and former clients and vendors.
While some small businesses fear agency mark-ups on these types of partnerships, often the opposite is true. Well-connected agencies can significantly reduce time spent researching and evaluating partners by utilizing pre-vetted lists – and they can often negotiate better deals with brands and influencers they work with on a regular basis. For smaller businesses, this can be especially helpful as larger brands and more popular influencers can be difficult to even get in touch with, never mind negotiate with. Lean on your agency’s social media connections to help get you the “in” you need for the perfect partnership.
4. Leave the social media ads to the experts.
One of the most important things a good ad agency can do for a small to medium sized business is help them manage their social ads. Too often, though, businesses are missing out on this opportunity. They’re using a creative agency to curate stellar social content – but then they don’t do anything to promote it. And, well, that’s kind of a waste.
With the exception of some hyper-local brands, organic reach on most social platforms is a thing of the past. As in – it just doesn’t exist anymore. In order to justify your investment in social media, it’s important that you’re promoting at least some of your posts to the right audience to make sure they’re seen – like, at all.
Now you can do this in-house, to some extent. Facebook and Instagram make it incredibly easy to give them money in exchange for some extra impressions (i.e., boosting) – but if you want to run ads that work efficiently and effectively, it takes significantly more finesse. See, social media advertising is kind of like skiing. Most somewhat-athletic people can get down the hill on their first run – but it takes years of focus and dedication to get good enough to actually compete. Social media advertising is the same. You can get posts “boosted” with only minimal tech skills. But if you want to run ads that cross the finish line and actually reach your audience efficiently and effectively – boosting isn’t going to cut it.
Social media ad specialists use much more sophisticated targeting and set up tools to launch and continually manage effective social ad campaigns – and, if your agency provides this service, it’s a no-brainer to take them up on it. While it may seem “expensive” at first to pay someone else to run ads for you – it’s much more expensive to invest media dollars day in and day out without results. So, lean on your agency for support in this area, but make sure you’re working with them to set measurable, time-bound goals that define success.
About VONT Performance Digital Marketing
At VONT we believe that change is the only constant in the digital world – and that excites us. When tools and environments are constantly changing, new opportunities to help our clients achieve success are constantly arising. Each new advertising technology, social platform, or design approach allows us to improve on the results we achieve for our clients.
We believe in this idea of continual fine-tuning so much that we named our company VONT, which means to achieve exponential improvement in incremental steps. It is our core belief, and the reason why we are not simply a web design company or simply a digital advertising agency, but rather a long-term, single source partner providing a comprehensive array of web development and digital marketing capabilities.
In short, we’re here so that our clients achieve success in the ever-changing digital world.