SMM agency: how to choose and control KPIs
How to choose and control an SMM agency, how to conclude a profitable contract, what KPIs to set and how to cooperate with maximum efficiency – we will tell you in this article. Read to the end, there is the most interesting!
You have made the decision to promote your business on social networks – and rightly so, looking at SMM trends. The next step is to choose an artist. This is an important and crucial stage, because the final result directly depends on the quality of SMM services. Of course, you can promote your business on social media on your own. But, if you want really serious Social Media Marketing that will help increase company or brand awareness, strengthen a positive image and audience loyalty, find new customers and generate leads, then you should turn to professional SMM agencies. And that’s why.
Which is better: running social networks on your own or concluding an agreement with an SMM agency?
Clients who contact us already have experience of independent SMM promotion. Their practice shows that independent promotion in social networks occurs on a leftover principle – if there is time after completing more important things. But this approach is justified only when you just want to periodically remind of yourself, and has nothing to do with achieving the above goals. At the same time, the agency’s work is aimed at obtaining benefits for your business and involves a number of additional benefits:
- Quality and stability
- An SMM agency or a department in a digital company has significant theoretical knowledge and practical experience in related areas, such as marketing, design, copywriting, advertising, statistics analysis, therefore they offer the customer tried and tested strategies and methods.
- Companies providing services in the field of SMM value their reputation, therefore they are diligent in selecting specialists and improving their qualifications, and also carefully monitor the implementation of quality standards, minimizing the occurrence of errors.
- As a rule, the agencies have a well-established interchangeability of employees, so the absence of an SMM specialist does not threaten the project.
- Efficiency and an integrated approach to problem solving
The production process in the SMM-agency (department) is a well-oiled mechanism. Work with the project is entrusted to a team of 5-8 specialists, each member of which performs his own range of tasks:
- the project manager accompanies the customer at every stage of the project, maintains communication, approves working materials, analyzes statistics and explains reports to the customer;
- An SMM specialist develops a strategy for the company’s presence in social networks, conducts analytics, thinks over creatives and content, works with advertising campaigns, organizes and monitors the work of other team specialists;
- the copywriter is responsible for the text content: company description in groups, content of posts, etc.;
- the designer develops graphic design for posts and groups, picture templates, selects and processes photographic material.
The composition of the team and responsibilities may vary slightly in each specific agency, but the general concept of organizing the workflow is approximately the same.
In addition, the contractor company has professional resources and technologies that positively affect the efficiency of work.
All together gives the SMM agency tremendous opportunities for successfully solving problems of any scale and complexity.
- Cost savings
Of course, the cost of professional SMM services cannot be cheap. However, with a rational approach, the economic benefits are obvious:
- you are investing in a marketing tool and quality work that meets part of the company’s needs and contributes to business development, and therefore an increase in income;
- you save the resources and time of your employees (or your own) for the competent solution of other tasks of the company;
- you get qualified help in solving problems, avoiding difficulties and inconveniences;
- risk mitigation: Your social media training can be costly for your business because your accounts are not the right place to experiment with your customers.
- Control, financial and legal protection
The SMM agency strives to make its services and pricing transparent. That is why the workflow is built on continuous communication:
- it is imperative to agree on the steps before executing them;
- monthly or by agreement, reports on the work done and the results achieved are provided;
- in the event of unforeseen problems, recommendations are made for their elimination and concerted actions are taken.
We have previously written in detail about the goals of SMM promotion
Now is the time to reflect on the difficulties of choosing a reliable contractor in the SMM services market. We will tell you what to look for when choosing an Internet agency.
How to choose an SMM agency?
The recommendations and criteria described below will allow you not only to choose a company on the principle of “cheaper and bigger”, but to really find a qualified contractor whom you can trust without fear to promote and reputation of your business.
- Evaluate the experience and explore the portfolio
Speak to the company manager first , find out how long the company has been working in the SMM direction. Study her customers, check if the customers were from your industry and how successful the collaboration was. This can be evidenced by the cases posted on the agency’s website, as well as self-familiarization with client groups on social networks. Letters of thanks, recommendations from current and former clients will also tell about the performer’s experience, and sometimes you can talk to the latter personally.
- Fill out the brief
No serious digital agency starts a dialogue, and even more so does not make any commercial proposals without studying your business and needs. To do this, the company will ask you to fill out a brief. After receiving the brief, carefully consider the appropriateness of questions, whether the provided list is sufficiently complete. Try to fill out the brief in as much detail as possible – further understanding of both parties in the negotiation process depends on this.
- Determine the agency’s interest in thoroughly examining your business and understanding the specifics of the project
During negotiations, pay attention to how many and what questions the contractor’s representative is asking , does he clarify the details, how detailed he asks about the company’s expectations from SMM, target audience, values and competitive advantages, product features, etc. If the questions are of a general nature, they are few or not at all (yes, it happens!), Then you are unlikely to be satisfied with the result of the work of such a performer.
- Evaluate the transparency of the work, the formation and justification of the cost of work
A trustworthy agency, at the initial stage, openly explains to its clients the scheme and scope of work: who and what will do to promote your business on social networks, what KPIs will be monitored, the reporting form, how communication is organized between the contractor and the customer. In addition, you must calculate the cost of services with a justification for each cost item.
The formation of the final cost of SMM consists of two main components:
- Labor costs – remuneration of specialists from the working group (we wrote about the composition of the team and their responsibilities above). As a rule, labor costs are calculated based on the cost of a working hour, but some agencies prefer to charge for the volume performed.
- Direct costs – budget for targeted advertising, crops on thematic sites, advertising placement with bloggers / opinion leaders. Effective work will not work without an advertising budget, because there is no other effective way to find new target users, increase brand awareness and attract potential customers.
Carefully study the information provided and do not jump to conclusions. If, in your opinion, the cost of the contract is higher than expected, you do not understand the need for a particular service – ask questions, clarify whether it is possible to somehow optimize costs. Also, the too low price with the declared high efficiency should be alarming. In any case, a constructive dialogue will help to conclude a mutually beneficial agreement.
KPI for SMM: how to control the work of an SMM agency?
So, the contract has been concluded, the workflow has been launched, and now a few words about how to control the SMM agency and evaluate the result.
First, a responsible SMM agency will never take drastic steps without your approval. Each stage of work that may affect the company’s reputation will be carried out only after your consent: strategy, content plan, descriptions and posts, graphic design, user feedback.
Secondly , the algorithm of interaction between the agency and the client implies monthly reporting, which reflects the amount of work according to the approved plan, provides KPI indicators for monitored metrics, provides explanations and recommendations. To understand the results of the work carried out, one should take into account the dynamics of changes in indicators for the following main parameters (metrics may differ slightly in different companies):
- Audience reach (the number of people who saw information about your company).
- Number of new subscribers.
- The level of engagement (the number of user reactions: likes, reposts, comments, participation in polls, etc.)
- Group / page traffic.
Geography and gender of subscribers (if it matters from the point of view of the target audience), the number of visits to the site, achievement of goals on the site, etc. can also be taken into account.
A separate block should provide reporting on the conducted advertising campaigns: the number of impressions and reach, the number of clicks and reactions, the click-through rate of ads as an indicator of efficiency, cost per click and costs.
Thirdly, , continuous communication with the performer allows you to stay in the loop, ask the right questions and get competent answers.
What shouldn’t you do when working with an SMM contractor?
We’ve already written about mistakes in SMM strategies that you should look into in order to be sure that your contractor is doing everything right.
In this article, following the example of Grigory Oster, we want to give some “harmful” tips that will “help” you to nullify all the ideas and efforts to promote your company in social networks:
- Coordinate prepared content as long as possible, pay for advertising campaigns, send materials requested by the contractor.
- Question every proposal of the performer, demand guarantees of the result from any action.
- Monitor every step of the contractor, request weekly, or even better daily reports, because you must know that you have not been forgotten.
- Lead your work with your intuition and a recently read SMM article: tell you how to make a content plan, how long posts should be, what audience to choose for advertising, and what ad to write so that it works better than others.
- Change your mind at least three times a day so that the performer can achieve truly perfect results by adjusting the material.
- Put vague TK – a talented SMM specialist will understand you, using his clairvoyant talent.
- Do not forget to constantly ask as many clarifying questions as possible: “why was this audience chosen and not that one?”, “Why did you decide that this caption is better than the one on our website?”, “Why CTR was higher in the morning than now? “,” Don’t you think there are fewer likes? ” Do not worry, you do not distract the project manager and SMM specialist from their work at all, on the contrary, this gives them the opportunity to “pump up their skill” once again.
We hope our reader has a sense of humor and ironically took our advice.
All we wanted to say is: if you have identified an executing company, trust and help it. You have worked on choosing the best SMM agency for your project – try to promptly coordinate the materials and answer the contractor’s questions, because the success of the entire SMM promotion of the company depends on the well-coordinated teamwork of the team, which includes the customer himself.