Agencies can help ensure you get the most out of your investment in social media by advising on strategy, monitoring, content planning and development, analytics monitoring and tool training.
You can also have an agency do your tweeting and posting for you, but it’s better to have your in-house experts and spokespeople maintain direct dialogue with buyers and influencers through social media channels.
Social media strategy
An agency specializing in social media can help you direct your efforts where they’ll be mostly likely to pay off in engagement with your target audience.
Should you plant a flag in LinkedIn, Facebook, SlideShare, YouTube, Twitter, et al, or should you focus on fewer outlets? An objective assessment of your audience’s social media habits can save you a lot of emptyhanded trial and error.
An agency can also act as an extra pair of online eyes and ears, monitoring your market space for relevant trends and topics.
In addition to alerting you to what your target audience is talking about, your monitors-for-hire will also be able to clue you in on how they talk about their concerns. Using customer-centric language will help you tailor your messages to address customer concerns more effectively and authentically.
Content planning and production
An agency may not tweet or blog for you directly, but they can add tremendous value by helping you plan and produce the content you tweet and blog about. The customer insight they bring thanks to monitoring and strategic research will help you craft both the content and messaging of campaigns and content assets.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it—and if you don’t have web analytics resources in-house, outsourcing the task is a must. Yes, you can use a number of free tools to track views and clicks, but only a dedicated professional can monitor and distill the ever-changing results in a way that will and consistently fuel a successful strategy.
An agency can help your in-house people learn best practices, advise on tools to use and generally educate them on how social media is different from traditional B2B marcomm. It’s easy to say that these are conversational channels, not so much broadcast channels, but it’s easier said than done to switch messaging gears.
What to look for in an social media ally
How can you make sure your agency is helping you effectively manage your social marketing? Start with this article, and, as always, feel free to contact me or comment with your own thoughts and questions.