You May Not Be Ready to Hire a Social Media Marketing Agency—Here’s Why

by | Sep 27, 2018 | blog, Content marketing, social media marketing

Social media is mandatory—and the easiest and cheapest way to tackle it is with a skilled social media marketing agency. Your social media keeps consumers informed, serves up your content for them to enjoy, and convinces them to buy, buy, buy. It also builds trust in and adoration for your brand. So why haven’t you hired an agency to help you perfect your social media strategy?

You may not be ready. Here are seven of the most common reasons we see at our agency and how you can address them to get your business ready for social marketing.

1. You’re not excited about how social media can grow your business

via GIPHY

The first thing you need to know about social media is that it is only as good as the strategy behind it. If you’ve spent thousands of dollars on social. But your social isn’t boosting sales, getting your brand in front of qualified customers, and improving trust in your product or service. We sympathize! It happens to many companies before they find the right social media marketing agency.

Just because you have not seen results in the past doesn’t mean social media isn’t one of the best, fastest ways to grow your business. It just means you’ve been doing it wrong or have not found the right platform for your niche. You may also be doing all the “right” things, but not pushing boundaries or exploring mediums that have a higher barrier to entry (like video).

If you aren’t excited about how social media can grow your business you probably have very good reasons. But social is an important part of any marketing plan. If you aren’t at least maintaining your online presence, then your business will appear to be caught in the past. Find a social media marketer who can switch up your strategy and help you find the right tactics to get results.

2. You aren’t educated about social media’s legal implications

via GIPHY

Special considerations apply when approaching social media for your supplement, cannabis, or medical brand. You’ll want to convey the effectiveness and trustworthiness of your product or service. But you’ll also need to respect FDA guidelines—you cannot openly say that your product treats, cures, or heals. A qualified social media marketing agency that specializes in your industry can help you navigate these guidelines while still sounding personable. Conveying the uniqueness of your brand is important!

If your business is publicly traded, the SEC has strict disclosure guidelines for social media. If you want to share information on social, you must first release the info to shareholders formally. We suggest doing this in a press release before making any announcements on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social platform. Social media can open another outlet for shareholders to consume information about your brand. As long as you exercise caution there is o reason your brand shouldn’t be onboarding investors with brilliant social campaigns!

The last thing you want is to be in legal trouble because your team or agency was not aware of the legal implications of social media in your industry. Choose the right social media marketer for your needs.

3. You don’t have an annual social media marketing budget

via GIPHY

One of the first things a social media marketer will ask is your annual budget for social strategy. This is mandatory information—it determines how many of your goals you can realistically hope to achieve. It also lets your strategist know where social media marketing fits into your overall marketing budget.

If you don’t have at least a general idea of how much you’d like to invest in social marketing, then you aren’t ready to talk to a social media marketing agency. While agencies can always tell you how much they typically charge for their services, you won’t be getting a very accurate idea of how they can tailor fit a plan for your needs without a firm range. We like to explain it through a simple analogy. If you’re buying a house, your realtor cannot do their job well without a budget. They can show you a $150,000 house and a $1.5 million house, but their work won’t be valuable to you if you want a 350K home.

Not having a set budget also might mean that you have not thoroughly thought through why you want to pursue social media marketing for your business. If you don’t have set goals or returns you’d like to see, take some time to think it through before reaching out for help.

Should You Hire a Digital Marketing Agency or an Employee? Ask Yourself These 6 Questions!

4. You don’t have the time to review and approve content or give productive feedback

via GIPHY

No one knows your business like you do. You’re busy—that’s likely one of the reasons you want to hire someone to help you with social media. But, especially in the first few months when your social media marketing agency is learning the ins and outs of your brand, it’s important to strictly adhere to a review and approval process. This helps you build trust with your social media strategist, letting them know exactly what you do and do not prefer.

Even with a style guide, it’s difficult for a social media strategist to completely mind-meld with you and say things the exact way you might. The intricacies of tone are learned over time—a great strategist can learn your style guide quickly. But no one is perfect, and your feedback is a valuable tool to help your agency reach your ideal tone faster.

The beautiful part of the approval process is that it means your content will always be OK’d by you or a trusted member of your staff before it’s published. However, if you suspect that you or someone in your internal team will not have the time to review posts drafted by an external team, then you may want to reconsider investing in social. Strategists are not mind-readers—but they can feel like it with a proper feedback and review process!

5. You don’t have images or the budget to hire a photographer

via GIPHY

Many social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, rely heavily on high-quality images. They can be cropped and resized for everyday image posts. They’re also the basis for designed visuals that your social media agency can help you create to add variety to your feed. It’s completely fine if you do not have existing images to use. it’s also fine if no one on your staff is a photographer. Most social media marketing agencies are happy to provide a local photographer who can capture your product or service in razor-sharp, creative photos. And, these days, you can even capture decent photos on your smartphone!

You’ll run into issues if you don’t have the budget to hire a photographer or the means to shoot well-composed images yourself. Many a business owner has attempted to shoot their own photography—not all have succeeded! The last thing you want is to pay an agency to create smart, strategic copy and have them pair it with not-so-amazing photos. The hard fact is that consumers expect an eye-catching image. If you don’t have them, pay to capture them. If you don’t have the budget to hire a photographer, try bringing in an intern or calling up a friend with a nice camera. Either way, have a game plan before you contact a social media strategist.

Here’s a Guide on How to Source Images for Your Instagram

6. You don’t have a clear brand voice and style guide

via GIPHY

Your brand voice and style guide are the tools in your social strategists’ toolbox. Without them, it’s very difficult to anticipate how you will want your brand represented in copy, designed visuals, and hashtags and other strategic components. If you don’t yet have a style guide, you can hire an agency or freelancer to create one for you at a very affordable price. Your social media strategist might even be able to help! But don’t expect to get copy and images you love without proper guidance.

7. You aren’t ready for a long-term investment

via GIPHY

Social media has both short and long-term rewards. Your followers, organic engagement, and post reach will not always skyrocket overnight. Half of your growth is determined by your industry and how saturated the market is that you want to dominate. The other half is dependent on your budget and how aggressive you want to be with paid promotion, live media, and strategic posts.

We suggest testing a variety of different tactics, platforms, and post types, before getting too attached to results. Our clients often see a swift uptick in social KPI’s as soon as we take over their accounts. This is just from tidying up their feed, using organic tactics to boost engagement. Organic tactics result in a very slow, healthy increase in followers. To spike followers more quickly, you may need to invest in paid social media ads to increase your reach and get your brand in front of fresh eyes.

There’s no way to know without tailoring a plan based on your unique business! But one thing is for certain—success doesn’t happen overnight. If you go into a relationship with a social media marketing agency expecting unrealistic results, you may find yourself disappointed and frustrated.

If you haven’t yet perfected your social media marketing, you are seriously behind the curve. No matter why you’ve been dragging your feet, it’s time to stop procrastinating and hire a social media strategist. Many of the reasons that businesses aren’t ready to bring an agency or employee on board are solvable. Finding solutions just take s a bit of your time, some analytical thought, and an in-depth discussion with a qualified agency who can walk you through the process. Witty Kitty is always available for advice and to answer your questions! Reach out to us if you need help—we give free content audits and can educate you about your options.