Review of the Social Media Agency Industry | The Key Players, Pricing, and Services
Relatively new, the social media industry has only been in existence for about a decade or so and has come a long way since the emergence of chat messengers.
Today, the social media industry includes a variety of platforms, including big names, such as Twitter and Facebook.
The popularity of such platforms has also caused a strategic change in the advertisement industry with top social media agencies now vying for the business of clients of all sizes.
Image Source: Social Media Agency Industry
A social media agency may offer a range of services that focus on increasing a client’s user base and monetizing through digital advertising. The ability of a social media marketing agency to successfully monetize a user base depends upon their ability to engage users.
Big Players a Social Media Agency May Target
A media agency will likely target big names in the social media industry like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. Each platform has its own unique user base.
Image Source: Facebook.com
A leading social media agency will often consider Facebook one of the biggest names in the industry. Each day, 1.13 billion users access this social media platform in order to communicate, connect, and share content with one another. In just the last few years, Facebook has experienced exponential growth.
Image Source: Twitter
Based on a slightly different platform than Facebook, Twitter is another key player top social media agencies often target. In essence, this network serves as a micro-blogging platform. Established in 2006, Twitter has also witnessed incredible growth, with 136 million daily users.
Top social media agencies typically target business-to-business consumers using LinkedIn. Dedicated entirely to professionals, LinkedIn operates slightly differently than other social media platforms. By allowing users to seek career opportunities and create professional profiles, this platform has become a leading professional social media network.
Social Media Agency Pricing
One of the most common questions prospective clients will have when considering hiring a social media agency is in regards to pricing. Every social media marketing agency is different in terms of the type and scope of social media agency services provided. Social media agency pricing can depend heavily on the type of service as well as the channel.
According to a report published by Buffer Social, the average cost to outsource social media agency services to a social media agency is between $4,000 and $7,000 per month. This averages out to between $200 and $350 per day to outsource to a social media advertising agency. Furthermore, spending for a social media marketing agency comes in at about nine percent of marketing budgets. Over the course of the next five years, that number is expected to increase to more than 21 percent of budgets for social media agency spending.
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So, where exactly does this money go when hiring a social media advertising agency? It could go toward a variety of social media agency services, depending on the goals of the client.
One possible service when hiring a social media agency would be design/graphics/photos. Visual design makes a tremendous impact in the world of social media. In fact, images are considered to be the single most important factor in terms of optimizing social media content, according to a survey from Adobe. When hiring a media agency, a client might spend a portion of their budget on the following social media services:
- Cover photos for social media profiles
- Professional profile pictures
- Stock photos for social media content
Other Services and Benefits
Top social media agencies also provide a range of other services, including advertising and reach. Social media agency pricing for such services may vary, but these types of social media agency services can be invaluable for helping clients grow their social media influence. Additionally, media agency services can also be helpful for building an audience from scratch. Even established brands can benefit from such services and grow their reach with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter ads.
Clients have a number of options when hiring a social media marketing agency to create social media ads. Such ad campaigns can provide multiple benefits in terms of social media agency ROI.
Another way a client can benefit by hiring a social media marketing agency to place ads on Facebook is by interaction from customers or fans. Other possible benefits include expanding reach to potential new clients who can interact by favoriting, liking, commenting on, or sharing content. Social media advertising agency advertising on Facebook can also help brands achieve an increase in followers.
As with Facebook, Twitter provides a variety of ways for brands to have their content seen by more people. Possible Twitter advertising options a social media agency might use include:
- Obtaining more followers
- Getting more clicks
- Collecting leads
- Getting more favorites, retweets, and replies
- Driving engagement
LinkedIn also provides advertising options similar to Facebook Ads as well as sponsoring existing content, which works like boosting a post.
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As effective as social media marketing can be, it can also be time-consuming. This is one of the primary reasons that many clients opt to outsource their marketing to a social media agency. Part of a social media marketing agency budget might include social media scheduling.
This is an excellent way for social media managers to save time. With available tools, clients can ensure posts are scheduled ahead of time and then follow up with comprehensive analytics.
Other services offered by social media agency specialists include a full range of analytics for tracking and measuring user engagement. Real-time analytics allow clients to see exactly which users have come from which social media platforms. While these types of social media agency services are not ideal for all clients, those clients with large enough websites to have multiple people visiting simultaneously can benefit from this service.
A Few More Social Media Platforms to Benefit from
A social media marketing agency might also include other social media platforms in a strategy to boost engagement and increase followers. Among these platforms are Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
Instagram is known for being a highly visual social media platform. Focused entirely on images, Instagram is a good option for companies that restore products, fashion brands, or any other brand that creates content that is visually compelling.
Pinterest is also image-based and allows users to create as well as organize images into a single online location. Media marketing agencies often find this platform valuable for a variety of clients, but it is not a one-size-fits all solution. The demographic makeup of Pinterest is highly concentrated, primarily comprised of upper-income females.
While still relatively new to the social media industry, Snapchat has attained a massive audience. Currently, this social media platform has more than 100 million users per day. As a result, a number of top social media agencies are now looking to leverage the user base of this platform as part of a social media marketing strategy.
One element that makes Snapchat challenging to use by a social media marketing agency is the fact that users send out images and short videos that disappear as soon as they are seen or 24 hours pass. This can make using Snapchat a daunting task for even the most experienced media agency. Even so, it can be done when handled correctly.
What to Consider When Hiring a Social Media Agency for Social Media Marketing Services
- The social media agency should understand your goals.
Prior to working with a social media agency, it is important to determine how that particular media agency classifies a win. Take the time to spell out both your short-term and long-term goals as well as what you expect from the social media agency’s efforts on your behalf.
- The social media agency should offer clearly-defined metrics.
Accountability and reporting are also vital when working with a social media marketing agency. The social media agency you choose should utilize a data-driven content strategy that will reveal what works and what does not work. Discuss with the social media advertising agency you choose which numbers, insights, and reports would be provided. Metrics should be clearly established.
- The social media agency should make their work understandable.
Ask the media marketing agency for recommendations and suggestions regarding the best way to optimize your social media strategy while also achieving desired benchmarks. Do not be afraid to make your own voice heard. If the social media advertising agency you are considering uses confusing technical jargon, speak up and ask for clarification. Experienced, top social media agencies will not hesitate to explain things in a way that can be clearly understood.
- The social media agency should be connected in your industry.
Consider how connected the social media agency is with influencers in your own industry. Many top social media agencies actually specialize in handling social media strategies for specific industries and sectors. In an ideal situation, a social media marketing agency would already have connections established with industry influencers.
These types of connections can increase awareness of a brand’s services and products. Do not just take the word of the media agency. To determine exactly how well connected the agency is, review their list of followers. See who has liked their Facebook profile.
- The social media agency should be able to point to previous work.
Of course, it’s also a good idea to request the names of the social media marketing agency’s previous clients. Any qualified social media agency should be willing and able to share with you a list of both current and past clients. Directly contacting previous and current clients to find out whether they are satisfied with their social media agency services is essential.
When considering hiring a social media agency, it’s also important to ask where you can find both past and current examples of the agency’s work. Requesting links to online examples can provide you with the opportunity to personally evaluate the initiatives taken by the media agency. Look for campaigns developed by the media marketing agency that are both engaging and have resulted in easily quantifiable increases in sales leads and brand exposure.
- The social media agency should measure results.
Which tools does the social media agency use for measuring the return on investment of campaigns? It’s vital for social media markting agencies to back up their efforts with analytics and metrics that can clearly quantify a client’s ROI. Such metrics should extend beyond followers, fans, and likes and analyze lead conversion rates.
- The social media agency should be wholly trustworthy.
Other factors to consider when choosing a social media advertising agency include trust and confidentiality. To be successful, a social media agency will need to access areas of a client’s business that would typically be private, such as usernames and passwords to social media accounts. The selected social media marketing agency should be trusted to never share issues that should not be revealed, such as trade secrets, personnel data, and regulatory issues.
Finally, choose a social media marketing agency that focuses on quality rather than quantity. Far too often, social media advertising agencies will focus on having a large number of likes or followers. The right social media agency should take the time to develop a keen understanding of a client’s voice, values, people, culture, and goals.
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