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Should You Use A Social Media Marketing Agency In 2019?

In 2019, are social media marketing agencies still a viable option for your business? We shared our best advice.

Written by Jess Kirkbride

Should You Use A Social Media Marketing Agency?

Businesses who use social media correctly have improved their ROI (Return On Investment) by up to 119%. Which isn’t surprising considering there are 3.5 billion active users every single day.

You only have to walk down the street to see people glued to their phones, sharing Kylie Jenner’s selfies and updating their stories.

The average user in the UK spends 1 hour 50 minutes scrolling through their feeds, keeping up with brands and sharing their lives over the internet.

This makes social media one of the best ways to expand your reach and improve your brand awareness.

If you want to boost your results without the time and effort, you could hire a social media marketing agency to do it all for you.

Social media marketing agencies

You’ve probably heard people talking about hiring a social media marketing agency. You might have even researched a few yourself.

But if you have, you'll have noticed that there isn't much online about what they can actually do for you. There are things about Facebook and email marketing but other than that, you kind of just have to guess and make a run for it.

We wouldn’t advise that.

Guesswork can be good when creating your own social strategy. You need to test what works.

But hiring an agency can be extremely expensive and might not always be worth the risk.

We'll discuss the costs later, but first: Are agencies dead in 2019?

Are agencies still a thing?

A few years ago, social media agencies were a must. They were a way of getting you more customers and money without all the hard work.

You didn't even really need to know how social media works. It was like someone taking your business from 0 to 100 and giving you the profits for free.

But that only really applied to the bigger businesses. And it still does to an extent.

Bigger businesses usually don't have time to care for the small and seemingly insignificant stuff. Ironically, social media fell into that same category until a few years ago.

Social media was still a thing, like MSN and Myspace. But people never took fashion pictures and filmed videos for a living. They never earned their entire income through it.

Now, influencer marketing is a $1.7 billion dollar industry.

This massive shift changed the way people interact online.

Social Stats

It isn’t just the number of users that’s different.

The way people use social media has changed dramatically, with brands such as Starbucks Coffee, Burberry and Nike receiving as many as 200,000 likes per post.

Think about that for a minute.

That's 200,000 people interacting with brands online. And they're just the ones who happened to see the post. Not the millions of others who also follow their content.

This isn't just good for brand awareness.

It also makes their sales sky high, with 67% of users saying they’re more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media.

You want to be a part of that. You want to make such a good impression on social media that customers can't help but visit your website.

It isn't as simple as it used to be though when hardly any businesses were online. Now, 11 new people join social media every second.

That makes it more competitive than ever before, which means people are having to work harder to get their content seen.

In doing so, they learn what works and what doesn't and the type of content that resonates with their audience.

They know their business, brand profile and customers better than anyone, so they create a social media marketing strategy that's most likely to boost their ROI.

So, do you actually need an agency? Here are the pros and cons.

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The pros

Social media was rated as the second most difficult tactic to execute in a digital marketing strategy.

But with a social media marketing agency, you can build relationships with your customers and strengthen their loyalty to your business without your time and effort being expended.

They can help to increase traffic to your website, boost your conversions, personalise the customer experience, and effectively build your brand.

This is all without your help.

Agencies have the experience and skills to effectively manage your online presence, get your name out there, and bring highly targeted customers to your site.

How? By creating a social media marketing strategy for your business. That's what this is all about – making use of tools and software to get the most customers for your money.

Even better, agencies know how to stretch your ad budget.

If you're new to marketing, you probably don't know how to do this yourself. This means you could end up wasting hundreds of pounds and seeing no results, which highlights the importance of a social media strategy.

If you don’t know what a social media marketing strategy is, it’s basically a plan to reach your goals.

Whether that’s increasing brand awareness, generating new leads or improving customer support, a strategy will help you get there. A social media marketing agency just makes it easier.

All you have to do is set your budget and expectations, and your social media marketing agency will work on getting maximum engagement.

Let’s say you own a fashion business.

It's been up and running for about a year and it's only around the corner from your house on the outskirts of London. This was perfect to begin with as you'd finish at 4 and be at home making green tea by 4:05.

You had plenty of time to spend on social media. Posting photos, running competitions and replying to your customers.

Now, your clothing range has branched out. You only used to sell a small range of items, but you've decided to create handmade timeless pieces for your niche audience.

That means staying at work later to do some research. Creating mood boards at 11pm when you can't sleep, and sourcing unique, eco-friendly materials.

Then you need to brainstorm and find out what people want. Not forgetting your husband, keeping on top of your contemporary townhouse, and plans to start a family.

That leaves no time for social media. Not unless you have endless amounts of caffeine to stay up through the night, but your audience won’t even be online at that time.

Plus, you don't really know which social media marketing tools are out there to help you really draw customers in. Just like 85% of business owners.

A social media marketing agency gets rid of all of these problems.

No more excessive caffeine, late nights, under-eye bags and half-hearted social posts at 3am. Just an easy life and amazing social media engagement.

If an agency sounds right for you, here's what to look out for.

What to look out for

Sound like too much effort? Adzooma is an excellent alternative to an agency.

Adzooma saves you time, money and effort optimising your ads. It carries out a smart 24/7 analysis of your account and uses the data to suggest profitable opportunities.

Line all your opportunities up. Review them all in one go and action them all with one click when you e happy. Easily see which campaigns need the most work and which ones are bringing you the most revenue.

Get a one-page overview of all your accounts and make changes from a single screen. Generate customisable reports in seconds and cancel or pause your subscription at any time.

Adzooma side by side

The cons

You could be paying anywhere between £700-£2,000 for a social media marketing strategy.

That’s near enough impossible for a small business.

The cost can vary, but either way it's still expensive. Especially to think with a little time and effort you could do it yourself.

More importantly, though, you don't even really know what you're paying for. It's not like you're asking one of your employees to take care of it.

Imagine someone you've never met being the voice behind your business. Someone who doesn't understand your target audience.

Users like consistency. It's the reason so many people have a huge following on social media, because their followers look forward to the same engaging content.

YouTubers post videos on the same day every week. If they miss an upload, their subscribers are thrown off.

Just like they would be if someone they'd followed for years started writing some rogue tweets.

I actually experienced something similar when an influencer I've followed for years launched her brand last year.

She has always been consistent. It's the reason I love her. Her tone of voice is the same across YouTube, Instagram and Twitter which makes me trust her and her content.

But when I joined her brand mailing list, it was obvious it wasn't her writing the emails. They weren't automated either.

The personality was different, the emojis, the spelling, sentence length, the vibe. And it definitely shone through.

Granted, it isn't the worst thing in the world. But it can make a difference when 86% of users are willing to pay more for great customer experience.

Better yet, 71% of customers who have had a positive experience on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family.

That's why hiring a social media marketing agency could have a negative impact on your customers, leading them to steer away from your content.

People get used to you and the way you are on social media, especially after following you for a long period of time.

So if you've previously ran your profiles yourself, posted around the same time every day and personalised your responses, it would be weird if it suddenly changed.

As well as that, they won't always be there when you need them. If something exciting happens in-house, you can't them on the shoulder for them to put it out there.

If they've got hundreds of other accounts to manage, how can you be sure they'll spend valuable time on yours?

The answer is: you can't.

You don't need to use an agency

You don't need an agency to create a strategy that works.

Though you do need time, dedication and commitment, it's a lot of money to hire an agency and it can take a while to find the best one.

Your business is your baby.

It almost feels like a waste to build such an amazing brand for it to go downhill on social.

Even if your business is just starting out, you still want the best for your socials. Don't think that just because your engagement is low that no one’s watching.

Think about how many times you laugh at a tweet or think someone looks nice on Instagram but just carry on scrolling.

Most of the time it's because we don’t want to seem like stalkers for being halfway down someone's timeline at 3am. But often it's because it doesn't a difference whether you like it or not - you've still seen it and enjoyed it.

This will happen with your social media.

The good news is, you can spend as much time as you want creating engaging content, sprucing up your feed and connecting with your customers. There are no rules.

(Apart from you shouldn't neglect other areas of your business — make sure they're taken care of too.)

It's the reason more and more people are choosing to manage their own socials and go a bit rogue with their content. Because the choice is theirs and they don't have to rely on anyone else.

You see this a lot with niche businesses, especially small independent ones.

A good example I've recently is someone I know who launched a hand-crafted accessories business a few weeks ago.

Their account already has 488 followers on Instagram. They've adopted a theme on their timeline that matches their dainty, creative pieces and post artistic images almost every day.

Not just of their jewellery with a nice background, but of their followers modelling their collection from all different angles.

You couldn't do this with an agency.

Doyenne Accessories

You'd get good quality content out there, but it wouldn't have the same effect. You have full reign when you're running your own socials.

Plus, the internet is filled with tips and tricks that will help spark your ideas, get your business off the ground and increase your conversions.

Social media marketing tools

Creating your own social media strategy isn't as daunting as it once was. When you break it down, it's simply deciding how to attract the customers you want.

There are no rules, no limits on the posts you can write or the images you make. You can be as creative as you need to be to draw people into your brand.

When you need help with the technical stuff, there's loads of advice floating around the internet.

If you’re a beginner and don’t know where to start, here are 8 great PPC marketing blogs to follow.

There are also various social media marketing tools to guide you in the right direction, such as SproutSocial and Brand24.

SproutSocial is a social media optimisation platform that helps you to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns across different profiles. You can analyse your strategy and find out which posts are receiving the most clicks.

It also includes features that can automatically create social media schedules based on how many posts you’ve got queued up and ready to go.

Brand24 gives you a better understanding of who's talking about your brand so you can take action in real time. Customise alerts and turn your data into automated, detailed reports.

Adzooma saves you time, money and effort optimising your ads. It carries out a smart 24/7 analysis of your account and uses the data to suggest profitable opportunities.

If you need to rethink your content, there are social media marketing tools that can help you create engaging posts.

Adzooma side by side

BuzzSumo analyses what content performs best for any topic or competitor, giving you valuable insight into popular trending posts. Use this data to create a content marketing campaign that's guaranteed to bring results.

These are just guidelines though.

Social media tools can be extremely useful, but they aren't mandatory. That's why we’ve collated our own top tips to social media success to help you create your own strategy.

1. Know what you want from social media

Social media is taking over the internet and it doesn’t look like it's going to slow down anytime soon.

We don’t blame you for getting involved.

But there's no point jumping on the bandwagon if you don't actually know why you're doing it. Following the crowd has its benefits, but you can't create a strategy without a primary goal.

We're not expecting a booklet documenting your 5-year business plan of all of your hopes, dreams and expectations. Having just one goal will set you on the right track.

No one sits there watching Netflix thinking ‘let’s create a website’ with no actual thought behind it. There're usually some sort of idea brewing before you get to that point, such as ‘I want to have the best fashion business in the world’ or ‘I want to sell custom-made t-shirts.’

It's same with social media for business.

If you didn't put any thought into it, you'd end up with loads of random posts that don't even link to one another. How could you drive customers to your site if half of your marketing is focused on brand awareness?

Marketers stats

You want to be a part of that 70%.

Having a clear objective will allow you to create content your customers will interact with and consistently provide value to your audience.

If you don’t know where to start, here’s how.

SMART marketing objectives

You may have seen the term ‘SMART marketing’ floating around the internet. It's the key to creating achievable goals.

By following this structure, you'll be able to create a social media marketing strategy that leads to more traffic, conversions and sales.

2. Don't use every platform

Social media can be great for improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), but that doesn’t mean you need to use every single platform.

Less is more when it comes to choosing the right networks.

Why? Because you can rank highly on search engines without placing your content anywhere and everywhere. In fact, you'll probably rank even higher as your content would be more relevant.

Put simply, there are different platforms for a reason and they all work for a variety of businesses and industries.

Take the handmade jewellery business we spoke about earlier. It's the appearance of their products that sells, so their business works well on Instagram.

The visual nature allows them to share snapshots of their jewellery in different lighting, from different angles and on different models. The images do the talking, so they don't need a lot of text.

Twitter is different.

Twitter is designed as a communication platform, which means it performs well with more written content. The short snappy Instagram captions used to describe jewellery wouldn't have the same effect.

This is because they have two completely different audiences.

You need to stick with the platforms your customers are interacting with. If your customers aren't there, there’s no point.

3. Keep it relevant and talk to your customers

Every single piece of content you put out needs to be relevant and provide value to your followers.

If you've launched a makeup brand, your followers will expect regular updates about what's coming soon, exciting collaborations and behind the scenes pictures.

They'd be completely thrown off if you started writing about handbags and shoes and never really spoke about beauty products.

Or if you never posted about your makeup brand, and just about makeup in general, they probably wouldn't take any notice.

That's because you can't just post irrelevant content and expect to build a following.

A good example is a current YouTube trend, where influencers answer ‘juicy Q+A questions’ and give all the details.

They even change the title sometimes to encourage people to click on the video (clickbait).

But when you watch them, they quickly skip past the questions everyone wants to know move straight on to the boring ones. They literally hint at the answer and leave you guessing.

So basically, overpromising and under-delivering.

You want to avoid that at all costs.

Just by providing relevant, top-quality content, you can build a loyal following that will continue to grow across all social media networks.

Remember though, don’t group all of your followers under one umbrella. Write to your customers as individuals, showing them that you appreciate their support.

If they comment on your photo asking where your dress is from, tell them. Repost their photos using your products, and you'll attract more followers who are more likely to buy.

Consistent influencer content

4. Post when your customers are online

There's no point in creating amazing content if you aren't going to post at the right time. That would be like planning your entire holiday without thinking about the flights.

If your customers aren't online, your posts won't matter. Just like your holiday plans won't if you can’t even get there.

Imagine if your followers started posting pictures when you were asleep. If there was never any juicy content in the day because it all kicked off at night.

You'd miss out on all the good content.

Similarly, if a brand only posted exciting competitions in the early hours of the morning, you wouldn't be able to get involved.

Now look at it from the other side.

If you're a brand that’s only posting when your customers are asleep, you're going to get no engagement. Your marketing efforts will be wasted and no one will interact with your posts.

You don’t want to be that brand.

You want to know exactly when your customers are online, so you can post content when they're most likely to engage with it.

We're not saying you should rely on a strict posting schedule though. Things will often pop up that just need to go out, like your business suddenly being shortlisted for an amazing award.

You shouldn't avoid posting stuff like that just because you posted the day before.

But you do need to show that there's a real person behind your account who understands their customers, rather than an automated robot churning out overly scheduled posts.

Here are the best times to post on each platform.

SMART marketing objectives

Feel free to do your own research though, as engagement times for certain industries can be very specific.

For example, SproutSocial suggests that the best time for tech companies to post on Facebook is 10am on a Wednesday.

Succeed with social media marketing

Social media marketing agencies aren’t completely dead.

Though more and more people are choosing to manage their own socials, it's no secret that an agency can save you time and effort. They can bring customers to your website, optimise your campaigns and often guarantee great results.

But it comes at a price.

Luckily, Adzooma can increase your ROI without a huge budget.

As mentioned above, our platform is designed to save you time and effort optimising your PPC advertising campaigns.

Integrated with Google Ads and Facebook Ads, you can keep track of all your accounts in one place and easily see how well they're performing.

Our Opportunity Engine will analyse your account and automatically generating suggestions for improvement. Most can be applied with a single click.

You can also set up custom rules to eliminate tedious tasks and remain in control with alerts that notify you when something changes. Then all of this data can be broken down into simple, custom reports.

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