6 steps to choosing a social media agency and proving ROI

You don’t need us to reiterate the fact both brands and agencies struggle when it comes to proving ROI for PR and marketing efforts. This issue is compounded when it comes to using social channels— even an established social media agency can find this task difficult.

Don’t believe us? OK, let’s look at some of the stats compiled by MDG Advertising relating to social media ROI…

44% of companies are not able to measure the impact of social media on their business

Just 20% can quantify the success of social media output

36% rely on a qualitative sense of social impact and success

28% of marketing agencies face difficulties when determining social media impact

55% of agencies can ‘somewhat measure social media ROI’

Only 17% can accurately quantify ROI from social

These figures look depressing, because they are, not least when it comes to those relating to the average social media agency. Thankfully, though, all is not bleak— here at Smoking Gun we have won awards thanks to our ability to effectively conduct measurement and evaluation across marketing, PR and social.

The best way to ensure you’re not going to get left out in the cold with scarcely a hint of proof as to what all that investment in social has achieved is by looking to partner with a social media agency with a strong track record of delivering clear evidence of ROI.

Here are six ways you should approach looking for a social media agency…

*The first step towards a successful relationship with a social media agency is identifying key performance indicators (KPIs), and making sure the partner understands why these have been set

*In order to successfully calculate ROI from social, the goals of social output must be aligned with overall brand objectives. Any social media agency that tells you different is best avoided

*An effective social media agency will prioritise metrics relevant to the desired outcomes, but will focus on these within a wider set to ensure comprehensive evaluation is possible

*Simply tracking engagement isn’t good enough, as this will not necessarily give an insight into conversions— you need a social media agency or in-house strategy can gauge sales impact

*It’s vitally important to benchmark social media agency or in-house efforts against those of competitor brands, because this is the only way to judge effectiveness within the overall marketplace

*Flexibility needs to be inbuilt within social plans, so look for a social media agency that has a strong track record of adapting to suit changing trends, demands, capabilities and limitations— it pays dividends not to be set in specific ways

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