Congratulations! You made a big decision and chose to hire a social media management professional to deliver the job. This is a great step for your company; you probably have so many dreams, expectations and tasks for them to undertake.
Soon you will partake in a few exciting meetings and then come across some attractive offers, but making a choice can be very confusing.
Now is the time to answer some key questions as they will help you in making the right decision and, more importantly, they aid with knowing what you should ask and expect from the social media company.
I created the optimal checklist that will help you when negotiating with social media companies.
Checklist item # 1 – what is the company’s niche?
There are many companies out there…but do you really have the time and energy to explain your terminology, market practice and industry secrets to the chosen social media company?
Of course not, this is why it is best to choose a company that has expertise in your niche and the track record to prove that they know what they are talking about.
Bonus tip – is about regulations!
When we talk about dental and medical, the chosen company must know the regulations in great detail and work together with your regulator. Otherwise, your ads might get banned!
Checklist item # 2 – start with strategy
Any serious company will first propose to start with creating a social media strategy. The strategy must include: the social channels, research on market and competitors, and identifying the tone, vibe, and branding design guidelines. A great strategy will look closely at the fine details – what kind of post, when, how many, the ideas behind the post, and the sponsor ads guidelines.
A good strategy will cover all the points mentioned above and will be completed after having several meetings with you and your team. If the chosen company knows your industry, they will come with the proposal and won’t only ask you to bring the ideas!
Checklist item # 3 – your digital asset
Make sure the company works under the ethical guidelines that exist in the market. You will be surprised how many companies don’t know how to set up accounts and pages that are your digital assets.
To clarify – you must make sure all your digital assets and pages (including audiences???? and pixels) are registered solely under your name and under your own ownership. One day when/if you’d like to change social media management
firms, you will be free to do so and not leave your assets captive in another company’s hands…
Checklist item # 4 – KPI & target audience
KPIs are also established during this stage, do not be afraid to express your expectations and set KPIs together monthly, quarterly and annually in the matters of visibility, clicks, traffic and leads.
It is necessary to establish the target audiences together (in terms of their professional image and locations), the goals and budgets to achieve them, and above all – how to monitor the actual results.
A professional company will offer clear KPIs and clear mechanisms of reporting them through detailed reports (not only excel but also graphs that show the main results ). Transparency is a major key here! Since social media platforms offer so many tools to follow the results, it would be a pity not to use them. You must insist on carrying at least a monthly meeting to closely follow the progress.
Checklist item # 5– content creation, gantt, flow and designs
The fundamental factor of social media company work is, of course, the content, but it is also the trickiest part and there are many questions you must ask to be sure you stay informed on what exactly they plan to deliver. Here is a shortlist:
Who will create the monthly ideas for the posts?
What languages are included?
Will the posts be modified for each social media channel?
How many posts will be included for each channel?
Will the company deliver a monthly Gantt?
What will the workflow be? - what??
Who will provide the designs?
Will the copyrights of the photos be included?
What about videos, slide shows, reels and stories?
What happens if you want extra posts?
What happens if you have events and you need RTM (real-time management) for them?
Who will schedule the posts?
These are only some of the questions but this shortlist will help you find out how this vital part is going to be handled in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on.
Checklist item #6– sponsored ads
Will the marketing company offer only organic or sponsored ads services as well? This critical question is important mainly for B2B companies understanding that organic visibility is…dead.
While only 2% of your followers will actually be exposed to your content, it will be close to impossible to generate interest, visibility, and leads out of that.
This is why I usually advise to not only count on organic social media growth, but to also include sponsored ads from the beginning.
Many of the companies do not really know how to do it or hire external experts (freelancers), a practice which I do not recommend. A professional company will include the expertise and full social media services necessary for all the platforms, including lead generation for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube. This has to go hand in hand with generating great daily content, a deep understanding of your industry, and extremely sensitive issues when it comes to the dental and medical fields.
Keep in mind the experts you will hire must know in great detail all the rules and regulations of each platform and protect your assets from being banned, a very tricky and high risky situation. I advise you to discuss it thoroughly during your interviews and tackle the sensitive issues:
Do you have former experience in managing ads in my industry?
Can you share some real case studies from our industry?
Do you include unique technologies in your sponsored ads?
What is the cost of the expected lead in our industry?
Do you know our ads regulation?
Who will manage the ads – in house employees or freelancers?
Bonus! Can you also manage small budgets? (a good company will say YES!)
A great company will gladly offer all the info with proven facts included!
Checklist item #7 – account manager, support and replying to your followers
Most companies have a dedicated account manager to work closely with your company and be the primary contact person. However, these key questions will help you understand how the quality of this collaboration is going to be:
How many accounts is your account manager in charge of? (e.g. at EVO we limit this to 3-5 client accounts per manager to keep our work of high quality, but in many companies, 1 person can handle 20 accounts, imagine that!)
How many people are part of your dedicated team? Hopefully, it's not just a single person who is required to do it all…a good combination will be a team of 5:
Sponsored ads expert
Scheduler of posts/monitor & replier to clients
Who will monitor your pages, reply to chats, remove negative comments and generate leads out of the chat box?
How available is the team to your needs?
Of course, each of the items above is directly related to the price offered as well, and the optimal arrangement is the one covering all your needs in a competitive price range.
I created a detailed checklist that can give you more ideas here and it is based on the services we are giving our clients. Feel free to get inspired by it!
Are you starting a negotiation with a social media company and have a question? I’m glad to offer more insights; send me your question by email or via our social media channels.