Due to the increasing usage of social media platforms across the globe, many entrepreneurs have taken advantage and ventured into this fast-growing industry. Some have successfully created big social media companies, while others still struggle to establish their brands.
Easy as it may seem, starting a social media marketing agency is just as challenging as any other startup business. However, if you put in the effort and follow the right strategies, starting and growing your social media agency may not be as hard as you think. The strategies you need to succeed in this field are a desire to explore your ideas, a basic knowledge of social media, the right social media management tools, and standing out from the crowd.
What exactly does a social media marketing agency do?
Some people may not understand the role of a social media marketing agency; your prospective clients may not know either. A social media marketing agency is a creative company that manages engaging posts on social channels through branding, lead generation, remarketing, and more. Think marketing agency, but only social media marketing and branding.
Social media marketing was established to help clients maximize their social media to focus on other efforts. An agency may also provide social media management services, strategy, reporting, paid social media advertising services, etc.
5 Steps to Start a Social Media Marketing Agency
If you want to start your own agency, below is a step-by-step guide to creating, running, and growing your social media marketing agency like an expert.
1. Create a Realistic Business Plan
Creating a business plan will help you raise the required funds and plan out the growth of your marketing brand. In the long run, planning will help sustain your key performance indicators, help explain your overall goals and help lay out a growth plan for the next few years. You should update the project annually as your agency progresses, but to start, you can choose between creating a traditional or lean startup business plan.
Due to the extraordinarily innovative nature of this niche, there are some specific things to look out for:
Your Target Audience
Your target audience is a crucial part that will affect all your decision-making. Is the business plan aimed at investors and partners? Or is it made for employees or potential customers? Depending on your audience, ensure that they have an online presence and create a business plan that will align with the future of digital marketing, including data analytics, natural language processing, account-based marketing, and more.
Identifying your audience will help determine the type of content to publish, the information in your social channels, your posting schedule, and your brand’s voice. Remember, each platform attracts different audiences.
After making an engaging post, you need to remain connected to your target audience, making plans to monitor and engage in social media interactions.
Your Goals and Expectations
Set specific and attainable short-term goals and take time to define them. These goals will determine your social media marketing strategies and how much time and funds you will need for every campaign.
When establishing your business, you can identify potential influencers you can collaborate with to reach a broader audience. Identify people and include them in your social channels, invite them to be guest bloggers, quote them, or even reshare their posts.
Promoting yourself will add value to your followers and open more significant networks when they share or mention you on other social media platforms.
The belief that you should be available on all social channels may be false, especially if you give too little information on too many social media outlets. Knowing how to find your right audience, where and how to get them is vital when choosing your niche. Identifying your place will help you create the best platforms and agencies as you gain experience in this field.
2. Choose a Digital Marketing Niche
When deciding on your niche, ensure that your intended audience is actively using or looking for marketing agency services in which you should be able to deliver effectively. The most practical advice would be first to establish yourself as a specialist. As your business expands, you can choose to focus on what you’re best at by increasing your portfolio to include other sectors that can guarantee long-term success.
Other profitable industry niches that depend on social media marketing agency services include:
- Non-profit organizations
- Legal services
Competition in the industry requires you to have the proper skill set, be well-versed with the client, carry out the necessary research, be updated with the industry news, and be familiar with any changes that may affect your clients’ business. The advantage is the better you specialize in your niche, the higher you charge for your services.
3. Prioritize Your Social Media Presence
Since you are just starting and don’t have enough past posting data or even followers’ insights to weigh in, you must decide on the best time to post; this could mean you’re available to focus and engage with your clients.
Engaging with your followers after posts with care and attention is just as critical as making actual sales. An ideal posting schedule is when you or your team can effectively interact and answer any questions regarding your posts. However, once you have a bigger audience, it is easier to figure out the best time to post, especially if you use the right tools.
You Need a Team That Offers More Than Social Media Marketing
As a social media agency, you need to show that you know what you’re doing by creating compelling content. You may need to contract a chef if you gain a client that wants to highlight food. Being well educated on various topics will grant you a greater presence that is more believable.
Create an Online Community for Your Audience
Audiences like to be intrigued every time they read or see your posts. People want to be engaged on a personal level. Therefore, you can create your profiles with several content platforms and be prepared to make posts that add personality to your brand. You can keep your posts interactive by:
- Liking and sharing some of your followers’ posts
- Replying instead of retweeting to start conversations with your audiences
- Gathering opinions from your audiences on specific issues and making a point to comment on them
- Engage customers and potential customers by asking them to share and like your posts. More often, posting what your followers would relate to can help your brand form a more connected social community.5.
4. Consider Your Operating Costs
As today’s most prominent form of marketing, social media means allocating enough funds to run your agency. Creating an effective pricing strategy that enhances client value alongside profitability can bring you massive financial success.
Understanding your operating costs enables you to explore more content options, expand advertising to different platforms and capitalize on social strategies that attract new customers.
How to Price and Offer Your Social Media Services
You should accurately measure social media Return on Investments (ROI) to estimate your future funds and keep track of your costs. When establishing your brand, the charges for your services should compensate for the running costs up to 10-30% to make a profit margin. However, before setting your prices, you should consider your level of expertise, service location, targeted audience, and market demand, as these factors affect pricing.
5. Promote Your Agency and Attract New Clients
There’s too much competition in this niche, so launching your brand and finding clients may be an uphill task. Fortunately, more businesses are on the rise in digital marketing, and there are various social media management tools to help make your business a success.
A few essentials to consider while finding customers include:
- One of the easiest ways to advertise your agency is through your friends, family, and close networks. Ask friends and family for their advice, help, and support. Your network may also lead you to interact with other businesses, and if your first, second, or third lead fails, always strive to improve.
- Advertise your services and products on your social platforms and websites
- Get referrals from happy customers, maybe in exchange for a price off their next campaign
- Attend local events and join your local community for business opportunities
- Create weekly email newsletters with marketing tips and insights
- Identify companies you would like to work with; follow and engage on their social platforms
Although all businesses have their own challenges, building a successful social media marketing agency can be highly worth it when you make actual plans and stick to them. However, a skillful workforce, varied marketing strategy, consistent work schedule, and daily marketing-driven work are essential when expecting positive results in a social agency.
By following the above guidelines, you will be more than ready to compete in the market, build a fanbase that supports your brand, and share your services. Allow yourself to make changes where necessary from time to time to enhance your future growth and your agency’s success.