30 questions to ask agencies on how they practice social media

People like to do business with people they know.
This simple truth only took me 120+ blogposts and 8000 Tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn and Google Plus shares to figure out because I learned social media helps people get to know you, like you and trust you. It also taught me social media is a conversation, not a monologue, that required listening as well as communicating.
94% of brands now use social media and 83% of marketers say it is important to their business according to Social Media Examiner in their annual survey of 3800+ marketers. So when an ad agency, PR agency or any agency says, “social media, oh yeah, we do that,” ask them if they practice what they preach. Here are 30 questions to ask.

  • What are your desired results from social media?
  • Who are you trying to attract?
  • Where do you find them?
  • What social network do you use and spend time listening?
  • How do you know if it’s working?
  • What kind of topics to you talk about and what do you say?
  • Where do you get your content?
  • Are there keywords or phrases you use based on who you want to attract?
  • Who does the writing?
  • Who manages the conversations and comments?
  • What is the “value exchange” between you and your audience?
  • How often are you posting, tweeting and sharing?
  • How many hours each week does it involve?
  • How is the time divided between creating content and carrying on conversations?
  • What specific social networks (blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) do you use?
  • What type of involvement and what type of feedback to you get?
  • What are the roles of the specific networks in your social media marketing mix?
  • Has the time you spend on social media increased or decreased and why?
  • How is social media integrated into your overall marketing mix?
  • Do you re-purpose any of content as part of your integration strategy?
  • How is social media helping your search engine optimization (SEO) in terms of page indexing, search rank and link building?
  • What have you learned about social media effectiveness within your marketing mix?
  • Has social media become a larger or smaller part of your marketing mix?
  • How do you measure social media and its return on investment (ROI)?
  • How does it compare to how you measure your other marketing and communication efforts?
  • Have you established any Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) you track regularly?
  • How often do you get together to review and discuss your key social media measurements?
  • What actions do you take?
  • Do you have any case studies of what you’ve done for others?
  • How are they similar or different than what you’d do for my business?
  • What do they teach you?
Choosing the right agency partner to build your brand is an important step. We, BarnRaisers, are a full service online and social media solutions company. If your brand would benefit from these services, we know people like to do business with people they know. So, all I’d ask is you learn more about us and “Join Our Mailing List” in the box at the top right. If you know someone who is interested, I’d be grateful if you’d point them to this website.
You can see our case studies to give you an idea of businesses we’ve helped. In the “categories” section on the right, you’ll also find over 150 case studies that prove ROI of social media, social crm, social commerce and SEO for other brands. We get inspired by others and like to share.
Will you be asking an agency any of these questions to see how they practice social media?

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