Social media marketing is extremely expensive and human intensive, when done properly. The key part of that sentence is “When done properly.” A social media marketing firm/consultant that understands what doing it right for a client means, understands that a consistent stream of relevant, valuable content for the clients target audience is required. They understand the need for conversation, responsiveness and engagement with their community as well as the role relationships play within the social graph in order to drive return on the clients investment.
With the proper values in place, a social media agency can be extremely effective for clients, when they use their knowledge and experience within social media to make it valuable for their clients. This resource intensive process usually results in two business challenges:
1) Signing new clients is difficult due to the costs of entry
2) The agency is constantly trying to balance internal time and resources with the clients program effectiveness and results.
Knowing these two challenges exist, there are three things a social media agency must maximize in order to succeed.
1) Internal Efficiency
Your agency or internal social media department must be efficient. Evaluate the time, processes and procedures you are using internally to find opportunities to maximize efficiency. Determine if the tools you are using are what you really need and investigate other applications that can improve your teams use of time.
2) Internal Profitability
As a social media agency you are time and human heavy. These are typically the largest costs you will need to manage. Social media marketing requires the human element to work, so ensuring your have the right people doing the work for your clients is incredibly important. Getting more out of your existing staff has a direct impact in your net profits. Evaluate where in your process your team is spending most of their time on client programs and that is where to focus your efforts for point one above.
You are in business to make a profit. Items one and two above should be your main focus. Without a profitable social media agency, item number three below will not matter.
3) Client Effectiveness and ROI
When, and only when, you have the plates for one and two spinning effectively, you need to refocus your attention on management of client programs. Evaluate the following components to determine areas that can achieve improved results and the changes or additional activity required to do so.
- Community Growth
- Community Targeting
- Social Networks Being Used
- Content Strategy
- Relationship Building
Finally, you need to understand that the more you improve these three items within your social media agency, the more value you will be delivering to your clients, which results in opportunity for price increases and additional projects with them.