Did you know that over 3.2 billion people use social media on a daily basis? That’s right, about 42% of the population logs into their favourite social media platforms every day, either from a computer or from a mobile device such as a smartphone, to chat with friends, watch videos, post pictures, read the news, shop for products, check the weather, or find a job. The versatile aspect of social media is what makes it so interesting because whatever your passion or interest is, you can find it on social media! It’s no wonder, then, that almost half of the world uses it every day, even many times a day. And, as the Internet becomes faster and more accessible even in remote regions, the number of social media users will keep growing in the coming years.
As they are browsing, these billions of daily social media users are exposed to thousands of ads and leaving data behind. This data is then used to create higher quality, better-targeted ads. Herein lies the real advantage of social media marketing over older forms of marketing. Because while it is true that ads on traditional media (TV, newspapers, magazines, paper pamphlets, radio, direct mail, billboards, etc.) can reach a lot of people, ads on social media can reach the RIGHT people without bothering those who are not potential clients. So how can you, as a marketer or business owner, reach those billions of users on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.? How can you promote your products or services in a way that is likely to turn views into likes, and likes into sales?
The answer is simple: you need to get in contact with a social media agency ASAP. Social media agencies help companies run social media campaigns or social media paid ads. They can increase your brand awareness, raise your follower count and generate leads by creating original and relevant content that is aligned with your existing brand image. That sounds great, right? The only thing is that it can be challenging to pick the right digital agency, especially in a tech-savvy city like Montreal where startups are emerging left and right. That’s where this guide comes into play. If you want to know the most important elements to keep in mind when searching for a social media agency in Montreal that will really make your product or service shine and take your brand to the next level, then keep on reading.
Step 1: Preparation
TASK 1: SELF-ASSESSMENT
As the wise Socrates once pointed out, you need to know yourself before knowing others. This motto applies to a social media agency search as well. It’s important to be aware of your needs and desires in order to be able to communicate them to your future social media specialists. Trust me, that’ll save you both a lot of time and a lot of back-and-forths. You might think it’s better to leave everything up to the social media experts, and that is rather true in most cases. However, if you are unable to give them a clear plan of what you are looking to accomplish, they might end up developing a strategy that doesn’t suit you. We want to avoid that. So, before pursuing the perfect social media agency, embark on your “Know Thyself Journey”!
TASK 2: INITIAL QUESTIONS
Here are some relevant questions to answer when figuring out what kind of social media presence you want your brand to have:
• Is your brand already active on social media, i.e. do you already have a professional account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.?
• If you already have accounts on social media, what efforts are you already deploying? Are you running ads? If so, are those ads optimized for mobile?
• What is your target audience? Where do they reside? What is their approximate income? Which age categories do they fall into? What are their interests?
• What are your minimum and maximum budgets? How do you expect your budget to be divided?
• How do you want people to interact with your brand on social media? What are your goals? For example, do you only want likes, or do you want to redirect the most people possible to your website? Are you looking to increase your brand awareness or to optimize your conversion rates?
Answering such questions will allow your future social media consultants to really understand your brand and what you hope to achieve with this partnership, leading to more fruitful results.
TASK 3: SELECTION
Once you’ve answered the preceding questions and assessed what your social media goals are, you can start browsing for suitable social media agencies in Montreal. During this process, Google will be your best friend. After you’ve typed social media agency Montreal into the search bar and pressed the enter key, prospects will appear on the results page. You will then be able to read a snippet of each company’s description and make an initial selection. Our tip is to look around before deciding to do business with a certain company because you never know what might still be out there! Have you ever heard the quote Don’t settle for less than what you deserve? Well, once again, this inspirational sentence is relevant in the context of a social media agency search. So remember to keep your options open!
Step 2 : Website Analysis
TASK 1: CALLS TO ACTION
You’ve chosen a few digital agencies that seem to be able to play the part? Great, it’s now time to stalk them! (or examine them, if you will). Here’s how to do it. First of all, take a look at their website and its pages. This step is very important because a company’s website is a reflection of their work ethic. Especially in the digital line of work, it’s essential to have a clear and simple yet informative and comprehensive website. While browsing a social media agency’s website, keep an eye out for calls to action. A call to action is an explicit and imperative bit of text encouraging the user to get in contact with the company or make a purchase. Make sure the calls to action are there and the company’s contact info is readily available within a few clicks.
TASK 2: LINKS
A website with broken links is a red flag. A good social media agency will undoubtedly have a fully functioning website. This shows that they care about how they are perceived and will take the time to make sure your brand has a perfect image online as well if you select them as your social media managers. Is every page of their website accessible, or does it take many clicks to get to a certain page? If the latter is true, they might not be the one for you. In this day and age, everyone knows that rapidity is crucial. People have a short attention span and visitors don’t want to flip through numerous pages before finding the information they were initially searching for. You want your future social media agency to have a precise website with a full menu and a clear description of their services.
TASK 3: PREVIOUS CLIENTS
This step is crucial. Find out who the agency’s previous clients were, and take a look at the content that was created for their brand. Is it high quality, well-thought-out content? Has the agency in question conducted successful social media campaigns in the past? This is an important item to analyze because, while it may be tempting to save money by hiring an inexperienced team to manage your social media, it’s also a big risk in terms of the value provided. Making a thorough search and review of past clients can ensure you are dealing with a knowledgeable and efficient team of workers who have proven their skills. If the website contains client testimonials, you can read them to get a feel of what it’s like to work with the company.
STEP 3: REVIEWS
TASK 1: GOOGLE REVIEWS
Speaking of reviews, once you’ve gotten a grasp on the general feel of the agency’s website and determined whether it’s professional and trustworthy enough to do business with, head over to Google Reviews. Did you know that having numerous positive reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors when it comes to search engine optimization? Indeed, reviews signify credibility, and the ones you find on Google might be more honest than the ones on the company’s website since they haven’t been curated by the company. A review can be enhanced and embellished before getting published on a company’s website, but the company doesn’t have a say in what gets published about them on Google since they don’t have the right to delete unwanted reviews. What the company can do, however, is respond to negative feedback. If your prospect has negative reviews on Google, don’t immediately shun them. Rather, read how they respond. This will allow you to see how well they reply to criticism. The ability to handle criticism and adjust accordingly is definitely something you should look for in a social media agency.
TASK 2: GLASSDOOR
Google Reviews is where clients go to praise or complain about a company. Glassdoor is where employees go to do the same. Although you are not considering applying but rather hiring a social media agency, it can still be beneficial to read staff member’s opinions about the company before making the big move. Reading Glassdoor reviews will tell you a lot about the company’s values, environment and work ethic. Once again, don’t flee if you see criticism. Rather, read how the social media agency handles it. See how transparent and truthful they are, and how willing they are to admit their faults. If they handle it well, you know they are a good social media agency.
STEP 4: SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYSIS
TASK 1: FACEBOOK
Go on the company’s Facebook page. After their website, this is the most important tool a business will use to build their online brand. In fact, did you know that, according to Ad Week, there are now over 40 million active small business pages on Facebook? No wonder it’s so popular since a Facebook page is a free and effective way to communicate a message to current clients and potential clients. When you are thinking of contacting a Montreal agency to get them to create social media content for you, make sure they have an active Facebook page with high quality visual and written content that generates a lot of engagement (by engagement, we mean likes, shares and comments). Their ability to attract such interactions on their own page is a demonstration of what they’ll be able to do for yours.
TASK 2: LINKEDIN
When it comes to business, LinkedIn is the main social media platform. Take a look at your prospect’s LinkedIn page. Ideally, their services should be clearly and concisely described under the « About » tab. Take note that LinkedIn is also where you will be able to spot the people who work there and/or who are involved with the company. Perhaps you already know some employees or past clients. If so, this can be helpful for you as you can get in contact with those people and get a closer, more intimate look into the social media agency in question. Also, you want your future social media managers to be active on LinkedIn and generate engagement without being overwhelming. If their LinkedIn resembles what you want your brand’s LinkedIn to look like, go for it!
TASK 3: OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Once you’ve delved into the company’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages, it’s time to look at the lesser-used professional platforms. For example, Instagram should really showcase their best graphical abilities. Look at the images produced by the company, are they aesthetically pleasing enough? If not, simply dismiss this specific social media agency and move on. In 2019, no one has time for less-than-perfect images. If the social media agency has a Pinterest account, apply the same process there. When it comes to Twitter, you should know that although it is not the most popular social media outlet for businesses, it’s still important for a social media agency to have a presence there. Bonus point if the social media agency has an active Snapchat account since that means they really know how to reach younger audiences.
STEP 5: MEET THE TEAM
TASK 1: PREPARATION
Now that you’ve got your eyes set on a social media agency in Montreal, it’s time to prepare to meet the team! Make sure the people you are meeting know what they are talking about. Make sure they are experts in their field before you take the big step. Don’t be afraid to meet with many different companies before settling on one, because you need to be certain of your choice before making it. You also need to know exactly what you want out of this partnership and meeting. Get ready to paint a broad but precise portrait of your brand, your current social media situation and your social media dreams. Have an idea of how many hours per month you will require social media services; this will make sure that your company and the social media agency you are meeting will be on the same wavelength. Now choose a location and meet the team.
TASK 2: SELECTION
If you have an internal marketing director or someone from your team who has created content for your social media in the past, bring them along for the meeting! You can benefit from their perspective on the matter during the discussions with the social media agency. Make sure you take notes during the meeting, as to not forget what was said. If you are meeting with more than one agency, your notes will allow you to distinguish and remember each agency’s strengths and weaknesses later on in the selection process. Here’s a tip for you: Pick the agency whose content and vibe you love the most, and whose team you connect with the most. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions(during of after the meeting) if you aren’t too sure about a certain topic. If they are authentic social media experts, they will gladly share their knowledge with you.
You are now educated on everything you need to know before doing business with a social media agency in Montreal. We hope this article has enlightened you on the topic of social media marketing and that you found our tips helpful. And you know what the best part is? It’s not over yet. To summarize what has previously been said in this article, we’ve concocted an easy checklist for you to use during the process of choosing a social media agency in Montreal. Don’t wait any longer, check out our checklist now to make sure your potential social media agency has all the skills required to take your brand to the next level. And remember: don’t settle for anything less than the very best!
□ have a brand
□ want to make your brand shine on social media
□ know what you want out of this partnership
□ possess the funds required for a monthly social media partnership
The social media agency…
□ is on Google’s first page of results
□ is clear about what it creates and provides
□ understands your brand
□ knows how to create engaging ads and organic content
□ has a comprehensive website
□ has a history of creating high-quality content
□ has a vibe that you like
□ has an authentic list of legitimate previous clients
□ has good reviews on Google Reviews
□ has good reviews on Glassdoor
□ has a Facebook page with high engagement
□ has a professional LinkedIn page
□ has qualified staff members
□ has an aesthetically pleasing Instagram page
□ has accounts on other social media platforms such as Snapchat or Pinterest
□ is responsive
□ is willing to answer questions and share their knowledge
If all or most checks are filled, you have found your social media agency in Montreal, congratulations!