I’ve been running VHDigital for nearly two years now, and I’ve come to realise a few things when taking over accounts that have been handled by other consultants or social media agencies. Here are ten reasons you should fire your social media agency or consultant.
1.) They make follower counts a priority
If they say anything like big follower counts or high like numbers or even mention it as a success metric, fire them. These are empty metrics; you can buy these numbers in a heartbeat.
2.) They mention ‘Klout’
I have a personal hatred for Klout — a flawed influencer tool. One thing that blows my mind is people quoting their Klout score on CV’s — tells me not to hire them. Influencer marketing deserves its own post, but in short its bespoke. You take different metrics into hand dependent on the campaign. You also need to consider how your choice of influencers will affect other metrics, like your SEO or longevity of campaigns.
I once complained to BT about my internet connection, and we had a few back and forths on Twitter. The next day Klout marked me as influential in telecommunications. I think not.
3.) The social media report is 60 pages long and tells you nothing
Nothing worse than sitting through a report presentation or phone call and the social media agency is taking you through 60 pages of crap. They need to break this down into bi-weekly meetings and one big one at the end of the month. Bi-weekly works better as having one a week will probably not show much difference in the data. The bi-weekly meeting should last no more than 30mins over a phone call. 4 or five slides showing KPI’s and next steps. The monthly one is slightly longer but ten slides at the most. You still need to go through the content plan too, so don’t want to be brain-dead from a novel of a presentation.
The slides need to be straight to the point, show what’s worked, what hasn’t, how it’s being changed and so forth with a summary. Done. Do you need to know the spectrum of colour that works or how slough feels about kitten photos from last Wednesday?
4.) The content plan is vague
I’ve witnessed teams filling in a content plan for the month; they only tick boxes. They know they have to get 4 to 5 posts out each week, so they make up posts. Random messages that have no purpose.
- Happy Friday, what you up to?
- Oooh Motivational Monday, here’s a quote we randomly copied and pasted
- Look a kitten, buy our product
- Constant sales pitches
The content plan needs to have data behind it. Your agency or consultant should be using some sort of system or tool that justifies what content you are sharing. You need to know why its being suggested as content. If you have one good post and then a load of random not thought through pieces it will be detrimental to your efforts. The agency needs to know what times, what topics, what formats and what channels are most effective in communicating with your audience.
5.) No science behind hashtags
One thing that does my head is the use of Hashtags as a punchline. E.g: Eating the biggest burger ever #needtosticktodiet — it’s pointless, serves no purpose and will not give you the exposure you need. On top of that are slapping on some random hashtag that is the central theme for a campaign without any paid support or cross over into related conversations. For instance, let’s say you are running a sportswear campaign and the hashtag is #feeltheburn — use it but add related ones too so that it gets exposure in other conversations. Especially on Instagram.
When looking for related hashtags or even ones that are doing well, use something like Ritetag. Ritetag will help show connotations or show you popular tags you could use.
They need to show that there is thought in the hashtags, don’t waste text space with random ones.
6.) One size fits all automation
I’ve seen this so many times. A social media ‘expert’ creates one tweet and then adds it to a queue on Buffer or HootSuite or whatever tool they are using. Then ticks the box to make sure it’s on Facebook, google+ and Linkedin. There are different audiences on these channels; content needs to be repurposed for each one. Hashtags serve no purpose on Linkedin, so why would you have them? Some images need to be resized to best-fit feeds.
If your agency or consultant is doing this, fire them. It’s lazy.
7.) No auditing of efforts
First thing I do when working with a new client is gain access to past efforts or suggest they run an audit of about three months or more. This way you can easily see what works, what doesn’t, whats needed and more. If they aren’t asking for this they are just taking over the account and trying some stuff. There have been cases where I’ve made clients shut down channels and they are doing nothing for them, or completely changing a tone of voice.
8.) No established KPIs
You agency needs to show you some form of success measuremnt. Even if they are merely contributing to a user journey they need to show this. They can show some pretty graph of growth or reach but what does that mean to the sales team? Have they asked for access to google analytics for instance and setup a social dashboard? Are they making an effort to show you the attribution the content is having. Even better for sales is for them to make sure they have pixels or some form of conversion proof setup.
I did this for a fashion client a while back, it was incredible. We were able to forecast the value of a content plan based on the sales data coming back. Instead of presenting a content plan that showed potential reach only we showed a projection of revenue. Yes not exact but the sales guys faces would light up as it all made sense.
9.) Not suggesting paid
Organic is practically dead, you can make it work through various techniques but it needs help. A good agency or consultant will recommend paid activity. They will know when you should spend, when a piece of content needs a boost. So many times I’ve seen community managers go through the motion of putting out content and hoping for the best, at the same time the algorithms are kicking in and killing all their efforts. There should be a timing plan on your content plan showing when paid should be used.
10.) Using Google for influencers
Yep, seen this first hand. Worked at an agency once where the team did a quick google search for some influencers. Then used them, then expected me to explain to the client at the end of campaign report why the influencers performed so poorly.
As mentioned above, there is a process. There is research; there are metrics to take into account for the campaign goals. Use the tools available; there are plenty out there. Create your formula for the task at hand and then filter through the influencers you need
Another point I haven’t mentioned on this list (probably because ten sounded better than 11) is if your social media agency is not integrating with other marketing efforts. If they aren’t working with the PR team or the ATL team, they are running a completely separate entity to all your marketing efforts. Social Media and content work harder when running alongside the other disciplines.
Now, if you are about to fire them, head over to my ‘work with me’ page and I’ll sort it all out ;-)
Originally published at vhdigital.co.uk.