If we were to describe the world today in terms of social media talk, the “Instagram Era” would be an appropriate name. Not only is the number of users on the platform adding up each day, but these newcomers are also more active than ever. This is great (amazing actually) news for brands and social media agencies alike. However, while the increase in popularity (for social media platforms and Instagram in particular) is something we should all be happy about, it does come with a big bunch of challenges. And social media agencies must be prepared to face them.
If you’ve been working in a social media agency, no matter your job title, you know exactly what we’re talking about. We might even hear a “what’s new?” muttered from your lips. Or we might even see a glimpse of condescendence as you read and say “we already knew we were having those problems”. Our goal is not to rub the challenges in your face, but to help you find solutions. In order to do that, sure, we need to identify the challenges. But it’s a necessary evil. So bear with us, ‘cause we’re going to get to the other beautiful side all safe and sound.
A shortage of resources
Whether it’s time, money, people or simply inspiration, running high on all resources needed to create great social media campaigns is excruciatingly hard. And, while you might be inclined to give up one resource in favor of the other, don’t! That’s the fastest way to get to bad content. All good, but what’s the fastest way to get to great content?
First, make sure you have all the tools needed to help you gain more time for your content production. That means reaching out to some productivity tools to help you manage your time as smartly as possible. We won’t waste your time with boresome descriptions. Here’s the to-the-point-list:
- Canva to design your posts without breaking the bank
- Unsplash to find free and cool stock photos
- Basecamp to track your projects and be more productive
- Slack to make communication as simple as it gets and avoid slacking
- Evernote to write down your posts and strategy ideas when they appear
- Page monitor to help you with SEO
- Preppr to schedule your Instagram posts in advance
With the time problem already starting to look less like a problem, we can tackle the next issue: people. Fact is, you don’t have to always rely only on the content you produce. Actually, reaching out to user-generated content will do wonders for your overall social media strategy. Reposting and tagging are awesome to increase your reach and show appreciation. So don’t be afraid to use the tactic and ease some of the load on your hands. Especially when you’re handling multiple accounts.
Attracting talented social media managers
There’s no way to produce great content for your clients (and thus gain more clients) than by hiring talented social media managers. But in such a competitive market it’s hard to get the top of the top talent…if you don’t play your cards right. Add to this the problem of a general lack of talent and work ethic in the newly emerged digital industry, and you’ve got yourself tangled.
To get ahead, there are 2 solutions you must implement:
1. Work on your employer branding. Yes, you must aim to be Google-like. That doesn’t mean you should offer what Google offers, but it means that you should treat your employer branding as seriously and creative as they do. If you work towards creating a great work environment that’s tightly knit around an awesome mindset, you’ve won half the battle. So work your social media skills to also recruit your own.
2. Implement internship programs to grow your own. Yes, it involves time and more resources on your side (and we’ve already established you’re low on resources). However, in the long term, this is your best bet to grow and be successful. Always think “quality first”. And with an internship program you’ll be able to nurture the work ethic you want and, as a bonus, convince the interns that they’ll love to work at your agency (because, you know, you have such a cool employer branding).
Dealing with client expectations
When you have multiple clients (it’s enough to have 2 for your head to start spinning) you need to have a strong hold of all the aspects each business entails. You must be a wizard of management and a whisperer who knows how to set the bar high, but with real expectations. And, if it makes you feel any better, this is the number 1 challenge almost every social media agency always include on its list.
Your biggest ally in creating and sustaining your client expectations at the level they should be is statistics. Yes, you heard it right. Results never lie. You shouldn’t ignore them and your clients shouldn’t either. Actually, scratch that. You will make sure your clients won’t ignore them. How?
Well, to achieve this bold objective, you must start educating your clients. There’s no other way around it. To make sure your clients always ask and demand the right things, you must help them understand how those objectives can be reached. That means you need to educate your clients regarding your work process and about the way you measure results.
And here’s where statistics and insights jump in to aid you. Show them real results that can trigger real reactions. This way, you’ll prove what is possible and what is not and you’ll help them ground their feet on the ground. So, if you’re only starting to learn the insides of measuring ROI and campaign success, we suggest you get to work as fast as possible. Here’s a starting guide that’s going to save you some time.
Ready to take on the challenges?
Running a social media agency is a challenging business. But it really pays off. It’s exciting, it’s always on trend and it can be very rewarding. So, take the challenges as they come with a “bring it on“ as your status update. Oh, and we’re eager to hear what other challenges you’ve encountered along the way. Hopefully, together we’ll find some smart solutions.