The Internet marketing industry today is a landscape of outsourcing and B2B partnerships – but choosing the right ones, such as a social media agency to work with, is no simple endeavor  Several factors need to be taken into consideration; here are some of the foremost requirements you need to look for:

Access to the Right Technology

Successful social media marketing requires access to the right kind of web technology – from management solutions such as customer relationship management tools to programming and integration code such as Drupal or Joomla. This is one of the advantages of outsourcing your business’ social endeavors to a social media agency: they have the right tools and solutions for the right ventures. You need to ensure, however, that the tools and solutions they brandish are the ones you truly need. For instance, powerful programming languages like Drupal are great for external Facebook application programming interface (API) development, but are useless for closed networks like Google+.

People with the Right Skills

The social media agency of choice should be the one who can provide the personnel with the right skill sets for the job. Social media marketing is a constantly shifting industry, as dynamic as it is recent. Currently, all the processes and facets of social media entail skills like programming, customer service, copywriting, marketing, branding, and even analytics. Beyond these however, social media requires that these skills often exist in one person. Take a social media manager, for instance. He needs to be well-versed in branding and marketing, well-acquainted with content strategy and development, knowledgeable in social analytics, and as a bonus, he should also be sufficiently well-organized to oversee all these facets within the processes he handles. The problem, no course in university has yet to offer all these skills all rolled into one, and indeed, few career paths lead to having an expertise in all of these. This is an extra challenge that your business will need to overcome. Such horizontal expertise in skills normally separate means that you need a social media agency with experienced people. People who have managed such positions before, ensuring not just skill acuity but also a working knowledge of what this hodge-podge of skill sets entails.

Effective Social Processes that Render Results

As social media is still evolving, the number of processes within this field is never final. Social media managers today often handle several processes, including but not limited to: social intelligence gathering, consumer engagement, social content, and web development and integration. In the near future, this all could change.

This is why the social media agency you should partner with should have social process breakdowns that are effective. Their social processes should render results that deliver return on investment; otherwise, you will be investing capital into a business process with no measurable returns instead of leveraging it to increase business profitability. Evidently, choosing a social media agency can be as complicated a task as it is significant. Given the right choice, however, your business will prosper through the modern competitive advantage that is social marketing. This article was written by Stephan, a keen social media fanatic.

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