By Managing Director of Boost Social
I know this is a controversial topic, but I had to put it out there. Especially after listening to so many stories from our clients about how their previous digital agency took control of their assets, did not respond when asked about updates, did not send any reports of any work being done and finally how they got fooled. Authenticity in digital agencies these days is difficult to acknowledge – its the sad truth! Keeping the communication lines open when you’ve hired a digital agency to manage your marketing is key. Sometimes it can be hard to know how things are really going. Are they actually doing a good job? We’ve compiled a list of points to consider and if the digital agency you’ve hired is not telling you the following – you should fire them NOW. (Although be sure to read your contract because you may be legally bound to give them notice!)
Account logins and passwords
You are entitled to have all the logins to your accounts. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business or Adwords, you should be able to have unlimited access to this with all the passwords and logins. It is your account, your money that’s being used to advertise and therefore you should have the ability to log in whenever you want. Obviously, some digital agencies will make excuses as to why you shouldn’t have access. One of the excuses they may use is you might post something that doesn’t quite fit the feel or look of the brand, however, without logins and passwords to your accounts, you are not able to actively:
1) check on the insights
2) get a third-party agency to do an audit of the accounts
3) ensure that advertising spends are as promised
In some cases, if the relationship sours, an agency may hold your accounts to ransom. If the digital agency you are working with won’t provide access to your accounts, you should fire them. Having the account logins and passwords provides you with some protection.
Today, anyone who takes a selfie and posts it to Instagram with a few well-chosen hashtags and gains a following may take the liberty to call themselves a social media expert. There is so much false information circulating about social media from people to be portraying themselves as authorities in the digital marketing field. There is much more to digital marketing than posting a lovely picture of a sunset with a caption that says happy hump day. How can you be sure you’re not hiring a self-proclaimed digital expert? Ask for proof. Any stay at home mum or personal trainer can set up a website and call themselves a digital marketing expert. Make sure your digital agency is telling what qualifications or ask for social proof and talk to their current clients.
What their capabilities are
Some digital agencies will promise the world just to sign a client on the dotted line of a contract. They will say they can do it all and then worry about how to provide the services at a later date (or in some cases, not at all!). You may have a list as long as your arm of tasks you would like the digital agency you hire to be able to complete, but finding one that specialises in everything is like trying to find a rainbow coloured unicorn. It is better to work with a company that is transparent and admits while they specialise in social media, and that producing TV commercials is outside of their skill set, than work with an agency who fabricate their abilities and can’t deliver when necessary. If the agency you’re dealing with has made promises they can’t keep, then it’s time to vote them off the Island.
Reporting in easy to understand terms
For anyone who has looked at Facebook Insights, the graphs and percentages can seem confusing. Who’s got time to wade through a month’s worth of data? Your digital agency may be providing you with statistics in graphs and proclaiming how fabulous your socials are doing, but what good is it if you don’t understand it. Weekly reports outlining the achievements may be fulfilling contractual obligations, but when it comes down to it as a business owner you only want to know a couple of things such as new leads, sales conversions and return on investment. If your digital agency can’t provide you with clear and concise reports, then perhaps you need to reconsider whether you keep them on.