How to Start a Social Media Marketing Agency in 2022

by Khadija Munir
12 minutes
social media marketing agency

As companies realize they need help to manage their social media accounts, there is an increasing demand for social media services.

    According to various studies,

  • 54 percent of social surfers use social networking to research products.
  • Users spend 2 hours 25 minutes a day on social networking and messaging apps.
  • 4.55 billion people use social media as of October 2021.
  • Millennials spend two hours and 38 minutes each day on social media, while Gen Z spends two hours and 55 minutes.
  • 69 percent of adults in the United States use Facebook, and 76% visited the site last month.
  • During the third quarter of 2021, Facebook had 1.93 billion daily active users.
  • 98.3% of Facebook users use mobile devices.
  • 70 percent of marketers utilize Facebook ads, and there were 10 million active advertisers on the platform.

While agencies are not a new phenomenon, they are becoming increasingly common.

This is the perfect time if you are thinking about starting a social media marketing agency. The world of social media marketing has only just begun. As technology advances and people become more comfortable with digital, the demand for this type of work will continue to increase. That being said, starting your own SMM agency isn’t for everyone.

But if you get a hang of how to start a social media agency, the rewards can be great — both personally and professionally.

First, you need to know what a social media agency is before starting one.

What is a Social Media Agency?

An organization specializing in social media marketing and management for businesses as their clients is a social media agency.

The services may include:

  • Providing advice and consultation on how to use social media.
  • Creating and managing social media accounts for clients who don’t want to do it themselves.
  • Developing and deploying social media campaigns for clients.
  • Managing online reputation for clients.

For example, if you wanted to set up a Facebook page for your business but didn’t want to do it yourself, you could hire a social media agency to do it for you. A good agency will also advise you on what type of content works best on Facebook, how often you should post, etc.

Read “Benefits of Social Media Marketing Automation” to know more about tips to ace as an agency.  

Social media agency: What you’ll need to know?

While social media marketing has existed since the beginning of social media, it was not until recently that the marketing world began to realize the power of these platforms. Consumers spend hours on social media each day, and brands have been able to harness that attention and build relationships with their customers. 

Social media marketing has thus become the focus of a growing number of marketers.

If you’ve been thinking about how to start a social media agency, here’s some of the stuff you will need to learn when you start a social media agency:

1.  How to utilize major social media platforms

 If you work in a social media agency, then it stands to reason that you’ll need to be pretty familiar with all the major social media platforms. If you’re going to manage other people’s profiles, you must know how all these platforms work. The way each platform works will vary slightly. This is why it’s so important for anyone who works in a social media agency to be familiar with them!

It’s also important that you understand the importance of each platform and what they can each offer your clients.

  • Sign up for accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
  • Create a profile page for your agency on each platform.
  • Use the agency account to follow other businesses you would like to work with (potential clients).
  • Learn how to set up ads on Facebook and Twitter so that you can promote your own business in the future.
  • Learn how to create different posts and content that people want to share and engage with on each platform.

2.  How to create content for those platforms

Social media content creation is an art and a skill that requires time to learn. This is not something you can pick up overnight, as you’ll need to work on your writing skills, editing skills, research skills, and, most importantly, your creativity.

It’s also important to understand the different types of content that you can create for different social media platforms.

For example, Twitter is great for sharing articles and quick thoughts, while Facebook is perfect for longer status updates. Instagram is a photo-sharing site, and YouTube lets you share videos.

You will also have to learn how to target your audience and make content appealing to them. You will need to know how to set up accounts for your clients on different social media sites to reach their customers and grow their business.

Some social media strategies are better than others because they target specific users rather than everyone!

For example, you might want to start with Twitter if your client already has an account or Facebook because it’s more popular than other sites like LinkedIn, which tend towards professionals rather than consumers. Suppose they’re unsure what platform would work best; consider creating one specifically tailored to them. In that case, this could include setting up an account just for employees, so there isn’t any confusion about who manages what aspect of their company’s social media presence.

Have a look at our Effective Content Marketing Plan to perfectly manage your content marketing. 

3.  How to analyze social media analytics and data

Now that you have the foundation for your social media agency and have a couple of clients, it’s time to look at the data.

Learning how to analyze data from social platforms is crucial for long-term success. It helps you find out what works best for your clients and allows them to adjust their strategy accordingly.

Social media agencies will be expected to have the tools and staffing to measure activity across all social networks.

Because social media agencies have been collecting data since the beginning, they are well-placed to help businesses use their data to make better decisions.

Businesses need to identify which parts of their online presence are working and which need improvement. The best way to do this is by using analytics, or data from social platforms, to determine what content works best, who your target audience is, and how you can reach them.

You will need to learn how to analyze data from social platforms when you start a social media agency to provide this service as part of your offerings. Here are some ways you can use analytics:

  • Determine which content performs best
  • Identify the right audience
  • Understand the demographics of your audience
  • Discover where your audience comes from
  • Track engagement metrics

4.  How to manage multiple clients at once

You might have only one or two clients when you are just starting. As your business grows, you will have more clients and need to stay on top of them. 

Here are some tips for managing your clients as a social media agency:

  • Set up regular check-ins with each client. This can be weekly or monthly, depending on what the client wants. If your client is someone that has daily content that needs to be posted, you might want to check in with them every day or two.
  • Set up individual boards or folders for each client. This way, all the posts that the client wants to send out are organized in an easy-to-find place. Each board or folder can hold all the relevant information for that client, including their brand guidelines and information about their customers and target audience.

Make sure you are following your client’s competitors on every platform they’re on to stay on top of what they’re doing and know how your client compares. You can use social media analytics to learn about your client’s competitors. 

Related Read: How To Write A Client Winning Social Media Proposal

A step-by-step guide to starting a successful social media agency

1.  Know Your Strengths

Identify your USP. Before you leap, make sure your skillset is up to scratch. You don’t have to be an expert at everything — in fact, you must know your strengths and weaknesses. If you can’t do something yourself, outsource it or hire someone who can.

You also need to find something that sets you apart from the competition. This is known as your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What are you offering that no one else can? Think about what makes you different and position yourself around this in every way possible — from how you present yourself on your website to interacting with potential clients.

Your USP should answer three questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you offer?
  • Why should I hire you?

Your USP doesn’t have to be anything spectacular — as long as it’s something that differentiates from other agencies and makes people sit up and take notice of what you have to offer.

2.  Identify Your Niche

Identifying your niche is a great way to create a framework for becoming a successful social media agency. It’s easy to get stuck on what your niche should be, but it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Sometimes the answer is right in front of you without realizing it.

But, the problem is that there are so many different niches out there. So how do you pick one? There are two main ways:

  • Choose a niche where you have knowledge and experience
  • Choose a niche with a high demand for social media marketing services.

If you know a specific industry, it makes sense to go with that. If, for example, you worked in IT, you could easily set up as an IT social media consultant. On the other hand, if you don’t have a specific niche in mind, then look at the current trends and find the industries where social media seems to be growing. You can use online tools such as Google Trends to help you decide on this.

You’ll want to research before deciding on one or two areas to focus on. Do some research on what other successful brands are doing and see how they got into their niche.

Related Read: Social Media Approval Workflow for Agencies: A Step-by-Step Guide

3.  Develop a services plan and pricing

Whether you’re a new agency or an established one, you need to have a clear social media agency pricing plan. You will likely offer various packages (e.g., standard, premium) and may also offer individual services (e.g., Facebook ads).

The main challenge is that social media marketing can be difficult to price, particularly if it requires creating original content. For example, if you’re offering social media management, this includes creating and publishing posts on behalf of the client. But how many posts? And what kind of posts? Or let’s say someone hires your agency for Instagram marketing — what do they get? How much time would you spend on their account?

It’s important to answer these questions before starting your social media agency pricing. How will the client know if you don’t know what is included in each package? And if you’re not charging for the value you provide, how will your agency be profitable.

4.  Create a portfolio

It’s not just recommendations from clients; you need to have a page where potential clients can see your work.

The majority of fantastic clientele comes from referrals via a portfolio page. The most effective strategy to win business is to show off your work. You’re off to a good start if you have experience in the field and can present case studies, previous work, and client testimonials. Before sharing a client’s work, always ask whether it’s okay!

5.  Establish credibility

If you’re building a social media marketing agency, chances are you’re excited about the potential for generating leads and building your brand.

The problem: Your clients don’t know you yet. It’s tough to convince them you can deliver results when they’ve never heard of you.

So how do you establish credibility before you get your first client?

The good news is that everyone has some level of credibility. It doesn’t matter where you are — even if you haven’t started yet — there are 3 critical steps to find and use that credibility.

  • Get your brand in order. Nothing destroys credibility faster than a badly designed website or unprofessional social media page. You’re asking clients to trust you with their reputation, so make sure yours is spotless.
  • Write high-value content for your target clients. The best way to gain visibility online is to create high-value, targeted, and trendy content that attracts the attention of your target customers. In the past, this was done by building links from other websites. Today, it’s about building relationships with influencers who will share your content with their followers on social media.
  • Create your case studies. The best way to establish credibility is by proving it through results. It’s difficult for a new company to have clients initially, but you can create case studies based on work you’ve done for yourself or previous employers.

If you want to succeed as a social media marketer, you need to establish yourself as an expert in this space. Without credibility, you won’t be able to win customers — no matter how hard you try.

6.  Start approaching & pitching to win clients

One of the biggest challenges for any entrepreneur is finding new clients. People are busy, and getting their attention is difficult.

There are two primary ways to find clients. The first is to offer freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr services. These sites have a ton of competition, and you’ll pay a fee for every client you win.

The second method is to find clients on your own. This means approaching local businesses, attending networking events, or leveraging your network with friends and family to get warm introductions to people who might need your services.

The second option is a far better way to find high-value clients at a lower cost (no fee for each client!), but it does require more work upfront.

7.  Hire staff & choose a social media management tool

Your social media accounts are all set up, you have a solid content strategy in place, and you’ve already started scheduling posts.

Now what?

You can’t scale a social media marketing agency without help, but it’s hard to know how to get that help when you’re just starting.

You might think hiring staff is a big leap, but it’s not.

As your agency grows, you’ll gain clients, increasing your workload. If you’ve been doing everything yourself, you have to either turn down new clients or put in more hours which isn’t sustainable over time.

As your agency grows, you may find that it’s getting harder to handle all of your clients and your accounts.

Hiring staff can help spread the workload and allow you to focus better on building and growing your business. Choosing a social media management tool for your agency can help your team work more efficiently together and provide a better client experience.

Social Media Tools allow you to access all of your clients’ accounts and manage them from a single dashboard. They also have built-in analytics, so you can quickly see how your social media campaigns are performing.

8.  Monitoring Your Progress

Sometimes we need to step back and look at what’s working, what’s not, and what can be improved. A monitoring plan is an important part of your social media marketing plan because it will show you how you are performing on social media. You can then adjust your activity based on the results.

You can monitor your progress by looking at monthly reports typically sent to you by the social media agency. These reports should include information about clients and the number of followers they have received. Additionally, they may include information about how many times people have visited their websites or clicked on the links on them.

To measure success, you need to understand what you are trying to achieve from social media, which can be challenging.

The trick is not to get lost in the minutiae of numbers and to focus on what your goals are.

If your goal is to increase engagement, then pay attention to how many people like and share your content. If you want more people to visit your website, check how many clicks you are getting on the links you share on your social media sites.

Analyze, Understand, and Improve Your Social Strategy

Stack your key social metrics against those of your competitors and make targeted steps towards social media success.

Hacks to better manage your social media agency

Running a successful social media marketing agency requires more than just social networks and online marketing knowledge.

You must also be incredibly efficient and productive with your time to stay ahead of the game.

But how?

Here are some tips that will help you to grow more:

1.  Don’t lose sight of your ‘WHY.’

Social media is a tool and not a means to an end. Before posting on Facebook or Instagram, know what and why you’re trying to achieve with social media.

2.  Have a social media policy in place

It would help if you established your policies for how you work and what you expect from your clients. This will help clarify your expectations and protect your business in the long run.

3.  Allow Flexible Hours

To have a successful social media marketing agency, you need to keep your employees happy. This means allowing them to work on their own time since they are likely creative and prefer to work in the morning or evening hours.

Letting your employees work when it’s best for them will also give them more time for personal matters, which can help increase their productivity. You’ll want to schedule regular meetings with each employee so that everyone stays on track.

Flexible working hours can benefit both the employee and the employer. Here are 7 reasons you should allow flexible working hours to manage your social media marketing agency better.

  • Employee satisfaction
  • Improved performance
  • Increased engagement
  • A happy environment
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Reduced turnover rates
  • Increased productivity

4.  Be consistent

This is one of the best ways to build trust with customers, but it’s also important for your team to stay aligned with the brand’s voice and tone. 73% of marketers believe that consistency positively impacts customer experience across all channels.

5.  Leverage influencers

Influencers are people within your niche who have a following of loyal fans. If they mention your brand, their fans will notice and may check out your business as well. More than 50% of marketers said using influencers effectively increased brand awareness, making this one of the best social media marketing tips we can give you.

6.  Know what success looks like for each client

Measuring success means defining metrics that matter to your clients and using those as indicators to measure growth and progress toward goals. Tools like Sprout Social can help with this, offering reporting capabilities that track key performance indicators (KPIs) for social media, like engagement rates, traffic generated and leads captured.

7.  Plan Your content in advance

Planning your content saves you time and helps you manage your social media marketing agency better.

Content planning is especially important when it comes to social media. To stay on top of the news, you need to have a clear head about what’s going on. It’s hard enough having to keep up with the latest updates from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, let alone deal with the constant stream of new articles and information that keeps coming in at an ever-increasing pace.

Here are some reasons you should be planning for your social media activity. You can:

  • Better manage your resources
  • Optimize your social media scheduling
  • Keep track of your progress and adjust accordingly
  • Better manage your clients’ expectations

Social Media Calendar for Digital Agencies

Organize all your social posts and visualize your client’s social media content plan with an interactive Content Calendar

Conclusion

Social media services have become a very lucrative business in the last few years, and the rise of video in social media has taken it to a whole new level. Many businesses are taking advantage of this opportunity, thus opening themselves up for competition. You need to position yourself as a specialist to compete with other companies.

Those marketers that are quick to adapt their strategy will be at an advantage. Whether you want to build your agency or join one, these tips will help you grow your social media service in the future.

Keep in mind that momentum is crucial when creating your agency. It will be slow going at first, and getting your first client is considerably more difficult than getting your second, third, or fourth. Put time and effort into your marketing strategies so that you may expand and, as you do, make the most of your network and recommendations.

Khadija Munir

Khadija is a prolific digital marketer who loves to read and write.

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