While reviewing my Twitter account today, I noticed three additional follows from new social media agencies within the last week.

Nothing surprising in that – after all, I try to consistently post useful content, How-to blog posts and leading thinking and developments, plus the odd funky tune and picture, so it stands to reason that new kids on the social media block might want to follow too. 

socialmediaEven though I launched the UK’s first fully-managed blogging service back in 2005, I’m a firm believer in a healthy level of competition, to keep social media agencies and social media consultants on their toes and performing well for clients.

It’s critically important when hiring a social media agency to find the right fit for your business, and so, here’s a few tips from me on how to hire well – or, to put it another way, my 6 P’s of things to look for, when hiring a social media agency.

Remember, it’s their job to make you look absolutely brilliant online, and draw profitable attention to your door:

1. Passionate

Is the social media agency or consultant passionate about social media? Are they passionate about getting you results on social media platforms? Can they demonstrate their passion for social media? I give all new clients full access to my social media profiles.

2. Professional

Is the social media agency or consultant professional in their outlook to social media platforms? Have they delivered professionally for other businesses and agencies on a variety of relevant social media platforms? Is their own social media presence professional? My social media presence is consistent across a number of social media platforms.

3. Prompt

Is the social media agency or consultant prompt in the social media presence? Are they blogging, tweeting and adding powerful content promptly, consistently and with a proven track record? Is their social media promptness provable for other existing clients? I’ve been blogging since 2005 and engaging businesses across the social media environment ever since. I tweet daily and blog weekly – without fail.

4. Personable

Is the social media agency or consultant personable? Is it apparent that they have a social and professional personality which will translate well for your business or rosta of agency clients, if you put them in front of them? Is their personality appropriate for social media engagement on your behalf? As an editor of more than a decade, I’ve interviewed and worked with pretty much every personality type you can imagine. And, yes, some of them were a nightmare. The majority, however, were fantastic.

5. Practical

Is the social media agency or consultant a practical deliverer? Can you see a track record of ‘sleeves rolled up’ by them? Are you confident that they will work hard, consistently and diligently on your behalf on social media platforms? I always deliver personally, not via a team abroad. My charges are based on a personal, practical, 1-to-1 working relationship.

6. Price

Now, although we’re all looking for a bargain, is your social media agency or consultant too cheap? After all, if they charge peanuts, what do you think the results will be? Are you looking for a cheap, non-effective social media presence, or have you allocated a workable budget for your social media consultant to deliver on your behalf? I usually charge a (reasonable) set day rate and take it from there. It’s not cheap, but it saves the client time, energy and effort they can then spend more profitably elsewhere.