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Thinking of hiring social media/marketing services

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Jwan, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Jwan

    Jwan UKBF Regular Free Member

    172 3
    Hello everyone

    I am thinking of hiring a local social media/marketing company. On Google, they have eleven, 5 star reviews, but these could be family/fake reviews.

    My business a limited company selling tea. It isn't making much money. The money is makes just about covers the cost of accounting, hosting and packaging.

    What should I be aware of when approaching a social media/marketing company? How do they work? How can I measure and confirm that they're doing a good job?

    What I really want is brining in more orders whilst still making a profit (after paying all business fees). Do such companies make their money by taking a % of any orders that they bring in? If not, how does their pricing work?

    I'm thinking of approaching them via email but I really wanted to get some clarity on this side of things before doing so.

    Thank you
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2020 By: Jwan Member since: Nov 2, 2015
    #1
  2. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,965 1,945
    From you questions, I'dsuggest that what you really want is somebody to help you to put together a strategic marketing plan - very few social media companies will help with this.

    Good ones will operate in line with your plan, bad ones will just spam their favourite platforms.

    As with any service, the first thing I'd pay attention to is the questions they ask, and how much they challenge you.

    Quick / cheap / easy is generally the hallmark of an incompetent or a scammer
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2020 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #2
  3. Jwan

    Jwan UKBF Regular Free Member

    172 3
    Thanks Mark, for clarity, what is typically outlined in a good "strategic marketing plan"? And how much does it cost to get someone to come up with one?
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2020 By: Jwan Member since: Nov 2, 2015
    #3
  4. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,965 1,945
    Oh dear.

    Start of with identifying exactly who you customer is, where they go, how they consume information, who the competiotion is etc etc

    Cost? Somewhere between £500 and £ 50 million
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2020 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #4
  5. Jwan

    Jwan UKBF Regular Free Member

    172 3
    I see, thank you.

    I can answer some of those questions because a while back I sent out a questionaire.

    Customers are between 25 and 40 years old, they are professionals and health conscious. Competition is other sellers of the same type of tea, but in the UK, there's one major one, though they don't have their own brand, they sell other brands.

    Good question about how they consume information, I don't really know that.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2020 By: Jwan Member since: Nov 2, 2015
    #5
  6. AstEver

    AstEver UKBF Regular Free Member

    114 25
    You can identify a few potential marketers/agencies and have them pitch for your business but you would need to know how to evaluate them.

    I concur with Mark T Jones on the marketing plan. In general, the money and time spent on planning will bring much better results long term than the money handed to marketers and praying that they know what they are doing.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2020 By: AstEver Member since: Jan 10, 2019
    #6
  7. Alison Moore

    Alison Moore UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    660 128
    In our experience social media companies will talk the talk but rarely walk the walk. They never guarantee any return on investment so you end up spending a small fortune with them for nothing in return.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2020 By: Alison Moore Member since: Aug 4, 2016
    #7
  8. UKSBD

    UKSBD Not a real duck Staff Member

    10,235 2,011
    Don't rely on anything you are told if it isn't in the contract.

    A lot of these marketing companies have something in the contract that effectively says,
    "Nothing any of our salesmen tell you applies if it isn't in this contract"
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2020 By: UKSBD Member since: Dec 30, 2005
    #8
  9. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,407 1,328
    Good luck finding anyone who knows what they are doing who will 'pitch' for the business.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2020 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
    #9
  10. Paul Carmen

    Paul Carmen UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    365 103
    The reality is they'll probably do what you ask them to, or what they normally do. Unless they carry out analysis of your business and the market as part of the project.

    Doing what they normally do may work, but without any research on the customer, market, competitors etc, you'll be relying on dumb luck. It's far more likely you'll just spend some money and not make any.

    The reason that research is key to the process is, identifying the customer and your USP, and how to get in front of them, are what the marketing plan should be all about.

    I suspect at present you don't really know enough about your customers or have a real plan; e.g. where the customers are, who they really are etc. This is key, as Facebook may not be relevant, I'm assuming this is B2C, so:
    • Do they shop on Amazon? - Then do you sell there, are your product pages & marketing optimised for this...
    • Do they look for health conscious brands and ethical advice as part of the purchase? - If so, your website content, landing pages are key, plus Google PPC/shopping and some SEO work may be more relevant...
    This is the kind of marketing you need, if you don't know the answers to these questions. Essentially a service from research to implementation, with proper analysis and testing as part of the marketing solution. Unfortunately most companies like that wont work with a very small budget, or on a percentage of sales, as they don't need to...
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2020 By: Paul Carmen Member since: Jan 27, 2018
    #10
  11. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,378 457

    You already say you are not making any profit so a social media/marketing company is not the answer for you.

    In any case, most of them are shysters who have no idea what they are doing. Those that do are not going to be knocking on your door looking for work.

    You really need to address your problem of low sales and no profit in a low cost way and that means doing all the work yourself.

    Stay clear of social media for now
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
    Posted: Oct 17, 2020 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
    #11
  12. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    33,491 9,930
    Selling where and to whom?

    Are you selling on eBay and Amazon? Can I find you on google shopping? When I search for your tea on google are you #1? Do you sell at farmers markets? Are you stocked in all the local garden centres?
     
    Posted: Oct 17, 2020 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #12
  13. Naheed Mir

    Naheed Mir UKBF Contributor Free Member

    95 8
    In my opinion, it is better to give the task to your own employee for social media marketing instead of outsourcing it. Many marketing companies will give you the opinion that they have the best social media managers, but they use a "packaged" style approach to social media. You will also get an idea of their organizational skills when they are making a social media plan for you to review.
     
    Posted: Oct 17, 2020 By: Naheed Mir Member since: Aug 10, 2020
    #13
  14. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    5,808 1,073
    Give @Lee Oakley a shout. Probably the best business decision I have ever made.
    Not really social media marketing, more SEO but he played a big part in changing my business from a one man band earning a wage to an actual business with enough turnover to support a couple of us.
     
    Posted: Oct 17, 2020 By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
    #14
  15. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,965 1,945
    Just - why are you here?
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #15
  16. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    33,491 9,930
    Not just here. @Naheed Mir is posting similar junk on other forums.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #16
  17. tigawoods

    tigawoods UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    OP You have not explained how you market your services. Don't go jumping into social media like many do thinking it will bring in leads. 99% don't and you end up giving all your money to social media companies who quite frankly do zero.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 By: tigawoods Member since: Jul 31, 2020
    #17
  18. Jwan

    Jwan UKBF Regular Free Member

    172 3
    I sell on Amazon, eBay and own site. If you search for my exact brand of tea, yes, but I am not first for the generic term of the tea.

    I am not stocked anywhere physical, I went to a couple of local health stores, but they weren't interested.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2020 By: Jwan Member since: Nov 2, 2015
    #18
  19. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    33,491 9,930
    So if you are already selling on a number of platforms, how is a social marketing wonk going to help? You are better off paying for advertising.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2020 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #19
  20. Jwan

    Jwan UKBF Regular Free Member

    172 3
    I tried that for a while, and although I did get a slight increase in orders, the money that came in didn't cover the advertising cost.

    I will steer clear of hiring anyone for social media right now.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2020 By: Jwan Member since: Nov 2, 2015
    #20