Choosing the right social media company for your professional services business

Professional services firms such as lawyers, accountants, and surveyors are increasingly seeing the value in having a strong social media presence to raise their profile, attract new work and talented new recruits. Against that, they are often too busy with their day job to be able to dedicate the time an effective social media campaign needs. One option is to engage an external company to manage social media – something that those in the professional services industry rightly regard as very risky.  

With professional services, a “one size fits all” approach rarely works. It is important to carry out due diligence and outsource to a specialist who has professional services experience and industry knowledge ensuring professionalism, brand consistency, relevance and the right tone of voice.

What steps should you take when choosing an external company to manage your social media?

- Expertise and experience is key! Can they demonstrate sufficient understanding of your brand and industry that you can confidently trust them with your social media – an extension of your business and what it stands for?

- Understand what you want to achieve from your social media campaign and make this clear to the company you are engaging – what will success look like and how will this be measured? Is it just building followers or the quality and relevance of those followers? Is it to build profile through regular posts, to generate leads or to explain more about your business to in turn attract high calibre new recruits?

- Have the company you plan to use researched and thought about your target audience and what want to achieve before setting up or taking over your social media accounts? Have they put together a strategy around messaging, target audience, your competitors and the most effective platforms to use?

- Meet the team – make sure you meet the full team including the person/people that will actually manage your social media accounts on your behalf on a day to day basis. Don’t just meet with the sales team or Director.

- How often will they communicate with you? Will you receive regular updates and progress reports with agreed times when they will communicate with you, be it through email, phone or meeting.? How responsive will they be and how easy are they to get in touch with?

- Be clear on what you will be expected to do, for example, what content will you be providing and how often?

- Check out their website and own social media – what messages are they putting out on their own social media and what is their tone of voice like? Do they have useful blogs reinforcing their expertise and experience? Is this relevant to your sector? 

- Can you read case studies and or testimonials on their website/social media? If you can see what other clients have said about them and what type of clients they have, you will soon get an indication if they can do the job.

- Ask if they provide social media training. Whilst they will be responsible for the day to day management of social media, if they can provide easy to follow and effective training on the tools and techniques that they are using, then this demonstrates their expertise and experience as well as helping you and your team to understand how social media works and how to get the most from it.