In this article “How to Start a Social Media Management Company/agency”, we explore the complete steps needed to start your own social media management agency and be successful
A Social Media Management Company is a business or agency that specializes in providing services related to the management, marketing, and optimization of a company’s or individual’s presence on various social media platforms.
These social media platforms include the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, and more.
The Typical services rendered or offered by a social media management agency are:
- Content Creation
- Scheduling and Posting
- Audience Engagement
- Analytics and Reporting
- Advertising and Promotion
- Strategy Development
- Social Listening
- Reputation Management
- Community Building
- Platform Optimization, and
- Crisis Management (such as managing PR issues or addressing viral negative feedback).
But, just so you know, the specific services offered can vary depending on the client’s needs and goals.
The primary goal of a social media management company is to help clients effectively leverage social media to achieve their marketing and branding objectives.
Here is what you need to do to start a social media management company:
Table of Contents
1. Define Your Services To Be Offered:
There are numerous services you can offer in your social media management company, such as;
There are numerous services you can offer in your social media management company, such as;
Specialization in Platforms or Industries
By clearly defining the services your social media management agency will offer, make it easy for clients to know what to expect, when they choose your services.
The end goal here is specialization, as it will help shape your agency business to a high level of efficiency, understanding, and results.
But also know that it is very much possible for your agency to offer general services if you have the manpower, knowledge, and technical know-how to give efficient results to your clients.
2. Business Plan:
You need a clear roadmap to navigate this agency’s Industry. And that is where creating a business plan becomes paramount.
The business plan is generally a comprehensive document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operational details of a business.
Apart from being a roadmap to your company’s success, it helps you clarify your vision, make informed decisions, secure financing, and communicate your business strategy to stakeholders.
As a social media management agency, your business plan must contain these 3 key elements:
Your Defined Niche
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Clear Business Goals
3. Business Name and Branding:
Agency businesses are generally known for their creative, memorable, and unique business name and branding.
Because of the high impact that an agency PR can play in the success of their agency business, they don’t joke or pay casual attention when it comes to having that sellable business name and branding.
While the business name (inclusive of the domain name) should focus on being memorable and impressive to clients.
Branding on the other hand should focus on logo, color scheme, voice and tone, typography, and tagline.
4. The Legal Side:
The legal side is very important in every business. The first thing to do on the legal side of starting your social media management company is to register your business.
In Nigeria, the government agency responsible for that is the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Registering your business makes it a legal entity separate from you. Meaning it can sue and be sued.
In the process of registering your business, you will be given the option of choosing your legal structure, otherwise known as organizational structure.
Here are some legal structures you can register your social media management agency business with: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation, or S Corporation.
But for a business such as an agency, it is not advised to register it as a sole proprietorship.
After registration, you need to obtain your Tax Identification Number (TIN).
5. Acquire the Necessary Tools and Software:
To efficiently carry out your services, it is important to equip your social media management company with the necessary digital tools and software.
Running a social media management company requires the use of various digital tools and software applications to streamline your operations, improve productivity, and deliver high-quality services to clients.
The tools required to run a social media management company efficiently and effectively are:
- Social Media Management Tools: These tools are designed to help you schedule and manage posts across different social media platforms. They often provide features for content planning, post automation, and analytics tracking. Examples of social media management tools are; Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Buffer, Sendible, MeetEdgar, SocialPilot, Loomly, Eclincher, Sprin, IFTTT, etc.
- Analytics and Reporting Tools: Analytics tools help you track and measure the performance of your social media campaigns. They provide valuable insights into engagement, reach, and audience behavior. Popular choices include: Google Analytics and Social media platform insights.
- Content Creation and Design Tools: Creating visually appealing and engaging content is a crucial part of social media management. You can use graphic design tools to produce images, videos, and graphics for your posts. Notable options include: Canva, Adobe Express, Piktochart, Google Trends, Trello, Giphy, Unsplash, BuzzSumo, Adobe Creative Cloud, Typeform, BeFunky, Animoto, Audacity, InShot, Adobe Photoshop, Animaker, Evernote, Answer the Public Ltd., Hemingway Editor, Copy.ai, etc.
- Keyword Research and SEO Tools: If you’re involved in content creation and optimization, tools for keyword research and search engine optimization (SEO) will help improve the visibility of your content in search engines. Tools like Moz, SEMrush, or Ahrefs are invaluable for SEO-focused tasks.
- Project Management and Communication Tools: Effective project management and communication are essential when working with clients. Tools like Trello, Asana, Slack, or Microsoft Teams will help you organize tasks, communicate with your team, and collaborate with clients.
- Data Security and Privacy Tools: Protecting client data and ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations is critical. Invest in cybersecurity software and practices to safeguard sensitive information.
- Training and Education Resources: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in social media management through online courses, webinars, and industry-specific resources.
If you can have all the aforementioned tools and resources at your disposal, your social media management agency is set on the right path.
6. Create Contracts and Agreements For Clients:
The essence of drafting out contracts to clients for legal binding and understanding can not be overstated.
It is a necessity because social media management agency services involve breaches of privacy and access to sensitive information, especially from the clients.
If you think it is irrelevant, clients will ask for it before they can trust you with their social media account and details.
To better understand what this contract and agreement with clients is;
“They are written documents that explicitly outline the terms, obligations, and rights of both your social media management company and your clients. They are legally binding and provide a structured framework for your business relationships.”
Below are guidelines that will help you draft a perfect contract for your social media management agency clients:
- Each contract should be customized to the specific client and project.
- Clearly define the scope of work in your contracts.
- Be as specific as possible to avoid misunderstandings later on (Outline the tasks, deliverables, and any limitations or exclusions).
- Your contracts should specify the pricing structure for your services.
- Clearly outline payment terms, including due dates, accepted payment methods, and any late payment fees or interest charges.
- Define the expectations and responsibilities of both parties.
- Make sure that both your company and the client review and agree to the contract terms before finalizing and signing.
- Maintain organized records of all contracts and agreements for your company.
In addition, Consulting with a legal professional, such as a business attorney, is a prudent step. Legal experts can help you draft contracts that are legally sound, compliant with local laws, and tailored to your specific industry and services.
7. Team and Skills:
Begin by evaluating your own skills and expertise in social media marketing.
Consider your level of knowledge, experience, and proficiency in areas such as content creation, social media platform management, analytics, and client communication.
By going through this inner cross-examination you will get to know your strengths and weaknesses with the end goal of understanding which aspects of social media management you excel in and where you might need support for your social media management business.
When you are done and concluded with that, the next step will be to start hiring staff to make up your team.
It should be noted that this business requires more of digital skills than educational qualifications. So, you must prioritize digital skills acquisition over educational qualification.
Here are the common but important positions that need to be occupied to run an efficient social media management company/agency:
- Content Creators
- Social Media Managers
- Sales and Business Development
- Administrative and Support Staff
With those positions occupied by competent hands, you have less to worry about the success of your agency.
But you also need to encourage a culture of continuous learning within your team to ensure that everyone is equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver exceptional results for clients.
It is also prudent to collaborate with other professionals in the industry, such as graphic designers, photographers, copywriters, and SEO experts, who can collaborate with your team to enhance the quality of your services.
8. Marketing and Networking:
Marketing and Networking play a huge role in promoting the visibility of your social media management company.
Networking can easily be achieved by attending industry-specific networking events, conferences, workshops, and webinars.
These events provide opportunities to connect with potential clients, partners, and other professionals in your field.
While the marketing aspect focuses on developing marketing strategies that outline how you will promote your social media management company and attract clients.
The core focuses of marketing are; The target audience, promotion of your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and Lead Generation and conversion.
Here are marketing strategies that are usually deployed to achieve marketing goals in the social media management business:
- Social Media Marketing (Freemium)
- Paid Advertising On Social Media
- Online Advertising (eg Google Ads)
- Referral Partnerships
- Client Testimonials and Case Studies
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Starting a social media management company can be a rewarding endeavor if you’re passionate about social media and digital marketing.
Success often comes with dedication, a strong work ethic, and the ability to deliver results for your clients in an ever-evolving digital landscape.
Is social media management a profitable business?
Yes, social media management agency is a profitable business. Many businesses and individuals rely on social media to reach their target audience and promote their products or services.
And as a social media manager who helps to create and maintain a strong online presence, that leads to increased engagement and revenue for their clients.
You will always have clients who will need your services, especially if they have proof of positive testimonials from previous clients who have worked with you in the past and in the present.
But not to worry, if your social media management agency is new and has no clients to use as testimonials, you can still get clients by focusing greatly on your branding and marketing, topping it with high-quality services.
How to start a social media marketing agency with no experience?
Starting a social media marketing agency with no experience can be challenging, but it’s possible with dedication and the right approach. Here is what you need to start a social media marketing agency with no experience:
Education and Training
Choose a Niche
Build an Online Presence
Offer Free Services
Offer Free Services
Collaborate and Network
Legal and Contracts, and
Marketing and Branding
What skills do I need to start a marketing agency?
To start a marketing agency, you need skills in:
Creativity and Innovation
Can I start my own digital marketing agency?
Yes, you can start your own digital marketing agency. To do so, you’ll need a strong understanding of digital marketing strategies, industry knowledge, and the ability to acquire and serve clients effectively. Also, continuous learning, adaptability, and building a reputable brand are foundational steps to build success as a digital marketing agency business owner.
Where do social media managers make the most money?
Social media managers tend to make the most money in regions with a high cost of living, such as major cities in the United States, like New York City and San Francisco. Additionally, industries like technology, finance, and healthcare often offer higher salaries for social media management roles compared to other sectors.