With the unprecedented growth in social media marketing over the past decade, entrepreneurs worldwide are eager to be a part of this expanding industry. In the race to create a mark in the digital realm, some social media agencies have fortunately found success, but a large number have failed to take off.
While there is no hard and fast rule to building a successful social media agency, following certain ideologies can increase your chances of surviving in this cut-throat industry.
The Importance Of Establishing Your Company Culture
A warm and welcoming culture is vital to enhance employee productivity. At Schbang, we do that by encouraging a culture of transparency. There are no cabins or diversions between the founders, senior managers and team members. Having a fluid structure creates a collaborative work culture, where each employee feels comfortable enough to work together and explore their full potential.
The term ‘social media agency’ has a youthful and energetic vibe – the persona of your agency should reflect that. Therefore, we encourage a culture of “Work Hard, Party Harder”. The office is a very casual space with couches and artsy decor to give a contemporary vibe. Nonetheless, it is easy to get carried away with the “fun” element. Finding the balance between a fun work environment while having a professional work ethic and adherence to timelines is a must.
As they say, there must be method to the madness. This can be ensured by documenting the processes in the form of employee manuals, invoicing systems, weekly trackers and monthly employee reports. Not only do these procedures help management track the progress and employees understand their role, but also provide reassurance to clients that all processes are being monitored.
Investing In A Strong Senior Team
You know how they say that your people are your biggest asset? I’m a firm believer of that! This starts by building a strong founding/senior team who have the experience and skill set to guide the new agency in the right direction. Finding seniors in the social media industry is difficult as the industry itself is relatively young, but once you have built an experienced team it’s much easier to groom juniors. The senior team will be able to percolate the culture down to the new team a lot more effectively and provide company-specific training via classroom and experiential methods.
Additionally, it is important to have transparency of business processes with senior executives. By sharing confidential documents such as financial reports, not only will they feel entrusted and appreciated, but they will also have knowledge of the expenses incurred and redundancies. Without having access to such information, it is extremely difficult for the team to develop more effective practices.
Never Underestimate The Power Of Networking
Social media agencies are popping up all over the place. Investors and brands are likely to think twice before trusting a new, unknown agency. However, if they have already had a good rapport with the founders in the past, or have heard positive reviews from reliable sources, there are higher chances of an alliance forming. Therefore, let people know you exist and you are here to stay – be a regular at industry events!
It’s All About The Geography – Location Matters!
This may not seem like a major concern, but you’ll be surprised to know the importance of a central location for your headquarters. To attract the right talent, you must provide them with a safe neighbourhood that is easily accessible. This means ensuring public transport is available nearby for the convenience of both your employees and your clients. Invest in a property that is close to local amenities such as restaurants, bars, a pharmacy and an ATM. This will undeniably mean major investment on rent, but it will certainly attract talent and clients that will help your company grow.
Create A Buzz With Your Brand Name & Logo
“What’s in a name?” Well Shakespeare, a name is your brand, your identity, the integral factor that sets you apart in all the clutter. Let’s face it, a name gives you game! In today’s fast-paced world where people don’t have time to stop and ponder, a catchy name and logo provides instant ease of recall for a brand. It should be memorable and have significance. Imagine a digital marketing agency with the name “Digital Agency”. You would instantly know what the brand does, but would you trust your social media marketing with an agency that can’t even come up with an innovative brand name? You want a brand identity that creates curiosity and makes people want to look twice, one that has a riveting backstory, which is how Schbang came into being.
Greatness Starts With A Clear Vision To The Future
Imagine walking down a path without any destination in mind – could be fun right? Now imagine doing that while carrying a huge stash of money – scary, isn’t it? It’s fun to be spontaneous and impulsive, but when you’re running a business and have invested time and money into it, you want to have a clear goal; a vision to work towards. That doesn’t mean just creating a mission statement. This will certainly keep you on track with your overall goal, however it is more important to formulate a plan that you can sell to your team and develop as your business evolves.
When we started Schbang, we created a conventional mission statement like any other company. Eventually, we gathered the Senior Team to brainstorm what they perceived Schbang’s mission and culture to be, and collated all their inputs to create an employee manual. The point is that the Team collectively builds the culture that’s percolated through the company; it isn’t simply dictated by the founders.
In terms of long-term vision, I believe it is essential to have a clear investment plan from day 1. Do you want to self-fund a single-office organization? Do you want to start small with a great idea and then attract big investors? You need to have these answers from the start, or else you are likely to fall short. Once you have a clear plan in your mind, only then can you convince stakeholders to buy in to your vision.