Whatever your feelings about Facebook are, it remains an indispensable tool for any business with an online presence in 2023. With approximately 2.93 billion users, more than a third of the world’s population is on Facebook – which means you need to be as well. Facebook ads are one of the best ways to connect with your customers, generate leads and build a reputation for your business. However, trying to understand, let alone manage, the ins-and-outs of Facebook ads on top of running a business is simply too much to handle.
To solve this, businesses are increasingly turning towards specialist Facebook agencies to manage their ad accounts with strategy and targeted approaches. Not all agencies are created equal however, and social media mismanagement is a quick way to burn a hole through a marketing budget. So, before you rush to Google in search of a social media saviour, it’s important to know what you’ll actually need them to do. In this blog, we’ll give you an overview of what a Facebook ad agency does and how to choose the right one for your business.
Why Use a Facebook Agency?
There are many reasons to hire a Facebook ad agency but the most common concern for business owners is time. You can certainly teach yourself how to set up, monitor and adjust Facebook ads, but doing so would just take time away from the day-to-day running of your business. Hiring an agency is the most efficient way to free up your time so you can concentrate on your business, while also putting the responsibility of your ad account in the hands of professionals.
Before you make a phone call or sign a contract though, you need to figure out where in the sales funnel you want your ads to capture customers and what you want the end result to be. Are you trying to increase sales and advertise products directly, or do you just want to build brand awareness? Will your ads be remarketing aimed at repeat customers and people who have already visited your website, or are you hoping to catch new customers in the discovery phase of their sales journey?
It’s okay if you don’t have an exact idea of what you want to achieve straight away, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t know all of the industry jargon yet – agencies love acronyms, and a good one will help them all make sense. Different agencies will have their strengths and weaknesses, so developing a general aim of what you want to achieve with your Facebook will help you separate those agencies who can help you from those who cannot.
What Should You Look For?
The first and most important question to ask of any agency is, can they do the job? All of them can and will tell you that they’re not only capable of doing the job, they’re the best people for it. But their word isn’t enough, you need proof, and the best proof comes in threes: results, case studies and testimonials.
Results are simple enough and can usually be communicated in a couple of bullet points. Results are the numbers on the surface that tell you what the agency achieved: how many leads, how many conversions, the percentage change over time. Results are a great snapshot of what an agency can do but to get the full picture you need to look at case studies.
Case studies give you the who, what and why behind the results. They let you see the clients the agency has worked with, learn what their goals or challenges were, and explain what the agency did to deliver results. A good agency will be able to show you several professional looking case studies that clearly brief you on the client and their industry, why they approached the agency, and what this agency did to solve the client’s problem.
Testimonials are the final and possibly most important part of the trio. Even if you’re impressed by the results and case studies you’ve seen so far, client testimonials will tell you what it was actually like to work with the agency and how they feel about their service after a project was completed. Most agencies will feature a selection of written testimonials on their website but these may not always be authentic – look for video testimonials where possible. Remember though that an agency is only ever going to show you their success stories. The best indicator that you are dealing with a good agency is if they provide you with a list of former clients so that you can ask them your own questions about their experience.
What Should You Look For?
Just as there are green flags that serve as a sign that you are dealing with a good agency, there are also red flags that act as warning signs to stay away. As above, these come in threes: guarantees, clauses, and low fees.
While every agency has strategies and methods that they will employ to get the best results possible, you should be wary of any agency that guarantees a certain level of performance. Ads are a complex tool with so many variables that impact their outcome, the greatest of which is people: sometimes an agency can write a perfect ad that, for whatever reason, simply doesn’t connect with the audience at the other end.
Any agency that offers things like ‘10% conversion guaranteed’ before they’ve even started working with you should be treated with caution. Like any marketing initiative, Facebook ads take time and lots of careful tweaking before they will yield the results you want – any agency that promises you the moon is simply doing so because they know it will lure you in.
You may not get a chance to find out about any fees until you’ve already chosen an agency and are having contracts drawn up, but it is always worth asking about early in discussions. Every agency will generally have a clause or policy around minimum notice periods required to terminate a contract, but if these terms include punitive or excessive fees (e.g. having to pay 3 months’ retainer to end a contract) it indicates one of two things.
Either the agency doesn’t believe in their ability to deliver results and are trying to discourage clients from leaving (in other words, keep them paying a retainer) or they are just interested in extracting as much money from you as possible. Whichever it is, you don’t want to find out the hard way – do yourself a favour and steer clear.
The inverse of a money-hungry agency is one that appears to be charging too little for their services. As is the case of any agency that guarantees a certain level of performance, an agency that offers a price that seems too good to be true (e.g. $500 a month for ad management) is probably just using this as a tool to bring in lots of business, and won’t actually spend the time on your accounts that they need.
The other option is that they are charging such a low rate because they are outsourcing the work overseas. If this is the case, you risk receiving work that isn’t up to standard and will probably lose even more money in mismanagement or having to fix their mistakes.
How Do You Decide On A Facebook Agency?
Get An Audit
Part of the difficulty of choosing a Facebook agency is that you don’t know how good they will be until you’ve had a chance to see their work firsthand. Audits are a great way to test the waters with a potential agency and are an effective way to weed out the viable options from those that are not-so-viable, without having to commit to a long-term contract.
The key thing to look out for with an audit is effort and action: how much effort have they put in, and what actions are they proposing? The one thing you don’t want to see is a 10 page report jammed with data but devoid of strategy. An effective audit from a competent agency will use your data to highlight issues that you are facing and suggest solutions to these problems.
If you are torn between a few different agencies, it is worth commissioning an audit from each of them in order to assess who has the better strategy for your business. Although it may seem like an unnecessary expense, an audit will allow you to get a clearer idea of what an agency will be like to work with and will prevent you from wasting money on an agency that won’t deliver results.
Are You In Need Of A Facebook Agency? Give Us A Call
If you are looking to hand off your social media management or want to know how Facebook ads can help to boost your business, get in touch with one of our team to discuss your options and what we can do to help. Alternatively, if you like what you see and want to dig a little deeper into our approach, book an audit and start making the changes your business needs to succeed.