As a college student, I was asked repeatedly where I wanted to work when I graduated. My choices were in-house for one brand and one company, or at an agency handling multiple clients.

To be completely honest, the thought of working at an agency scared me.

All of my internships were with sales-oriented companies, not creative agencies. I knew my skills would allow me to help one company grow their branding and marketing on social media, so that’s what I set out to do.

I accomplished my goal of in-house marketing work during three different internships, but none of them were inspiring. Quite frankly, I was bored and frustrated.

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The companies I was working for were not digital marketing companies. They understood that they needed social media marketing, but knew nothing about it — including how it worked, or the resources they would need to dedicate to do it correctly.

Then I came across Creative Click Media, a digital marketing agency in Ocean County, NJ. I met with the owner and thought, “Wow, more than thirty social media accounts is a lot to handle. Can I do this?” I decided that I could.

Now, a year later, we manage upwards of 70 social media accounts, and I have grown from a Social Media and Content Manager to a Digital Project Manager. This happened because I was finally given the chance to do social media marketing the right way, the fun way, and the creative way.

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Being successful in social media marketing at an agency starts by understanding one concept: you must be social. Here at Creative Click Media, we use three key methods to keep our social media marketing social and creative, agency-style.

Finding Each Unique Voice

We start every social media strategy with a client meeting. During this meeting we have one goal: find the voice.

Questions such as “What do you do better than everybody else?” and “What are your feeling words?” help us understand the client’s message and brand goals. Without this information, you cannot speak on behalf of a brand, no matter what side of the brand/agency line you fall on.

Understanding the brand and the voice is especially vital in an agency setting when you’re managing more than 70 social media accounts.

How will you know which brands use humor and which have a more serious tone? There is a big difference between what will work on the Facebook page of a restaurant and the Facebook page of a lawyer.

The brand matters. The industry matters. The voice matters.

Evaluating What Works Through Testing

You won’t have a successful strategy if you don’t test different methods. There are three steps you should always be executing in a social media strategy:

  • Research
  • Application
  • Evaluation

For digital marketing of all kinds, this is a never-ending process. Things change rapidly in this industry. You must stay on top of new trends, and test those trends, to find what works and what doesn’t.

No matter what you’re testing, what works for one company will not work for all

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The best way to explain this is by comparing two of my clients. One is a large local non-profit, and the other is a well-known local restaurant. Both businesses have a great following and both are active in the community.

For the local non-profit, news about what they’re doing and their efforts to better the community perform best — it’s what their target audience is most interested in. Because of this, we share well-thought-out posts that link back to articles on their website. These Facebook posts usually range from one to two sentences, a long post for most social profiles which normally wouldn’t perform well. But because what the non-profit is doing is so specialized and detailed, it requires more of an explanation. The audience appreciates that.

On the other hand, the local restaurant hosts a lot of events and constantly has new specials. For these, we found it best to make custom graphics and use less wording in the social posts themselves.

Let’s be honest: there’s really no better way to sell a restaurant than by showing great pictures of their food.

Constant Client Communication

Your client knows way more about their brand than you ever will. Use that. Talking to your clients on a consistent basis is key to every agency’s success.

What is the company up to? What’s going on that’s new and exciting? What are their other marketing campaigns targeting right now? This information changes all the time and it’s all vital to success on social media. Your posts must be timely in order to capture engagement.

By using these methods, we’re able to keep our social posts fun, engaging, and timely on behalf of the client. In doing this, we boost website traffic for our clients as well as assist in search engine optimization.

Social media is one piece of a very large puzzle. You need it to succeed in your digital marketing efforts because it promotes your digital marketing efforts.

Do you have a website? Do you blog? Do you want people to see your website? Do you want people to read your blog? Do you want to get people to sign up for your mailing list?

Social media marketing promotes all of these things. Don’t get left in the dark and miss out on opportunities. Whether you run your social media marketing in-house or hire an agency, make sure it stays social and creative.