As consumers spend more time each year on social media platforms, your potential clients are likely looking for PR agencies to offer relevant services, like social media management and monitoring. In fact, many of them have growing social media budgets they need to strategically address in their annual marketing plan.
This is also likely true for your existing clients, and as one of their trusted marketing partners, you’re in a great position to add social media services to their monthly retainer if you choose to offer them.
- Do PR agencies offer social media services?
- Social media services to consider
- The 3 key considerations for adding PR agency social media services
Do PR agencies offer social media services?
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for PR agencies to offer social media services, as they’re a natural fit with PR. Both reach customers and potential customers with important brand storytelling, and there’s no doubt that a client’s social media platforms are an incredible place to amplify PR wins.
Social media is also a direct and timely channel to share client news, celebrate award recognitions, and tease product launches. When managing a company’s crisis communications, it’s undoubtedly a strategic place to communicate directly with customers in an immediate fashion.
Best of all, when offering services like social media monitoring, your agency will connect to the client’s customers in a whole new way, actively “listening” and reporting on what customers are saying about the company.
Priced strategically, adding social media services to your PR agency is an excellent way to increase your agency’s bottom line. And to get started, offering these services as an upsell to existing clients is an easy approach to increase your revenue quickly while building out these services with your team.
So let’s take a look at the most relevant social media services you can add to your PR agency and the key considerations you’ll want to make. You may find yourself excited and ready to add social media services to your agency right away!
Social media services to consider
Social media monitoring
If you want to dip your toe into offering social media services, social media monitoring is the way to go. This is where your agency monitors the client’s social media feeds on a regular basis and reports on trends emerging from the customer comments and questions.
The goal is to provide the client with big-picture feedback on the customer experience, pointing out the most popular and unpopular sentiments about the company, its products, and its policies.
Currently, the most common social media platforms that agencies support for clients are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Customer feedback from these platforms is tracked primarily through hashtags and keyword usage, but can also include analysis of your client’s share of voice compared to the competition.
This important data assists your client in their future social media planning and gives you and your team a birds-eye view to consider when developing new story angles and media pitches for the client.
For agencies that work with smaller companies, social media monitoring services may mean even more involvement, like checking the client’s social media platforms daily and responding directly to comments and questions.
In these instances, while it’s an excellent service to add to your PR services, it’s crucial that a close assessment of comment volume is made in advance of pricing it. It could quickly turn into hours of weekly management, so plan and price accordingly.
Once you have the hang of social media monitoring for your client, there are many more services to consider adding to your agency:
Social media strategy
A social media strategy starts with an agency audit and is delivered with a list of recommendations for your client’s internal team to manage.
Written to complement your existing PR strategy, you would include a recommended number of weekly posts by channel, the ideal type of content for each, and how to leverage the content they already regularly create, like sharing their weekly blog posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram Stories.
You’d also take into consideration their in-house staff resources and provide recommendations for the best platforms to focus their efforts on. You could even go further and provide content examples for each platform that demonstrate the conversational tone and positive business voice they should use for their captions.
Content calendar management
Creating a monthly content calendar is an excellent way to merge PR and social media strategies, ensuring that the messaging for both is closely aligned.
In advance of the start of the month, plot the announcements you’ll need shared on social media, and learn from the in-house social team what they have planned. It’s actually a great opportunity to double-check that you’ve been informed of all upcoming company news.
If you have someone on your team with graphic design talent (or a great freelance designer you can rely on), you can offer to not only plot the monthly posts for the client on a content calendar but provide the copy, images, and captions for them to publish.
If your agency takes on this task, start with an audit of their past posts to determine which performed best with engagement. Then, refer to the competitors’ social media channels to learn which type of content is working best for them. Since you share an audience, this is a useful way to plan some of your first test content.
Influencer social media campaigns
PR agencies are already fully aware that social media influencers can be great partners in sharing a PR message, just like journalists and bloggers.
In fact, many agencies can easily use their existing PR automation software like Prowly as their PR tool to create influencer lists, reach out to them with personalized emails, and track their open rates and interest.
For managing influencer campaigns across social media, you could organize and host shared giveaways, cross-promote content on each other’s social feeds, and offer special incentives to each other’s followers.
Social media analytics & reporting
Social media provides rich and detailed insights into reach and engagement. From this information, your agency can provide the client with monthly or quarterly reporting that highlights the content that resounded best with customers.
With this type of regular assessment, future content becomes more tailored and effective, ensuring time isn’t wasted on content that has minimal traction.
The 3 key considerations for adding PR agency social media services
While adding social media services to your agency may broaden your appeal to potential and existing clients, offering a new set of services is like adding a new wing to a building; there is a lot of planning and development involved!
There are 3 key considerations you’ll need to think through:
1️⃣ Is your team ready?
The best leaders start by examining their team’s needs first. Start by asking yourself:
- Is my team enthusiastic about bringing social media services into the agency?
- If yes, is there someone who would be excited for the opportunity to take the lead and develop our agency’s systems for these new services?
- Should these services be handled exclusively by one or two people on the team, or should all team members manage them individually for their assigned clients?
- How many hours per week do I expect these services to take from my team’s time?
2️⃣ Which social media services should I offer?
You may not have the bandwidth to offer them all. Consider all the service options and determine which ones make the most sense for your agency.
As a PR professional, you know there’s no point in investing time in a marketing tactic that’s not closely aligned with a company’s goals, so you’ll need to be prepared to direct your clients on what social media services they need and don’t need.
3️⃣ How will you price your PR agency social media services?
Once you’ve calculated how much of your team’s time will be needed to fulfill the new social media services, you’ll be able to determine the pricing for these services.
Some agencies may choose to offer these services only as add-on services to a monthly PR retainer, while others may choose to offer them a la carte. There’s also the option to offer them as part of price-tiered monthly PR packages, where clients determine the level of management they want the PR agency to handle.
It’s important to note from a pricing consideration that each social media platform requires unique posts that are appropriate for that specific outlet, even when you’re sharing the same news across each of them. A 280-character tweet is a completely separate task from an Instagram caption or LinkedIn blog post.
This means it’s vital that from the get-go you specify exactly which social media platforms you’ll manage for your clients, and only offer services for the platforms you think are most important for reaching the client’s target audience, like Instagram for a B2C client and LinkedIn for a B2B one.
Be strategic about all pricing decisions, and think through the potential outcomes. If your agency’s social media services grow in demand, is your agency prepared to weigh that new business against new PR business?
In conclusion: PR agency social media services
In the end, the decision to add social media services to your PR agency will be made with much discussion and deliberation with your team, and quite a bit of number crunching.
However, at the very least, your PR services should align with your client’s social media strategy, so a partnership with their social media team is essential. You’ll become a stronger force together once you’re sharing and leveraging content so it’s amplified consistently across the company’s communication channels. It’s a win all around!
If you’re ready to give it a go, you might find that the best first step is to offer social media services to your existing PR clients, assess the impact on your team and agency workload, and then grow from there.
Cover photo by Prateek Katyal