How to start a social media marketing agency

By The IFTTT Team

February 16, 2024

How to start a social media marketing agency
  • Here's the dilemma; there exists a large population of very eager and hopeful small business owners, who just don't possess the tech savvy to spread their product on social media. If they were to expand their marketing strategy to various sites and host ads, they would likely see vast changes in success.

    This is where you, the youthful tech wizard, come in to save the day. By opening and running your own social media marketing agency, you can get paid big bucks for a relatively simple business model. In addition, your clients then gain the peace of mind of knowing their product or service is gathering online attention, driving customers and sales.

    So if it's such a win-win, why isn't everyone learning how to start a social media marketing agency? For starters, it is not an easy peasy task and requires a good amount of effort and some upfront cash. But more prevalent, people simply don't know where to start.

    In this straightforward guide, we will go through the steps to get you up and running with your own social media marketing agency. We'll also introduce IFTTT as a solution to those looking to automate the process of social media marketing.

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    What is a Social Media Marketing Agency? (SMMA)


    In 2022, worldwide social media ad spending was approximately $230 billion, and it's projected to surpass the $300-billion-dollar mark in the near future (source: Statista). That is an almost unfathomable amount of money spent on making sure businesses are seen on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and beyond. The importance of social media marketing cannot be overstated.

    A Social Media Marketing Agency (SMMA) is a company that helps businesses use these social media platforms to reach their marketing and branding goals. SMM agencies offer a range of services, including content creation, brand management, social media strategy development, audience engagement, and analytics.

    Social media marketing is the process of using social media platforms to connect with your audience, build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. It involves publishing great content on your social media profiles, listening to and engaging your followers, analyzing your results, and running social media advertisements.

    Is social media marketing profitable?

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    The short answer is yes. Social media marketing can be extremely profitable if done correctly. It's no secret that the big brands and influencers are cashing in on social media like never before - many of them making millions a year simply by posting content to their accounts. But it's important to note that these social success stories have put in serious effort over long periods of time.

    A well-built, successful SMMA can bring in serious income even with relatively few clients. A small business owner typically is willing to shell out anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000 per month for an agency to manage their account, depending on the scope of work involved. With 10 clients paying that amount (which is achievable with multiple employees under your watch), you're looking at a potential income of $30,000 to $60,000 per month. Sheesh.

    Steps to build Your SMM empire

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    This guide is not a one-size-fits-all, but it's pretty close. If you want to get started on a social media agency of your own, then this is the road you should take.

    Identifying your niche

    As with any business, finding your niche is a crucial first step. Your niche is a small, but high-quality group of people who are willing to pay for your service. It allows you to focus your efforts, understand your audience better, and differentiate yourself from competitors.

    Building your skills and knowledge

    To succeed in SMM, you need to have a strong understanding of different social media platforms and how they can be used for marketing. This includes content creation, analytics, paid advertising, and more. We strongly encourage taking online courses, attending workshops, or getting certifications to enhance your skills.

    Creating a business plan

    It's important to have a plan when starting any business. It will help you map out the steps you need to take in order to achieve your goals. A well-constructed business plan should include information such as:

    • Your mission statement, vision, and values
    • Services offered
    • Target audience
    • Pricing structure
    • Marketing strategy and budget
    • Financial goals

    Setting up your agency

    Once you have the basics in place, it's time to set up your agency. This includes registering your business with the government, finding a name and logo, setting up an email address, website, and social media accounts. You will also need to obtain any permits or licenses required by law.

    This step is not only legally required but a good idea if you want your agency to stand out. Potential clients love seeing official certification that you know what you are doing.

    Building a strong online presence

    As a SMM agency, your online presence is critical. Create professional profiles on various social media platforms, launch a high-quality website, and consistently publish engaging, valuable content to attract potential clients. Social media engagement is also critical - make sure you are active, responding to comments and messages promptly.

    Finding clients

    Now that your online presence is up and running, it's time to find clients. Networking with professionals in the industry is a great way to get started. You can also use online platforms like Upwork or Freelancer to attract potential customers. Finally, don't forget about cold emailing - sending personalized emails to potential clients can be an effective way of introducing your services.

    A well-documented way of landing your first client (which experts say is the hardest part) is to reach out to local businesses. You can connect with them physically, and the company will feel more comfortable partnering with someone who knows the area and brand/product/service.

    Delivering quality service and measuring success

    Once you have clients, it's important to deliver high-quality service. This means creating effective social media strategies, producing engaging content, and regularly reviewing and adjusting your approach based on performance metrics.

    Remember, building a successful SMM agency doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work. But by following these steps, you can create a solid foundation for your agency that will help you achieve long-term success.

    The next hurdle: scaling your agency


    If you realistically want to bring in tens of thousands per month with your SMMA, your not going to pull it off alone. Once your agency has a steady stream of clients and is consistently delivering high-quality service, it may be time to consider scaling. Scaling involves growing your business in a sustainable way so that your revenue increases significantly while your resources (time, effort, costs) only increase incrementally.

    When and how to expand your team

    Knowing when to expand your team can be tricky. Here are a few signs that it might be time:

    You're consistently turning away new work because you just don't have the capacity. You or your team are regularly working long hours and feeling overwhelmed. There are tasks that need doing that aren't in anyone's current skill set.

    When it comes to how to expand your team, consider the following:

    • Identify the roles: Determine what roles you need in your agency. This could include social media managers, content creators, graphic designers, data analysts, sales representatives, etc.
    • Hiring options: Consider whether you want to hire full-time employees, part-time staff, freelancers, or outsource to another agency.
    • Recruitment process: Develop a recruitment process that helps you find and select the best candidates for your agency. This might involve job postings, interviews, skills tests, and reference checks.

    Social media marketing made easy with IFTTT

    IFTTT (If This Then That) is our powerful automation tool that makes building and managing your SMM agency much easier. With IFTTT, you can set up "applets" to automatically complete tasks on your behalf. For example, you can create an applet that sends out reminders to post content on social media at specific times throughout the day. You can also use IFTTT to automate tasks such as data analysis, tracking, reposting, and more.

    What is IFTTT?

    IFTTT, an acronym for "If This Then That," is our free web-based service and mobile app designed to boost productivity by automating tasks. It works by creating connections between popular apps and services, allowing them to work together seamlessly.

    The basic idea behind IFTTT is to create "applets" or sets of instructions that trigger when certain conditions are met. This can be turning on the lights automatically when you enter your house, for example.

    Founded in 2011, IFTTT has been used by over 25 million individuals to automate both business and home tasks, saving time and increasing efficiency. It's commonly used to connect disparate services and systems, making all products and services work well together in a way that instills user confidence. Best of all, it's free and only takes a couple of minutes to set up.

    Top SMMA Applets with IFTTT

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    Post to Multiple Social Media Accounts in Hopscotch

    When a new post is published to one of your social media accounts via Hopscotch, publish the same content to another social media account.

    Make Facebook bio equal Twitter bio

    Streamline your process of creating social media accounts with this automation. Edit your Facebook's 'About me' and this Recipe will update your Twitter bio with the same news!

    Share Instagram photos on Twitter only when you include a specific #hashtag in the caption

    Choose a specific #hashtag below and whenever you include it in your photo's caption, it will automatically be tweeted.

    To enable these Applets and millions more (yes, millions), try IFTTT for free today!

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