Top Ten Social Media Marketing Agencies In The UK
Yes, finding a reliable social media agency in the U.K. that delivers strong returns on your social media advertising campaigns is a head-spinner. There are so many freelancers who have grown up in the digital age, they have gone native and set up their own social media agency. The industry isn’t regulated, so how do you know from the 343 million showing up for a search on ‘Top U.K. social media agency’, who really appreciate your need for generation of tangible, measurable results?
Ranking on Google is not your best yardstick for choosing, given an advertiser’s capacity to work the system, without necessarily offering the kind of transparency and accountability you want. AdsRunner works with an array of specialist, including social media marketing experts; we demand performance, so here are some of our filters, ready-made for you.
Where To Start Your Social Media Agency Search
There are some key variables we like to check off our list when selecting a new social media network partner, these being:
Communications. This for us is our number one, because it says a lot about what you might expect from an agency’s performance in how well they communicate with you.
- You need regular and reliable communications in a variety of formats, including meaningful data analysis in reports with graphics for ease of comprehension.
- You need to have confidence in timeliness and prompt responses to critical questions in order to make key business decisions on the fly.
- Clarity is essential; if an agency starts speaking Tech, without explaining their meaning, they are wrapped up in themselves and not customer focussed. It’s fine talking to us, as experts, but agencies should never presume your understanding and should enhance your in-house learning.
- You should feel confident in their transparency and accountability. Without this trust, it’s time to move on.
Client Retention. Nothing says delivery like a long-term clientele base. These are your third-party endorsements.
- Look particularly for where an agency can demonstrate experience and expertise in your niche. If they have past experience in your sector, this means you are able to leverage data beyond that of your current customers to gain a bigger picture on which to formulate your strategy.
- Case studies of brands in your industry speak to their expertise in serving your needs.
- If their clients are competitors in your niche now, is there any conflict of interest? Ask about this.
Audit Preparation for Partnership. Competition among marketing agencies is the toughest it has ever been, so many will offer services for free in advance of undertaking set-up and management of any campaigns for you. From an hour’s free consultation through to an obligation-free comprehensive audit of your current online presence, at no cost or risk to you, your shortlisted service providers should be demonstrating willingness to work with you. If you get the feeling they are doing you a service by taking on your work, chances are complacency on their part will not end there.
You want to work with an agency who operates as an extension of your existing teams, and understand your business conditions and aspirations. They should be committed to your success and understand that it is the reputation of your company and theirs on the line. A clear plan of action needs to be shared, with measurable milestones marking progress in place ahead of implementation. This comprehensive report should identify shortcomings in your present investments and highlight opportunities for enhanced profitability. The plan should have short to medium-term goals that make allowance for pivots and flexibility, with data consistently informing next steps.
A company that can offer you a dashboard, where you can see results in real-time is tangible proof of their commitment to transparent, accountable partnership. This tool should enable you to pull reports in a variety of formats, suitable for your key operational decision-makers. This data window will inform insights and drive development, giving your teams the confidence their plans are based on sound data.
OK so who are our top social media agency picks for you to take a closer look at?
Shameless, because all joking aside, we deliver in all the above criteria and can talk to you about relevant case studies to confirm your confidence in us. We love what we do and learning about our client’s particular circumstances and creating content and campaigns accordingly is what challenges us daily. We help with all social media channels, combining methods such as:
- Paid ads where you can achieve measurable results for given budget investments. The variety of social media advertising is extensive and we work with experts in the particular channels, plus the data specialists. Everything is coordinated by your Business Development Manager, who reports regularly to you.
- Video productions that arrest attention, inform, and entertain enough to share and harness data and keyword research in the development stages. Video advertising power is unmatched in acquiring new and return customers, lowering overall costs and facilitating reinvestment.
- Influencer partnerships and joint ventures help you reach new audiences in highly creative ways and build loyalty among younger customers. We ensure that your partnerships are with niche influencers most likely to optimise your business objectives and help you innovate.
- Social media management has to be based on building the right audiences who will likely engage with you when reaching out to them. Our sector research ensures you establish strong organic foundations to optimise your branded paid campaigns. We take the time to analyse data for meaningful insights that help you better understand the diversity among your customers’ journeys and support decision-making on evolving priorities.
Ask us about some of our best results for your preferred channels, returns to expect in your niche and in what timeframes. Our social media managers are passionate professionals who can offer the kind of answers you need to choose us as your preferred partner.
2. Populate Social
This Cardiff social media agency, established in 2015, offer a variety of social media services, including: social strategy development, paid social and organic campaign management, content creation and establishing and using messenger bots.
Based in the Welsh capital you would expect the quality of work these guys produce to be top-notch and friendly to boot and you won’t be disappointed. They are committed to transparency and freedom from ‘fluff’ to produce measurable results. Their founder talks of wanting to break the mold to offer a “dedicated, effective and streamlined service for the social media marketing space.” This makes this team of millennials totally niche, focussing on social campaign creation and management to maximise brand impact and outperform in a saturated industry.
Their collaborative approach means you can expect this social media partner to undertake a comprehensive consultation to understand where your organisation is now and to address your ambitions. From your business analysis, they will put together “comprehensive, thought-provoking and industry-leading social campaigns that integrate across all areas of your marketing strategy.”
With fantastic, proven case studies across competitive sectors beyond the Welsh borders in sports, events and e-commerce, this bijou social media agency are absolutely worth a call.
3. We Are Social
We Are Social is currently among the world’s biggest social media agencies, established in 2008, with over 1,000 staff, meaning they have they have the capacity to serve medium to larger-sized enterprises, albeit they also work with start-ups and e-commerce enterprises. If you need to ‘localise’ brands to suit international markets, this company has offices in London, New York, Paris, Milan, Munich, Berlin, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Sydney.
Their approach to delivering value is in storytelling. This reflects their expertise in creativity, innovation and craftsmanship in their campaigns which bring your brand to life and help you speak directly to those issues of importance to your audiences.
They leverage paid social and influencer collaborations, alongside data analysis for proof of product. Metrics can be weak with some agencies, but these guys have achieved that balance of creativity with well-crafted strategy and tools for measuring impact.
As you might expect, their minimum project spend comes in at around £8,500; their hourly rate starts at a little under £100.00. With that fee level, you know they can back up their expectations with delivery.
4. Noise Media
Noise Media are another creative social media company delivering measurable difference for some prestigious clients and winning awards in the process. We appreciate their full-funnel marketing approach, which focuses on a sole purpose, which keeps KPI measurement simpler for their clients. Story-telling methods help drive ROI for companies they work with such as: Just Eat, Octopus Energy, O2, to name but a few.
From strategy through to help with paid ads, creative design, videography, content production, such as infomercials and editorial through to the technical aspects of data analysis, they support brand-building and sales performance improvement.
In terms of influencer marketing, this agency selects appropriate partnerships with social media influencers. They can match renowned social media talent as ambassadors to effectively communicate with new target audiences or in innovative ways. They view this strategy as another optimisation tool for organic engagement that supports paid marketing.
They use 1st and 3rd party data to measure growth for your brand that reaches into the long-run, so you can be confident they have your interests in mind and believe in accountability and transparency.
PPC campaigns comprise around half of their work, with creative aspects one-fifth of what they offer. The minimum spend you can expect in partnering with this company is around £8,000 and their hourly rate begins at around £100. They have between 10-50 on their team at any given time, so they can remain flexible to demand from clients, who range from small to mid-range companies.
5. Media Bounty
Media Bounty is in our list of creative social media service providers because we respect those media agencies with an environmental mission and who take a long-term, partnership approach to working with clients.
They can help businesses and organisations to make their brands more cohesive and offer creative direction. Services include: art and design, copywriting, photography and video production.
Fantastic creative content is essential for all brands pushing their visibility in the busy digital landscape and we leave it to you to check their website to agree with them that they are “kickass” in this respect.
In terms of proof from third parties, these guys have been rated by The Drum as:
Number 1 UK Agency for Value for Money (RAR Awards – Agencies under 40 staff)
Top 5 UK Agency for Strategic Thinking. (RAR Awards – Agencies under 40 staff)
Top 5 UK Online Creative Agency. (RAR Digital Awards – Agencies under 40 staff)
Expect to invest a minimum of around £8,000 in your social campaigns and hourly rates come in at around £100.00
6. The GOAT Agency
If you haven’t come across GOAT’s daily vlog, you are missing out on developing your in-house skills. They are a leader in the social market, agile enough to leap about like goats on the marketing mountains you might face!
Founded in 2015 and operating out of Brighton, they are a small team, but with scope and talent beyond their deceptively small size. Their vision is to work with clients who “make a real difference to the world”. We like that about them because it speaks of integrity and values greater than themselves.
With over 20 years combined experience in online marketing, they have contracted for larger agencies, but stay true to offering potential clients an affordable, personalised service and we absolutely commend that approach, because agencies who are promoting you, need to care about you and understand what you’re about.
Unlike many Influencer Marketing Agencies, they don’t directly manage social media influencer talent. This is of benefit to client because they are less biased when selecting the right personality for your campaign. GOAT have worked on over 1,000+ influencer campaigns, with over 70,000+ influencers vetted and 7 years data collected to prove the value of their performance.
Their minimum investment is around £8,000 and their hourly rate comes in at £100 plus. The way we see it, these guys are exactly the kind of partner you should be looking for, because trust is central to any marketing partnership and these guys demonstrate reliability throughout your journey to your next summit!
You know Influencer is the real deal, because one of this company’s Co-Founders, Casper Lee, has built a career as a social media influencer. With over 6.9 million YouTube subscribers and 2.6 million Instagram followers this agency guarantees expertise in influencer marketing and have been around for a little under a decade, so, as a relatively young agency, will likely be staying abreast of innovation in the social media marketing sector.
Their approach has three strands, including branded content, appropriate influencer partnerships and their ‘Advert Audit’. Branding is the foundation stone to cohesion across all of your marketing assets. This agency will create your ‘library’ of resources on which to draw for your latest campaign channels. Having that ‘off the shelf’ menu of assets means you can pick and mix according to your evolving priorities, while maintaining consistency of message and visual content. Keywords can be built upon as you go, particularly as paid ad targets shift in focus, or you split test via impactful technologies on offer here.
Given Lee’s expertise and networks in the social influencer world, he can call upon the larger influencers to suit the particular brands they partner with, enabling them to innovate in terms of messaging, or launch new products and find younger, new audiences. Influencers often have creative and innovative ideas that freshen a brand image, which embeds longevity and strengthens profitability.
Their advert audit enables partnerships to happen ‘in confidence’, ensuring compliance with Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) guidelines, in terms of whether the contract or content is: legal, decent, honest and socially responsible.
Influencer partnership fees come in at a minimum of £8k and an hourly rate of around £100 or more, depending upon your niche and projects required. We think that is reasonable given the power social media influencer campaigns have for generating loyalty to brands.
8. Influencer Marketing Agency (IMA)
Influencer Marketing Agency is one of the longest-running influencer marketing agencies, having launched over ten years ago. They have achieved global reach into developing their network of key influencers around the world. This scope ensures your campaign is implemented relevantly for local audiences, with those personalities popular to those regions where you are active.
Their team includes the full range of disciplines you would hope for to cover all aspects of your campaign development. From strategists, to designers, developers and producers, through to social media experts, project managers, and digital marketing analysts, whose data feeds back into informing content and strategy.
They boast over 19 million influencer connections, across 1000’s of niches and 100 markets worldwide, with staff numbers, anywhere from 50-250, naturally including their freelance sub-contractors. Their offices are based in London, Singapore, New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, and HQ’d in Amsterdam. Expect a minimum investment of circa £8,500 and an hourly rate of around £100, depending. If you have the budget and are confident that influencers are your next essential channel for growth, IMA is a powerful partner for any brand influencer marketing campaigns planned.
9. Prohibition PR
Prohibition PR are another award-winning Social Media agency, based in Leeds. Almost half of their work is PR and social media comprises just over one-third of their work, making them specialists in combining these channels. However, their approach is more fully integrated and holistic, including paid advertising and video, as well as PR services.
In recent years, they’ve won more than 20 industry awards, for their campaign work.
This is largely down to their taking a fully integrated approach to public relations, increasing inbound web traffic, media coverage, brand awareness and revenues.
They are proud of their achievements, not least the fact that: “In 2019, Prohibition won more awards than any other PR agency in the CIPR’s history”. It has also won the Best PR Agency of the Year three times, with numerous additional accolades, including more than one this year so far.
Their team of creative PR experts help brands tell their story appropriate to the channel they want to deliver their message. Compelling ideas are combined with objective insights from data analysis to optimise visibility, engagement, including virality. They are also, as you might expect of PR mechanics, fully quipped to handle crisis communications arising out of public relations calamities.
If your teams think you need that mix of PR & Social Media and have at least £4,000 for your project, then Prohibition could be the agency for you!
10. Highlight PR
Highlight PR, founded in 1999, based in Bath, this award-winning team have been long enough for social media marketing to grow around them, as they have, making them expert in this marketing technique.
They work across diverse sectors, notably, lifestyle and family, food and drink, education and training, plus creative and corporate campaign creation. On the PR side of their work, they work with a “broad range of national, trade and consumer media”, including on and offline. This takes the grunt work out of establishing connections in TV, radio, print media and beyond to boost your public relations campaigns.
They take a personalised approach with their clients, journalists, stakeholders, and influencers, because in this game, it’s all about the established, trusting relationships and keeping continuity amid the dizzying turn-over of professionals.
They work closely and collaboratively with clients in order to tell their story to achieve goals of cohesive branding and enhanced growth.
Although they have a small team, they punch above their weight it seems. Expect a minimum investment of around £8,500 and an hourly rate of £100, which might seem beyond the reach of smaller enterprises, but can give you the kind of profile boost that makes the difference longer term.
Stepping Out Onto Social Media Platforms
So, you have some things to think about. Do awards or results matter? Do you want to combine social media campaigns with other channels? Does your short-listed candidate have previously gained expertise in your niche? Are they accountable and transparent?
There are many great service-providers out there, beyond doubt, but if you are still struggling to make that decision, let’s show you what’s possible with social and combinatory strategies to really power growth and profit. Give our friendly team a call.