When looking for an agency to outsource social media management, finding the best one often comes down to constructing a detailed social media request for a proposal, with the guidance of a social media marketing agency, that leaves no stone unturned.
This article looks into social media RFP: what it is, why it matters, how to write one, and we give away a free social media RFP template that you can download and use for your purposes!
Table of Contents
What Is a Social Media RFP?
A social media request for proposal (RFP) is a formal document for obtaining offers from specialized social media agencies. These documents assist marketers and businesses in making the best decision possible about who to work with.
Choosing a software or service provider can be a risky venture. RFPs allow marketers to shop around and select the best possible decision for their company. Once a contract is signed with a social media agency, there is minimal room for revision or cancellation.
RFP for social media identifies a specific project or issue your company wants to address by requesting unique solutions from agencies and other providers.
Before committing to a long-term arrangement, a company might use the social media RFP process to examine concepts and vendors.
What to Include in Social Media RFP?
Although social media RFPs can and should differ from project to project, there are certain essentials each of these documents should always contain.
- Your Company’s Info
- Social Media Overview
- Project Objectives
- Project Deadlines
- Proof of Work/Portfolio
- Payment Schedule
- Points of Contact
Your Company’s Info
This is the brief "About Us" section of your RFP. It does not have to be a detailed history of your company, but it should give suppliers an idea of what your company does and who your target audience is.
Provide enough information for agencies to conduct their independent research. Include your company's mission, values, typical customer profile, and industry.
Social Media Overview
You can share information about your social media strategy and current performance. Include links to all existing, active and inactive accounts. You should also include quantitative and qualitative metrics on past performance:
- Quantitative: Number of followers, the average number of inbound messages per month, and relevant analytics.
- Qualitative: A review of previous campaigns and a SWOT analysis for each channel.
This is the most crucial part of your RFP. Social media services can include many deliverables, so be as specific as possible. Do you require ongoing social media management of your profile, or just a one-off, extensive social media campaign? The more specific you are, the more easily you find the right vendor.
Stick to broad objectives when it comes to social media goals. Allow the bidder to return to you with SMART goals, giving them enough leeway in approaching the project.
The agencies you approach will most likely create their project timeline based on your request, but they will need specific guidance.
You should include a target project start date and time-sensitive information in your RFP. For example, suppose your project is linked to a larger marketing initiative to launch on a specific date. Vendors will need that context to create an accurate timeline for the project’s completion.
If you're looking for ongoing social media management services, examine your current workflows. What is the role of the content approval process? How quickly will you be able to respond?
Proof of Work/Portfolio
Proof of work (or bidder qualifications) allows vendors to make their case for your company.
This section requests any specific experience information (testimonials, case studies, references, etc.). If you work in a niche industry, it’s good to ask for specific examples of previous work relevant to your business.
Agencies often keep this kind of information on their websites. Still, including it in their social media RFP response can provide you with more information about how they work and with whom.
The scope of your project will determine the payment schedule you choose. Ongoing services may be billed by the hour, whereas a milestone completion may bill campaign-based services. To begin a project, vendors will typically require a percent-based deposit.
Points of Contact
A single point of contact can work wonders to reduce confusion. List a point of contact for the sales process and another for after the contract is signed in this section. Allow room for the bidder to do the same. When you schedule a meeting, you'll know exactly who to contact.
Social Media RFP Template
RFP template for social media helps create your request for proposal from scratch because it already contains all the essential fields and questions that need filling out by the agency.
You can also download your copy of a free social media RFP template to the right on this page.
Here is an example of what a well-rounded RFP template for social media campaign should contain.
[Include information regarding your target audience and competitors in this segment.]
Social Media Profiles
List out all social media marketing initiatives and pages:
[include links to all of your social media profiles and, if relevant, briefly explain the purpose of each channel]
Project Purpose and Description
[Explain in detail why your company needs the work done]:
This project requires [outline the duties and responsibilities associated with the project]. Our goals are to [i.e., build brand awareness, gain new social media followers, etc.; list however many you have]:
The challenges we’ve faced in achieving our goals are as follows:
To be considered for [project name], all bidding vendors must [list the requirements that each responding proposal must address, i.e., budget, timelines, and submission due date]:
Include a price proposal for the work, which should be no more than [amount]
Apply no later than [proposal due date]
[Outline information about the RFP process's timeline and the project itself—deadlines, milestones, and potential roadblocks.]
[Your company name] will rate each application based on the following factors [in as much detail as possible, list the criteria that will be measured and describe what is suitable for each criterion]:
- Relevant training/work experience [detail minimum requirements
- Samples of past work [explain how you would like this delivered
Why Should You Write an RFP For Social Media?
Social media RFPs may take some time to write (although using a template will expedite the process), they more than make up for the value gained. They end up saving you time in the long run.
A thorough RFP lets you start your vendor selection process immediately. It answers all the background company questions, allowing you to concentrate on the big picture. If you're still not convinced, consider the following additional benefits of using a social media RFP:
- Define Specific Project Requirements
- Get Specific Proposals From Qualified Agencies
- Obtain Useful Viewpoints on Your Social Media
Define Specific Project Requirements
Before you can outsource your social media marketing efforts, ask yourself.
- Does your team share the vision of the social media project?
- Does everyone on your team agree with the criteria for selecting an agency?
- Have you identified the information that an agency may require to get started?
Don't assume that all your stakeholders should be on the same page. Drafting an RFP provides a much-needed opportunity for the team to discuss project details. Taking care of this before contacting an agency might help you save both time and money.
Get Specific Proposals From Qualified Agencies
It takes a lot of effort to find the right agency. The research, outreach, and introduction phases can add weeks to your contracting time.
A social media RFP invites vendors to submit proposals, reducing the timeline too much more manageable. When you finally schedule a meeting, you'll be able to get right into proposed solutions.
Obtain Useful Viewpoints on Your Social Media
When you select an agency or vendor, you are essentially selecting an extension of your team. You wouldn't hire a new employee without interviewing at least a few candidates. The same is true for the agency selection process.
RFPs are an essential part of ensuring transparent and equitable processes. They also help ensure you're making the best decision for your particular project. By giving multiple vendors a fair chance to bid, you gain access to various approaches to the task.
Top Social Media Marketing Agencies To Send an RFP To
- Location: 29 Hawthorne Street, Medford, Oregon 97504, United States
- Average Hourly Rate: $125/hr
- Expertise: Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Graphic Design, SEO...
Pixel Productions is a full-service graphic and website design company that leverages its expertise to deliver a wide range of engagement marketing services, including social media.
The agency is composed of experts with decades of experience and has long-standing relationships with designers, marketers, and influencers. They are focused on laying the foundation for small businesses to reach new audiences and drive growth.
Their clients include Disney, Hillsong, Harry & David and LCI Brands.
- Location: #1031 1919 Taylor St, Houston, Texas 77007, United States
- AverageHourly Rate: $500/hr
- Expertise: Graphic Design, Web Design, Digital Marketing, SEO...
Lords Only Digital Marketing revolutionizes the industry by leveraging cutting-edge technologies backed by research and data.
Their social media management team harnesses the power of content optimization to boost engagement rates. They can also help create a brand strategy and manage online brand reputation.
Lords Only boasts a track record of positive ROI for the companies they've worked with. Their clients include Apostolo Homes, Shopify Designers and Diamond Home & Commercial Services.
- Location: 24123 Greenfield Suite 208, Southfield, Detroit, Michigan 48075, United States
- Average Hourly Rate: $150/hr
- Expertise: Social Media Marketing, Instagram Marketing, Digital Marketing, SEO...
Vivid Visual Solutions is a female-owned visual branding and marketing agency that employs branding strategies to help businesses grow and scale.
For social media marketing, the agency combines attention-grabbing visuals and punchy written copy to increase engagement and grow your following across platforms. Your business can complement this with their SEO and content production services to ensure that your main website also gets the right traffic.
The agency's clients include Family Matters Counseling, I C Data Communications, Locsanity and The Vivid Glam Beauty.
- Location: Rua Quinta do Leme, 119, Stº António, Funchal, 9020-223, Portugal
- Average Hourly Rate: $40/hr
- Expertise: Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, SEO, Web Design...
Navega Bem is a digital design and web development agency composed of experienced designers, marketers and programmers.
The agency provides a fully managed social media campaign with up-to-date content and monthly statistics. They've worked with different kinds of businesses in building their online presence — from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to Pinterest and YouTube.
Navega Bem also specializes in web design, SEO, and branding. They have clients across the world, including companies in New York, London, Dubai, Lisbon and Amsterdam.
- Location: Berrini 1748, Sao Paulo, 01329010, Brazil
- Average Hourly Rate: $70
- Expertise: Digital Strategy, Advertising, Digital Marketing
With Digital Marketing DNA, Twist is a full-service Advertising Agency focused on creative solutions "with a plus". They've made more than 500 projects and campaigns for different kinds of clients: from startups to traditional brands.
Fans of the small details, they aim for top quality in all our projects, because they believe that a great execution can lead to a better brand experience, generating bolder results.
Clients include Sony Pictures, Honda, Endeavor...
- Location: 21725 N 20th Ave, Ste 101-102, #1026, Phoenix, Arizona 85027-2640, United States
- Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
- Expertise: Website Development, Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media Marketing...
Nvent Marketing is a digital-first marketing agency that can help any company attract, engage, and delight their ideal customers. Whether you need more traffic to your website or qualified leads to your sales team, they help you invent, accelerate, and expand opportunities for growth.
The agency is based in Phoenix, Arizona but in today’s mobile, digital, and connected world, office locations matter less. Their team and our clients’ campaigns span the globe, wherever great value can be added.
Clients include HP, Canon, ReachOut...
- Location: Quai Gustave-Ador 62, Geneve, 1207, Switzerland
- Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
- Expertise: Web Design
What we do: branding, website design, website & platform development, mobile application development, SEO, social media management, social media marketing, search engine advertising, display & programmatic advertising.
How we do it: With care, passion and expertise. We are not afraid to go the extra mile to see your ideal project come to life.
Why we do it: Because we want to see you thrive. We take pride in doing a great job and we find that there is nothing more rewarding than to see our clients succeed.
Social Media RFP Takeaways
The format provided for creating an effective and exhaustive social media RFP can also be applied to other types of industries and services, such as:
- RFP for software development
- Digital marketing RFP
- Mobile App Development RFP
- Website design RFP
- Website development RFP
- RFP for SEO
- Branding RFP
- RFP for IT services
- eCommerce RFP
No matter which kind of RFP you need to write, remember to include the key members of your team, as they can play essential roles in providing valuable information or insights that could contribute to your social media project's success.