Social Media RFP: A Complete Walkthrough Including a Free Template

Looking for a digital marketing agency to help with your social media marketing strategies? Or perhaps you simply need some help getting started on a new platform? Either way, a social media RFP can help you find the right agency.

As a marketing professional, you realize the importance and challenges of finding the right firm to work with. Most companies and agencies often prefer using a formal request for proposal (RFP) to get the ball rolling.

RFPs are a methodical and organized way to gather bids from the agencies you’re targeting. It’s a formal invitation to vendors asking them to provide a service demo and financial proposal. Ideally, it should mention all of the relevant details of your company, the project, and your requirements.

But too often, people leave out crucial details from their digital marketing RFPs. This makes it difficult for agencies to come up with a thorough proposal. But not anymore. With our social media RFP guidelines and free template, you’ll never need to worry about those problems.

The Purpose of This RFP Template

This marketing RFP guide is designed to make life easier for marketing and procurement teams. And as an extension, it will help marketing agencies submit better proposals for you to review and choose from.

It will help you:

  • Identify your objectives and requirements you want to achieve with your social media strategy.
  • Source accurate and detailed proposals from agencies, thereby making the selection process easier for you.
  • Provide a standardized invitation to the vendors and agencies you’re targeting. This way, the solutions you receive will be comparable and will help you narrow down your options.
  • Speed up the process. It ensures transparency and keeps the entire process very organized and streamlined.

View our free social media RFP template here and make a copy to edit it on your own!

How to Use This Template

This document and the accompanying template outline some of the key elements your digital marketing RFP should contain. While this is a fairly comprehensive outline, it is by no means exhaustive. Feel free to add relevant sections and points wherever you deem necessary.

As with any template, you can simply copy paste this outline into a document and fill in the required sections. Your copy should reflect your brand’s image, your reasons for doing this, and what you’re looking for.

Do not hesitate to add any information prospective bidders will find useful in framing their proposal. Similarly, avoid unnecessary information that won’t be of much use to them. This document is only a framework for you to build upon. It is advisable that you get the RFP reviewed internally and get a sign-off from the appropriate stakeholders.

RFP Structure

This is only a framework for you to build upon. Here’s the outline with a brief overview of what each section should contain.

1. Introduction

Summarize the major points of your social media RFP here. Briefly explain what the RFP is for and each of its sections. Mention details like the due date for submission of proposals and objectives to be achieved from the social media campaign.

2. Company Profile

It’s important to let prospective agencies know about your organization and company profile. Tell them what your company does, your core values, your mission, the stakeholders, and your main business goals.

You can even redirect them to some of your existing social media campaigns. This way they will get a better feel for your company and what you’re looking to achieve. Providing them with a list of your main competitors will also help them conduct a competitive analysis for you. This will help them understand your niche better and come up with a proper plan accordingly.

3. Purpose of the Social Media Campaign

To avoid any confusions at a later stage, it’s best to get this out of the way early on. Make it evidently clear why you’re looking to bring on a consultant to help with your social media marketing.

Use this section to get your candidates excited about the prospect of working with your brand on this particular project. It also allows them to check whether it’s something in their wheelhouse and aligns with their own goals and values.

4. Current Challenges Being Faced

Briefly outline the present situation of your social media marketing efforts. Talk about the challenges that you’re presently facing which are why you’re seeking expert help.

Elaborate on your current social media presence and marketing efforts. List your pain points to make it easier for them to come up with a personalized digital marketing plan for you. Conduct a social media audit if need be to get a clear picture of the waters you’re in.

5. Project Objectives

Build upon the brief project description you provided the agencies with. If you need help setting the goals for your campaign, then your social media RFP should clearly state that. Feel free to mention the type of audience you’re looking to target.

In our 2018 Sprout Social Index, we asked marketers what their biggest challenges were, and again, like we’ve seen in other reports, ROI remains the No. 1 challenge.

sprout social 2018 index challenges

If you already know what you’re looking to get out of your campaign, then list the specific goals. These could include:

  • Growth in followers
  • Increase in engagements
  • Better lead generation
  • Conversion rate improvement
  • Higher search engine ranking

Try to add a specific number wherever possible and the metrics you’ll monitor when listing down your campaign goals in your digital marketing RFP. The more details you provide, the better equipped they will be to showcase how they intend to solve your problems.

6. Campaign Guidelines & Terms of Agreement

The scope of work is another key segment that you should always include in your social media RFP. Elaborate on the guidelines you want your agency to follow when working on your social media campaign.

Agencies should know what they are signing up for. From the what and why of what you’re asking them to do to the how you expect it to be done. You could even list the services you expect them to provide. This way, you ensure that only agencies that meet the required criteria send in a submission.

The scope of work may include details such as the strategy requirements and its implementation thereof. Touch upon the deliverables and metrics you’ll be looking at.

If your legal team requires it, you can even include the terms and clauses that will apply to the contract. You can expect agencies to include their own boilerplate clauses and conditions. Getting these details sorted out during the social media RFP process will save both parties a lot of time and effort.

7. Project Budget and Timelines

It’s crucial that you remember to mention the timelines and budget for the project in your digital marketing RFP. Talking about timelines, we don’t mean just the deadline for submission of proposals. It pertains to any key dates and deadlines you’d like to set for individual objectives or the campaign as a whole.

Your budget is the yet another important parameter that your potential bidders should be aware of. Mentioning the budget and payment structure in your social media RFP will prevent any future misunderstandings.

In case you don’t have a fixed date or number for your budget, an approximate range of both works just as well. You can figure out the specifics when sitting down with your chosen agency.

8. Bidder Qualifications & Information

In order to make your selection process easier, you need all the relevant information about the applying agencies. Always remember to include a bidder qualification component in your social media RFP.

Typically, prospective candidates will furnish you with whatever information about themselves they find relevant. There’s always a chance they may miss out on some detail you were expecting from them.

This is precisely why you should inform them about the qualifications and details you’re seeking from them in their proposals. Jot down a list of the requirements you expect each of them to meet for them to be considered.

Here are a few details you could inquire about:

  • Agency experience
  • Brief overview of services provided
  • Testimonials from previous clients
  • Sample work and results from the same
  • Details about the staff that will be working on the campaign
  • Social media training and certifications they’ve undergone
  • References
  • Strategic framework on how they will help you achieve your objectives
  • Financial Proposal
  • Terms and conditions

9. Selection Criteria

Make your selection criteria abundantly clear in your social media RFP. Let them know the systematic process on the basis of which you’ll be shortlisting who’s a good fit.

Most brands and marketers tend to rely on a scoring system to allot points for each element in the proposals. This way the applying digital marketing agencies can customize their proposals to better suit your needs.

Download our Social Media RFP Template here!

Conclusion

With a detailed social media RFP based on these guidelines, you’ll find it easier to filter through potential candidates. You’ll also be presented with a variety of unique perspectives on how to tackle your social media marketing challenges.

This digital marketing RFP template will help you attract the crème de la crème of marketing consultants for your brand. Leverage this framework and guideline to build your own RFP and we assure you, you’ll be satisfied with the end results.

This post Social Media RFP: A Complete Walkthrough Including a Free Template originally appeared on Sprout Social.


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