==== ====Become part of the naxt big thing for free and get paid forever. Its called wazzub!http://signup.wazzub.info/?lrRef=8f2a8==== ====About a year ago, I wrote an article with guidelines on writing a website design and developmentRequest for Proposal (RFP), which received a great response. Now I think its high time to do thesame thing for those wishing to engage an agency for Social Media Marketing and other OnlineMarketing and Advertising consultation and implementation.Below are my suggestions of how to prepare an RFP for social media projects, retainers andcampaigns. I also suggest doing research online and viewing other Request for Proposals to seewhat works best for your organization. Keep in mind that whatever format you choose willdetermine not only how long the responses are, but also what type of focus you are looking forfrom the respondents. Each section of the RFP is outlined below, along with some explanation andsuggested questions. Have fun!Information about your organization and projectIntroductionThe purpose of this section is to give a brief overview of the company issuing the RFP and thesocial media project or desired work relationship between the company and the vendor. Provideas much information as you feel is necessary to allow vendors to prepare an accurate proposal. Ifyou feel that there is certain proprietary or other information that you do not wish to make public,require a Non Disclosure Agreement be signed before receiving that information. This may limitthe participation of vendors, but it is oftentimes necessary to protect private information.1. Company OverviewOrganizational historyYour business objectivesYour companys history using social media or reasons why your organization intends to begin toparticipate in social media2. Overview of ProjectState the project objectives and how they relate to the business objectives stated above. Explainthe type of vendor relationship desired i.e. Project-based, Agency of Record, etc. Explain thecurrent involvement your organization has with social media channels and how they relate to bothyour organizations primary presence and any related campaignsExplain the social media channels you wish the campaign to involve, unless you are looking forsuggestions of which to use, then please specify that to the vendorsExplain how the project fits into your overall marketing strategy (online and offline) and if there is
another vendor involved in other aspects of your Advertising and Marketing initiativesExplain the measurable outcomes you would like to seeExplain the duration of the work - is it a temporary campaign, or an ongoing organizationalmarketing platform?3. Overview of Audiences and StakeholdersList primary audiences for the company, i.e. demographics, psychographics, etcList primary information needs of each audience groupIdentify if any market or audience research will be necessary in the execution of the campaign4. Overview of ResponseMake it clear the type of response you are looking for:Are you looking for a hypothetical approach, or an explanation of the vendors process of how theywill come to create your campaign. Many times a hypothetical approach is not the best way toapproach an RFP process simply because a vendor will be missing several key pieces ofinformation that might negatively affect their ability to propose a specific solution. We suggestlooking for more general responses and weighing the effectiveness of past client work heavilyGuidelines for Proposal PreparationIn order to give all qualified vendors a level playing field, its important to set up an easy to followschedule for both when your RFP is issued, when and to whom questions are allowed, and whenand in what format responses are requiredSpecify the date the RFP was issued (Month, Day, Year). If your RFP is publicly listed, it will helpthose searching for RFPs on Google or by other methods to find relevant Request for ProposalsAn optional requirement is to specify that all interested vendors register their intent to submit aproposal by a certain date - usually within 1-2 weeks of the RFP issue. This is a good way to limitthe potential number of vendors who respond if you anticipate a large volume of proposals andwould rather receive a smaller amountWe recommend allowing a question and answer period that ends at least 1 week before theproposal is due. It is up to you whether to allow questions by email, conference call or individualphone calls. We do recommend that you share all the questions (and answers) with all interestedvendors in order to keep things as equal as possible. Always specify which format -phone call,email, and to whom these questions should be addressed. We recommend identifying a singleperson in your organization to be the point of contact. Just make sure vacation schedules, etcdont interfere with this process, and if there is any other reason why the primary point of contactmight need to be out of town during the process, specify a secondary point of contactResponses from issuer to be sent by 20XX in the following formats (specify whether electronicsubmissions, hard copies or both must be either emailed, mailed or hand-delivered)On the basis of the replies to the RFP document, a short list of potential vendors will be selectedand this group will be asked to present demonstrations of their capabilities and vision for theproject. These meetings will be completed by XXth, 20XXAwarding of the contract to selected Vendor by XXth, 20XXWork to commence by 20XX and to last until (if applicable)Vendor Questions and Qualifications
The following is a series of questions that, if applicable, we suggest you ask the vendorssubmitting proposals. Some may not apply, but it is a great idea to get as much of an idea of thevendors approach and philosophy on social media as possible. Compare the responses bothamong each other, and to the research and reading that you have done to make sure that thevendor is up to date with the latest thinking and best practices.COMPANY DETAILSCompany name and parent company nameOwnership structureYears in operationMailing address (headquarters)Other office location(s)Primary phoneFax numberWebsite and blog URLPrimary point of contact (name, title, phone and email address)Total number of employeesNumber of vendor employees whose primary function is social mediaCurrent client list with those engaged in social media work identifiedPercentage of total revenue that is social-media relatedThree references for social media work including; company name, primary client name, contactdetails and brief explanation of services providedAny potential conflicts with existing vendor client base and this RFPSenior social media staff bios and links to social media profiles where applicablePlease provide a complete list of relevant social media platform and technology partnersReferences from clients currently engaged in social media work with the vendorCAPABILITIES & EXPERIENCEList all social media and online marketing capabilitiesDo you have any proprietary tools or products related to social media?Please list any experience you have with integrating social, paid and/or earned mediaIs there a specific industry or type of work your firm specializes in?Please list and provide links to primary social media communication channels for your company(i.e.company blog,Twitter account, Facebook group, blogs authored by principals, etc.)SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGYPlease outline your social media strategy processWhich stakeholder groups do you typically include in a strategy engagement?Describe the final deliverable of a strategy engagementWhat is your approach to risk management in social media?How do you incorporate existing applications, websites, microsites and newsletter programs intoyour overall social media strategy?How do you ensure compliance with client legal requirements?Please describe your approach to integrating across client marketing, customer service and
corporate communications departments. Please provide an example of your work in this areaHow do you approach adapting a traditional brand into a two-way dialogue?Please provide a case study of your strategy work that resulted in a social media initiative and thebusiness results achievedREPUTATION MANAGEMENT & SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORINGWhat is your brand/reputation monitoring process (i.e. proprietary tools used, methodology, etc)?What is your opinion on automated sentiment analysis?What technology do you use to assist in online monitoring?How long (on average) between a potential issue being posted online and being flagged to theclient?What volume of mentions has your organization handled in the past (e.g. 2,500 mentions perweek)?What is your quality assurance process to ensure that the large volumes of data gathered in themonitoring process are handled efficiently and representative of the overall online conversation?Please detail your methodology for handling online crisesWhat services do you provide in support of online crisis management?Please describe the structure of your crisis management team, including bios and relevantexperienceHow do you assess which mentions require immediate responses and which do not?Please outline your general approach to sourcing and responding to commentsPlease provide a case study detailing your work for the purposes of managing reputation or onlinecrisis management, including outcomes and lessons learnedPlease include a sample of your monitoring report format and/or a link to appropriate dashboards(specifics should be removed)METRICS, MEASUREMENT & REPORTINGWhat methodology do you use for measuring the success of your social media programs forclients?Please provide specific examples based on past workHave you developed any proprietary metrics? How have you applied these for clients?How have you defined Return on Investment (ROI) from a social media perspective in the past?How do you take data points generated from various social media channels and measurementtools and combine to give an objective/comprehensive view?What is your approach to server analytics and community analytics for program measurement?Do you have the capability to measure cost per lead or cost per acquisition? Please provide anexample of a project on which you have done soWhat platforms are you unable to measure accurately, or able to provide only limitedmeasurements from?Please provide a sample of a measurement document or final report (specifics should beremoved)What percentage of the budget do you recommend be dedicated to metrics and measurement?CLIENT EDUCATION & TRAININGDo you offer social media training services for clients? If yes, what formats are they available in?
What internal processes do you have in place to ensure that your staff is kept current on socialmedia innovations and best practices?How do you measure progress and evaluate training effectiveness?How do you recommend that clients keep up to date on the latest social media innovations andbest practices?SOCIAL MEDIA AND OTHER DIGITAL CHANNELSWhat are your design, creative and community management capabilities?What percentage of your staff is dedicated to building and deploying social media solutions versusmanagement and consulting?Please describe your experience with the following platforms and tactics:- YouTube or similar video sharing sites- Blogs, Podcasts, Vodcasts, Forums- Content Management System (CMS)- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)- E-mail Marketing- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing(SEM)- Facebook Pages, Apps, API integration- Mobile application development- Twitter- News sharing sites (i.e. Digg, Reddit, etc.)- Virtual Worlds and Augmented reality- Photo sharing (i.e. Flickr) and other content sharing sites (i.e. Scribd, Slideshare, Delicious, etc.)- Social Media press releases(SMPRs)- Crowdsourcing or Wikis- Real world events organized via social media (e.g. Tweetups)- Ratings/Customer service sites (i.e. Yelp, ePinions, etc.)Please provide examples of social media channel developmentwork completed within the last twoyearsCOMMUNITY AND INFLUENCER OUTREACH (SOCIAL PR)What is your process for identifying influencers within various social media channels?How do you determine and define "influence?"What is your outreach process for communicating with identified online influencers?What tools and approaches do you use for Influencer Relationship Management? (Third-party,proprietary,etc.)How have you integrated Influencer Outreach with traditional communications and/or marketingcampaigns?How do you approach seeding conversations within stakeholder groups?What is your exit strategy with influencers once the initiative is completed?How do you ensure authenticity and transparency when conducting outreach on behalf of a client?Please provide a case study of an online community outreach projectCLIENT SERVICES & PROJECT MANAGEMENT
How is a typical client engagement with your firm structured?How do you structure your account teams?Please outline your internal communication structure. If your account staff is separate from yourproject management staff, please detail how these teams work togetherIf you are selected to provide social media services, who will be assigned to our business (pleaseprovide names, titles and short biographical notes)What percentage of senior staff involvement is structured in to your projects? What role do theyplay?How are your projects priced? Using an hourly rate? Blended agency rate? If the former, pleaseprovide a rate cardWhat change management practices does your agency employ?What reports will be provided to the client in order to communicate project milestones and overallproject health?What is the frequency of these reports?What is your process for gathering business requirements?Writing a Request for Proposal (RFP) is a good first step when considering Online Marketing andSocial Media work as it takes thoughtful planning to specify and construct an effective, integratedcampaign. A well thought-out, quality RFP is essential to a successful endeavor because it helpsyou to focus on your goals and exactly how to achieve them.Greg Kihlstrom is the Chief Creative Officer at Carousel30 Interactive in Washington DC, anaward-winning digital agency offering online advertising and marketing services as well asinteractive design and development for social media, websites and mobile applications.Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Greg_Kihlstrom==== ====Become part of the naxt big thing for free and get paid forever. Its called wazzub!http://signup.wazzub.info/?lrRef=8f2a8==== ====