2021 State of Social Media Agencies, Report

Agorapulse is known for its love of agencies. Our scalable program, all-in-one social network solution, and insightful research are just a few of the reasons we love to support digital and social media agencies.

We are so happy to share the 2021 State of Social Media Agencies Report with you.

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We reached out to over 100 agencies to create this report and asked them a lot of questions about everything, from the size and scope of paid vs. natural campaigns to future plans and pain points.

We also learned:

Agency managers find it difficult to report and demonstrate return on investment (ROI) across all social media channels. We have some ideas for you.

Are you ready to get into the results?

gency Basics: Size and Scope. Pricing

Is your agency average in terms of size, scope and pricing? Is your agency unique? Compare your agency to the rest.

Which one best describes your agency’s mission?

Agencies come in many sizes and shapes, from small-scale operations to large-scale full-service agencies. Our 113 survey respondents were asked to categorize their agencies. The results were pretty consistent:

Full-service agency: 25%Digital agency: 25%Boutique agency: 25%Social media agency: 20%

which best describes your social media agency?

A few people didn’t fit in all the boxes. A few are PR agencies, content marketers agencies, and specialized consulting companies.

What number of clients does your agency serve?

Many agencies are happy to share the brands they have worked with. However, it is possible to wait a while before you find out how many clients an agency manages.


how many clients does your agency have

Our survey respondents represent small agencies overall. Around 75% of respondents reported having 30 or less clients. 35 percent have 10 or fewer clients, while 25 percent have between 11 and 20 clients.

Were you expecting bigger numbers? The survey also included agencies with more than 50 clients. However, they represent around 10% of the total respondents.

What number of employees does your agency employ?

Our survey participants are small agencies that have a small client base. You might assume they would also have smaller teams. You would be correct if so.


how large is your team

Around 50% of respondents have teams of fewer than 10 people, while 20% operate as a one-person operation. A small percentage of respondents (around 5%) have teams of more than 50 people, which is consistent with the size and scope of the agencies.

What services do you offer as an agency?

Survey participants almost all provided social media management services. However, it is not the most popular. A full 90% of respondents offer content creation, which can be used in conjunction with social media management services or as a standalone service.



Many of the participants offer related services such as social media management. Over 80% offer social media strategy and 75% offer paid analytics and social media marketing. A smaller percentage of digital marketing professionals offer other services.

Email marketing: 60%Web development : 55%Search engine optimization: 50%Video production : 50%
What is the average monthly cost of a social media marketing agency?

Even if you don’t want to change your agency’s pricing, it is important to know the prices charged by other agencies. It’s rare for agencies to disclose how they make their money.


as a social media marketing agency on average what do you charge each client per month?

Our survey participants charge between $1,000 and $3000 per month to clients. A third of our survey participants charge $1,000 or less and 15% charge between $3,000 to $5,000. This is where your agency fits on the scale.

How can your agency attract new clients?


how does your agency find new clients?

No matter if you are just starting an agency or have been in business for many years, it is crucial to keep your client list full. While there were over a dozen methods of acquiring clients, the majority preferred some to others.

Word of mouth, such as testimonials and client referrals, is the best way for agencies to find potential clients. It has a 90% response rate. It’s not surprising that reviews are trusted by over 90% of consumers when they make a purchase. Social media (55%) and the agency’s website (55%), are the second most popular methods. These are useful because agencies can show their capabilities in social media management, web design, and content creation. About 45% of respondents said that networking events are a great source of leads. These could include industry conferences, online events and networking meetups.

Top Social Media Channels For Agencies

Do you support the largest social networks? Do you prefer your team to venture into unknown territory and concentrate on emerging platforms? Find out which social media channels are most popular for agencies to manage to see which ones produce the best results.

Which social media channels are you responsible for managing for your clients?

Nearly 100% of respondents offer Facebook Management, while over 90% offer Instagram Management. It’s no surprise that Instagram and Facebook are the most popular social media channels in America.

Surprisingly, around 80% of these people offer LinkedIn management services and 70% manage Twitter pages. Yet, the adoption rates for these channels is 28% and 23% respectively.

Additionally, YouTube is used by more than 80% of American adults. YouTube continues to grow in popularity. Only 55% of the survey participants use YouTube to manage clients. YouTube could be an option if you are looking to add a new channel or service to your existing services.

What social media channels bring in the highest results for organic/unpaid tactics?

While Facebook is the most used social media channel among our participants, it does not necessarily generate the best organic results. Facebook and LinkedIn tie for second, with approximately 45% of respondents reporting that these channels produce the best organic results.


what social media channels bring in the best results in terms of unpaid tactics?

According to more than 60% of respondents, Instagram is the best performing channel for organic social results. Other social media channels like Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube received less than 10%.

What social media channels bring in the worst results when it comes to unpaid/organic strategies?

Our respondents were open to answering the question again and revealing which platforms produce the worst organic results. Twitter (over 40%) ranks as the worst channel for organic search results. Facebook (over 35%) comes in close second.


which social media channels are the worst in terms of unpaid tactics?

Only 15% of respondents chose to use other channels such as YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram. Because fewer respondents claimed to manage these channels, TikTok or Pinterest received less than 10% each.

Are you using the most effective channels for social media advertising in your agency? Here are the top and worst paid social platforms.

What social media channels bring in the highest results in terms paid tactics?

Participants highlighted the top performing channels in both paid and organic social media. Around 75% of respondents claimed that Facebook produced the best results in advertising, while 45% claimed that Instagram generated the highest return.


which social media channels are the best in terms of paid tactics

These results might surprise you if you are one of many advertisers who have struggled to keep up to date with Facebook Ads’ constant changes. Our survey participants have become more familiar with Facebook Ads over the past year. Only 60% of respondents to our 2020 survey on social media agencies reported that Facebook Ads had the best results for them.

What social media channels bring in the most unpaid results?

Only 5% of our top advertising channels poll votes for Twitter Ads, so it is not surprising that this platform ranks among the top worst performing platforms. Nearly 30% of respondents criticized Twitter for poor results in paid advertising. LinkedIn Ads (25%) was close behind.


which social media channels are the worst in terms of paid tactics

However, Instagram Ads and Facebook Ads received nearly 15% and 20% of the votes, respectively. But there is a caveat. Many survey participants stated that Facebook Ads was their only paid channel, which makes this platform stand out as the best and the worst.

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How agencies manage social media content

Are you keeping up with the competition or are your employees paving your own way? Find out which type of content social media agencies post and how often.

How often do social media posts occur?

It can be difficult to decide when to post on social networks. It’s important to find a balance between keeping your followers on the radar and being blocked by over-posting. Be aware of the typical recommendations for each channel.


how often do you post social content

Our survey participants generally follow the best practices. Half of the respondents post only a few times per week while 45% post daily. Fewer than 10% post less frequently. Only a few post more often than that, posting once per week or once per month.

Which type of social media content do you most often share or publish?

Video and live streaming have been gaining a lot of attention in recent years due to their increased reach and engagement. If statistics had not converted you, then surely new features such as LinkedIn Live and Instagram Reels would.


what type of social media do you publish or share the most

Only 15% of respondents to the survey said they publish video most often. Only 2% of respondents host live streams the most. About 65% prefer photos, while 10% prefer links.

These results indicate that agencies are slow to prioritize video. Your agency may already offer video production. This could make it possible to help clients get better results with video.


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Social Media’s Primary Problem Points

Do you have the same issues as other agencies? Find common problems in agencies and see how they handle tricky areas such as reporting and ROI.

What is your greatest pain point?


what's your biggest pain point as a social media agency

Our survey participants identified four main pain points.

Measuring and demonstrating the ROI: 45%Managing client expectation: 35%Educating clients about the value of social networking: 30%Educating clients about the agency’s value: 25%

Agencies are having a hard time determining how to measure their value and setting appropriate expectations. Clients aren’t getting it, and ultimately don’t understand the agency or social media approach. Your competitors’ greatest problems will be solved if your team communicates what they can expect from an agency, and quantifies results.

How can you show ROI to clients?

It’s no surprise that many agencies have difficulty proving ROI. Some participants answered the question by stating that they don’t have any conversions to measure. The top-of the-funnel metrics that measure ROI are social media engagement (65%).


how do you demonstrate social media roi to agency clients

Many agencies also use middle of the funnel metrics such as leads (60%) or bottom-of–the-funnel metric like sales (40%). Many agencies also consider audience growth (40%), website traffic (55%), and audience growth (40%).

What data do clients need?

Agencies report a set of standard metrics, but may adjust to meet client needs. These are the results that agencies focus on, according to our survey.

Reach and ImpressSocial media engagement

Many agencies also report on brand monitoring and competitive rankings as well as top-performing content. These metrics are reported by agencies that manage leads and sales. Pay-social managers report on the following metrics:

ConversionsCost per Click (CPC),Click-through Rate (CTR).

How often do clients receive data?


how often do you report data to agency clients

Nearly 70% of our survey participants use monthly reports. A few 15% of our survey participants provide weekly analytics and more frequent reporting. Another 15% provide less frequent quarterly reports.

Top Tools for Social Media Agencies

Are you looking for a tool that will help your team increase productivity and get better results? Take a look at the top social media tools.

Which tools can you use to get more done with social media?


What types of tools do you use to be more productive as a social media agency

Nearly 90% of survey respondents offer social media management. It makes sense then that social media tools dominate the poll. These are the most preferred options for agencies:

Social media management tools for 90%Social media analytics tools 75%Social Media monitoring tools 65%Social marketing tools: 45%

Over 60% of people rely on tools to create content, while 45% use apps to manage editorial calendars. An app is also used by 45% to simplify content curation.

Are you using a social media management tool to manage your social media accounts?


do you use a social media management tool?

It is not surprising that 90% of respondents said they use a third-party tool to manage social media. The built-in tools are versatile and can be used for multiple purposes, including scheduling and engagement as well as reporting and social listening.

How agencies plan to leverage social media in 2021

Are you adjusting your social media strategy to keep up with the times? Are you missing key growth opportunities? You can plan more effectively if you take a look at the competition.

Are you able to change your social media strategy from 2020 to 2021?

Brands and agencies experienced many unexpected changes in 2020. Social media agencies needed to quickly pivot from a major shift to ecommerce to new advertising strategies and engagement strategies.


have you changed your social media strategy from 2020 to 2021

Our survey respondents expected even more change in 2021. Around 65% of respondents indicated that they have already modified or planned to change their strategy for 2021. The remaining 35% of respondents who do not plan to change their approach could have found a rhythm.

Are you planning to do more, less or the same amount in organic postings to social media?


do yu plan on doing more or less with social media

Surprisingly, more than 55% of participants said they don’t intend to post more organic content on social media. They prefer to keep the same frequency. Only 5% of participants plan to post less and 40% want to publish more.

Are you planning to do more or less social advertising?


do you plan on doing more or less with social ads

Respondents who indicated they intend to change their strategy by 65% may have focused on paid social media. More than 55% of respondents indicated that they plan to use social media more in 2021. Only 30% of respondents plan to do the exact same thing, while less than 10% aim for lower paid social.

Are you planning to do more, less or the same amount Facebook Messenger marketing?


do you plan on doing more or less with messenger marketing

We asked agencies about Facebook Messenger 2020. 55% of respondents said they would do more. The response rate for 2021 has dropped to 25%. Nearly half of respondents reported that Messenger marketing was not part of their social media strategy. This suggests that there may be a decline in interest in Messenger marketing.

Are you planning to post more or less to social media?


posting in groups

Our survey participants had a positive outlook on groups. However, they don’t plan to post more in groups in 2021. Around 30% of respondents said yes, and 25% said they would post the same amount. Nearly 40% of respondents said that social media sites aren’t relevant for their strategy.

Are you planning to do more, less or the same amount live streaming?


do you plan on doing more or less livestreaming

In conclusion

The 2021 results in live streaming are nearly equal to the 2020 results. About 40% of respondents plan to stream more, and 40% aren’t interested in live streaming. These results indicate that agencies are keen to stream live, but not enough are using this type of content.

These insights will help you review the strategy of your agency and ensure that your team is able to keep up with your competition.

You can take control of your social media. Get a free trial of Agorapulse, which will help you plan, track, measure, and measure your social media efforts.

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