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The value of social media as a business marketing tool cannot be quantified. More often than not, businesses will seek assistance in strategy development that will give tangible results. A social media RFP (request for proposal) is the business tool that can help you find reliable social media marketers through a bidding and vetting process. However, your RFP has to include the details of precisely what you need from social media marketers.

Social Media RFP
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So, what details will you need to include in your social media RFP for it to be a powerful business tool?

1. Mention your company when responding to a social media RFP

You are encouraged to provide a detailed history of your company. For example, if you have done previous research about your target audience, make sure you include it in the request for proposal. The same applies to any other market research your company has done in a bid to drive sales. You can also detail the results of these efforts, and the impact they have on your company. This step allows the respondent firm to fully understand your entity, its audience and the situation in the industry. This process allows the respondents to make accurate assessments and proposals.

2. Ensure clarity when responding to a social media RFP

The goal of the social media RFP is to act as a catalyst for relationship building. The business relationship will only be successful if it reflects the real personality of the issuer while providing avenues for a comprehensive response from the prospect. To ensure that the vendor and client are both excellent fits for the business, the RFP has to be crystal clear.

You should be very clear as to why you are issuing the social media RFP – whether to grow your brand, get more sales or to manage publicity. If there are solutions you have tried out that failed, please list them too. If there is a particular strategy you are interested in, make it clear too. Let them know why you believe you need social media management services. The more articulated the "WHY" is, the better the responses you will get.

3. Mention the bidder's qualifications when replying to a social media RFP

It is essential to make evident the requirements bidding companies must fulfill for consideration. For example, as a social media service provider, proof of social media training and qualifications will be a significant requirement for a bidding company. Unless you stipulate this in the RFP, companies with minimal social media training will also bid, adding to your bulk of vetting work. Another essential requirement is the ability to list examples of past contracts and their success.  You can also inquire about the details of the size of the agency, the qualifications of the key personnel and how long they have been in business.

Social Media RFP Example
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4. How proposals are evaluated

It is only fair that you make the standards of evaluation clear. Simple standard requirements like how the social media proposals should be formatted bound and delivered or mailed. You should also specify the kind of content you expect. That is, let them know what you need to see in the proposal for them to be considered. Another factor that is considered is the cost and budget requirements, and thus the bidder's ability to meet these costs without delaying the project.

Some companies that use a scorecard based on various factors like experience, financial capacity and number of staff. These variables are usually graded like a test, and the bidder with the highest score would win the contract. Stipulating these details in your social media RFP allows bidders to understand how your selection criteria will work, allowing them to structure a response that is relevant to your company. Of course, such open communication fosters a healthy level of respect between both firms.


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