8-Step Framework to Build a Social Media Agency

Leo Ariel
5 min readMay 5, 2023

Here’s how you can build a social media agency. We won’t cover finding clients or collecting payments & instead talk about the things you’ll work through with the client.

Disclaimer: This is only one viable path. Feel free to tweak as fit.

Case Study: Maison Margiela

Replica Maison Margiela in Shibuya, Tokyo

Maison Margiela is a Parisian contemporary fashion brand known for its secretive and iconoclastic appeal. They have wide-ranging product lines from garments to bags to fragrances. Today we will focus on their signature “Replica” fragrance collection.

REPLICA

Maison Margiela’s first fragrance collection, Replica, was introduced in 2012 and remains an iconic best seller today with scents that resonate with everyone’s imagination. Irreverent names such as Lazy Sunday Morning and Beach Walk, re-transcribe the scents of our collective memory.

A. Brand Positioning

What do I stand for?

Every brand stands for something, or else they’d be spewing gibberish 😂

  • What do you make?
  • What’s the product or service?
  • What are your values (if any)?
L to R: “When the Rain Stops”, Dublin 1967 — “Jazz Club”, Brooklyn 2013 — “Sailing Day”, Paros 2001

B. Business Objective

What’s my business objective?

Most brands will have a sales target.

What’s positive ROI? Dollars Profited > Dollars Invested. Most brands will want direct sales, but some may want awareness and a few may even opt for a long-term brand-value play.

In the case of Maison Margiela, they may want X number of sales in the Spring / Summer season.

C. Consumer Segmentation

Who am I communicating with?

Every brand sells to different groups of people. Each group has its own preferences and motivations for buying. Communicate to them differently for more effectiveness.

Create 30–50 consumer segmentations:

  • Single Moms in Tokyo making over $100,000 a year
  • Female Fashion Students in London who care about Sustainability
  • English-Speaking Travel Vloggers who prioritize Comfort & Leisure

D. Platform Education

Understand the platforms.

Each platform has a unique audience and consumption pattern. The right strategy on LinkedIn is different than Snapchat is different than BeReal.

  • Features: LinkedIn Carousels, Instagram Green Screens, Snapchat Discover Shows.
  • Culture: We share different parts of ourselves on different platforms. Eg. Formal communication is expected on LinkedIn; informal chatter is promoted on Twitter.
  • Psychology: Did you know? There’s a positive correlation between Impermanence & Authenticity? 24hr Vanishing Stories let teenagers post party pics with less fear of retribution.

E. Platform Selection

Decide which platforms you want to be on.

A brand should ideally be on all of the platforms, but the reality is nothing in the world is “free” as you’ll either need to spend time or money. So it’s important to pick the areas with the highest leverage & most impact.

AUDIT

Maison Margiela is currently active on:

  • Instagram: @maisonmargiela — 4M followers, @maisonmargielafragrances — 307k followers
  • Facebook: @maisonmargiela — 470.8k followers
  • Twitter: @Margiela — 285.3k Followers

RECOMMENDATION: Establish a Pinterest presence.

Currently, Maison Margiela has an account but with 0 posts and 13.7k followers. Some of their products are being pinned by retailers such as Sephora and Farfetch.

Why Pinterest?

  1. Visual-Based. Users create & curate pinboards, a collection of photos and links.
  2. Ad Reach. Advertisers can reach more than 271 million people on Pinterest.
  3. Female Audience. 76.2% of Pinterest audiences are female and 17.2% are male.
  4. High-Income. 45% of people in the US with a household income of $100k are on Pinterest.
  5. US Presence. 84.6 million active Pinterest users in the U.S. 46% of U.S. women adults use Pinterest. Does Maison Margiela want to expand its US market position?
Source

I encourage Maison Margiela to begin posting content now, even though the peak shopping season for fragrances (Jan-Mar) just ended.

F. Strategic Organic Creative

Make content.

  • Find the formula that works for you
  • Making content in-house > outsourcing
  • Browse examples of “Social Media Done Well” here

Last week Maison Margiela ran an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram.

  • Jen Ceballos — American model based in New York, previous collaborations with Chanel and Saint Laurent. 📊 687k Followers
  • Brian See — Malaysian fashion/travel/lifestyle vlogger, previous collaborations with GAP, Levis, Puma, and Club 21. 📊 152k Followers
  • Edie Rose — English model, previous collaborations with Burberry, Pull & Bear, and Calvin Klein. 📊 687k Followers

What They Did Well (Strategic):

  • Chose the right niches: fashion, modeling, travel, lifestyle
  • Chose influencers who were already fans + users of the product
  • Chose influencers active on Instagram

What They Did Well (Platform):

  • 30-Second Product Demo (Good Length + Edits)
  • Voiceover + Captions
  • Campaign-Specific Hashtag: #neverendingmemory

G. Qualitative Analysis

How well did my content do?

  • Review comments & replies
  • Assess qualitative feedback
  • Provide insights to improve future content strategy

H. Quantitative Analysis

How well did my content do?

  • Review impressions & engagement metrics
  • Assess quantitative feedback
  • Provide insights to improve future content strategy

Steps F,G,H are iterative. They should be done on a daily or weekly basis. Review Steps A-E when they change.

I write about Social Media Marketing on my blog. Please subscribe to my postcards to read more!

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