I have been working in the world of Facebook Advertising since way back when it was still a debate if Social Media Marketing was going to be an effective channel or just a fad. Since then, Facebook Advertising has become of the most widely used and effective marketing channels in the world. With that, many more agencies and individuals have entered the space. With the channel still being so new many companies do not know how to measure the success of their agency as a partner of their performance as a whole and sadly there are some agencies that do not know how to measure their success either. For that reason, I wanted to provide some general guidelines to help you in your decision process.
The first checkbox when working with a Facebook Ads Agency or partner is confirming that you will have ownership of your Business Manager and Ad Account if the partnership ceases. In this day and age, there is nothing more important than your data. I, unfortunately, have seen agencies, unable to give a brand their Ad Account after the partnership ends. There has been a multitude of reasons to why this has happened, but the main one has been the Agency trying to keep their strategies a secret from the next agency who will be taking over. This, in my opinion, is wrong. This shows that the agency you are about to be working with has their best interest in mind at the expense of your brand. If you are not able to have your ad account when transitioning to a new partner, you at least will be losing 180D of pixel data that you will have to rebuild in a new ad account.
The second biggest checkbox is transparency. You as a brand should have full access to your ad account and be able to go in and check-in on performance at any time. It may be difficult to understand everything that is going on in the engine, hence why you hired an agency in the first place, but you should at least have the ability to do so. Also on the note of transparency, I think it is very important for agencies to provide comprehensive reporting and be transparent when performance is poor. Performance will always have its dips, it is important to address it and learn from it, rather than sugar coat it and hope it goes away.
Another really big factor is proactivity. Digital marketing is changing every single day. Your agency needs to be proactive and always be one step ahead of the trends. They also need to be proactive in their management. When they are providing performance updates they should already have actionable insights based on the data that they are presenting. They should not simply be reading numbers off on a report, they should be explaining what the numbers mean to your business.
Lastly, how do you measure the success of your agency? This is very simple, the success of your agency should be measured against the growth of the bottom line of your business. Impressions, Reach, Clicks, Engagement, Purchases, Revenue, etc. These are all metrics that every advertiser reports on, but these metrics are data points that should allow you and them to see the bigger impact that they are having on your overall business. You should also be measuring their success on what recommendations they are making for you and your business based on these data points. Performance may not always be good, but there is a lot of factors that go into this and Facebook gives you the data you need for strategy pivots whether it be in the engine or with the business as a whole. If the advertiser is not able to provide recommendations to improve performance and does not know why performance is trending down, then that is a good indication that they are not checking the laid out above.