Social media RFPs are the starting place for solid social media strategies, award-winning campaigns and long-term collaborations.

But whatever you put in them you get out of them. Write a sub-request for offers and the offers you receive from digital marketing agencies will only be this strong.

Too many questions left unanswered? Expect to spend time answering the phone and typing lengthy responses to emails from relevant vendors.

Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s time. Find out what information you should include in a social media RFP to attract the best companies and offers for your business.

What is a social media RFP?

RFP stands for “request for proposal”.

A social media RFP:

  • outlines a specific project or need your business wants to address
  • invites agencies, management platforms or other vendors to submit creative ideas or solutions.

The RFP process is a company’s Review ideas and providers before committing to a major collaboration or long-term deal.

What is the difference between RFP, RFQ and RFI?

A request for proposal price (RFQ) focuses on obtaining a quote estimate for certain services.

A information request (RFI) is something a business can come up with to understand the capabilities or solutions different vendors can provide.

an RFP should provide background, describe the project and its objectives, and explain the bidder’s requirements.

The art of an RFP for social media marketing services lies in providing the necessary amount of detail while leaving room for creativity. The better your RFP, the better the seller offers.

What should be included in a social media RFP?

Still not sure what to add to your social media RFP? Every RFP is different, but these are the common elements that make up strong vendor offers.

A social media RFP should include these 10 sections (in this order):

1. Introduction

2. Company profile

3. Social media ecosystem

4. Project purpose and description

5. Challenges

6. Key questions

7. Qualifications of the bidder

8. Bidding guidelines

9. Project timelines

10. Bid evaluation

We’ve broken down each section so you can better understand what it should contain.

1. Introduction

Provide a high-level summary of your social media RFP. This short section should include important details such as your company name, what you’re looking for, and your deadline.

Here is an example:

Fake Company, Inc., the world leader in fake companies, is looking for a fake social media awareness campaign. We are accepting offers in response to this bogus offer request. [date].

2. Company profile

Share some information about your company. Try to go beyond general information and provide information that may be relevant to an RFP for social media marketing services. This may include:

  • mission statement
  • Basic values
  • Target customers
  • Key stakeholders
  • competitive environment
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Note that if including any of the above in your RFP requires disclosure of trade secrets, additional information may be provided upon request and/or NDA signature.

3. Social media ecosystem

Provide sellers with an overview of how your company uses social media. Let them know which social channels you are more active on or which networks you choose to avoid. Some other things you can mention in this section might include:

  • Summary of active accounts
  • Key aspects of your social marketing strategy
  • Overview or links to past or ongoing campaigns
  • Relevant social analytics (e.g. audience demographics, engagement, etc.)
  • Highlights from your social accounts (e.g. content that performs really well)

An important reason to provide this intelligence is to avoid duplication. Without this knowledge, you may end up with social media recommendations that are very similar to past concepts and ultimately waste everyone’s time. The better a seller understands your social media landscape, the better they can present a successful concept.

4. Project purpose and description

Explain the purpose of your social media RFP. What are you looking for? What goals do you hope to achieve? Be as specific as possible.

Some examples may include:

  • Raising awareness of a new store opening [location]
  • Gain new followers on a recently launched social media channel
  • Increase the rating for an existing product or service
  • Generate more leads through specific social media channels
  • Build your company as a thought leader
  • Share company values ​​or initiatives with the target audience
  • Organize a seasonal promotion or social contest

Remember, social media campaigns can and should have more than one purpose. Each destination provides a box for ticking a seller’s offer. Consider using the primary and secondary goal categories to clarify what is most important.

5. Challenges

Most companies are well aware of the unique challenges they face on and off social media. Do not assume that inexperienced third parties will have the same understanding. Define obstacles in advance so you can work together to solve or get around them.

Difficulties can include:

  • Customer sensitivities (for example, anything to help a seller avoid pressing on known pain points)
  • Legal language (for example, cumbersome disclaimers and explanations that often get in the way of creative concepts)
  • Regulatory compliance (are there age or other restrictions on marketing your product?)
  • Differentiation (Is it difficult to distinguish your product or service from competitors?)

Resource and budget challenges may also be relevant here. Does your company have enough staff to support the necessary customer service and community management? Be honest. The best offers can offer invaluable solutions.

6. Key questions

It’s somewhat common to find questions in social media RFPs used for marketing purposes. They often appear as a subsection of or follow the Challenges. In some cases, they simply ask: How will your proposal address these challenges?

Incorporating questions is one way to make sure that offers provide solutions or answers head-on rather than running around or running around. If your company is facing significant challenges, these answers will make it easier for you to evaluate offers.

7. Qualifications of the bidder

Experience, past projects, team size, and other credentials are important factors to consider when evaluating vendors who respond to your social media RFPs. You gave information about your company. Here, bidders share why their company might be uniquely qualified to take on your project.

Include qualifications that will make for a successful project, help you evaluate proposals, and are important to your business. For example, your company might prefer B Corps, even though it’s not related to a social media RFP.

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Some requested things:

  • Details on the size of the seller’s team
  • Evidence of social media training and certification (e.g. Moyens I/O’s social marketing training and certification program)
  • Examples of working with past or current clients
  • Customer references
  • Results from previous campaigns
  • List of employees who will work on the project and their titles
  • Project management approach and strategy
  • Resources to be allocated to the project
  • Anything about the vendor and their work and execution of the project that is important to you

If you ignore the bidder qualifications section, you may end up with a lot of applications that lack the information you need to make a decision. So include anything and everything you want to see from potential vendors.

8. Bidding guidelines

This section should cover the basics of bidding: when, what, where and how much. Specify the deadline, how proposals should be formatted, and the level of detail you need for budget breakdowns.

If your company has brand guidelines, social media guidelines, a social media style guide, or other relevant resources, include links or information on where sellers can find them.

Be sure to add a touchpoint as well. Our social media RFP template puts contact information in the header. It doesn’t matter if you put it first or last, as long as it’s appropriate for agencies to direct questions or clarifications.

9. Project timelines

Each social media RFP should state proposal and project deadlines. In this section, provide a structured bid schedule that vendors can follow. If your project is not tied to a specific date or event, your project date may leave a little more room for flexibility.

A social media RFP timeline may include:

  • Deadline for RSVP participation
  • Meeting time with vendors for preliminary discussions
  • Deadline for agencies to submit questions
  • Deadline for bid submission
  • Finalist selection
  • Finalist submissions
  • Selection of the winning bid
  • Contract negotiation time
  • When will notifications be sent to unselected bidders?

Include a firm deadline or target project date. If significant milestones and deliverable deadlines are already in place, these should also be noted here.

10. Bid evaluation

Both you and potential sellers should know in advance how their offers will be evaluated. List the criteria you will measure and how each category will be weighted or scored.

Be as transparent as possible about the process. If you have a rubric template or scorecard, add it here. If evaluators are to make comments, let bidders know whether they should expect to receive them.

Finally, state the role the specified budget will play in your decision-making process. Will it be disclosed to reviewers after scoring the proposal? How will cost and value be determined?

Social media RFP template

Need a social media RFP sample? We have prepared a template that will make things easier for you. Use this social media RFP template as a starting point and customize it to your needs.

Social media RFP template with company and project name

Bonus: Get it free social media RFP template to create your own in minutes and find the right seller to help you achieve your goals.

Save time managing your social media with Moyens I/O. From a single dashboard, you can easily:

  • Plan, create and schedule posts on each network
  • Monitor relevant keywords, topics and accounts
  • Stay on top of engagement with a universal inbox
  • Get easy-to-understand performance reports and refine your strategy as needed