Selecting a qualified social media marketing agency can be tricky. You have to make sure that the agency is reliable, experienced, and most importantly, results-driven.

To help you choose a qualified social media marketing agency, I’ve brainstormed and listed five qualities a good agency must have:

1. Experiences with your industry. Each industry is different and a social campaign that succeeds in one field may not succeed in another. Therefore, it’s important for a social media agency to have experiences working with companies in your industry and helped these organizations achieve their business objectives.

2. In-house creative team. A qualified social media agency should have creative designers in-house because if they don’t, they have to outsource the visual designs to another agency or to a freelancer. This makes it difficult for you to communicate with different stakeholders.

3. Measurable results. A qualified social media marketing agency needs to deliver measurable results. “A lot of people are talking about your brand on Twitter” isn’t a quantifiable result. Neither is “there are a lot of retweets about your company lately.”

An example of a measurable result is: the social media contest launched in August 31st, 2014 generated 250 retweets, increased the number of Twitter followers by 25%, and drove 874 visitors to a company website in the month of September 2014.

Without measurable results, you can’t determine the return of their social media campaign and whether the agency is performing optimally.

To track social media marketing performance, the agency should use a combination of paid and free tools such as HootSuite, Bit.ly, Buffer, SproutSocial, SocialBro, or Twitter Counter.

4. Accountability. The agency should be accountable for the outcome of the campaign. If the objective isn’t met, the agency should have a contingency plan for achieving the goal. For example, if an agency had a goal of increasing your Facebook fan-base by 10% in three months through a series of social media contests but failed to do so, the agency should have other social media campaign ideas available for meeting the goal.

5. Existing relationships with bloggers. A qualified agency should have existing relationships with bloggers because it’ll increase the agency’s chance of recruiting bloggers to participate in the social media campaign. Instead of outreaching to hundreds or even thousands of bloggers to convince only a few to share your social media campaign on their blogs or social channels, an agency with existing relationships with bloggers can convince bloggers more easily to promote the social contest on their websites or social networks.

By using the five qualifications above as a way to assess the quality of a social media agency, you can select a social that delivers measurable results and has existing relationships with bloggers and experiences with working with businesses in your industry.

If there are other qualities you think a qualified social media marketing agency should have, please leave them in the comments section.