Social Media RFP: A Template and Guide for the Best Marketing Proposals

Your boss comes to you and says, “Put out a social media RFP,” and your silent response is, ‘What is a social media RFP?’

A company will issue an RFP, or request for proposal, when they need an outside solution to a business problem. So by putting out a social media RFP, your organization is asking digital agencies that specialize in social marketing to bid on a job with proposals.

Whether you need someone to craft you a winning social media strategy, or you want to hire a company to run your social profiles full-time, a social media RFP is like a “Help Wanted” sign in the window.

The following guide and template (find it at the end of the post) outline what you should include in your social media RFP to garner the best proposals.

What to include in your social media RFP

Project purpose and description

You don’t want there to be any confusion surrounding why your organization wants the project done, so present a clear reasoning for this. How does this project fit into your company’s overall brand and objectives?

This is also an area that allows for your candidates to get excited about the project, and align their own purposes and goals to those stated by your business.

Take this time to explain in detail what your company is asking the marketing agency for. What are your end objectives? What goals are you trying to meet? If you need help setting some goals and steering the direction of this area, check our post: Don’t just set social media goals—reach them.

By providing a detailed purpose and description of the work, you equip the bidders with the tools they need to demonstrate how they would tackle the work. You’ll be granted unique takes on the job, many of which you wouldn’t have thought of—which is the beauty of the RFP process.

Proposal guidelines

The most important thing your social media RFP needs to have, is clarity. Ensure that as you are writing it there are no opportunities for your recipient to misinterpret any information. Include proposal guidelines within your RFP so that the marketing agencies know what you are looking for in the document. To give them some background on what they should include, they need to know:

  • What you are asking for
  • Why you’re asking for this
  • How you want the process and end result to look
  • When you want it completed by

You must also ensure that you have the due date for proposal submissions clearly stated, so that you and the candidate don’t miss an opportunity simply due to technicalities.

Besides all of the above, you don’t want to leave any elephants in the room. Have a clear portion of your RFP dedicated to cost and fees, so that there are no misunderstandings when it comes time for budget matters and payment.

Bidder qualifications

List the requirements that each bidding agency must fulfill in order for their proposal to be considered. Ask for things such as:

  • Details on the size of the agency
  • Proof of social media training and certification (Hootsuite’ social marketing education and certificate program, for example)
  • Examples of work with past or existing clients
  • Client testimonials
  • Results from previous campaigns
  • A list of employees—and their titles—who will be working on the project
  • Their project management approach and strategy
  • The resources they will be dedicating to the project
  • Anything else about the agency and their work that is important to you and the execution of the project


While you will have already stated when you want the proposal by, it’s crucial that you declare a timeline for the scope of work. Ask yourself:

  • Do you have milestones and benchmarks to define each part of the process?
  • When are the deliverables due?
  • What are the timelines for each of these?

You’ll need to answer these questions in your project timeline. Any known deadlines or roadblocks to the project should be outlined here so that the bidder can determine the best course of action.

Proposal evaluation

You wouldn’t enter a contest without knowing the rules, so it makes sense to include the standards by which you will be evaluating the proposals. Include logistics such as your desired structure for the proposal, and your preferred format (i.e. whether you want the proposal mailed, emailed, delivered in person, etc.).

As for the content, think about what the marketing agencies need to offer in order to be considered for the job. This is where you need to explain how bidders will be evaluated and how the successful agency will be chosen. Include a list of criteria to make sure that the candidates can tailor their proposal to best suit your business’ needs.

For example, your evaluation criteria can include the following:

  • Overall suitability and compatibility of the proposal
  • Agency/bidder experience and capability
  • Cost and budget requirements

In being as detailed as possible in your requirements, you set up both yourself and the candidate for a positive working relationship.

Social media RFP template

To make the RFP process as simple as possible, we’ve prepared a template to guide you along the way. This can act as a great starting point for you to develop your own RFP so that you can ensure you have the best chance of success.

Get our free social media RFP template

Google Doc (make a copy to edit)

Word Document

Open Document

The post Social Media RFP: A Template and Guide for the Best Marketing Proposals appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

from Hootsuite Social Media Management


Author: Dewey D. Guinn

Internet marketing for small businesses is not a job for the faint hearted. It requires much effort as well as adapting to newer tips and tricks to keep everything on place. The constant need to be on the on the know is a must. Nevertheless the need to keep your tools sharp, ready and be able to adapt on the ever changing ways of the trade. Though hard as it may seem to be, the success that you acquire in the end is truly rewarding.

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