2 Sides of the Social Media RFP

If the abbreviation RFP is new to you, read on and get an intro. A company issues a request for proposal (RFP) when they need an outside solution to a business problem. A social media RFP is asking for a company or individual that specializes in social marketing.

What is required  to bid on a job with a proposal? A post on the blog.hootsuite.com encourages using templates. I have used templates with students in a number of courses, but I do so with some cautions.

A template is a good starting place for beginners. Microsoft Office, for example, has templates for PowerPoint presentations, budgeting spreadsheets, documents etc.  They are good starting places and you can certainly tweak them and build them into your on designs. A danger is that you use them “as is” and your slides or document looks like many others. That is a signal of an amateur.

The basics of the RFP are simple enough that those noted in the post apply to most situations.

  1. Project purpose and description
  2. Proposal guidelines
  3. How you want the process and end result to look
  4. When you want it completed by
  5. Budget – cost and fees
  6. Bidder qualifications (size of the agency, proof of social media training and experience)
  7. Examples of work with clients and testimonials

On the other side, responding to an RFP covers the same items – but more work. For example, creating a timeline for the scope of work (3 & 4) is difficult and a poorly constructed one can cause many problems later. Can you set milestones and benchmarks that satisfy the client and that you can fulfill?

Download Hootsuite’s social media RFP template:  Google Doc (make a copy to edit)   Word Document   Open Document