I used to keep myself up at night writing novel-worthy emails and reports, all in hopes of people understanding what an agency like me does when it comes to new media facilitation. I would construct the cutest little Excel graphs and formulas (thanks college) to make people see the progress between a brand with a part-time social media manager, and brand without one…again, again, and again. Because unlike other aspects of marketing, many people believe that since social media is a public, “self-made” platform that anyone can do social media—and do it right—on a professional level. Oy vey…
Now when clients start a deep inquiry into my methods and what goes into it all, you know what I tell them? Nothing. We don’t ask our accountants how they do our taxes, because that’s essentially why we hire them…it’s someone we trust to do the job for us. My recommendation for agencies or consultants who are experiencing a meltdown because clients are getting “a little too curious” about the inner-workings, is to invite them to a new media conference with you. Pick one that really speaks to your industry and make them your VIP guest! And if you really want to woo them, you could take it a step further and create your own “social media day” for your clients. Show them a day in the life of you (break for Juice Press and sushi included, of course). Oh, and show them this too…
Earlier this year I made a great outline of what brands are STILL doing wrong when it comes to social media. Let’s discuss:
–Treating social media as an add-on to existing marketing plans. DON’T DO THIS. You will find yourself working backwards—wasting time and budget—to connect the dots between social and business strategy to “prove” ROI to leadership. Sorry but if you’re a modern, forward-thinking leader, then you should already know social media holds purpose within your brand.
–Hard focus on objectives. Sure, the approach of getting “likes” sounds like it makes a lot of sense at first, but are you really linking back to your broader business goals? I’m not saying that “likes” and “followers” don’t matter, but don’t dwell on them. ROI can be elusive, and social media becomes an end unto itself.
–Limiting brand presence to one channel. Under half of the Fortune 500 are utilizing Instagram on a daily basis. What the eff. Instagram has played an integral role in building sales and brand reputation for some of the biggest brands in history, proven by boring ass case studies that you really don’t want to read (so take my word for it).
–Blah content. Another big DON’T. We are humans, and so are social media users (minus those pesky bots). Sometimes evoking an emotion, delivering a timely comment back, or simply putting a smile on someones’ face is more valuable then something sell-y, or a straight cookie cutter message that was pasted from your website. Have someone who is able to customize your content, evoke emotion, and relate to the lifestyle, and community, around your brand.
The main thing to takeaway is that real business goals come from brand awareness, conversions, and experience. If you have a client that doesn’t “understand,” don’t get frustrated. Frustration comes from confusion and lack-of-understanding, so it’s nothing to take personal. And it’s nothing you can’t fix.
But real talk, don’t waste your time pulling teeth trying to prove your worth—having a constant stream of communication with your client will eliminate these scenarios, and if it’s time to move on, THEN MOVE ON. Leadership that still fails to understand the value of professional new media services and social teams probably don’t have much value themselves (shrug!). Just being honest…