New Media for Dummies: Ask Less, Trust More

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…






Being a Badass Is All Good

My friend LP at @palmerpublic posted this quote today and it got me thinking…


TRUTH! Your customer should always come out as the hero in your story. And if I could add to it, I would say make sure your client never doubts their strengths, and their ability to embolden others with their innate badassery and zest for life (just love that word). ZEST!

Think about all of the revolutionary leaders that are getting mega press right now – if you look at what they’re saying, their social media channels, etc. you’ll notice right away that they aren’t afraid to speak their minds and to no surprise it’s always on the bold side. More of this, please.

I’ve Sold My Idea to a Client – Here’s What I Don’t Do Next

Getting the green light from a client is just the beginning of my real creative process. Yes, the idea is born. Yes, it’s golden. But truth be told, the rest of the journey shouldn’t be about execution…and if you ever think that “everything is set,” then you’re doing it totally wrong.

I’ve discovered that this “permission granted” moment is the perfect time to question EVERYTHING.

Questions You Should Ask:
-How can you take it to the next level?
-What doesn’t need to be there?
-Are you passionate about this? (Yes, YOU. Not just the client. Your work will always be better when you’ve got “feels” for the project, too.)

Questions You Shouldn’t Ask: 
-How long is this going to take?
-How much time time do I have?
-How much money is this going to cost?

This ideology applies to ad campaigns, editorials, scripts, and the list goes on. It’s important for creatives to accept that they’ll never be ready, and that every stage in making something is an opportunity to up the ante. (Are you rolling your eyes at the obviousness of this last sentence? Stop. You know you needed a reminder.)