Sahail Ashraf posted on 30 November 2016
There’s nothing like landing a new big client, and social media agencies know this. But one of the biggest issues facing a social media agency when a new client shows up is the emergency work that often needs doing.
If the client has spent years doing their own social media, chances are there are a number of issues that need immediate attention. These issues are so big that they need a quick ‘on the fly’ strategy. If they were left to get worse, the social media presence that the client has could soon be seriously compromised.
We thought we would run through five of these emergencies. Take a look at each one and the remedies that are needed, and make sure to have the list to hand when you have that first client meeting. If any of the following are present, it’s time to call in the social media paramedics.
This should hit you in the face as soon as you meet them. Take a look at the content the client has been posting across the social media accounts they are associated with. If the content is simply promotional stuff, you will essentially have to ‘reset’ everything and change the approach drastically.
Some clients are unaware of why you have to balance your content carefully. They don’t understand that social media branding relies heavily on high quality content that provides value to an audience. This does not mean overly promotional tweets, for example.
If your new client has a feed, anywhere, that is all about them, step in with an emergency approach. Create a short term content calendar that sends out a positive, helpful message to the audience your client has.
The aim is to provide a mix of content that has the ratio 80:20. This means that 80% of the content you post is helpful, and useful. Whether you are curating content, or developing your own useful content, as long as that majority is there your client should see a reasonably quick upturn in reach and engagement. People share stuff that helps or engages others. They don’t share stuff that sells.
Obviously, you know this. You’re an agency. But getting the client to see the value behind creating content that isn’t about them is no easy task if they don’t understand it. Educate the client as quickly as possible. A wrong approach that is over-promotional will result in disaster before too long.
If there is absolutely no interaction going on between the client and their audience you have a serious problem. No matter what stage of growth the client is experiencing, you should be able to see some response to audience comments or an active campaign, whereby the client is reaching out to audience members with conversation and/or engaging incentives.
Simply setting up a social media account and then waiting to see if it makes a dent on your bottom line is no way to be. The accounts have to be worked on, and that means engaging with real, active audience members.
There are tons of ways to bring a quick fix to the situation here. One of the best is to get to work immediately and look at all recent comments and messages the account in question has received. If these comments are not being responded to, get going quickly. Respond to all comments as quickly as possible, and start to build that responsive culture that will ensure your client is being truly ‘social’. It builds trust.
Another great way to get out there and to make engagement happen relatively quickly is to become proactive. Set up a contest or promotion and get the news about it out there. Make it an incentive, and start to promote it. The more you get involved in the lives of your audience, the better. If your client is doing nothing at all, and just sitting there, it will prove to be extremely problematic very quickly.
Not talking to the audience means that your new client doesn’t care about them. Ask the client if this is true. It probably isn’t. Sort it out for them. It’s an emergency.
Tied into the last one, this problem just simply means a dead duck of a presence on social media. No brand can ever truly be the most exciting one on the planet, but if simple curation of everyone else’s content, spiced up with a little overly promotional stuff, is what the client is giving the audience, this means they are boring.
If there has been no attempt to differentiate the client from every other company in their industry, then the client is lost in the fog. Take a look at their content creation. Is it boring, regurgitated stuff? Is there any life to it? Any attempt to disrupt and cut through the noise?
Obviously, it is easy to see if there isn’t. Take charge of the content and start to plan out and budget some showstopping stuff that will get your new client noticed online. Then check out the metrics on the content as soon as you send it out there.
If there’s a spike in engagement, you’ll know you were right.
If you find that your new client is paying for followers and fans (we’re not talking about the official paid channels, and some companies still feel this is a good way to grow on social), then you need to put a stop to this as part of your emergency care.
Paying for fake fans and followers looks great in the short term, but as those follower counts grow, the social media channels themselves will become a little dubious as they see minimal engagement and huge follower counts.
Let’s say Facebook sees lots of fan growth, but hardly any engagement. They won’t stay quiet for long, and will most likely downgrade you and make your visibility a problem. Facebook are also quite happy to ban accounts that are ‘paid for’.
If you know your new client is doing this, start organic CPR, now.
Our final danger sign is being spread way too thin. You’ll know if your new client is working way too hard on social if you see their logo and tagline on hundreds of social media channels. They should only be on a few, and the few that they are on should be relevant.
Take a quick look at the ‘portfolio’ and be strong. Get the client to ditch the social media channels that are just inappropriate for them, and then explain why focusing all efforts on the remaining accounts will pay off hugely for them.
Remember, the audience drives the choices here. If the client wants to be on Snapchat, they’d better not be serving the over 60s. And if they want to make it big on LinkedIn, a teen customer base is a big no-no.
If your new client is showing any of the warning signs above, stop and get busy. You can jump on these problems immediately and save the day. Once the above are out of the way, you can get on with showing them some real value. For now, just deal with the emergency.
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