You’ve just picked up a new social media client. Maybe you’ve been focusing on just one industry. Maybe you have not. Before you start creating social media posts and interacting you need a plan. You need to know where you stand, what your goals are, and where you need to be. But you also don’t want your client waiting and waiting for you to craft your first tweet. These are the things to do when you pick up a new social media client.
Things to Do When you Pick up a New Social Media Client
Audit Your New Social Media Client
The first thing you need to do is assess the situation. What dangers, what possible disasters will you deal with when managing social for this client. What are the possibilities? Let’s break things down to make it easy. Create a spreadsheet with:
- List of their social media accounts
- Their followers/following
- List of their competitors
- Their competitor’s following
- People who have access & the level of access they are privy to
- Tools used for each social network (to see if you can cut back on the fat with a tool like Socialdraft)
- Who is in charge of communications with the client?
- Are they working with a PR firm, what is on their calendar?
- Goals for the fiscal year
- Reviews and social chatter
This audit will help you tremendously. You will know exactly who and where to go to for information, you’ll be able to set up an emergency plan, and you will know exactly where you are at social media wise so you can measure your results at the end of the campaign. You will also have measurements so you can go in and analyze what was working and not working in the past and be able to adjust your strategy as needed.
Check out Your Client’s Followers & Measure Sentiment (and their competitor’s)
The community is the most important thing when it comes to social media. After all, without them, there is no ROI.
If your new client has already been active on Social Media, you need to take some time to hear what your community is saying. This will help you to come up with your voice and make it easier to craft your message.
Check out your followers, click their profiles. What are they talking about? What concerns them? What are they sharing? Pay attention to these so you can eventually figure out…
- How they feel about your clients (what the sentiment is around the brand)
- What does the community desire from your client and its industry
- What are the community’s problems and is there a way that your client can fix these
While you are at it, create a spreadsheet. Start keeping track of the hashtags that are being used in your client’s circles/industry. Seek out the competitors you want to be like. They are obviously doing something right…so keep an eye on their strategy and see what you can adapt.
As a community manager, you’re probably not going to be creating content. That being said, you need to be involved in the content creation process because you will be in charge of pushing this content out. You need to become the expert as to what resonates so that you can guide the content team in their efforts. Ask your client for access to Google Analytics. Check out what content is performing well and what is not.
Go a step beyond this. Once you have the top 10 performing pieces of content, go back to social. See if these were shared there and by whom. It could be that a certain post has great SEO and is getting tons of organic traffic, but that post may not work for your audience. Analyze the content that performs best on social and find out why – is it an amazing image, does it have an easily digestible list, is it shareable. If you are able to work with the content team, you can really get amazing results from Social.
Analyze the Best/Worst Performing Social Media Posts
Go through all your social networks and separate your best performing posts. Then ask yourself these questions:
- How long was the post?
- Was there an image/video/link attached?
- What was the tone of voice?
- Were people tagged?
- Was it your customer’s original content or influencer content?
- What hashtags were used?
- What time/day of the week was the post shared?
- Were they holiday posts? Did something historically significant happen on those dates?
Once you have analyzed these posts, you will know exactly what works well and what efforts will be a waste of time.
And don’t forget to ask to be included in the content calendar so that you can plan ahead on how to disseminate this content.
Have an Internal Social Media Meeting
Social Media is not a task for one person. You have a pretty good idea by now of outside sentiment for your clients. At this meeting, try to get a feel for what your colleagues think about your client’s Social Media presence. You’ll get a grip of what areas/people feel a disconnect with social marketing from the past. Try to get them involved and get ideas from them. There may be features/offerings from your client that you may not be aware of that you will discover during this meeting.
End your meeting gently asking them to follow the client’s Social Media accounts. You can’t legally require this, but you can nicely ask. They work for the company, if things are right internally, they should be your biggest advocates.
If team members have been previously involved with social media, you need to find out why, how, and if there are separate accounts you are not aware of.
Create a Response Plan
Chat with your client after you complete the sentiment report. There are issues that will come up on a consistent basis. Come up with a document that has pre-approved response templates to those recurring issues. Use those as a template when negative comments and reviews come up.
Speak with your client about what to do when serious problems arise, for example if a customer calls someone on their staff racist. Speak to them about how they would like for you to handle potential legal issues and ask them who on their team will handle. Issues with legality should be outside of your scope of work.
Create your templates
Find out if your client has used templates before. Templates are a great way to standardize efforts and to create a strong brand. If your client has not used templates in the past, it is a good time to do so…besides, this will save you an incredible amount of time.
Editorial Calendar Template
The content marketing team should already have this. A plan of what content is coming out and when. If they do not, then you need to ask that they create one.
Social Media Content Calendar
If you use a system like Socialdraft, you won’t need to create one of these (heck, you can use our calendar as an editorial content as well with our tasks feature). This calendar will help you organize your social media posts into categories so that you can easily duplicate, re-schedule and promote the content from the content marketing team. Some categories we recommend are:
- Promotional (keep this to 20%)
- Industry News
Need a Sample Social Media Calendar? Click here.
Whether you are using Photoshop, Canva, or any other image tool, you need to have visual templates in order to maintain a consistent brand. This will also help if you need new header images for holidays, special promotions, etc…Some visual templates you will need:
- Facebook post
- Twitter post
- Instagram post
- Google+ post
- Pinterest post
- Header images
Once you’ve gone through these steps, you will be more than ready to begin creating content and measuring your success.
Pick Your Social Media Tools
There are many social media tools out there, including Socialdraft. Socialdraft is an all-in-one social media tool that allows you to:
- Schedule posts to Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages, Pinterest boards, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
- Schedule single or recurring posts.
- Duplicate posts.
- Schedule reposts from Instagram to your other social networks.
- Schedule in bulk via CSV.
- Pull reports for Facebook and Twitter
- Engage your Audience.
- And much more…
The best part is that Socialdraft has plans for everyone. We even have a Free Forever plan…which is…free forever. Take Socialdraft for a risk-free trial today.
If you are just starting your social media firm, you’re going to run into many issues. That is how you learn. We’ve been there. Today, we’re going to teach you how to deal with those really needy clients, the clients that SMS you on Sunday nights at 9 pm when you’re about to pour yourself a glass of wine after a crazy week, the ones who demand that you change your social media content the day before it was due to go out (even though they already approved the calendar a week before). This will save you from those clients who friended you on Facebook (word of advice – don’t friend your clients) with all their great ideas that they want to be implemented tomorrow.
How to Manage Needy Social Media Clients
Draft Strong Contracts
Contracts protect you as well as your clients. In order to prevent the crazy scenarios above from happening, you can begin with entering this information into your contracts in your scope of work and letter of agreement. State your hours of availability, how you are to be contacted, and how requests are to be handled.
There are many great tools out there. You can use Trello to have an area where your clients can place ideas that come to them at whatever time of day or night. This is a great idea too…since they are potentially saving you time on content creation.
Use a tool like Socialdraft that allows you to give your clients access to their content calendar and leave comments. The tool does not let clients re-schedule or edit in any way, so your content will remain intact and allow your clients to feel like they have a little more control.
Turn Off Your Phone
Or have a second line that’s only for work. This is easily done with Google Voice. If you don’t answer business calls after working hours, your clients will slowly but surely learn to respect your boundaries.
Set up Auto Messages
Even your phone has an “away message” setting. Set it up with a simple “Thank you for reaching out but I am unavailable right now. I will respond to messages again tomorrow during working hours. If you have an emergency, please email [email protected]”. This works wonders and trains them on how to communicate with you.
Turn Off “Read” Notifications
This simple trick is a good way to make sure your clients don’t feel ignored or rejected.
What to Do When Clients Get Out of Line
You have a solid contract, you verbally explained how you work, but your client still DMs you on Facebook with work requests. In these cases, you need to remain professional and firm. Don’t respond back the way they messaged you. Wait until the next working day and email them back. Simply state that as per the contract all work communications must be done via email and that working hours are M-F from 9-5. If you stick to your boundaries, clients will learn to respect them.
Beat them at their own game
If you’re ahead of your client’s wishes, you’ll keep control in the relationship. Using a social media scheduling and management tool like Socialdraft will help you to do this. With Socialdraft you can:
-Schedule social media posts to Facebook business pages, LinkedIn business pages, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Once the content is scheduled, you can download it as a PDF to send to clients OR you can set up your clients with access to view their calendar and leave feedback for you.
-Set up multiple users with different permissions and even require that their content is approved before it is published.
-Schedule in bulk using CSV files (another great way to approve content if you don’t want them meddling in your dash).
-Generate reports to track your performance and lower client churn.
-And much more
If you are curious about Socialdraft and how it can help you manage your financial firm’s social media, take it for a risk-free trial. You’ll get to try out all the features and decide if Socialdraft is right for you.
Before Socialdraft became a social media scheduling calendar tool for teams, we were a ragtag bunch doing social media for clients (we still offer managed services to our enterprise clients). We started small with local clients like restaurants and ended up handling multinational clients and governmental entities. It was pretty cool…most of the time. From time to time an issue would arise with a client. Of course, we wanted them happy so we did what we could, sometimes this worked for us, other times it turned out to be a mistake. So today, we want you to learn from our mistakes and give you our tips on how to deal with common client issues and complaints so that you can reduce churn and have a much happier work experience.
How to Deal with Common Social Media Client Issues
Preventing Client Issues
Preventing these issues is usually the best thing to do. The majority of times, we found that issues happen because the client is not educated in Social Media. No, they are not stupid, it’s just that the nature of social changes all the time. So, in order to educate your clients, you are going to set up a drip email campaign. The first one is to let them know you are there if they have questions. Then every week, you’ll send an email with common questions about the industry, or questions that former or current clients have already asked. Chances are if current clients asked, new clients will ask too. This will keep you in your client’s minds and head them off at the pass with common issues.
The second reason is that they may not be aware of all the work you are doing. So, each week you will send a growth report (if you use Socialdraft, you can pull these as often as you want and there’s no extra charge) and include an email that outlines what you have done for the week as well as any milestones you’ve hit. For example, when you reach your first 1,000 targeted Instagram followers, or when you make a connection with a powerful industry blogger on Twitter. Anything that you achieve needs to be included in this email. You need to boast about all the amazing things you are doing for them. Don’t be shy on this respect.
They bring in a consultant or “assistant”
Our team was pretty darn thorough. We had SEO’s, PPC’s, SMM’s, web devs, designers, you name it – we had it. When we brought on a few of our larger clients, they wanted a separate consultant on the accounts (nice that they had that kind of money – in retrospect, we should have charged them more). There were various issues with these extra people:
- More bureaucracy & meetings
- Intellectual property issues
- Contract security
Basically, if your client brings on someone new, you’ll have to defend your ideas more, you’ll have to worry that they may steal or take credit for your ideas, and they may want to slowly steal your business. If you are smart, you can spin all this in your favor.
The first thing you need to do is build a solid relationship with people on all teams. You need to show that you are irreplaceable and that you can become a partner to outside consultants. Craft a report for your client to show them everything that you have achieved before the arrival of the new team member or consultant. You want to do this so there is a baseline of where you are at.
Secondly, don’t be combative. This will not help. Introduce yourself to the new parties, be friendly, and be open about having communications with them. Let it be known that you are ready to work with them so that your client can get the best of both worlds. You’re building a trust relationship between all three parties.
Then discuss with your client exactly what the responsibilities of each party are. Tell them that you just want to have everything outlined so that you don’t step on any toes and so that there is no confusion in the future. This will put your client in the position of having to clearly outline these and will make you look very organized.
Then, work with the new party. They’re probably in the same spot as you. They are probably worried that you’re going to be combative or that you’re going to block their efforts. You never know if this person may become a great referral of new business. You don’t have to be their bestie, but you can have a great working relationship. It is your duty to work for the best interest of your client and this may be a fantastic way for you to get results and show just how good you are at teamwork.
Pick up a tool like Socialdraft which has team capabilities. Everyone can have their own log-in and different permissions. This makes it easy to be transparent without having to worry that someone is going to mess with your work product. You can even set up your client and their consultant up with guest accounts. That gives them access to their content and lets them leave notes, but not make any changes.
Your Client Acts Like Your Enemy
You’ve been working your tush off for your client. They’re getting great Facebook organic reach without any ads. Then, suddenly, you get an email from your client asking why their competitor has 50,000 fans. Or maybe they accuse you of breaking their website (when what they have is a virus on their computer). They start sending nasty emails, asking for the impossible and in CAPS none the less.
You need to take control and you’re going to do this with communication and numbers. Going forward, you’ll be sending them weekly reports that include your growth, demographics (you can automate this with Socialdraft), and include an email with the attachment that tells them some awesome milestones (like that time Alyssa Milano retweeted them and broke their site). You’re going to explain to them how their competitor’s 50,000 fans mean nothing because their posts get no likes and that your demographics are all within their city or state. The idea here is not to give them a chance to question anything.
If you’ve already done this, the issue may not be you. They could be having problems with their spouse, maybe it’s low season and money is tight. Ultimately, you’re dealing with a human being and we’re all flawed. Ask them to hop on a video call so that you can discuss their concerns (we use Zoom and love it!). Seeing your face will help more than an email or a call.
Your Client Thinks They’re Smarter Than You
One day you wake up to check your analytics and you see 5,000 new followers from Bangladesh. Or your client keeps liking the page’s Facebook posts (not even as themselves, but as the pages). They ignore everything you say and are taking images from Google and posting them without telling you along with a link to their site. You’re freakin’ out.
You have to say something. Yes, it will be a difficult situation, but you’re a pro and you know how to handle this respectfully. Let your client know that they brought you on because you have experience and because you care about their success. Show them numbers, go into analytics and show them the results of their experiments. Explain to them that you’re doing this because you are looking out for their ROI. If they fail, you fail and your goal is to make them winners. If they still won’t listen, twist things around a bit. Say something like, maybe we can work this another way…and come up with a way 😉
Your client wants more, but they don’t want to pay for it
Your client hired you just to post to Facebook, but not to grow their audience. You took them on with the clear stipulation on exactly what the job was. They like your posts, but now they want you to grow their account and get more clicks to their website. You can do these things, but they require more time, planning and engagement. That means time and you need to get paid for your time. You quote your client and they don’t want to pay more.
Explain to the client that these things take time. Because of the time requirements, there is an extra charge, but these changes will result in an ROI which you will include in your reporting. And next time you quote them (even for a small project) include the costs of these extras in the contract and add them in as an on-request basis. This way they know that if they want something new there is a cost attached.
Your client wants you to do something illegal
Maybe your client has no time to send you pictures and asks you to “borrow” from Google. Then they demand that you leave positive Yelp reviews for their business (or worse, buy fake Yelp reviews).
Even if the request seems small, if it is illegal, you cannot comply. This is your reputation and your business. Start off by telling your client you’re not sure about the legality of their request. Suggest that you do a quick Google search to check on that.
If they insist that you partake in this illegality, ask them why they are interested in doing this. If you understand their desires, you may be better able to suggest something else that is legal and effective.
Ultimately, if they keep pushing. Just say no. Lawsuits just aren’t worth it.
How to Manage your Social Media Accounts
Socialdraft is an all-in-one Dashboard that helps you manage multiple Social Media Accounts. It is the most robust and simple tool for agencies and teams to effectively handle social media. With Socialdraft you can:
Schedule posts to Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Business Pages (and one LinkedIn account) and Pinterest Boards
Schedule posts individually, as recurring posts, or bulk upload them as CSV
Easily re-schedule with a drag & drop action
Schedule GIFs to Facebook and Twitter
Download content calendars as PDF
Keep an eye on your online reputation and easily share the good news to social
Find content on Instagram and easily schedule reposts not just to Instagram but to all other social networks
Engage on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin
Download Facebook and Twitter reports
and tons more…
If you are curious about Socialdraft and any of its features, just click this link. If you’re ready to take us for your risk-free trial, simply click here to find the perfect plan for you.