It's been said that in a traditional ad agency, "the A Team pitches, and the B Team plays the game." This model may work for some firms, but it can really gum up the works for clients who prefer to know exactly who they are working with and who they can go to when they have questions, concerns, and creative input. This is especially true for social media firms.
In a client-centric model, it may help to think of it in terms of a ring around each client, with an entire team supporting each one. All members are trained in copy, graphics, and metrics, so when an issue arises -- an image needs replacing, new content discussed, a post edited -- anyone can handle making the necessary changes. When clients discover an entire team at their beck and call, it's more value added, especially when it means increased responsiveness, creativity, and brainpower.
Every client, whether they are small business owners in a rural town or executives of a national brand, wants to feel like they are the center of attention. In many ways running a social media campaign for a company is a lot like running your actual social media agency -- it's successful when it's engaging, resourceful, timely, and genuine.
It's worth breaking down a little further. Let's get started.
Never underestimate nice
Whoever said "nice guys finish last" probably wasn't a great person. Don't listen to him (or her). People are craving nice right now. Don't discount nice. Nice is amazing. By its definition it means enjoyable, delightful, entertaining, amusing, charming, likeable. Nice is what takes marketing strategies by storm.
And nice is what will land you the clients you never expected. Nice agencies put the clients first. Nice agencies make communication effortless and easy. Nice agencies don't make promises they cannot keep -- they set realistic goals based on the information they have and the passion they are able to put behind it. And then they make those goals happen triumphantly.
More importantly, nice agencies -- like the successful campaigns they run -- know there are times to teach and times to learn. They understand the power of a company's voice, and the responsibility it is to maintain it. And the only way to hear that voice is to listen when it speaks.
Nice marketing agencies remember that they are only in business when the client is their business. Meet those needs, and everyone wins.
Don't just reply, engage
We all know that timely responses can catapult a social media campaign, and it goes the same way with the firms that run them. Successful client-based marketing agencies know it is imperative that they translate this into their own client relationships. This means answering phone calls instead of always returning them. As a culture, we've come to expect voicemail or automation with every phone call. While it's a little sad that just answering a phone when it rings makes an absurdly positive impression, appreciate the fact that something so simple can reap such huge rewards.
Also, don't assume that a quiet client is a happy one. If you haven't heard from your client in a while, make a point to touch base. Just like on your social media platforms, don't always assume you know what your followers want to see. Engage proactively. Reach out. Ask.
Speak from passion, not from sales
Commercials only work when we can relate to them. We want to feel comfortable with what we're getting into, feel good about what we'd like to buy, and feel even better about the person or company we are buying it from. This can only happen if the investment feels like it goes both ways.
We all know the "look how awesome we are" posts on Facebook only go so far. Effective campaigns allow the company to show its strength in a relevant way to their customer. While there is power in having a voice, there is also responsibility to listen, absorb, and address.
As a marketing agency relating to your client, this is your charge as well. Wear your awesome like a badge, and be prepared to back it up with thoughtful dialogue, statistics, and industry prowess. In this way, your client hears the information they need to, and your passion speaks for itself.
Want to make sure fans and followers are ridiculously happy? Keep generating meaningful blogs and compelling social media content, like offers, contests, exclusive peeks, and downloads. Keep gently reminding them that their lives are better because your content/service/product is in it.
Want to keep clients ridiculously happy? Turn those fans and followers into leads. And keep doing it. It's easier than you think, especially if you've been managing your clients as well as you have been managing their campaigns.
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"Multi-Ethnic Group of People Holding Tablet" image via Shutterstock.