Running a successful social media manager business means that building a wide and extensive client base is an integral part of the program. While making use of the referrals from your clients is a great way to get started, it can’t be the only avenue that is used. Thankfully, the World Wide Web provides a number of different ways to get your message across.
Make Use of What You Know
As a social media manager, you know about or have access to just about every one of the most popular social media sites. So why not make use of them for your business? Having an up to date and topical Facebook fan page or profile can be a great way to get your brand out into the web.
Make sure that you make use other sites such as Twitter or LinkedIn, too. There are a number of software programs available that allows you to update your various social media outlets all at once, making is very easy to keep with the online conversation.
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to get detailed information out to the public about your services is through a dedicated blog. In a few paragraphs you can provide more insight, and more detail into what you can do for your potential client than anywhere else.Having a description of your services, testimonies, even your expert advice on the latest and greatest in social media in one location can be a great marketing tool.
Your clients, and soon your potential clients will know that your blog is the resource for information and insight, and of course, help when they need it. So take the time to write a quality blog, and contribute to it regularly. Then, spend some time linking and promoting it throughout the Internet.
Don’t Be Afraid to Step Out and Upwards
While the world of social media and blogs are a great way to self-promote, never be afraid to get help from those around you. Local newspapers and online magazines are always looking for topical interview subjects, and with the chaotic nature of the social media world, your expertise is likely to be in prime time demand.
Watch your twitter accounts, and keep abreast of what is going on in the world. Chances are you’ll be able to find another opportunity for exposure. Take what you apply to your clients and use it to find your next one!
One of the most important things that you can provide your client is with the sense of security that comes with knowing that their online media presence is well organized, professional, and above all effective.
So how exactly do you operate as a successful social media manager with all the different types of media outlets available on the World Wide Web? How do you stay plugged in to everything that is happening and things yet to come, especially with the titans like Google, Facebook or You Tube? It can be a lot easier than you might realize. I bet you’ve already been doing it for quite some time.
Proper Set Up is Vital
One of the great things about starting from scratch to create the social media identity of your client is that you really have so many possibilities. Your experience with your own forays into the social media jungle has taught you what things to say, what areas to highlight, even the “red flag” words or phrases that are used entirely too often.
While the details might change somewhat depending on the nature of your client’s work, the basics are the same. The focus is on providing information to the world about what your client can provide – and letting them know exactly how much their life will be enriched by it.
So use the knowledge and experience that you already have to make sure that the Facebook Page, the blog, everything that your client wants or needs is fulfilled to the exacting standards that you would want.
Make sure that the blog is well written, and timely. A quick keyword search on Google Adwords is a great place to see exactly where the true buzz is to keep the content relevant and in line with the current conversation going on around you.
Offer Suggestions and Advice as Needed
Many business owners have learned over the years the benefits of bringing in a social media manager. You have the uncanny ability to navigate the dynamic world of social media better than anyone else. So why not offer some advice to guide your client on how to maximize their social media dollar? You’re expertise can go a long way to helping them design and implement a modern, successful and dynamic social media presence.
With a bit of knowledge, a bit of effort, and one finger on the pulse of the Internet you’ll be able to transform your clients drab and boring social media presence into something that just about everyone will sit up and take notice. Just remember that you have what it takes to make it happen.
Through the years, social media has become a dynamic tool for businesses and people alike. The opportunities for reaching out to new people, expanding on new ideas, and letting the world know exactly what a business can provide is enormous. There are quite a few methods available to leverage social media for the savvy business owner, and as a social media manager, you can make sure that they make the most of all the best options.
As a social media manger, you are often hired to maintain the online presence of your client. This means making sure everything is current, from their Facebook fan page, to their blog, and even their Twitter account. It can be a very time consuming task, but keeping a few simple ideas in mind can be a great way to get the deluge under control.
Start with a Clean Slate
One of the most problematic aspects of managing an online social media presence is wading through the volumes of old and irrelevant materials posted in the comments, on blogs, or in fan page posting. Small businesses often put their social media management on a low point in their priority, and so you might have a lot to deal with when you come on board.
Start by sifting through the information and deleting all the stuff that simply doesn’t matter to the bottom line. This includes everything from advertisements for other services, spam comments, and occasionally unwarranted and negative comments.
Formulate a Plan
As you know, one of the best ways to manage anything is to have a good plan of attack. This is no less vital in the world of online social media. As a social media manager, it is your job to make sure the face that your client presents to the online world is professional, accurate and approachable. Sometimes this means posting using their writing voice, sometime it means searching out and responding to various comments and posting on the web and in discussion groups.
By sitting down and planning out how to respond to and start conversations, you’ll make sure that your client’s online presence coincides with their brick and mortar one. Plus, having a solid plan is a great way to maintain the efficiency of the operation.
You already know a great number of tips and tricks that you can use to make your clients social media presence the most effective it has ever been. Use what you know, learn from your research and experience, and focus on what works. If you mange that, there is no project that you can’t handle.
A number of brick and mortar businesses, both large and small are beginning to see the advantages of having an online presence including social media. Thankfully for your business, these companies often need guidance on how to handle the dynamic changes of the social media world.
So how should you approach these potential clients that are just now venturing into the online world of social media? There are a number of different methods, but one of the best places to start is in your local neighborhood. The local stores, restaurants, and even the local non-profit groups are great places to find your next potential client.
For example, the next time you go in to have lunch at your favorite diner, stop by and compliment the owner or manager on their service or food. When they request that you tell your friends about the place, mention that you will, on Twitter or Facebook. If they mention that they were thinking about doing something with Twitter or Facebook, you have your opening to make the connection.
Also, remember that the fine art of networking isn’t just about meeting others during marketing meetings. It’s about meeting and getting to know people on their own level, in their own comfort zone. Instead of focusing on the numerous marketing or business opportunity meetings, try attending meet-ups or social gatherings for clubs, or interest groups.
Groups such as the neighborhood gardening club, or the local historical society can also be great places to find someone that could use your services. It’s a good idea to start with groups that interest you. The natural interest and enthusiasm that you show will go a long way.
While it is important to cultivate your offline client base, it is also important to make sure that you don’t neglect your online one. The Internet is one of the most diverse places in the world, and any social media manager would be a fool not to make use of it.
A great place to start is by choosing to follow people or pages that have showed an interest in what you do. Also, don’t be afraid to make online friends with people that you could potentially come in contact with. The Facebook friend finder is a great tool for just this purpose.
These are just a few ways that you can help to diversify your client base to include both online and offline customers.
It is important to develop some social media strategies to help your clients. If your client is new to the social media world, it will be wise to brainstorm with your client. During this brainstorming session or sessions, is the time to determine what platforms will be best for them. Not all social platforms are necessary and it is important to research the different ones available that may benefit your client. If your client’s target market involves teens, then LinkedIn may not be the platform they will want you to focus on, so doing your research is essential.
The content that you will be posting for your client also needs to be relevant to their target audience. If your client is a hunter and that is his target, be sure to be in circles where hunters may connect. Perhaps there are forums that will be better suited for your client and doing your research will help keep them ‘in the know’.
Posting articles or blog posts, if that is part of the package that you offer, will also be directed to the appropriate target market. Although this is something you may already know, it is something I must stress continuously because ultimately you must always keep your client in mind.
A great tool to use is Google alerts. With Google alerts you can implement the key words, as well as profile names to keep track of what is being said or how certain key words are being used by others. For your client’s key words and competitors, this tool will help keep you updated on what others are writing or sharing on social networks that will then benefit your client.
Google alerts are perfect for keeping your finger on the pulse, which is something that all social media managers must learn to do to be effective in this field. You can monitor the alerts via email or RSS feeds and the initial set-up should include not only the industry related key words, but also the client’s name, their url if they have a website or blog, and perhaps their product name and tag line.
Another great tool is called Social Mention. This particular tool will pull information from mentions on different social platforms as well as blogs, events, images, comments and so much more.
These are just two important tools to keep updated on what is being said and shared about your clients via the world wide web. Implementing these tools into your monitoring will help keep you updated and will keep your client in the know as well.
As a social media manager, there are many projects you can help your clients with. First you must determine what you will tackle first and then the true work begins.
Let’s begin by cleaning up the mess! This can include some of the following:
There are many ways to simplify and modify your services and packages for your clients. I will be sharing in much more detail the exact steps that you will need to implement to make your client’s experience a positive one.
Although you may already have experience with blogging and the different social media platforms, there are certain tricks of the trade that will not only save you time but will save you headaches as well. Remember you will be handling not only your own but your client’s platforms as well, so simplification is key.
Be sure to come back to continue to learn about different platforms and how to monitor your client’s platform efficiently while still keeping your finger on the pulse of changes that seem to be occurring daily.
You’ve made the decision and are determined to help others with their social media needs. However, you are stuck on what you should offer – the packages, prices and basically the whole set up of your online services offering. Well no worries, let’s try to break it down for you into digestible chunks. After all, you must be able to offer prospective clients packages of services, so let’s get started.
The best way to develop packages is to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are and how you can help your client. Will you simply be offering social media management, which means the managing of their social network profiles or will you offer more? By more I mean, content, content creation and distribution, strategy sessions or consulting, page creations for Facebook and/or Youtube.
As you can tell, you can develop your packages to include lots of things, but of course you need to make sure that what you offer is something you can deliver with quality in a timely manner. If you want to offer design and you can’t do it, perhaps you can hire a team to do that part or partner with web designers, graphic designers, etc. It’s not that you have to do everything yourself, but rather that you are the person in charge of getting it done.
Once you determine what you will offer you can set up your packages. I suggest 3 different levels and label them Bronze, Silver and Gold or whatever titles you’d like. Having different levels will help the client decide what services they will need or can hire you for.
The packages should describe what you offer – the number of hours you will provide, the number of profiles you will monitor, if you will offer content creation. The specifics need to be spelled out. This keeps misunderstandings (and refunds) to a minimum.
Don’t forget to also offer a la carte services. These services can include the consulting or strategy sessions as well as any extras that are not included in your 3 level of packages.
A great way to develop your packages and fees is to do some research. By that I mean, do a google search for social media setup or social media management. Check out what others are offering, their services, their packages and their fees. Become their friend on Twitter and Facebook and notice how they promote their services and how they promote themselves. It is important to see what your competitors are offering so you can develop your packages in a unique and interesting way, one that plays off your natural skills and talents. Find out who the top players are in social media management and follow them in order to stay informed and competitive.
By being engaged with your clients, competitors and the best of the best, you will always be aware of what is happening in the social media world and you’ll know about the new technologies, new applications and offers that can help your clients. So, what’s the next step? Develop your packages and start promoting!
In earlier blogs I asked and discussed whether your website reflects your brand and if your social media marketing has stage presence. If asked, most people equate the subject of branding with a logo. While that is somewhat true, branding has everything to do with what makes you distinct from everyone else.
When you have a market that is becoming saturated and it is hard to distinguish products and services from others, you get what is called ‘brand parity’.
What’s the solution to brand parity?
The answer to brand parity is being unique enough. This is also building ‘brand equity’ through what you do different from others around you. This might be in your blog writing, videos, tweets and posts. It could be conveyed in your personality, your service (Stage Presence?). The trick is communicating these characteristics.
Sometimes this happens in a core message and all one needs is to look at some big brands…think Domino’s Pizza. Other times branding happens through creativity…think E*Trade Baby. It might occur through sheer experience. Southwest Airlines is novel in its ability to make people think of a combined value and personal experience driven brand.
The ability to brand yourself and your business isn’t only in a color or a logo. It’s a feeling that your customers have about the entire experience. Building brand equity starts with being different enough to be remarkable.
Are you remarkable? If not, it might be time to create a re-branding strategy.
When it comes to using social media to market products and services, too many people focus all their attention on the strategy and don’t consider the necessary tactics involved in maintaining and using these tools day-to-day. I’ve seen many businesses create beautiful strategies, but failure to implement and execute the tactics and develop objectives, leave these businesses at step one.
There’s something to be said for jumping in and getting your feet wet. After all, we all have to start somewhere, right? That’s where outsourcing can help you. There seems to be some sort of connotation it’s bad for business to outsource social media marketing. I’m here to tell you, that connotation is wrong.
Why do I say that?
1. Time is money and your time is better spent engaging prospects and customers.
2. You will be able to focus on the overall strategy rather than performing constant maintenance.
(Remember, if you’re using social media the right way, you’ll have a myriad of tools to maintain.)
3. Your “inbox” is always full. Without assistance, that inbox, literally and figuratively, is now spilling over. An assistant expertly trims down your inbox for you.
4. A social media assistant will get your message into additional channels you don’t have time for or don’t know about.
When you think about social media in the business context, the analogies of why to outsource and hire a social media assistant are very apparent. Most organizations have a customer service department and personnel to handle customer service issues. Many organizations hire an outside agency to develop their advertising. Mike Rowe (Discovery Channel) doesn’t work for Ford and the E*Trade baby wasn’t created by someone at E*Trade. Hiring the right personnel to manage the details saves both time and money; however, it also helps your organization bring in more money. It really comes down to communication.
The problem business owners and organizations have with outsourcing social media is the need for control. Successful use of social media marketing is not about control. The only thing you control is the message. If your message is great, your prospects and customers will respond and your focus will need to be on engagement, not filtering SPAM, managing applications or the time consuming aspects of maintaining a social profile.
In upcoming blogs, I’ll expand on this notion of control, maintenance and communication. Taking the time to get the right people doing the right things, makes everything more efficient.
One of the biggest constructive arguments that I have heard against outsourcing social media tactics is a concern that a Social Media Virtual Assistant might make mistakes in the online world because he or she does not understand the business. It seems like too great of a risk to lose complete control over the brand message.
Yet, in having complete control, we actually lose more control. We become so mired in managing the little details, taking away our ability to engage in conversation, research and understand our customers. The need for control actually removes our ability to be efficient and understand the wants and needs of those that pay our bills every month.
In any organization this risk of having someone make a mistake will be present. A customer service rep, salesperson or even a secretary can say the wrong thing or send the wrong message. Typically, it is not the fault of said employee, but rather a lack of communication between employer and employee. And any new hire takes a little amount of time to get to know the business and its culture. Thus, in reality this is a perception issue and a need for control.
The key to being in the social media realm and having a Social Media Virtual Assistant, just like any other employee, is communication. The better we as employers communicate with our staff and align our communications with goals for serving our customers, the more profitable we all become.