What Social Media Managers Won’t Tell You About Client Collaboration: The Unspoken Truths
So, you’ve hustled your way into the social media management scene as a “professional social media manager,” landed your dream client, and you’re riding high. But don’t pop the champagne just yet, my friend.
The real challenge is only just getting started. How do you nurture this new partnership into a thriving, long-term relationship that keeps them coming back for more? It’s a critical discussion that’s often left in the shadows.
Listen up. The internet is awash with articles, videos, even pricey online courses telling you how to become a social media whizz, how to reel in clients. But there’s a gaping hole when it comes to actually managing those clients like a pro.
So, we’re here to change the game. In this guide, we’re going to bridge that gap, providing a detailed roadmap on how to keep your clients not just satisfied, but downright ecstatic – so you can not only retain their business but possibly upsell your services. Buckle up, it’s about to get real.
1) Have A Clear Onboarding Workflow
You’ve scored a new client and we bet you’re buzzing with anticipation. It’s time to dive in and produce those fantastic social media campaigns you’re known for, but let’s hit the pause button for a second. Before you start composing masterful tweets or Instagram-worthy posts, you need to take a sneak peek into your client’s business world. No, you don’t have to know every nook and cranny, but enough to hit a home run as a social media manager.
Enter, the magic of onboarding workflows.
A Smooth Start with Onboarding Workflows
Think of your onboarding workflow as a handy GPS, guiding you to all the essential information you need. What’s the lifeblood of this workflow, you ask? A detailed onboarding form.
Here are the three pivotal elements your onboarding form should include:
Account Access: Kickstart your questionnaire by asking for the basic account access information. You can’t manage what you can’t access, right? You’re going to need the keys to the kingdom – Instagram password, Facebook page admin access, Meta Business Manager access, or whatever suits the account you’ll be managing.
Branding Basics: Next up, it’s all about the brand. Ask for logos, fonts, the specific hex color code for the brand, and any other branding bells and whistles to ensure your content sings in harmony with your client’s business ethos.
Business Intel: Thirdly, dive into the business details. We’re talking business and marketing goals, the ideal client avatar, major competitors, and the like. With these in hand, you can sculpt a marketing strategy that delivers maximum results.
Besides these, there are more insightful questions to include, which will enhance your client relationship and expectation management. But we’ll save those pearls of wisdom for later in this guide.
Steer Clear of The Rookie Mistakes
If you’re not already riding the onboarding workflow wave or armed with a trusty onboarding form, we hate to be the bearers of bad news. This will throw a major wrench in your wheels. You’ll find yourself squandering precious time peppering clients with endless questions, diverting you from your real job. Worse still, you risk appearing unprofessional and unprepared.
But, worry not! An onboarding form is your lifeline. It ensures efficient use of your time, exemplifies professionalism, and signals to your clients that you’re in business to champion their goals.
So, are you ready to step up your onboarding game? Get started with this comprehensive onboarding questionnaire template (click here!) we’ve whipped up just for you.
2) Setup Client Management System
Let’s be honest, once your client’s onboarded, the real work starts. Juggling multiple clients and their respective needs can feel like a circus act without the right system in place. That’s why we’re here to introduce two game-changers in the client management space.
Client Social Media Management System (CSMM)
First up, a little gem we’ve personally crafted: the Client Social Media Management System, or the CSMM for short.
Now, what’s this magic tool, you ask? CSMM is your all-in-one command center, managing and tracking everything marketing and content related for each client. Think of it as your virtual assistant, handling:
- Creating content
- Managing content
- Tracking content across all social media platforms
- Streamlining content batching and repurposing
- Strategizing your marketing
All of this, on the digital powerhorse – Notion.
If spreadsheets are your current go-to, don’t take this the wrong way, but it might be time for a change. Notion is a game-changer, trust us on this one.
Client Relationship Management (CRM)
Next up, let’s get into the other half of our dynamic duo, the Client Relationship Management system, or CRM as it’s fondly known.
Imagine a private vault for each of your clients where you can neatly store everything non-marketing related:
- Other important documents
This is where Bitrix24 comes into play for us. This all-in-one tool offers incredible customization and lets you automate your workflow, saving you tons of time. So, if you’re not already on board, it’s time to get these systems in place. We promise they’ll keep you super organized and make working with clients a breeze.
3) Step Up Your Reporting Skills & Embrace Transparency
We can’t stress this enough. If you want to keep your clients overjoyed and secure long-lasting relationships, you must master the art of providing comprehensive and clear social media reports. Whether it’s at the end of the month or another suitable interval, these reports are critical.
Why are reports so important? Well, we’ve seen many client relationships hit the rocks simply because social media managers overlook the necessity of routine reporting, or worse, send over hastily assembled, data-stuffed documents sporadically. You don’t want to be that guy, do you?
• Reporting as a Self-Check: When crafting a report for your client, it’s also a great opportunity to examine your work up close and critically. It’s your moment of truth, where you can ascertain if you’re meeting the goals or even headed in the right direction.
• Showcasing Success: If the metrics are all hitting the high notes, fantastic! Your report becomes the ideal platform to showcase the sterling work you’ve been doing for your client. It’s a lot more persuasive than casually tossing an “Oh, your account’s doing great” their way when they ask.
• Addressing Shortfalls: What if you missed your targets? Yes, it stings, but trust us, there’s something that could hurt your relationship even more – not being upfront with your clients about their account’s performance.
Transparency is key, even when the news isn’t great. In fact, it’s more important than ever to show your client that you’ve identified a problem and are making all necessary adjustments to set things right. This level of honesty can do wonders in maintaining client satisfaction and longevity in your relationships.
4) Manage Client Expectations
Most of the time, you might not put a lot of thought into managing your client’s expectations. Like when you’re navigating the social media waters on their behalf, you’re typically focusing on the daily tasks, the viral content creation, and staying ahead of trends. And that’s where we are stepping in. Sure, we could critique your social media strategy, but there’s something major missing: a systematic reporting process. If you’ve got one, we bet it’s due for an upgrade.
Creating Regular Reports
If you haven’t considered that the monthly report you send to your clients could actually be the difference between a flourishing relationship and a sinking ship, here’s some news. You can swap your sporadic, data-stuffed documents for a systematic, detailed, and regular report. Now, brands like HubSpot, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite offer some amazing social media reporting tools that are simple yet detailed.
Evaluating Your Work
The moment you start to put together a report, you’ll find yourself evaluating your work more closely. You’ll ask questions like “Am I hitting my targets?” or “Is this strategy even taking us in the right direction?” If everything’s looking rosy with positive metrics, great! Your report then becomes a solid testament to your stellar work, rather than a vague assurance of “Oh, your account is doing great.”
Section Note: Hitting Targets and Beyond – If all metrics are exceeding expectations, excellent. Your report will serve as tangible proof of your exceptional work.
Navigating the Rough Waters
On the flip side, if you’re falling short of the set goals, that’s alright. We get it, it stings. But what stings even more? Dodging transparency about what’s really happening with their account. It’s crucial to keep your reports honest, especially when you haven’t met the client’s expectations.
Section Note: Handling Shortcomings – If you’re not meeting targets, it’s even more important to demonstrate that you’ve identified issues and are adjusting your strategy for better results.
In any case, by maintaining transparency and showing that you’re actively working to optimize efforts and resolve issues, you’ll be keeping your client in the loop. This way, you not only manage their expectations but also help sustain a happy and thriving relationship. So next time you’re wrapping up a management period, reach for that well-structured, regular, and transparent report. Trust us, it makes a world of difference.
So there you have it, folks. Navigating the social media management landscape isn’t just about posting killer content. Remember to put your game face on, from the onboarding tango to the reporting two-step, all while managing expectations like a seasoned pro. Because, let’s be honest, no client wants to dance with a partner who’s stepping on their toes.