Top 5 Ways to Manage Social Media Marketing Client Expectations

The following letter is a classic example of a high level executive that does not understand social media, nor how to leverage it. We are coming straight at you with the Top 5 Ways to Manage Social Media Marketing Expectations.

Unnamed Executive — I don’t believe our website numbers for last week! I was expecting a much bigger lift in total website visits versus last year.

I’m not an expert here, but it looks like we are not getting credit for website visits that come from our social referral channels. For example, the network referrals report here is only showing 70 sessions from Instagram versus zero sessions the week prior. With “deleted celebrity name” posting her photo and almost 240,000 young ladies hitting the like button, there is no way that there would only be 70 sessions from Instagram. What am I missing here? Am I just looking at the data wrong?  I would’ve expected at least a 1% click through from the young ladies who hit the like button, which equates to 2,400 website visits from the Instagram posting.

Please dig into this and help me understand. We have to have the right metrics in order to continue to make our marketing investments.

*This high level executive has over 30 years in brand management and served one of the worlds largest brands as the Executive Vice President.

Now, this is a scary situation!  I really feel bad for the agency that got this letter in their inbox.  I’m not naming any names, but this is real!  Social media marketing is all new to top level executives and some are skeptical.  They are used to having something in their hands that they can see, touch and feel … via catalogs, mailers, commercials.. etc.  Second, they are used to measuring their impact based on direct sales.  They are not used to a marketing campaign that builds a following “a la Instagram”.  Let’s tackle this problem.  Head on!  How do we deal with this as marketing professionals?  What could be done differently?

1.  Tell Them What to Expect & Call Your Shots

This high level executive was never given expectations.  When you begin a campaign, you must always give the client a predicted outcome.  Of course we are all afraid to call our shots, but if you do, it shows a great deal of confidence in your abilities.  Don’t sugar coat it!  Tell them what they’ll get, and let them choose to spend their money, or not.  If they don’t mutually agree to the expectations, you are headed for a train wreck!  Then after you have agreed upon expectations, write them down!

2.  Educate Your Clients

Ok, so this can be tough!  Trying to teach a C-Suite executive or Marketing Director about the platforms they are wishing to advertise on can be a real pain in the butt.  But, if you can translate the nature of each platform, you can also speak to the client’s expectations.  Instagram is not a platform that churns website referrals.  If the agency above had educated their client, they would not have received this nasty email.

3.  Don’t Sugar Coat Anything

Politicians are great at this.  They love to take the data and twist it around in their favor.  It is what it is.  Tell your client what went wrong, if anything.  Being a straight shooter goes a long way in life.

4.  Fire 3 Shots, Then Go Down Range

If you are not learning anything from every single campaign, you’re shooting yourself in the foot and not hitting the target.  I served 10 years in the military and we’d go to the range to fire our weapons.  First, you would zero your weapon.  Doing so involved firing 3 shots and going down range.  You’d go back to your weapon, make adjustments, and then fire 3 more shots.  And you’d repeat this step until you were hitting your target.  You have to do this with your clients.  Tell them what adjustments you are making after each campaignNo marketer is perfect, so don’t you act like you are.  A C-Suite exec will see right through you.

5.  Baseline Your Clients

What is baselining?  Anytime you acquire a new client, give them a baseline of their social media channels that includes the following:

  1.  Keep Score –  Start here!  Give them a run down of each community’s numbers.  If two basketball teams were playing a game, but the score board was not used, how would they know the score?  Always keep score of the game!
  2.  Follower’s Health –  Yes, every community has a heartbeat, or lack of one.  If your client has 2 million followers on Facebook, but they post maybe once a month, I would assume that the client’s page is DOA (Dead On Arrival).
  3.  Measure Current Website Referrals & History –  Give this to them!  Very important.

Anytime you fly in a plane you have certain expectations, and of course, fears. Well, guess what!?  So do your marketing clients!  Let your clients know your expectations, otherwise their heads will be in the clouds.  They’ll reward you if you do, and when the wheels hit the ground, you’ll be safe!

If you have questions or comments, please leave them in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.