We’ve had our fair share of clientele over the years. B2B. B2C. Start-ups. Coffee shops. Commercial Realtors. HVAC companies. Skin care offices. Weight loss clinics. But, no matter the industry, I find the best clients – the ones who actualize results with their social media efforts – are those who generally take our advice and consider us their partner. I’ve tried to find a way to tactfully describe ‘everyone else.’ While these folks run the gamut, they share a common bond that can be summed up by the phrase: you can’t help people who won’t help themselves. These clients typically fall into one of three categories.
They prefer to ‘outsource it and forget about it.’ Social media is not like other media, where you can just hire an agency and consider it done. I also understand that life gets in the way, but the commitment to social media should be more than spending money to outsource it. We cannot do it alone and achieve optimal results.
They take our advice… sometimes. Whether they throw us a bone by incorporating our advice, occasionally, or they pick and choose what they listen to, these clients aren’t doing themselves any favors. When in doubt, we defer to the plan – our social media strategy, which guides our efforts. The plan has several moving parts, which if only selectively pursued, makes the plan less effective and sometimes even counter-productive.
They constantly change their mind. This causes us to pivot the plan so often that we are unable to collect the data to understand what’s working and not working. It’s also taxing and cumbersome for everyone involved, especially the social media manager. They hired help for a reason. There is a plan for a reason. Stick to it.
It’s true what they say: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
There is so much unknown about the social media world. To make sense of it, clients have got to let us do our job. It’s a delicate balance of communication, trust and commitment. If that sounds like a relationship, it should – because it is. I want our clients to achieve results, so please: help me, help you (bonus phrase).
Disclaimer: No animals were harmed in the making of this blog post.