Author Archives: Alex Greenwood

5 Types of Social Media Clients

By Alex Greenwood

We view a consistent, strategic social media presence as a vital component to communications and marketing success, and often handle this area for clients. We do our level best to add value with measurable ROI.

Social Media logos memeIt occurs to me that sharing the perspective of a social media agency might be helpful to not only our colleagues, but prospective clients in understanding the most common dynamics we experience.

This is not to indict, attack or provoke–it’s just my observation of scenarios and outcomes that often occur when we engage in a social media partnership with a brand, person or company.

Ultimately, the business relationship with clients evolves (or devolves!)  into one of five categories:

  1. Hands Off. This client approves of our strategy, understands it’s not a numbers game and maintains a generally hands-off attitude while we build their brand voice in the social media sphere.
  2. Hands On. This client can’t help themselves. They break into approved strategy and post messages or content whenever the mood strikes, even if it disrupts content your firm has strategically scheduled.
  3. That’s Easy! You’re Fired. After watching your firm perform the social media duties for a while, the client decides that it’s not all that hard and takes it “in-house.”
  4. It’s Been A Month. Why Aren’t We Bigger? The client feels that if there is not huge growth in followers, customers beating down their door (or website) or a “viral moment” right away, you aren’t getting the job done. 
  5. We Got This. The client has a handle on their brand voice, knows the messaging they want to share, and learned enough from us to do their own social media successfully.

The #1’s are the clients who recognize social media is not their core competency, don’t have time to do it and trust us to handle it. That doesn’t mean they do not have input or critiques, but they respect the business relationship and leave us to go about the business of building their online brand.

Mutual frustration mounts with #2’s. We want clients to share all information about their brand with us, including goals, “lanes of content,” things to avoid, key messaging, customer service procedures, etc. However, when we embark on a strategy, clients who jump in impulsively and start posting can create a logjam of content going out nearly all at once.

For example, when we schedule Facebook posts for 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and the client starts posting without checking what is scheduled (or telling us of their plans to post), we get a Facebook page with four or five posts in one afternoon. That makes the brand look unfocused, dilutes views on some of the posts and irritates followers who feel spammed. If it happens often, it causes a disruption of the entire social media strategy.

We see a fair amount of #3’s. From where we sit, it looks like the company tsk tsks at their bottom line and says, “Hey, that stuff the PR firm is doing? That’s easy! Let’s give it to Matt to do. He’s what, 23? A graphic artist? He’s creative! He can do that social media stuff.” Part of that is a compliment–we do a great job and the client believes it must be easy, so they take it on.

That’s not to say we have not seen some #3’s go on to manage their stuff just fine, but more often than not, clients who do this have a track record of performing social media consistently for about one month. Then updates becomes sporadic, lack message cohesion and eventually halt altogether. Not good.

Going to the gym and eating right for a month is a good start, but won’t make you “buff.” Similarly, social media generally does not “blow up” in a short time. Authentic brands take their time, build trust and credibility and understand it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Ultimately, an impatient customer attitude is on us–as we have not done a adequate job of managing client expectations.

A corollary to #4 is when we must rely on the client to tell us where customers heard about them (saw it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), and the client neglects to do this. Web analytics can cover site visit referrers, but in retail campaigns we often must rely on clients gathering this sort of data “on the ground” to demonstrate ROI, tweak what we’re doing, etc. Help us help you!

Yup, some #2’s turn out to be #5’s, even when we think they won’t. We worked with a startup brand and the last thing they should have time for in their first year is social media. However, they made communicating to followers via social a part of their daily routine and have built a loyal, quality following.

The brand is growing quickly, and they started becoming more and more hands on with the social media. I have to admit: at first it was frustrating. However, we soon realized they know exactly what they are doing and that their brand voice was obviously more authentic and “in the moment” than one we could create. This wasn’t because we did a poor job–it’s because the brand made the time to connect with followers in an authentic, consistent way. We wished them well and take pride in the fact that we helped launch a successful new brand.

Social media isn’t a panacea. It’s a tool. When engaging a firm to manage your online presence, it’s helpful for clients to remember why they hired a firm in the first place: usually either lack of time to do the work or lack of competency with the tool. It’s also incumbent upon agencies to manage expectations well to avoid frustrating outcomes.

What do you think? Have you worked with 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, 4’s or 5’s? Or are you one of them? Please feel free to comment below and share your experiences.

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AGPR Offers Local Expertise on an International Level

AGPR is proud to be a charter member of Unified Strategies Public Relations™, an international network of public relations and marketing communications professionals, born out of a strong desire to provide clients with cost-effective solutions for all their communications needs.

USPR smaller round logoUSPR is dedicated to providing you with the best possible Public Relations services in every major market throughout North America and Canada, and offer access to all traditional and social media platforms, locally and internationally.

USPR is grounded in integrity – the very cornerstone of our existence. With more than 50 years combined service in Public Relations, founders Susan Hamburg and Bob Schiers have a track record of award-winning excellence that is second to none.  Whether it’s counseling the CEO of a major corporation or working with frontline retail clerks, Bob and Susan take the same approach in providing honest, workable public relations solutions to organizations of every size.

No long-term contracts. No vetting agencies in multiple markets. No multiple agency invoicing. No hassles; just great service and outstanding results.

Member agencies of USPR, a women-owned business, represent some of the most talented, creative and progressive Public Relations firms worldwide. Whether you are looking for support for a local initiative or a nationwide opportunity, USPR provides you with turnkey PR solutions for all your needs. Do you have a single store grand opening? We’ve got you covered. Rebranding an entire regional or national store chain? We’ve got you covered. Need help launching a new product or service in one market or throughout North America? We’ve got you covered.

AGPR, like each member, is an independent agency that works closely with fellow agencies to provide local expertise and nationwide coverage for all your public relations needs.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 4.10.31 PMAt less than half the cost of most national Public Relations firms, USPR provides your business with flexibility; local, regional, national and international expertise; and senior-level counsel for virtually all of our services.

Make the most of your communication dollars by connecting with USPR – the PR network built on integrity, trust and results. 

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We’re about developing relationships for our clients that increase their opportunities for success.

Let us know how we can make this happen for your business.

Tom Mulligan: I Applied for a Job and They Made Me Take a Test

Guest column from our friend Tom Mulligan of Sandler Training by Coffman Group.

I applied for a job and they made me take a test.

I passed it, I think…

Lots of people apply to jobs everyday. Many–if not most–find themselves taking some type of personality profile test or questionnaire. In trying to pass the test, many fail.

What’s going on? Personality profiles cannot be passed. Nor can they be failed. But they can have that effect on getting the job.

Think of the time you applied for a job you really wanted. You got dressed in your best clothes, made sure your resume and references were in the best shape they can be, got yourself on your best behavior and proceeded to psyche yourself up for the win. You sparkled.

Tom Mulligan

Tom Mulligan

That’s where it started to go wrong.

When we meet people who are interviewing us for a job, the first thing we recognize is that they have a job in the company we are applying for. They are the type of people who have “won”. Since we are doing our best, thinking on our feet and conquering the moment, we may use this as a model for how to get an edge. In doing our best, we are hurting our chances.

First mistake.

Many HR people and hiring managers consider DISC one of the leading methodologies for profiling. Like all others, the intent is not just to find out about you but to make a judgment about how the job matches you. Certified DISC profilers can detect attempts to “push” the results. Some is expected. Lot’s of “push” is a disqualifier.

Second mistake.

Unless you are applying for a job as a hiring manager, you may be mirroring the wrong behavior. It may seem incredible, but you may be disqualifying yourself.

Last (and worst) mistake.

It might work. You’ll get the job and in short order find yourself miserable. So you look for another on

e, and then another. Each time your sparkle fades. You have become a job hopper.

Ask yourself: where is your posture in an interview? Are you convinced that you are right for the job? If so, have the courage to relax. Let the profile help you by allowing it to work.

You just might sparkle enough as it is.

Tom Mulligan brings to the Coffman Group a record of uninterrupted success in sales and sales training.  He is an award winning performer at the fortune 500 level and has helped thousands of small businesses achieve their goals. He understands business owners because he is one. He is known for his unrelenting enthusiasm and energy making him highly sought after to coach organizations looking for immediate improvement. When you are ready for real results, call on Tom and the Coffman Group at (913) 488-3766. You and your business deserve the best. 

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