How to pitch social media listening and management to your client
Raise your hand if this situation resonates with you: you work for an agency, and you want to manage all aspects of your client’s social media (because they’re bad at it and it would bring the agency some extra cash), but you don’t know how to go about asking. If this is you, then keep reading this post.
For the purpose of this post, let’s pretend that your client is Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort and you want to pitch them on handling their social strategy. What would you want to do?
1) Put your sales hat on
“But Zach, I’m not the salesperson.” Stop lying to yourself, we are ALL salespeople. The point of putting yourself in the sales mindset is to start thinking where you can provide value, at what price point, and what ROI handling their social will bring to them.
Being in a sales mindset also requires you to think outside of your traditional role. In other words, you need to think more holistically. If, for example, you’re only responsible for media buying and Aspen’s goal for 2017 is to drive brand awareness, you need to figure out how their social presence is not only failing to drive brand awareness but also how social listening can help improve media buying (and thus continue to drive more brand awareness). It’s a full circle.
This brings me to my next point:
2) Challenge their thinking
If you’ve never read The Challenger Sale, you should order it right now. Here’s the crash course: show your client ways to use and think about social media that they’ve never previously considered. This will show your client that you are constantly looking for ways they can improve, beat the competition, and make them more money. The challenger method also helps position yourself as a thought leader and marketing expert.
This brings me to my next point:
4) Do your research and give specific examples on putting your recommended strategy into action
(Before you start researching them, you should also research why is social listening important. NUVI has a great blog on that, of course)
You need to thoroughly research their brand, competitors, and industry before you can challenge their thinking. Let me give you a few examples:
As you can see here, Aspen never responded. Big time fail because 71% of consumers who have a good experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that brand to their friends. Brands need to be responding to everyone that engages with them. Imagine if a customer called your business and no one picked up the phone? Social media is no different.
What I’m seeing here is people comparing Aspen (Colorado) to Snowbird (Utah). What this indicates to me is that when people are traveling to go skiing/snowboarding, they are thinking about going to CO or UT. This type of data should prompt a competitive analysis between the two areas so Aspen can market to customers in this segment.
Aspen needs to know what people are saying about their competitors so they can capitalize on their shortcomings. If I’m pitching Aspen, I’m creating a marketing campaign that shows they have shorter lines for a cheaper price.
3) You’re going to have to take the initiative
Just like a girl has never walked up to me and asked me out on a date, your client is never going to send you a $50,000 check for social media management. You’re going to have to take the above steps and approach them with your ideas. If you think that your client isn’t ready to outsource part or all of their social, you can start by sending them some ideas on how they can improve it. This will start to build their confidence in your expertise. Whether they end up giving you their business or not, you are positioning yourself as a valuable consultant which will make you indispensable.