When a brand hires Sircle Media (or any external agency for that matter) to manage their social media strategy, they are staffing for a role that is really made up of a lot of little micro roles. You would think it is about fans and followers, or content creation and messaging, but it really is about much more. Success comes from finding ways to wear all of the necessary hats, really listening to each client’s specific pain/pleasure points and then delivering for them.
I teach my team to be comfortable with their strengths and weaknesses. The beauty of an agency is that we have a team and they don’t need to go it alone. Their job is to be the goalkeeper and serve the client’s interests and advocate for their needs. There are areas of focus they need to execute upon, to keep them pleased (or at bay) and then there are areas they will need to employ the help of others. I count on them to know the difference and to always be an advocate for their clients at all touch points.
As the one protecting the client, they are like a parent making sure they get the things their children/loved ones desperately need to survive. It is like providing food, water, sleep etc. Part of that is defined by the agency up front, BUT much of that is defined by the client on a day to day basis. Not every brand is looking for the same things and most have some sort of strange idiosyncrasies that need to be paid close attention to. We need to know their hot buttons and then execute accordingly.
We have outlined 5 areas of focus for a SMM over our years in business-
We’re all about Four Seasons style customer service first and foremost. This is one area that is fully in our control and it is mission critical to deliver above and beyond expectations. Most agencies provide lackluster focus in this arena, which leads to brands becoming accustomed to and expecting subpar service. We aim to be the anti-agency in this regard.
- Proactive is better than reactive.
- Be professional, courteous and super positive in all client interactions.
- Employ a “can do attitude” and “service with a smile” approach.
This is deeply rooted in content and visual representation for their brand. They are looking to their Social Media Manager to have an eye for creative and to keep their ear to the grindstone so to speak, on trends and social network evolvement. Here is where having photographers, graphic designers and even videographers on staff is a real differentiator. A scrappy Social Media Manager can do quite a bit, but they can only take things so far. To stick the landing on truly solid content, these experts really make a difference.
We are being hired in a “junior” role, for most companies, but we are expected to be the most knowledgeable in the area of how to use social media for business. So it is our duty to know the what, when, how and even the where to get answers for the client. We need to be the resource for knowledge on all things social and there is just so much to know. School is always in session.
This is the daily management of social media for a client. The proactive (outgoing content) as well as the reactive (how should we handle all kind of community feedback and chatter) management each week. Should we just LIKE when someone mentions us? When and where should we take that deeper? Some clients care a lot about UGC, while others do not. Some want to respond to every single interaction and others want to pick and choose. This is the heavy lifting component of social media. We consider this the “blocking and tackling” part of the game – super important, but under appreciated.
When prospects are thinking about hiring us, they often look to fan and follower counts as the metrics for success. We find that once we are on the team, these metrics get thrown out and replaced with more important ones for that brand. It is mission critical to sit with each client and to really get to know which ones really matter and we have found, they can differ drastically from client to client.
A lot of pressure is put on the role of Social Media or Community Manager (whether hired internally or externally) and to succeed you have to balance all of these areas well, each day/week/month. It is about so much more than statuses and tweets and those who truly get that, ultimately win.