Agency Social Media from the Front Lines

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Agency Community Management from the Front LinesManaging social media communications for a client is so much more than posting status updates to Facebook and Twitter. Being hired by a brand to take control of their digital identity carries a variety of challenges. This notion is anything but unfamiliar to our panel, whose members have cut their teeth servicing a plethora of organisations that range from realtors to horse insurers!

Ultimately, this online discussion helped inform viewers about how best to allocate their time/resources in the workplace and what KPIs to measure during a campaign. Some excellent insights about industry best practice were imparted too. The panelists explored the following topics:

How do you and your team set yourselves apart from your competitors with prospective clients?

Sixty Gelu, Social Media Manager at TRUE 212, highlighted the importance of building trust with clients. “Getting to know your clients on a more personal level will differentiate your agency from the thousands of other digital outlets in the industry,” Sixty advised. With this, Kaitlyn Herzog, Senior Social Strategist at Sosh, was able to explain how having good rapport with the clients “allows you to constantly keep them up to date about new trends on the landscape.”

When working with new clients, what are the first steps your agency takes?

The panel swiftly agreed that gold-standard client servicing is born out of the ability to live in the customer’s world. Maggie Malek, Director of Social at MMI Agency, emphasised the importance of creating ways to gather opinions from your client’s customers (e.g. conducting in-person surveys). This is an excellent first step towards identifying how to build an appropriate brand voice for your campaign.

How do you educate and ease the mind of clients who are hesitant to relinquish control of their social media pages/profiles?

From a client’s perspective, handing the keys of your social media campaign over to an agency is a daunting prospect. Molly Buccini, Community Manager at Brafton Inc., offers an elegant solution, “agencies must partner with their clients, so that the client can manage their own social footprint alongside the efforts of their chosen agency.” Molly can speak to this as her organisation has successfully trained CEOs and other team members in her clients’ businesses how to manage online communities.

What are you measuring to determine success and how do you relate this to the clients’ business goals?

With a succession of sophisticated insights flowing from the panel, the conversation focused on how to pinpoint KPIs for any given campaign. Josh Krakauer, CEO at Sculpt, wisely stated that asking the client what factors matters most in their business is an effective way to educe a relevant set of KPIs. Following this, identifying the appropriate social platform is crucial. This allows you to find where your client’s audience is, as well as determine a unique set of metrics.

How do you staff and allocate time/resources when working with multiple clients?

No business-related discussion would be complete without touching on the topic of efficiency. When it comes to allocating time and resources, there’s a multitude of excellent project management tools to choose from. Make sure your team is working towards a unified objective by using BaseCamp. In addition, you can keep track of how much time you spend on any single campaign by using Toggl. Hayley Cammarata, Director of Accounts at Fifty & Five, insightfully advised to assign accounts based on how the brand in question aligns with the interests of any member of staff. “This is a smart way to make sure that an attentive and passionate team is servicing the client,” Hayley advises.

What’s the benefit of outsourcing social communications via an agency, compared with in-house?

The heart of this discussion is the age-old debate between an outsourced agency approach versus an in-house marketing team. Ultimately, agencies deploy strategies for a selection of brands across a range of different industries. As such, it is the agency teams that have detailed insight into emerging trends happening on the digital landscape. With this, agency staff have the an advantage regarding skills and knowledge and can train in-house teams. In order to succeed, however, our panel made clear that their services must be delivered as an extension of their client’s marketing teams, as opposed to creating an atmosphere where in-house efforts are mutually exclusive to an agency’s output.

Managing multiple clients is no easy task. What do you do to unwind and relax?

And to end the talk on a casual note, our panelists were happy to divulge as to what they do in their downtime. There was a gamut of different interests from golfing and good wine, to dancing to the Backstreet Boys!

Sixty Gelu

Social Media Manager at TRUE 212
PR executive turned social media strategist, Sixty has built campaigns for the likes of Southern Comfort UK and Agent Provocateur. Graduating with a BA (hons) degree in Philosophy, Sixty was recruited by the University of Westminster to develop a twitter-led research programme around the London Olympics. With a keen eye for new marketing trends, he has written articles for Digital Market Asia.

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