A typical, yet another routine day at a yet another social media agency!
Ramesh (Business Development Officer of a Social Media Agency on a client call): Sir, Good Morning. Thanks for giving your precious time.
Suresh (Prospective Client): Yes. The owner of your company, Mr. Paresh, happens to be a friend of mine. Hence we got this meeting arranged. Tell me, how can I help you?
Ramesh: Indeed. I happened to glance through your website, but realised your company is not present on various social media platforms.
Suresh: Yes. I know. It is not needed.
Ramesh: Sir, let me share some facts with you. The entire world is online. Facebook itself has 900 million registered users, one in three small business are using social media, 36% of users post brand related content online. Blah blah blah.
Suresh: I don’t have a big social media budget.
Ramesh: Arre Sir, Pareshbhai has told to give you the most cost effective plan. Dont worry. Let me know your budget.
Suresh: Around 25,000-30,000 a month.
Ramesh: Given the size of your brand thats a bit low. You should increase it a little to Rs. 40,000. I’ll suggest a very good plan for you.
Suresh: I cant exceed my budget. We have some constraints.
Ramesh (Interrupts in between): Sir, just have a look at the plan. We will talk about the money part at the end of the conversation.
Suresh: Ok. Go ahead.
Ramesh: Here is the rate card:
- 10,000 / month
- Social Website Strategy
- New Home Pages
- Rich Facebook Contests
- 500 Fans / Month
- 50 Custom Twitter Replies
- 30,000 / month
- All BRONZE Features
- Facebook Application Strategy
- 2 Apps / Year
- 100 Social Clicks / Month
- 100 Video Views / Month
- 1200 Fans / Month
- 40,000 / month
- All SILVER Features
- 2250 Fans / Month
- 400 Video Views / Month
- 3 Reports / Month
Suresh: That looks great. So what do you suggest?
Ramesh: Sir, take the gold plan for first two months, post that opt for Silver.
Suresh: How do you assure me 2250 fans a month?
Ramesh: We will wait for organic likes till 20th day of the month; if we don’t get them we will buy them.
Suresh: Buy them?
Ramesh: Yes. We can buy FB likes for Rs.6/ Fan. But you don’t worry sir. Its our headache. We assure you 2250 likes. Its included in your plan. Also sir, since you are Mr. Paresh’s friend, we would assure you 75 customized twitter replies in first month. Thats 50% extra, specially for you.
Suresh: Again I don’t understand, how can you come to exact 75?
Ramesh: Arre sir. Thats our headache na. Just between us, frankly speaking, we have hired 3 interns. They work from home. They have decent followers on their twitter accounts. So, if again by 20 days we do not get the desired number of mentions on twitter, we will ask those interns to mention us. We give them a certificate of Internship & a token of appreciation. None of your customers will come to know, they are fake.
Suresh: Nice. If the customers wouldn’t know, then I am ok with it.
Meanwhile Pareshbhai calls Ramesh.
(Ramesh leaves the cabin for a while)
Paresh: Bech ke aana. We want this client at any cost.
Ramesh: Sir, but he is not ready to spend much.
Paresh: Yes I know him since years. Convince him. Usko Pinterest bhi bech ke aana. We want a few Pinterest clients in our portfolio.
Ramesh: But sir, Pinterest is of no use to him.
Paresh: If you don’t sell Pinterest, you are of no use to me! Two golden words of this call: Pinterest Bech!
Ramesh: Ok Sir!
(Back to Suresh, the client)
Ramesh: Paresh Sir has given you special regards. He was concerned that your company is not on social media & you need to get going asap. Your competitors might overtake you in the ‘rat race’!
Suresh: True. Competition itna badh gaya hain ki kya bolu..
Ramesh: Sir, that reminds me, your immediate competitor has made an account on Pinterest. It’s an image sharing site, which is growing day by day. It has recorded a 429% unique visitors growth from September to December 2011
Suresh: But how is that useful to my business?
Ramesh: Sir, the fact that your competitor is there on Pinterest, you really need to be there.
Suresh: But we are already exceeding the budget.
Ramesh: Arre sir, we will give you free ‘pinterest management’ for 1 month.
Suresh: Then I am ok with it.
Ramesh: Sir, lets start rolling. I’ll get back to my team & come up with a social media ‘strategy’ for your company.
Suresh: What would be the objective?
Ramesh: Arre sir, forget that, we will give you 2250 likes in Month#1 &2 and then 1200 likes from that month. Other than that, we will post 3 updates a day.
Suresh: Great. Looks nice. Lets roll.
*Yet another victim of the Chu-cial Media Strategy*
This is what happens in a yet another social media pitch by some agencies. Social media ‘strategy’ is being sold like a commodity. People are running the rat race of getting a set number of ‘committed’ likes & interactions every month.
We need to understand that Social media is an Art. You don’t know what will happen next, but still have to be prepared with your plan of action.
Social media marketer should be a conversation specialist. It’s not the ‘chatur’ of 3 idiots who mugs all the answers & pukes it in the exam. It’s the art of talking, conversing with people you don’t know, but the people who are connected to your brand in some way.
Picture this: You are in a cafe with a friend & chatting; suddenly a stranger comes up & starts selling his products. Any normal person will just buzz him off. But what if a ‘well dressed’ person introduces himself well, asks about your likes, dislikes, gives you offers according to your likes, respects your opinion, gives relevant replies etc. Any normal person in this case would love to spend at least some time with such a person.
This ‘well dressed’ stranger is what is social media. (Read Well Dressed as neatly designed social media pages). A social media strategist needs to indulge in a conversation with the ‘customer’, respect him and finally delight him.
A social media plan should typically have a wow factor for the current & prospect customer. No one can define the number of likes or mentions. It should be maximum possible likes. Probably an estimation can be given. Having said that, it should be 100% genuine.
Only the platforms which benefits the client should be sold to him. This is because, such just another Chu-cial Media Companies would blow up the social bubble to such an extent that it might just burst. Social media should purely be managing the brand’s reputation online in the most dignified way. An artist’s painting is priceless.
Similarly social media strategies are priceless. Having said that, Social media budgets should be decided for a pure win-win-win for the customer, client & the agency. (in order of appearance). Be true to yourself, your customers & your work!
Featured image: Tommy Moore Design Co