This is in response to Shruti’s question to all of the agencies and yes brands too. Before I try to answer her question, I would like to share briefly about the show called Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. In this show, celebrities perform various dances together with professional dance partners. The celebrities bring the oomph and the professional dancers bring the perfection.
As a Social Media Agency, the celebrity is the brand and yes, you are the professional. On this premise, I will share my thoughts on the points raised.
Structures are changing
In the essay, Shruti talked about four different teams or people. Sales, Client Servicing, Account Lead and Analytics. I think this structure derived from advertising agencies is not right for a Social Media agency. The way we have approached the problem is to have teams of 3 people – Account Lead, Visualizer and Customer Support. For us, the Account Lead is our superman or superwoman. This person is an idea generator, copywriter, can figure trends through analytics and does client servicing too. She is the one who makes pitches for new clients and attends Sales call too.
You may say that it is hard to find these types of people and I agree with you. It’s a tough task but all the above skill sets can be trained if you are able to see the potential. It is not rocket science honestly. Hire aggressively and don’t make compromises.
Another undervalued skill set in Social Media is of the Visualizer. She is the person who takes the brief from client and account lead and gives life to your ideas. Hire someone who has the creative bent and is not just a graphic designer. Again, spend time and money on training and help them learn the best practices.
This team of 3 is marked on all the mails to clients as well as the whole Social team. Sometimes brilliant ideas come from people who are not working on that account. Collaboration is the key. That’s why Counterstrike.
Play Counterstrike not Ping Pong
The above structure helps us begin with one thing right. The Trust. If you will look at the brands who manage Social Media in-house, you will see similar structures. Start with sharing a brand questionnaire with the client. It will take care of lots of rework issues like logo size, colors, hues, tone of communication, presentation etc. Usually it takes a month of working to get these things perfect and bring down the rework percentage to 4-5% of the total work.
Be passionate about the brand you are working for. Work with your client, help her reason through your ideas and accept the suggested changes. When we begin, we convince our client that we will be experimenting with tons of things (ideas, content format, timing etc) and please let the numbers guide us on the best ways possible. Learn to say no to the client if you don’t agree but educate her on the reasons. With the help of Analytics ammunition, we together fight the enemy and reach our lala land of Objectives and Goals. That brings me to Objectives.
Whatever you have sold to the client, ensure that her business objectives can be mapped with your activities in maximum of 2 steps. An e-commerce brand might have 2 core metrics from Social i.e Number of transactions and Social Customer Care. Keep a note of other vanity metrics and be on top of the changes which keep happening across the platforms we use. If you are able to achieve these key metrics, brand will have a reason to trust you with bigger campaigns.
Keep pitching, keep evaluating. As a Social Media agency, we usually do not have the liberty to define the positioning and tone of the brand. Moreover, there are operational constraints if it is a big brand and you have to honor that. Still keep trying. The cost of starting, running or improvising a Social Media campaign is quite low compared to other media and you need to have a keen eye on the numbers as the campaign is made live.
Let’s be honest. No one knows if something is going to be viral or something is going to be the next big thing. The only way to increase your chances is by doing many campaigns – with different ideas, different content formats and different demographics.
I hope this helps in answering the question.