As I was beginning to describe what clients should expect from their social media partner, I realized that everything I was writing sounded a lot like being in a long-term relationship. There’s the components of trust, of consistency, checking in–should you be dating your social media company?
Hopefully your communication level with a social media partner isn’t quite to the extent that it is with your significant other or longtime partner, but there are absolutely aspects that make working with SMC different than working with another contractor or independent rep.
For one, there are elements of the business “relationship” that hold expectations from both ends. There are expectations from both parties about what the relationship will bring and how it will work, ideally with a stellar end result from everyone involved. The expectations and goals for end results are something we talk about in initial strategy meetings, as well as throughout the partnership. Checking in consistently is a very, very reasonable thing to expect when working with us. Other client expectations are that the partnership provides excellent, tailored content and social media for their brand to increase ROI and achieve results.
As in a relationship, both parties have different strengths that if used together can create a successful plan. You, as the client, know your brand inside and out, and best of all. We, as social media experts, know markets, strategies and techniques for communicating this brand to your audience or demographic. When combined, this creates a powerful force to again, drive results.
The foundation of successful relationships is trust, and it’s no different when working with a social media partner. Making the step to hand over a huge part of your marketing department is a move that requires trust and confidence in the other part of the team (us). And the same goes for reliability– who wants to date someone that won’t call them back or may or may not show up to that lovely dinner you’ve planned? Showing up and being available is half the battle, and anyone entering into a social media relationship should have very high expectations in both those arenas.
And finally, personality is key. We don’t produce cookie-cutter, corporate-style writing and social media. Our personality is intelligent, unique, funny, and sharp. There’s too much mediocre writing out there for us to add to that mélange, so we it a point to focus on people and goals to create the highest quality and most strategic content available.
Good social media is important– marketers know that. What’s even more important? Who you place your trust in to do this job for you, and the expectations you set when you enter into a relationship or contract. Reliability, personality, and trust is key (and sending flowers on Valentine’s Day never hurts…)