Redhead Media has been working for over a year now, and I can humbly admit that I knew so little going into this. I may have known lots about social media and marketing, but in terms of client expectations, I had no idea that so many people had so many ideas about what social media specialists are meant to do.
Here are some of my learnings as a business owner, and some tips that all clients working with social media freelancers ought to know.
Personal Accounts Are Tricky
Recently I stopped offering to manage personal social media accounts. It seems as easy as any, but between perfecting the voice of a single personality and shared custody of a Twitter page, it’s too much effort with very little payout for both client and specialist.
To keep uniform, the specialist needs 100% control of the page, and typically people like to provide their own updates, which may duplicate content or provide a completely different angle than we would. Additionally, we will never 100% know you, so speaking in your voice and knowing your opinion is something that we just can’t perfect. As mentioned before, you don’t want to be boring on social media, so express your own opinions and post your own content if you want to be your own brand of edgy.
We Are Not Marketing Managers
Another client miscommunication was when I one day had to explain that I don’t write press releases, contact newspapers, and create full-fledged marketing plans; at least not when I was hired to handle social media pages. You don’t want your freelancer to put too much on their plate, or else the original task at hand suffers, and it’s best to outline expectations and tasks beforehand. Make sure you aren’t looking for a social media/SEO/advertising/customer service/PR rep/ all in one because at that point, what you’re looking for is staff.
Content Starts With You
Look, I can’t pull content out of my butt. Maybe part of my job description as a content creator implies that but what my job doesn’t entail is having an endless library of resources and topics to write about.
Yes, we’ll write your blog, article, newsletter, and so on. However, it does a world of good if we have a topic or (even better) an outline of what you’d like us to write about. Just like keeping your social media in tone with your brand, we need to make sure we’re able to write (competently) about your product and industry. I have turned down client work because they ask that I write about finance or pharmaceuticals and I wouldn’t have the first clue (or interest) in how to do that.
Ask if we know the industry, and depending on how much we do, provide some sources with information and ideas to expand upon so that we can provide the best content. A simple outline would be good, with bullet points about what to talk about or research, and even some helpful websites.
We Are Not Here To Make You Famous
Some people see social media as the be-all-end-all of marketing channels, and within reason this can be true. However I’ve had clients come to me with an enthusiastic idea for a product and all they need is 10,000 followers to make it happen! Needless to say, they’re less than pleased when a few hundred followers doesn’t translate into a viral sensation.
We try. We’ll post dynamic content daily, we’ll up your engagement, and we’ll use topical references as we can. But there are millions of other people out there doing the same and sadly, social media is very much a game of luck. A thousand people may see the same post, but if that one right person sees it and shares it, that can be the make-or-break factor in your social exposure.