Social Media Agencies, Consultants Must Walk The Talk

I consult a lot of social media agencies, marketers and brands on their internal strategy, processes and implementation. I come across many that don’t seem to realize that if they are selling social media marketing to their clients, their feeds should reflect their ability and professionalism.

One of the favorite sayings that often comes out of my mouth is “Show me, don’t tell me”. In my many daily conversations, that phrase is often times followed by something like “I don’t care what you say, I only watch what you do”. This mentality is how I run my life and business. I do this very consciously when I have conversations with people, however most people do it unconsciously.There is a big difference between the two.

The average person unconsciously evaluates what you say and how it compares to what you do. Because it is unconscious, it often takes a bit longer to come to a conscious conclusion about someone or something. Business people however, are a bit more discerning in their relationships with vendors and look for results and clues to match with what the vendor is pitching them.

This fact has two serious implications you need to understand in your social media marketing sales efforts:

1) What you are proposing to do and achieve for your prospective social media management clients must match what you are doing and achieving with your social media marketing. If it does not, you loose credibility. Worse, you don’t have an important sales tool that shows you are able to achieve what you are proposing for your client. Additionally, it can impact the pricing or perceived value a prospect is willing to pay for your service.

2) In a competitive bidding scenario for a new social media client, where there are more than one competitors vying for the account, you need to be able to point to your social media and compare it to your competitors. Especially, when there is a disparity in the pricing you are proposing, the ability to show results over the competitor and say “If they aren’t doing it for their own accounts, what makes you think they can for yours” goes a long way in winning the account.

Be sure that you do what you say, not only in your daily business interactions, but also in your feeds. Get results for your brand, so you can show you can do it for your prospects. Your social media accounts must show that you are leading, creative and innovative and that what you do is effective and get’s results.


11 thoughts on “Social Media Agencies, Consultants Must Walk The Talk

  1. From the first time I ever tried to win a social media account I have been beating this drum. Some so-and-so want your SM business and they haven’t posted in a week? I hope that’s what you’re looking for, cause that’s what you’re gonna get. Great technique to win business.

  2. Boy, I couldn’t agree more. I think big full-service agencies are the biggest culprits of not walking the talk. I’ve learned a ton conducting 3 different Twitter accts as well as other SoMe channels. It’s really sad to see agencies pitching something they themselves have no experience in doing.

  3. It’s crazy how many SM “agencies” there are out there that don’t have any kind of actual SM presence. And the crazy thing is that, if you just listen to them pitch, they sound so impressive – then it’s a shock when you go look at their twitter account and they have like 30 followers and, like ^Chris said, they haven’t posted anything in a week.

    And I think that, tying into this, if you are going to sell social media services, you have to be able to tie your own social media presence back to actual revenue that you’ve generated for yourself. If you can’t do it for yourself, then why should another company trust you to do it for them?

  4. The flip side of practicing what you preach is not doing what you tell other people not to do, which brings me to my question. Robert, how do you feel about using paid tweet services? I built one called with the thought that people who spend time curating and producing great content should have tools available to monetize their efforts. But, because my thinking has been mostly publisher-centric, I never really thought about how paid tweets might be perceived by social media professionals and their clients. Are paid tweet services something that you would suggest that social media companies be well versed about, or avoid altogether?

    1. Maurice,

      I am not at all a fan of such a thing. Others may have a differing view, but most of the folks I know are not at all in-line with such a thing. This stems from social media not being a direct marketing venue where you push ads. It is a relationship venue where you engage and build relationships.

      My thoughts…

      1. I understand. There are some pretty strong feelings here. Dan Zarrella offers a video of one of his presentations that indicates that people tend to respond favorably, and with actions like click-throughs and retweets to tweets that contain, “marketing words” – my emphasis. His data also emphasizes that people retweet information that is “relevant” to their audience or online friends. To me, this is the definition of good marketing. Getting the right message to the right audience Not to say that every that posts ads is a good marketer, but i would think that most people wouldn’t mind being on the receiving end of that kind of content.

      2. I mostly disagree. Social media is an earned medium. Meaning, you build relationships and earn the right with those relationships to market. That is social media done properly…

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