5 Mistakes Social Media Agencies Make Before Even Getting A Client

I love the fact that social media has grown so much and now there are so many companies taking advantage of the possibilities. I also dig that there are so many new social media agencies being started by talented individuals that have decided to turn their love of the industry into their business. But it is very important to note that understanding how to be effective marketing in social media, does’t automatically equate to being effective at running a social media agency.

As some of you know, prior to Bundle Post and becoming a social media content management software company, we were a social media agency. We made all the mistakes and figured out a lot of the challenges starting and growing a social media agency entails. I consider us very fortunate to have developed many procedures, rules and processes that I am now able to pass on to many of our software users and readers of our blog.

Social Media Agency MistakesBeyond the many business challenges of an agency, there are distinct changes to mindset and focus that many new agency start ups overlook. These subtle miscues often result in a slower path to revenue and profitability for not just the newbie, but many long time practitioners. Getting these social media marketing components in tact for your company, will help you excel your growth and results.

Five Of The Mistakes Social Media Agencies Make:

1) Priorities: When I work with social media agencies or have them go through my course, I explain that there are two priorities they should have. Unfortunately, most don’t have the two proper priorities in place. They should be:

a) Meet with and sign new clients.

b) Handle client programs perfectly.

I often find that many are doing so many other things outside of these priorities, that they end up stuck in the same place. I have also discovered that much of the time fear is the reason. Without having these priorities your agency will not grow at the level it can. Additionally, by having these as your priorities, all other issues and challenges you face will be resolved, because you will have the resources and capital to address them.

2) Wrong voice: The next three mistakes surround your agency’s own social media management. The first, “Voice” is probably the biggest mistake I see made. When I say voice, I am referring to messaging, content creation (blog posts) and content strategy. Many, and I really mean MOST social media agencies focus their voice incorrectly on their peers and competitors, rather than their prospects.

Preaching to and for the choir is not at all in line with the proper priorities set out in number one above and lead to great relationships, but not new clients and revenue. But let me be clear. I am not saying never to engage with your peers. I am saying do not fall into the trap of writing and posting content that will not attract your target audience, or spending the majority of your time engaging and building relationships with non-prospects. You would, or at least shouldn’t do that with your clients social media programs, and you shouldn’t on yours.

3) Wrong Audience: Similarly to wrong voice, building the wrong community that is not made up of primarily prospect relationships is another big mistake. Part of being a social media agency for your clients is a proven ability to not only manage their social media, but to also build a highly targeted community for them. If you can’t do this effectively for your company, there is a problem. Find and connect with your real target market and build relationships with them that result in new clients. Just as you would for YOUR clients. Spend less time growing likes and follows from your peers and competitors.

4) Wrong Focus: The third big mistake social media agencies make in the management of their own accounts is not focusing where their audience is and building communities and spending time on networks that will never return results. Again, you would not recommend building a clients community on a network that you know will not deliver results, so don’t waste valuable time doing that yourself.

Again, I am NOT saying that you should not have a presence and understand the more niche networks so you can be effective for your clients that do need to use those platforms. I am saying be wise with your time and get some focus to what you are doing and where you are spending it and with whom.

5) Website Error: Lastly, check your website with respect to Pricing and Packages. Do not have either listed on your website. Why? Do I really need to get into this? I suppose I do…

Let me give you a few important reasons, then point you to another post that covers this in detail:

a) Social media programs are not cookie cutter.

b) If you give prices to shoppers, they will shop your price, not even understanding the differences between what you do.

c) Someone will always be cheaper.

d) Don’t sell price, sell value.

Again, for more on this read this post too.

Though there are so many more mistakes I see being made by many social media agencies, it is my sincere hope that these social media management mistakes can now be avoided and you can get on with making the revenue and getting the results that are possible.

* For more on social media agencies and the proposal and sales pitch, read this 5 part series.

15 thoughts on “5 Mistakes Social Media Agencies Make Before Even Getting A Client

  1. Great post Rob, on form for 2013 already! ;)

    I would say I have to disagree slightly with your point on pricing. While I agree people shouldn’t have a ‘pricelist’ as such listed online, I would say its beneficial to outline or at least address the ballpark figures someone May expect to pay with your firm. I think this is needed so that you do not end up with a large number of leads that would never afford the level of investment you ask of your typical clients e.g. how do you separate the Nike’s from the local one-store florists? Extreme example there, admittedly.

    Speaking from my own experience when browsing online, there have been times when a company hasn’t listed prices at all online so I’ve moved on.

    If you address the question without ‘giving the game away’ and have a website that effectively captures visitors into leads with good content, you get the best of both worlds?

    1. Yes we disagree Jay… The SM prospects shopping price have no understanding of what it is and how it works. If they are looking for prices, you are not likely to get the business anyway, or will be doing work that is not profitable. Been in this game for a while and have seen it over and over. I suggest reading the other post on this referenced in this one.

  2. Greetings Robert, great read for me personally. I know the saying “people don’t buy from brands, they buy from people” but one thing I’d like you to elaborate on is who “the voice” is coming from (aka who is speaking) when it comes to big agencies.

    Would you recommend an agency talking/blogging/responding as the agency? Or having that dedicated community manager/SM marketer be the main point of contact to put a face to the brand? Obviously in the case of Bundle Post, you (Robert) are the voice and speaker because your personality bleeds over and it’s your company.

    What would your advice be to those who manage a corporate agencies online presence? Ultimately understanding your audience helps decides your voice, but how do you choose the speaker?

    1. Thanx for jumping in Jacob. Let me start by clarifying that I have never and will never write content that is designed for the major brands or big agencies. The fact is they don’t get it and never will. I write for the SMB social media agency and brand.

      Having clarified that, I believe even at the brand level it needs to be humanized, meaning there needs to be a face and person that drives the social voice. That may mean a team working as one for larger companies, or even a team with their names acting together individually on the corporate accounts.

      In rare cases where the public face can’t be a specific corporate person for various reasons, I have consulted to create a personality and name that becomes the human social personality for the company.

      Every brand/company is different, but the best results come when someone is the personality that people connect with beyond a logo nobody recognizes.

      Does that help Jacob?

      1. Absolutely, thank you! Do you feel this puts that person who drives the social voice in a precarious position as the companies reputation (which is hard for a single person to control) is now associated with their name?

        Do you think in the future as being more humanized becomes more important that the person driving the social voice should receive extra compensation? Almost like hazard pay…since they are putting their own name on the line for the company? How important of a role will that play in that persons future employment, etc.?

        In that case I think it comes down to that prospective community manager researching the company and it’s reviews prior to applying and associating their name with the brand.

        …and I may have just answered my own question, but as always, I’m interested in your view Robert!

      2. Interesting perspective and question. I would say that if you aren’t on board with a company you believe in, maybe you should work somewhere else. Again since my focus in on SMB’s and not major brands, I am not sure this is even an issue to be concerned with much.

        I would focus on much more important and relevant issues facing social media results. I don’t feel this is a big one…

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