Need to officially plan social media marketing strategies for your agency clients? This step-by-step guide can help you through the process.
Whether your agency specializes in social media management, content creation, or advertising, your team needs a way to achieve results for clients.
When you develop a social media marketing strategy, you gain a framework designed to guide your approach and keep you on a successful track.
With a strategy, your team can also set client expectations, launch campaigns, and make progress toward the right outcomes.
But if your agency has never followed a standard onboarding process for social media clients, where should you start? Learn how to create a social media marketing strategy for clients in this ultimate guide for agencies.
When your agency first begins working with a new client, you probably have a few ideas about what you can accomplish.
Rather than rely solely on your agency’s insights, find out what your client expects from the relationship. After all, understanding your client’s expectations can help you allocate time and resources more effectively.
When I onboard new clients, I ask questions like:
Next, do the research necessary to become an expert on your client’s audience.
After all, you have to understand your client’s customers before you can recommend the right social platforms or create posts that speak to the right people.
First, ask your client a few questions.
Inquire about their target customer’s needs and challenges. Ask how their products or services can help customers resolve challenges or improve quality of life.
Then if your client already has active social media profiles, you can also review their audience stats.
Use a social media tool to get essential demographic information. Use native tools like Facebook Audience Insights to dig into more detailed interests and behaviors, such as brand preferences and purchasing patterns.
Then compile your research to create a customer avatar or buyer persona.
I find that creating buyer personas brings my clients’ customers to life, making them easier to connect with via social media.
My agency’s buyer personas usually include details like:
Whether your client is completely new to social media or has had social accounts for years, you need to take stock.
Get access to any existing social media accounts and review their status to help with mapping out your strategy.
My agency follows these steps for every social media audit:
No matter how well your client seems to be doing on social media, remember that no brand operates in isolation.
Your client’s industry and competitors should also inform the results they should aim for and the tactics they can use. That’s why your agency should also do a competitive analysis for each client.
When analyzing client competitors, my agency creates a mini version of the audit template above.
We add three to five of the client’s competitors, including both smaller and larger brands.
Then we review how each brand is performing:
Once you have a better understanding of your client’s current status and where to go next, you can set goals for your social media marketing strategies.
Both your agency and your client can benefit from these objectives.
Your team can measure progress more effectively, and your client can understand the value they’re getting.
To create objectives, use the SMART goals method:
The goals you set for clients inform your team’s key performance indicators (KPIs), or targets that keep you on track. For example, my agency might set this SMART goal and related KPI for a client:
Once you’ve researched your client’s audience and outlined their social media goals, you have the information you need to prioritize the right social media channels.
When choosing social media platforms for your client, consider which ones tend to attract their ideal customers.
For example, Facebook tends to be the most popular social platform for rural users. Instagram is big with users aged 18 to 29 years old.
Consider which channels their competitors are using, too.
Whether my agency needs to build a social profile from scratch or optimize an existing one, we use this basic checklist to get started:
After optimizing your client’s social media profiles, map out a plan to publish engaging, results-driven content.
First, find the right times to post content so you can publish when your client’s audience is online and most likely to engage.
Check your social media dashboard. Most social media scheduling tools make it easy to determine the optimal times for your client’s audience.
Review native analytics. Each social platform also provides insights into audience engagement and popular times to be online.
Depending on your client’s industry and goals, your social media calendar could include a wide variety of content.
Some of the content your team publishes will probably be evergreen, or relevant any time you share it. Other content is likely to be more time-sensitive, especially if it’s related to seasonal events or temporary promotions.
When creating a content calendar, my agency usually plans the following.
Blog posts: Educate and engage the client’s audience.
Landing pages: Urge followers to take actions like signing up for mailing lists or purchasing products.
Images and videos: Entertain and educate followers while attracting more attention than text and links alone.
Livestreams: Connect with followers at the moment by answering questions or providing behind-the-scenes glimpses.
Time-sensitive content: Post daily highlights or exclusive content designed to disappear in 24 hours.
User-generated content (UGC): Share brand-focused content created by other users, such as social media influencers.
Curated content: Build connections with peers and industry figures by sharing their content with the client’s audience.
Social ads: Publish paid posts to complement the client’s organic content and give my team more fuel to reach social media goals.
Once you’ve decided on the type of content to post and when to publish, it’s time to get creative.
Because images and video generally require more production time, plan the visual elements of your social media marketing strategy first.
To make sure any creatives you develop are on brand, start by clarifying your client’s visual style.
If your client doesn’t already have one, you can create a branding kit that includes:
Next, develop a creative production workflow.
If your agency produces images or videos, you’ll need to manage tasks like:
If your client handles some or all of the creative production in-house, be prepared to guide them through the process.
You may even need to advise about shot lists or video scripts.
No matter your arrangement, set reasonable deadlines so your team receives all the content you need well before the publication date.
Writing social media copy also goes more smoothly when you know your client’s brand voice.
If your client doesn’t have a style guide, you can create one by reflecting on their mission and buyer persona.
When developing client style guides, my team considers:
As your team writes social media copy, keep these additional tips in mind:
When working with clients, it can be challenging to get sign-offs in a timely manner.
To avoid any unnecessary back-and-forth, set up a workflow with your client.
A good workflow should give your client the oversight they want and your team the approvals you need.
When seeking social media content or calendar approvals, my agency takes one of these approaches:
If your agency does more than social media content creation, you’ll also need a workflow for other tasks.
You may need to set client expectations for:
Without reporting, it’s tough to tell whether your social media marketing strategy is working. Set a schedule for producing regular social media reports so your team and your client can assess how much progress you’re making.
Whether you use native analytics or a social media reporting tool, remember that some metrics matter more than others.
Depending on the client’s goals, my agency includes metrics like:
Along with a data-packed report, include your team’s analysis of the results.
When analyzing social media reports, my team often asks questions like:
Whether your social media strategy is succeeding or falling short, don’t hesitate to experiment with new tactics or approaches.
Continue to keep an eye on your client’s competitors and use social monitoring to stay on top of industry news and important conversations. Then apply what your team learns and continually improve your client’s social media strategy.
With a strong social strategy, your team can work more efficiently, and your clients can realize more value from your agency’s services. Use this guide to standardize your agency’s social media marketing strategy services and start driving better results for your clients.