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I have been working in the digital marketing space since before I graduated from college. All of my internships and extracurricular activities focused on social media or website design activities. I wasn’t working towards a career as a social media manager at the time, but now looking back on it, it all makes sense. And now owning my own business, I have been able to develop some best practices when it comes to developing long-lasting client relationships.

Here are some of the tips I have learned along the way that will help you add more value as a social media manager.

1. Set The Foundation For a Long-Lasting Relationship

The first month with a client is the most important. Just like with any new relationship, there is a level of trust that needs to be developed. I find that being able to guide the client through the process with confidence and letting them know exactly what to expect next will allow them to take a step back and allow you to operate autonomously. Here are some of my tips to help you kick off the client relationship and get things off to a good start. 

2, Provide Value to Your Clients

I like to work from the perspective that my clients don’t know what they don’t know. Adding value when working with clients and occasionally offering them things outside of their package will make them want to stick with you for the long haul. My contracts are very clear in the services they are being offered, but I have been known to do a little extra here, and there if I know it is for the client’s benefit. Remember, it’s not doing your business any good if you’re losing dollars tripping over pennies.

3. Set Monthly Meetings

This isn’t realistic for all clients. Maybe they don’t have time for it. But if they do and you do, I highly recommend getting into the habit of setting up a monthly meeting with your clients. Your work will stay at the forefront of their mind, and you can use this time to get a better understanding of what’s going on in their business and how you can help. Here is a sample agenda that I like to use during my monthly meetings:

  1. How are you doing? This is a great time to get some personal chatter in.
  2. Do you have any updates for me? Let the client do a quick brain dump of what they have on their mind. You can deep dive into some of these points later in the conversation.
  3. Reviewing any highlights from the past month. This can include the analytics, things that performed well, etc.
  4. Review anything that went wrong. Alternatively, you want to note things that didn’t go well and how your strategy is growing from this data.
  5. Any upcoming events/ notable dates? This is pretty self-explanatory. You want to have a good understanding of what you should be planning your content around.
  6. Next steps: Recap the next steps for both you and your client. I even recommend sending a follow-up email so you both are on the same page and have a record of what’s next.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Discuss Strategy

This applies to more than just social media! Social media is just one part of the overall digital strategy. If you have the skills and interests, your clients will find it more valuable if you can discuss how social media ties into other channels. You don’t necessarily have to offer those services, but it can be beneficial if you’re able to offer your two cents on how what you’re doing may work with another area of their business. For example, as a social media manager, you should be able to speak on the following topics:

  1. The content development process – developing larger cornerstone pieces of content like blog posts and videos is helpful because they can then be repurposed into social media content.
  2. When to amplify content- if a client is rearing to get leads, typically, I recommend to them paid advertising to help strengthen the organic efforts. This is not a service I offer, but I always tell them I am happy to recommend someone.
  3. Lead generation and the sales process- most likely, your client is looking to get leads. It’s important that you speak to not only how social media can engage those leads but also to drive them to a source that collects their information. Being able to talk about that cycle will make you so valuable.

5. Analytics, analytics, analytics

Everything you’re doing, you should be able to back up with data. You can be wasting precious time and money if you’re posting things that don’t work! Make sure you’re consistently reviewing the numbers. When I begin working with a new social media client, I always make sure that I access their google analytics account. You can track things like impressions, engagement, and link clicks using the analytics on the platforms themselves, but you will need to use Google Analytics to track the other side of that data. How long did someone from facebook stay on the site? Did they fill out a form? How many pages did they click on?

I hope some of these tips help you provide more value when working with your clients. In summary, I treat my clients with the custom care they deserve. Are you looking for more ways to provide value to your social media clients? Download my Free Social Media Strategy Template.