I love to complain. I’m pretty good at it – traffic, bills, annoying neighbors, etc. You name it – I can complain about it. Some artists work in clay or watercolors – I work with words and I use them to lament. Either way – I’d call it something I’m an expert at. Julia Giacoboni: social media manager, Mr. Peanut aficionado, professional bellyacher.
But if there’s one thing I’ve finally shut up about, it’s whining about how tiny a budget is. Look – I understand. I get that clients can’t spend 100k a quarter on social media. I’m not offended. I can’t always buy fancy $8 mustard at Whole Foods because let’s face it, I just can’t afford it.
Learn to accept the fact that most clients don’t have extravagant budgets to work with. And while you can maybe one day woo them into spending more, the matter at hand is that this is what you've got for now, so deal with it!
Whether social is the main focus of a campaign or it’s been thrown in as an extra service, the goal is to put 100% into it and end the month with positive results. You aren’t always given the perfect scenario, but you’ve got to make the most of what you’ve got. When you find yourself fretting, just imagine Project Runway’s Tim Gunn standing over your shoulder watching you complain. Would he care? Probably not. So get over it & make it work.
So you have a client with a tiny budget, a few hours, and no real direction or creative lead.
Deep breath. We’ve got this.
Determine your resources
From signing up for newsletters and email lists, to finding relevant blogs, pages, or accounts that you can use as resources – set aside a small amount of time to decide where you’ll be getting your content from. This way you’re not scrambling each week and wasting time trying to find information for posts. Chances are this client has material on & offline that you can repurpose and share on social. Do they have partners? Do they hold any events or sponsor any charities? Start poking around and see what you can dig up.
Make a plan
STRATEGIZE. This isn’t a pouring yourself into a huge document that you won’t look at again. Decide what you’re going to do by day, week, and month. Estimate how much time it’ll take and stick to it. Decide who you’re going to talk to and what you’re going to say. Choose the two most effective social media outlets and put them to work. Keep this at a higher level for the beginning – you’ll learn more details as you go.
Use your hours
Be mindful of your hours and push them to the max, but if you go over make sure you have something to show for it. Show the client how you’ve grown their accounts, increased engagement, or gotten positive feedback through your specific efforts. Proving with legitimate data that an extra few hours each month will be worth increasing the budget will help you in the long run. If the client sees you’re over with nothing to show for it, you’re digging a hole.
Visit the Toolbox
Utilize free or cost-effective tools to make your day easier. Tons of time can be wasted scheduling, responding, and listening on social. Try taking advantage of Hootsuite, Buffer, Tweepi, or Tweetdeck to take care of pushing out content, monitoring your accounts, and making your social platforms run smoothly and effectively.
Embrace the Challenge
In conclusion, never think you’re too good for a client because they aren't spending “a lot.” Instead, take it as a challenge! So before you crawl under your desk, hug your knees, and rock back and forth for the rest of the afternoon, just remember six tips for survival.