We have worked with every type of client. This includes those that like to have a tight grip on everything that is distributed, and prefer to be involved in the creation of every piece of marketing that is published—approving and editing piece after piece of content, requesting to have final approval of each blog post, banner ad, and tweet. And we have also worked with clients who give us the general idea and then hand over the reigns and say, “Have at it.”
We like to work with every client at their comfort level for control, since we understand that our work reflects not only the brand that we are creating social media content for, but also the individuals within each business who are responsible for working with us. If we do a good job, these individuals look good. We like when that happens.
When we start working as social media partners with a client who prefers a lot of control over what content is posted, we have noticed that often, after a while, they will let go of their tight grip a bit. We will get a good feel for the brand’s appropriate voice and topics of conversation, and the client will trust our judgement and knowledge of what will work for them. This not only frees up the time of the individuals responsible for us so they can work on other important responsibilities, but it often allows for more creative social media content and conversations. In other words, when the web marketing team is allowed to be creative and spontaneous, beautiful things can happen.
As an example of our work, take Sherman Hospital’s Movember and Stache Yourself campaign. In 2011, for Prostate Cancer Awareness month in November, we ran a mustache contest on Facebook, asking men to grow mustaches, take a picture, and then pictures were voted on by Facebook fans. This was all in honor of men’s health, and all related content (including blog posts about famous TV mustaches, etc.), reminded men to get their prostate checked. This year, because the client is the type to allow freedom and creativity, we have added a “Stache Yourself” campaign, where people can send in a picture of themselves and we will give them a custom photo-shopped mustache to use as a profile picture on social networking sites. This sort of fun marketing likely wouldn’t make it through the filter if it had to be approved by layers of authority, and even if it did, the lead time approvals required wouldn’t have allowed this addition to the campaign to happen.
Consider this example: @Oreo, who has 57,000 Twitter followers, tweeted “Ever bring your own Oreo cookies to the move theater?” and Shane Adams, the social media manager of @AMCTheatres, could have ignored this post. Or if he had to report to his superiors for approval, he may not even have given the post thought. Or if he had to report to legal, a response would have taken too long. Instead, in 8 minutes, he crafted one of the best RTs by a brand ever and let it fly:
Within a day, this 3 word reply had over 1,000 RTs. Their Twitter feed has grown by 13,000 followers since the reply and now has 149,000 followers. Oreo responded again with, Fair enough, @AMCTheatres, but don’t hate the player, hate the game. To which @AMCTheatres crafted another silly response:
The lesson? Have fun with your brand’s social media where it makes sense. But the larger lesson comes from Shane Adams’s blog regarding how he was able to come up with this brilliant piece of marketing:
“…Successes like this are not purely the result of being clever. Being given the latitude to react and respond is critical for a social media group within a brand. Trust matters. The trust that we have been given is an invaluable asset in instances like this. And I will continue to live up to that trust…why wouldn’t I? I am a representative of the brand (a brand that I am proud of), so why would I do anything that would harm the brand?”
And the same is true of us, when we’re acting as your marketing agency. We care about creating good work and a good image for you, because we know everything we put out reflects on us as well. If you let us, we will take good care of you and your brand. So have as much control as you would like, but also keep in mind that great trust can equal great creativity.