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Letter to a Prospective Social Media Client

Dear Chris Reimer,

(Regarding social media), what would your company do for us and what is the pricing structure?

Signed,
Prospective Client

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Dear Prospective Client,

Thanks for writing back.

To be frank, I don’t yet know what you need. Falk Harrison always meets with prospective clients to learn about their business operations and identify where the business challenges lie. For instance, is it an image issue? A leads issue? A lead conversion issue? A product issue? All of the above? The problems faced really inform the solution.

When we last spoke, you mentioned the need to humanize your “unsexy” product. I would speculate that an enhanced social media presence would aid you with inbound leads (through both your social media channels and SEO). Your sales team would then take over and hopefully convert the generated leads into sales. Ancillary benefits of social media usage could include better recruitment and employee retention. What do today’s job seekers do when it’s time to look for a job, and your name comes up? They Google your company name. It’s best to have something out there for them to digest in addition to your standard website. Humanizing your operations via social media can help accomplish this.

My main specialties, in preferred order of execution, are:

1. Social media meeting facilitation. If the client desires, this is a good first step. Companies often want to have a meeting amongst their key stakeholders to determine how they want to use social media, and to get everyone heard and on board. I have facilitated many such meetings, offering both a structured set of talking points, and guidance as the meeting goes on.

2. Social media strategy. I can assist with curating a content strategy that will increase visibility of your company while avoiding the usual mistakes companies make on social media. This is truly a different kind of marketing (if you can even call it marketing), so we need to be sure to treat it differently. We cannot jump on and do 10 tweets a day, all about your product. To many companies, the use of social media in a “soft sell” manner is not intuitive. They abuse it as another marketing channel, and then wonder why they failed. I can help you avoid such failure.

3. Social media implementation and training. We can work to open Twitter and Facebook accounts as needed, and get a blog built on your site. A blog is a critical part of any good social media plan, as it is the hub of all of your activities. We can assist with identifying where your customers or other interested parties are on Twitter and Facebook. Finally, we can train your employees on the strategy created in step 2 above.

4. Social media content creation or ongoing consultation. Our goal is to complete steps 1 thru 3 or 2 thru 3 above, and then get out of your way. We want your people, your employees with their feet on the ground, creating the social media content. We want THEM answering customer inquiries, handling customer service issues, and speaking about what’s going on within the halls of your organization. Some clients hire us to tweet or blog for them, and in the right instances, we can do a great job of it. But take note: you will always know more about your company than we do, so you are best equipped to express your company’s values and mission via social media. Falk Harrison can assist with identifying the aspects of your business that you want to accentuate via social media. Find what’s remarkable about your business and amplify it via social media. For instance, your whole team has a service project day and you help build a house for Habitat for Humanity. Capture that entire day via social media – pictures, video, and a blog post, then tweets and Facebook posts. Do good for your community, encourage others to do so as well, and ultimately have your company look like the good corporate citizen it is – all via social media. Too many companies forget to document what goes on day-to-day within their walls. We can assist with training you to see what’s there and how to promote it online.

5. Community building. We work to identify which communities are worth exploring, interacting with and monitoring. We can research what your competitors are doing and craft a plan to create relationships in the communities where they operate. Numbers aren’t everything, but we can help grow the size and breadth of your social graph to the point where your customers and prospects know exactly where you are online.

6. Measurement and reporting. The ROI question is a fair one, and our answer to it is “Measure what’s important to you.” We can identify countless metrics to measure, but we will also help you strategize on which metrics deserve your attention.

We don’t have a set pricing structure, and we don’t sell pre-set “packages.” Some social media practitioners sell their services in this way, and if that’s what speaks to you… We’re not selling service packages, but rather solutions. We work with each client individually to deeply understand your business so that we can provide an informed solution. Each challenge, each client is different.

There are three different pricing methods we can use to structure our relationship.

1. We can bill you hourly. You use our services, and we bill you for the number of hours used at the end of the month. Therefore, the monthly invoice will fluctuate. Some months it could be zero. To keep tabs on hours worked, we can provide a weekly snapshot. This arrangement works well when you don’t wish to commit to an agreement.

2. We can work on a project basis. If the work to be performed has an identifiable end date, with a defined deliverable, we can estimate hours and quote you on the project. We usually include language about overages on hours, as projects sometime change shape and size mid-stream. Websites, annual reports and social media meeting facilitations usually fit into this pricing method.

3. Finally, we can draft a Creative Services Agreement, otherwise known in Lawyerland as a retainer agreement. We agree on a certain number of hours per month for a certain number of months, and we’d bill you a flat amount each month. We work with quite a few clients this way. Accounting departments like it (smooth dollar amounts for budgeting purposes.) Also, when we enter into such an agreement, you never have to feel bad about calling, and we never have to feel bad about coming over for a meeting, if that makes sense. You’re not always watching the clock this way. Also, you’ve purchased a block of our time, so you’re guaranteed to get us when you need us. We can shift unused hours forward, or borrow hours from future months.

As a brand communication agency, Falk Harrison also offers print materials design and website development. We work to integrate print, web and social media into one unified brand voice.

Let me know if you’d like to set up a meeting to discuss your challenges and opportunities.

Cheers,

Chris Reimer
VP Social Media, Falk Harrison

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