What’s a social media consultant to do?

Another way I keep myself busy is by volunteering. I’ll save you the long story but I was recommended to an organization that was sorely needing some marketing support. They have a Director of Marketing, who does a great job I should add, but he’s charged with doing the work of 3 people. So, my interest in social media marketing seemed to be a good match to alleviate some stress for him. So I began making my social media strategic plan for the organization. Um, huh? How? With what book? With help from who? I admit I’m going this on my own, but am pulling together all the collective knowledge I’ve gained over the years and hopefully a little common sense goes a long way. Here’s where I started:

  1. I started by going through their current online presence including their website, blog, Facebook pages, Twitter account and so on. I typed up my initial thoughts and gut reactions. The Marketing Director and I had a meeting planned for the next week so I assumed I would meet with him and go through the document.
  2. When we met the next week, we sat down and I asked him where he wanted to start. He said “Facebook! Dear God, what the hell do I do with it?” Or something along those lines. So we started combing through the Facebook account and fan page, making some additions, and deleting things here and there.
  3. As I left, we made a plan to tackle Twitter the next time we met.

So here I am, sitting at coffee house attempting to make a Twitter plan. I know how Twitter works and can explain the lingo, but I came across something I didn’t expected. I could start the actual Twitting, but don’t have the in depth knowledge of the organization that I wish I had to who the best people to engage are and what to say in order start conversing with them. The Marketing Director lacks the knowledge of Twitter that I have, but knows his stakeholders and community better than I do.

So this brings me to the problem, how do we bridge the gap?

Sidenote: My first lesson I learned about consulting is about listening and preparing. I typed a document with recommendations, comments and all kinds of other junk. I say junk because I didn’t anticipate the needs of the client. The Director of Marketing needs basic knowledge and guidance. I never handed over the document because it probably would have scared the shit out of him. I keep having to tell myself this isn’t grad school, people don’t have time to pour over word documents. So, during our last meeting I tried to listen harder, not just to his words but how he was saying them. He was stressed, confused and overwhelmed. My new goal is to take my document and deliver it in a different way. I’m streamlining everything, getting rid of the platforms that aren’t needed and recommending tools that will make his life easier.

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