Social media consultants: WRITE SOMETHING, for Heaven’s sake!

Recently I’ve been wondering how some social media consultants get away with charging their clients for, well, social media consultancy, when all they do is slap notices (not even adverts) up in the SocMed stating that their clients offer property for sale in Spain or boutique B&B accommodation in Wales or business breakfast events in a city somewhere. They add a pretty picture or a bit of video and that’s it.

Social media consultants: WRITE SOMETHING, for Heaven's sake!

Social media consultants who just cut-and-paste minimal information for their clients: about as social as a cornered rat.

No … why you should invest in those things, no … what’s in it for you, no … story, no … background, no … diddly squat other than what a bright 12-year-old could cut and paste from the client company’s website. Excuse me?

Surely a social media consultant should write something with a bit of substance?

I don’t want to bore you with all the self-righteous stuff that is written about social media being social and sociable, not sales or business orientated, because we all know that people do use it for selling and often get away with it.

But there is a big difference between sharing posts on social media that offer something of genuine social interest in addition to the pay-off, and posts that say words to the effect of “to hell with offering you an interesting fact or story, just make a reservation / call us for a hard-sell phone conversation / pay for a business breakfast event even if you don’t know anything about its format.”

In fact I’m amazed that so many so-called social media consultants get away with such brazen nose-thumbing at the – if somewhat tongue-in-cheek – morals of social media being about information.

Don’t get me wrong, however. I know a large number of social media consultants who are extremely good at their jobs and who give their clients substantial value for their money.

And what sets these people apart from the cut-paste-slap-it-up-on-Facebook variety?

Professional social media consultants write something original. They don’t just copy.

Like most other professionals, truly professional social media consultants do their homework.

They don’t just take on clients with a view to placing free advertising on the Facebooks, Twitters, Instagrams, Google Plusses, Pinterests, etc, of this world.

They look into their clients’ businesses and find those clients’ uniqueness … their special stories … what makes them what they are.

And they then use those plus points to put forward a value statement in their social media posts that doesn’t just say how much a room for the night costs or how much a breakfast meeting costs … but also a least an intimate why  you’ll benefit from what that client offers.

I know, I know. It’s that old “features versus benefits” story. But that’s the basic reality of nearly all forms of marketing.

So how can social media consultants write something useful for their clients’ posts?

Here are just a few thoughts that might get the creative mojo working for social media consultants who wouldn’t otherwise bother…some examples:

Instead of…

Property in Spain. “Choose from 100s of dream homes in the sun from (COMPANY NAME). Click here.”

How about…

Property in Spain. “Can you imagine shopping for luscious fresh food in (PLACE’s) morning market? It has been in (PLACE) for more than 200 years and still attracts some of the finest produce in this part of Spain. Get there early to grab your locally-baked bread; people say the (NAME) stall is where you get the tastiest loaves. Then select your just-picked fruit and veg from one of dozens of vendors … and check out the meat and fish at (NAME’s) stall. Round off your morning shopping with a powerful coffee and slice of tasty cake at (NAME) café. And don’t forget to check out the stunning properties we have for sale in (PLACE)…”

Instead of…

Boutique B&B accommodation. “(NAME) Luxury B&B accommodation in 18th farmhouse just 5 minutes from (CITY). From £XX per night. Click here for more info and to make your reservations.”

How about…

Boutique B&B accommodation. “(CITY) is a wonderful place to stay and work … if you like an urban environment with lots of vibrant concrete and 24-hour activity. But if you prefer a quiet location, delightful comfort and peace and quiet before your business the next day, the (NAME) is somewhere you’ll find both relaxing AND interesting. Despite being just five minutes from the city, the (NAME) is still a working farm and if you step outside your 5 star accommodation you can go for a walk around their 150 acre property, admiring pastoral views of sheep and cattle grazing and the neighbour’s extremely friendly horses who poke their heads over the fence to say hello. What better way to relax before, or after, an important meeting? Get in touch to make your booking.”

Instead of…

Business breakfast meetings. “Business networking with a difference. Click here to book for breakfast next Wednesday or call 01234567890 now.”

How about…

Business breakfast meetings. “(CITY) is well known as a business networking centre and there are many groups to choose from – as there have been for more that 20 years now. The (NAME) group has been established since 1999 and was the first group in (CITY) to move away from the “lock-out” approach of the more traditional business networking formula and become an open, free-wheeling forum for business people to listen, share, and say what they think. The (NAME) has since won the (AWARD NAME) for one of the most active and useful such groups in (COUNTRY). Don’t waste this chance to come along and see how it can benefit you and your business.”

No-one could deny that the above is fairly overt marketing-speak, so it ticks that box … but at least it puts a bit of meat on to the bones of what otherwise could just be listings.

Does your social media consultant always write something original about you?

And once again: I am not criticising all  social media consultants; I have a huge respect for the good ones.

I don’t, however, have much respect for those who just cut and paste minimal information that’s about as social as a cornered rat.

Please share – it will be very helpful to know your views.