How to Handle Clients With No Social Media Presence

May 03, 2021

When you’re providing PR services to clients, you’re helping them present their brand and story in an enticing way. It’s all about storytelling, from crafting pitches to developing strategies, and social media can play a huge role! So what happens if your client has no social media presence? 

As PR pros, we know that social media is often a key piece of a well-crafted public relations strategy. But sometimes, clients have no social media presence or a less-than-ideal social presence. 

Knowing what steps to take when this happens will help you be even more successful (and your clients will be so impressed!). 

Does Having No Social Media Presence Impact PR Services? 

In our experience, editors and influencers do take social media presence into account. Many times, editors check for recent posts, the number of followers, and overall presence. But this process goes far beyond the visual aesthetic of a profile! 

The most important thing that editors and influencers look for is alignment. Do your values align with theirs? Are their problematic, controversial, or inappropriate comments or content? 

Social media is a place where people go to get a fuller picture of who a brand or expert is. When a client has no social media presence, it’s an indicator that you might need to suggest a new strategy. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn't work with that client!

How To Vet A Prospective Client With No Social Media Presence

Without a big following, people might think you’re new or even not popular. But you should never let vanity metrics be a major factor in whether or not you take someone on as a client.

There are so many other factors to consider when you’re trying to vet a prospective client. Here’s how to navigate that process successfully! 

Assess To See How You Can Encourage A Visual Presence

You’ll want to look at a prospective client’s current assets to see if there is a way you can push a visual presence. 

Look to ensure that the client is posting consistently (or recommend that they do so). Creating a social media audit with recommendations is a great idea. 

Another huge thing to feel out here is whether the client’s content, comments, or values are problematic. 

Social media can supplement and support PR! It’s especially important if you’ll be focusing on influencer collaborations where you’ll want the influencers to tag the brand. When you’re vetting that client, think about whether those influencers will feel good about tagging the brand based on their presence! 

Editors are going to check a client’s social media presence. If it’s not high quality, they likely won’t be interested in promoting that brand. 

See How You Feel On The Sales or Discovery Call

A discovery call or sales call is a great place to feel out a client’s social media presence. You’ll want to see whether they’re open to suggestions and recommendations for improving social media. 

But you do need to be careful about how you approach this.

If you’re just trying to feel out a connection with a prospective client, avoid criticizing their work off the bat. Instead, let the potential client know that you’re happy to make recommendations based on social media best practices. You can also offer to examine their current social media presence and make strategic recommendations. 

Once you’ve decided that the prospective client is the right fit and signed a contract (and formed a relationship), you can expand on this. 

Do a full audit and recommend some best practices, but only if the client is comfortable. Be sure to discuss it with them instead of surprising them with an overwhelming list of recommendations. 

Related: 7 Unique PR Goals That Will Get Results For Your Clients

How To Work With a Client Who Has No Social Media Presence 

Now that you’ve vetted a client who has no social media presence (or bad social media), how do you work with them? These tips will help you, but remember—it depends on what services you offer. 

What To Do If You Don’t Offer Social Media Services

It’s really important to always have someone you know who works well with social media who you can refer your clients to. If you don’t want to offer social media services, that’s totally fine. 

Find a reliable, effective social media service provider you can trust! 

The Profitable PR Pros Facebook group community is a great place to start. Making connections is the foundation of finding great referrals, and your clients will really appreciate a quick, easy recommendation. 

Remember, the person you refer clients to needs to be someone you’re really comfortable recommending. Their work has to reflect your standards and offer true value. 

What To Do If You DO Offer Social Media Services

Many PR pros choose to also offer social media services because it is so complimentary. If you do, make sure to offer your services to prospective clients with no social media presence! 

When you first get started, I recommend quickly posting a bunch of things to bury the current feed. You need to get in control of the next 12 squares to quickly build out the feed and get into a posting cadence.

Managing a client’s social media can be a huge win since you’re able to control the strategy and content yourself. 

What To Do If The Client Wants To Do Social Media Themselves

What if a client has no social media presence and wants to build it on their own? Or what if they don’t have the budget for both PR and social media management services? 

Here’s what you can do in this situation. 

Offer to do an asset review where you offer the client a “social media best practices” document. This document should include key strategies and best practices. You’ll demonstrate your expertise, which hopefully encourages clients to actually invest in your social media services. 

You’ll obviously recommend things they can do on their own, and then clients will see how much easier it would be to hire someone like you to take it over. 

We’ve actually built out a complete resource for members of The Agency Accelerator! This resource includes a social media audit template with those best practices formatted correctly. You can edit this template to work for your clients—it’ll save you tons of time! 

When a client has no social media presence, it’s a little worrisome! 

Knowing how to properly vet your clients in advance helps you only work with the right clients. But even better, knowing how to work with clients to improve their social media helps you deliver impeccable results with your PR strategy!