A great social media proposal is a key tool for any social media marketer. Whether you are a freelance social media professional or work in an agency, you need to know how to use a proposition to build a business.
You may be responding to an advertisement (request for quotation). Or you seal the deal with a lead that your sales team nurtured. In any case, a social media marketing proposal is the document that takes a new customer from prospect to customer.
Follow these steps to gather the information you need for your next proposal. Then use our free social media suggestion template to create your own in minutes.
Quickly create your own social media proposal with ours free and easy to use template.
A social media marketing proposal is a document in which you suggest a range of social media marketing services for a potential customer. First, you set the client's goals and take a series of steps to show how you can help.
You will show exactly how social media marketing can affect the customer's business goals and build your expertise in this area. Through research and planning, you show the customer why you are exactly the right person (or company) for the job.
Finally, explain the details of the work you want to do for the client, including a schedule and budget.
With all of these details you are well positioned to build a great working relationship with a new client. They understand their goals and they understand exactly what you are promising and what it will cost.
Step 1: Determine your prospect's business and social media goals
Before you can write a successful social media management proposal, you need to invest time in research and discovery.
Consider answering these questions:
- What are the goals of your prospect's business?
- What challenges are you currently facing?
- How long have you faced these challenges?
- Have you tried to address these goals or challenges in the past?
- How are you currently using social media?
- What are your social media goals?
- What kind of timeline do you have in mind?
- What is your budget?
- How have your previous social media initiatives performed?
How do you learn the answers to these questions? The easiest thing to do is sit down (or talk on the phone, or zoom in) with your prospect and ask them questions. Focus on asking them what they want to achieve. It's your job to find out how social media (and you) can help.
You can also create a standard prospect and new client intake form asking them about their goals.
When responding to a job posting, you may not have the opportunity to speak to someone in the prospect company. Instead, read the requirements document carefully and make sure that you process all of the information it contains in full.
Use the S.M.A.R.T framework when thinking about goals for the proposal. So make sure your stated goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Keep the prospect's schedule and budget in mind as you think about timing and availability.
How to Set Smart Social Media Goals
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Posted by Hootsuite on Friday 3rd Nov 2017
Be wary at this stage if there are signs that your prospect's goals don't match your (or your agency's) expertise. Realizing when a prospect is not a good match for you can save you and them a great deal of time, energy, and frustration.
If you know another marketer or agency that would be a better fit for you, don't be shy about making the connection. Build a solid referral network among your social media marketing peers. This can be a great way to ensure that you are always connected to the best customers for your skills while delivering the best results to customers.
Step 2: Learn about your prospect's audience
Don't make any assumptions about the prospect's target audience in your proposal. Gather as much data as possible and use it to develop and support your strategy.
First, ask your prospect to share any data they already have about their target audience. If it is not possible to speak to the prospect, search the RFP. Review existing social media accounts and find out what information can be obtained using social media analytics tools.
Then generate relevant industry-specific statistics and demographics for social media.
When you've gathered as much information as possible, you're ready to create personas for the audience. These can help your prospect understand how your proposed work speaks directly to their target market.
At this point, it doesn't hurt to go back to Step 1 and review the goals. Given these audience insights, do the goals still make sense? If not, adjust accordingly. Make the connection between the audience and the goals crystal clear so your prospects can see that you understand their business.
Step 3: Get to Know Your Potential Client's Competition
Who are your prospect's main competitors?
The aim is to identify at least five strong competitors against whom a benchmark can be carried out. These can be direct competitors in the same industry niche. But it can also be companies in similar industries that address the same target group.
Your prospect may be able to identify some of their top competitors for you. However, it is a good idea to do your own research to find out which competitors stand out on social media. Our guide to competitive analysis on social media will walk you through this process.
Use social listening tools like Hootsuite Streams to monitor competitor activity and audience.
Step 4: conduct a social media audit
Unless your prospect has never used social media before, don't start from scratch. A social media management proposal should consider how the customer is currently using social media.
If you can talk to the prospect, you should have a basic understanding of current social media usage from the discussion in Step 1. Do some of your research to find out which platforms it is strongest on and why.
Consider fixing the following issues with the exam:
- Which platforms do you use?
- What works?
- What is not
- How often do you post?
- Did you run ads?
- How are your organic and paid contributions developing?
For more information on what questions to ask and where to find the answers, please see our guide on how to conduct a social media audit.
Step 5: develop a social media strategy
You now have the raw data to start working on a social media strategy for your prospect. This forms the main part of your proposal.
Some examples of social media suggestions to consider are:
- What specific measures are you going to take?
- How does this work relate to customer goals?
- How does the work align with the client's timeline?
- How much will it cost?
Use your prospects as a resource as often as possible. A brand concept, a style guide or a brand book are important references if your contact can provide them. You should also ask your prospect what brands inspire them.
But with this strategic expertise, you are really bringing value to the table. Make your strategy thoughtful, targeted, and detailed. Depending on who you deal with in the potential company, you may need to do customer training here as well. Use language that is easy to understand and avoid jargon unless you know you are dealing with an in-house social media professional.
Be ready to explain your suggestions to an audience that may not fully understand how social media marketing works. This could mean using detailed examples in an appendix or giving a personal presentation.
Step 6: get everything down on paper
Now you have everything you need to present to the customer – all you have to do is paste it into a final document.
We created a free social media suggestion template that is a quick and easy way to create a professional, polished suggestion. This is how you present your proposal in the best light.
Social media proposal template
To use the template, just click the File tab in the top left corner of your browser and choose Make a Copy from the drop-down menu. Once you've done that, it's time to edit and share your own version.
Here's what should be in each section.
This is the first section of your social media proposal, but you may find it easier to write this part last. It may be easier to understand the key points that need to be included here after you've brought all the other details together.
This section essentially gives an overview of the proposal. Think of it as the destination for busy executives. Summarize the need (s) for the proposed project. Consider the expected results and budget and resource requirements.
This page is possibly the most important of the whole proposal as it has to convince the prospect to read on.
Take plenty of time to improve your language and make sure all of your points are clear. Walk away from this page for a while and read it again with fresh eyes. Or, better yet, have a colleague look to see if something is unclear or if they discover mistakes in proofreading.
You can also use online writing tools to improve your summary. They want the rest of your proposal to be effectively set up and presented as the professional that you are.
It is important for your prospect to know who they want to work with if they accept your social media proposal.
Give a brief overview of your company. Include your mission statement and relevant experience, as well as the team members involved in the current project. If it's a large team, focus on the people with customer contact or key team members.
Don't forget the basics. Make sure you provide your contact information and indicate that you will be available to answer any questions that may arise.
Customer needs and goals
This section is an opportunity to show the prospect that you understand their business's needs and goals.
Keep it simple and be as specific as possible so that you leave little room for discrepancy or ambiguity.
Use your research to clearly identify the company's needs, challenges, and goals. Make sure to include the objectives of the specific project as well as the general needs of the organization.
When responding to an RFP, use language here that reflects the way the company has defined what it is looking for.
Social media goals
Give roughly three to five social media goals from S.M.A.R.T. on. Each goal should specify the platform (s), metric (s), and an end date. It must be clear when the goal needs to be measured and what metric applies to success.
For example: Increase the number of Facebook followers by 25 percent by the end of the fourth quarter.
Remember, these goals should help meet the client's overall business goals. Link each of these goals with the goals mentioned in the previous section.
Don't promise too much. Customers like ambition. But overselling either weakens your proposal or harms your relationship across the board. Remember: S.M.A.R.T. Goals are realistic.
Scope of work and services
This is possibly the most important section of your social media proposal. Here you bring your strategy into focus, supported by insights from your audience research as well as social and competitive audits.
This may sound daunting, but remember to keep things simple. First, enter a scope of work. This can include:
- Social media promotions and campaigns
- Content creation
- Social media monitoring
- Social media engagement
- Social selling
- Lead generation
These tactics should be tailored precisely to your social media goals. For example, let's say one of your goals is to "grow your Facebook followers by 25 percent by the end of the fourth quarter". It should be clear to anyone reading the proposal what tactics will be used to achieve this goal.
Also describe what specific results you are providing to the client. Do you lead the Facebook posting strategy or do you create and publish content yourself? Make it clear who does what and what the customer expects.
Schedule and budget
This section depends on the T component of S.M.A.R.T. Goals: On time. Make sure your schedule coincides with the time set in the goals.
Depending on how involved the customer wants to be, this can be a very detailed schedule for development, analysis and testing. Or it could simply be a schedule of when you will be producing each result.
Make sure you include some milestones so there are clear points where everyone can check in to make sure the schedule is on the right track.
When responding to an RFQ, this document should indicate what timeline the prospect expects. Whenever you have the opportunity to meet with the prospect, it's a good idea to just ask.
The budget should include a breakdown of the customer's total expenses. How you structure this may vary depending on the volume of work and customer needs. It can be based on an hourly rate or simply flat mounts for each outcome. Use a structure that works well for you and the customer.
KPIs and evaluation
In this section, suggest how your social media plan is rated. Will you provide updates regularly? What analyzes will you be monitoring? Which measurements are clear indicators of success?
Testimonials, endorsements and / or case studies
Throughout the proposal, you've shown the prospect that you understand their business, and you've worked on creating a custom plan that will help them succeed with social media.
To truly sell yourself as the right person or agency for the job, it's a good idea to share some of your results so far. This can be as simple as taking a few key quotes from your LinkedIn recommendations. If you've done similar work for another client in the past, consider writing a brief case study highlighting the work you did and the results.
The key is to show that you have the expertise to get this job done, supported by recommendations and results from others you have worked with previously.
You passed the proposal. What now? In this section, make it clear what happens next. What actions does the customer have to take before the proposal can be implemented? You may want to add an expiration date to the proposal to make sure that your proposed tactic, budget, and availability are up to date.
Sometimes you may want to include a lot of details in your proposal.
Instead of summarizing the main body of the proposal (which can make it difficult to read), add an appendix.
In the appendix you can provide your comprehensive research results or provide a more detailed breakdown of the budget. It's a good place for anything that needs additional assistance or elaboration.
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