Hey Rebekah Logo
Default thumbnail for blog post because it's missing. We're sorry about that.

Difficult conversation in style of Dali

Social Media

Handling Social Media Expectations from Clients

Prep a confident, data-backed approach to handling difficult conversations with clients around social media.

By Kristen Dahlin

3 min read

Everyone thinks they can do social media marketing. It’s a common pitfall of working in visible channels that the public can access. This misalignment often sets off ticking time bombs between social media experts and clients.

Carefully disarming those tense moments is a superpower that will make your life easier and build a trusting relationship with your clients. The override code is having confidence in your skills and data to back you up.

Here’s how to use the right amount of transparency, data, and expertise to keep your cool in difficult conversations.

How we manage expectations

We’ve been around the social media block a few times and have learned to manage expectations and keep our client relationships strong. Here are three of our most common scenarios and how we defuse them:

Scenario 1: Client wants every post boosted

Canned Response: “Boosted posts are great for getting more eyes on a piece of content, but aren’t effective at converting followers for everyday content. Let’s use this strategy to show important messaging like campaigns and product launches to our target audience.”

Middle Ground: Experiment with boosting valuable evergreen content

Back-pocket Data: Metrics from past boosted posts, high-reach posts compared to new followers

Scenario 2: The client's dog groomer's niece thinks you should do this post on social

Canned Responses: “That’s a really interesting idea! [Post style, content style, topic] really resonates with our audience, so I’m not sure if this style would appeal to them in the same way.”

“Our brand [tone, persona, style] probably wouldn’t deliver content in this way, so we want to make sure we don’t dilute the brand voice our audience trusts.”

“Creating a piece of content like this would require [time commitment] and [resources]. Do we have the budget and support to create it?”

Middle Ground: Use the idea as a basis for a brand-appropriate spin

Data to compare: Metrics from highest-performing posts, brand guidelines

Scenario 3: Every platform should have content daily

Canned Response: “Although it’s important to have a presence on social media platforms, usually only one to two is where our target audience spends their time, so we should prioritize those first with fresh content so we’re creating with the most ROI.”

Middle Ground: Establish a system and calendar with daily posts on prioritized platforms and weekly posts on less important platforms.

Data to compare: Follower count, engagement metrics, and goal completion metrics from each platform ranked in descending order


  • Create your own scenario planning for common misunderstandings or challenges that arise with clients in your niche
  • Swipe these cheat sheets for use with future clients
Kristen Dahlin

About Kristen Dahlin

Kristen fell into content marketing between Disneyland gigs and Hawaiian weddings. With a few years of SEO-fueled freelance under her belt, she wandered into tech. That winding path eventually landed her as a founding team member of BRIL.LA.