Ethical SMM: 9 unspoken rules on social media that will improve your experience working with clients

5 min read
24 February 2022

Rule 1: Don’t make false promises

You can’t predict how many new clients your customer will get when your work is completed. You can estimate it only if you have vast experience in the industry and know exactly how advertising messages work for attracting new clients. The number also depends on the clients’ starting points: how good their portfolio is, if it needs rearranging, the number of followers, etc. That is why — any precise numbers are likely to turn into false promises.

For a start, you need to explain to your customer that Instagram doesn’t have organic growth. It is different from TikTok, where you can make videos and attract new clients. Instagram wants you to invest money into advertising. The more money you spend — the more effective it will be. It is vital to allocate your recourses wisely, evaluate risks, and only invest in legitimate ways of promotion. It is necessary to make your clients aware that writing posts and adding Stories won’t be enough to start getting 100000 followers and 10000 sales per month.

Rule 2: don’t criticize the work of your predecessors

Some SMM specialists start to belittle their predecessors’ work during the negotiations trying to impress clients. Sometimes, it even comes to criticizing their work. That is a very shortsighted approach. If you spot some obvious mistakes in the client’s account — just point them out. Don’t criticize — offer solutions instead.

Rule 3: client is always right

Your client may want to participate in giveaways and not make extra efforts, other than posting a photo with a quote once a week. Your task is to explain that this approach will not be beneficial for their Instagram account and relieve yourself of the responsibility. However, if your client insists and is not ready to change their mind — do not try to argue with them. The client is always right.

Rule 4: ask permission to use the case

If you want to use your client’s case publicly, add it to your Instagram account, or share a screenshot of the statistical insights, you need to ask for permission to do that. The same principle applies to posting feedback. If someone has written a positive comment to you in a chat, you can use it as feedback, but you need to double-check first if you can post it publicly or no.

Rule 5: Don’t use activity chats

Activity chats are groups of several people who want to promote their accounts. They don’t have many followers or active audiences. They agree to support each other’s posts in those charts. It gives an impression of activity on the page. When a person opens a page, they see comments which makes them think that the page is very active. It is a bit deceptive though because it is only due to that activity chat. On the other hand, it can be a catalyst for further comments on the page. It might feel awkward to leave the first comment, but if someone has already commented on it feels more natural to express your opinion as well.

Some SMM specialists use such services for client accounts but do not tell them about it. They deceive their client by using these fraudulent practices guaranteed to become obvious one day.

Rule 6: be open to your clients

Try to build long-term relationships with your clients and bloggers that advertise your services.

Unlike Facebook, Instagram does not have another way to give an SMM specialist access to the Instagram account — but share the login and password. After that, a non-disclosure agreement is signed usually. But in most cases, it is all about trust. That is why you should always think three steps ahead. Any person you have worked with can potentially recommend you to someone else. Bear this in mind, build long-term relationships built on trust, and try not to sour them.

Rule 7: don’t try to hide that you run a competitor’s account

Say you meet a new potential client, but you already run an account for their competitor. You face an ethical dilemma whether to say anything or keep it secret. There are many ways to increase your earnings in the SMM industry, one of which is to specialize in one industry. For example, expertise blogs. Why try to hide it? You can even introduce collaborations between your clients. For instance, invite them to run a joint live stream.

Rule 8: get money for your work

НIs it a common practice for an SMM specialist to receive a percentage of sales as a payment for their services? To answer this question, we need to say that an SMM specialist does not have a direct impact on sales and leads. Leads are potential clients who are interested in making a purchase. Leads then get redirected to sales managers who try to facilitate the purchase.

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If sales managers fail to answer potential clients’ questions, the lead is unlikely to generate any purchases. An SMM manager does not control the situation at this stage. Their task is to generate leads, not to make sales. It is necessary to deliver that idea to your client. If sales managers do not do their job properly — it should not affect your income.

Rule 9: make pre-payments

It is vital to make pre-payments to secure your income. A client may be scheduled to make a payment on a particular day but falls behind this time. You will have to pay your team from your pocket. Make it a rule to take upfront payments. It is even more crucial if you work with subcontractors who should pay.