Posted 07.17.2015 by Josh Krakauer

Six Social Media Discovery Questions We Ask Every Potential Client

These simple discovery questions tell us everything we need to know about how social fits into a brand’s big picture.

Am I the only one who gets giddy at the thought of discovery meetings? Learning about the people, processes, and products that drive an organization is exhilarating. And while Sculpt would love to work with most brands we meet, the truth is, not all companies need our help. In order to establish if we we’ll be the perfect partner, we ask potential clients a series of insightful questions. It helps us, and them, prepare for our initial meeting, and better understand how social marketing fits into the big picture.

These same social media discovery questions might be helpful for:

  • Brand marketers who are considering working with a social media agency partner.
  • Internal marketers who are looking to build better social media programs from within.
  • Service or consulting companies looking to compare and contrast their discovery process. (Hey, no judgement here.)

The answers give clarity into:

  • What channels matter most?
  • Where does social fit into an organization’s marketing priorities?
  • How complex or aggressive will the social media marketing program be?

Whether you’re marketing internally, or exploring external support, starting with D.I.S.C.O.V.ER. will get you on the right page faster.


1) Difference (or positioning): What makes your brand different?

What it teaches us:
The story we need to tell on social platforms. The value proposition that matters most to their customers becomes the backbone of our content strategy.

Some questions we may ask to better understand point-of-difference:

  • What makes your capabilities, services, and team unique​​​?
  • What separates your product from the direct competitors?
  • Why do your clients (or customers, users, members) choose you?

2) Current Initiatives on Social : What does your current social media marketing program look like? What platforms does your brand have a presence on?

What it teaches us:
Where they sit on the social brand roadmap. How successful have their efforts been, and where has it fallen short? It also begins to get them thinking about what their goals really are.

Some questions we may ask to better understand their marketing efforts:

  • What have you tried? Share your experience across campaigns and channels.
  • What’s worked/working, and what hasn’t/isn’t?
  • Do you have a Facebook pixel installed on the site?
  • What would you experiment with, if given the time?
  • What’s the biggest barrier to social media marketing (or community management) success with your current program?
  • What role does social play in your overall marketing and growth strategy (today, or anticipated)?

3) Customers (and Audience): Who are your target audience segments and customers?

What it teaches us:
Once we know who we’re looking for (in their words), it becomes a whole lot easier to find their audience. More importantly, it becomes easier to plan the content that they’ll care about. We’ll follow up audience discovery conversations with deeper research on audience size and behaviors broken out by social channel. Facebook Audience Insights and tools like Affinio net us a lot of data. The more specific the answer, the better the insight.

Note: Customers can be swapped with users, members, donors, patients, or clients.

Some questions we may ask to better understand target audiences:

  • What are the backgrounds and demographic profiles of your target customers?
  • Can you describe their interests, purchasing habits, and pain points?
  • Where do they live? (And does that matter?)

4) Objectives: What are your specific, measurable goals for social media marketing?

What it teaches us:
Understanding overall brand or marketing goals will get us thinking about

In a small business, startup company, or non-profit, it’s common for social media programs to begin without defined KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Conversations about what success “feels like” help us understand if a brand is looking to maintain a brand image, or drive double digital engagement growth quarter-over-quarter.

Largely, we’re hoping to understand if success ties back to branding goals (awareness, recognition), direct response goals (traffic, leads, registrations, sign-ups), community engagement (audience growth, engagement), or a little bit of everything. More often than not, the answer is the latter.

Some questions we may ask to better understand goals:

  • What are some of your specific, measurable goals for each social channel?
  • What are other specific, measurable goals for marketing? Branding? Acquisition?
  • How would you measure your brand’s social media presence a “success?” Both qualitatively and quantitatively.

5) Vision: Tell us about your brand’s vision?

What it teaches us:
Having your external team aligned with your internal vision is uber important for long-term success. To get to Point B from Point A, we need to first understand Point C (the end game).
A concrete vision helps us determine whether we’re building a base for market domination and global expansion, or simply social media stability.

Some questions we may ask to better understand long-term vision:

  • Where is the brand headed?
  • What does the future (of your industry) look like, and what role does your brand play in it?
  • What else should be known about your growth plans?

6) Expectations of our Relationship: What are you looking for in a social media agency partner?

What it teaches us:
Setting expectations is the name of the game. Their answer — let’s say, “Go above and beyond what we’re capable of executing internally” or “Experiment with emerging channels” — helps us understand their true desire in a partner. We don’t like to make assumptions. Getting their feedback puts our programs into perspective.

Some questions we may ask to better understand how to structure an engagement:

  • Which aspects of social media, digital marketing, or brand/community management would you like to own? Where would you look towards outside support?

Of course, these questions won’t tell us everything. A follow-up conversation can cover the market, industry, competitive landscape, company history, internal policy nuances, favorite colors, and other nitty gritty details on the product and organization. What questions are part of your discovery process?

Want a snapshot of the discovery questions Sculpt asks clients?

See our social media questionnaire below:

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Josh Krakauer

Josh Krakauer is the CEO of Sculpt, that social media agency you just discovered. He uses words and pictures to make people smile, laugh, think, and buy.

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