4 Ways To Keep Social Media Managers Awake At Client Meetings (feat. Dawn Metcalfe)

Dear Client Servicing Team,

We get it, you guys LOVE meetings – you love taking notes in your little notepads and remembering the client’s birthdays and their favourite cookies and noticing their new pair of shoes – we get it, we get it. You know what we hate? When you drag us into these never ending meetings! You know  what we’re good at? We’re good at Social Media, we’re good at trending hashtags, we’re good at showing you impressions, reach and clicks – let us do that instead of sitting through these meetings duh! 


EVERY Social Media Manager out there. 

Let’s catch up at 2PM at your office and discuss the social media strategy?

That one line makes Social Media Managers both happy and sad at the same time – happy because we can discuss cool stuff we want to do with the client’s brands and show them all the new social media technology and sad because it’s going to go on forever while we stay away from our desks and not do what we love doing.

But guess what, meetings are a part of corporate life and there’s nothing that you can possibly do to completely avoid it – however, there are a few things that you can do to make them quicker and get more out of these meetings.

This one is for you – Client Servicing team! 

Let’s break down to why meetings are boring to us and why we hate it.


When was the last time your pitch presentation for a new social media strategy ended within the hour? Client meetings go on for hours together with no logical conclusion in the near future. We throw some ideas, you ‘kinda like it’ we throw more ideas ‘but you’re not sure if you understand how it works’ and the cycle just keeps on going.

I mean five hashtag suggestions for ONE campaign? Come on! We’re the specialist in the field, if we say a certain hashtag is going to work – just stick to it.

Here’s how you avoid it : Divide the meeting into four parts and allocate 15 minutes to each part 

BONUS TIP : Start the meeting by saying – ‘Hi Client, we know you’re busy so we’ll keep this super short and concise’ – that’s a great way of saying – ‘Let’s get this done without wasting each other’s time’

Nothing Ever Gets Decided 

Oh that’s a great idea. Why didn’t we start this before?

We should totally build a ChatBot. Will it transform into a Camaro later?

What a Canvas? Never mind why aren’t we doing that?


Great, can you please email us the Presentation? I’ve got to run it by the team and give you a go ahead with the idea.

They never get back 

Related : 5 Problems Social Media Managers Face EVERYDAY

As a Social Media person, when we walk into that room with ideas and plans, rest assured – we’ve built the entire campaign in our head and we’re ready to go live from the very moment the presentation ends so unless you’re not giving us a go ahead at the end of the meeting, we’ll be disappointed and rant about it on Twitter.

Here’s how you deal with it : Keep tabs on various sections of the meeting and confirm with the client every now and then – okay so for this campaign we’re doing it only on Instagram as discussed correct? This will have the client focus on the meeting better and let em know that you’re paying attention and want to get results out of this meeting. 

They NEVER start on time

Oh parking is such a pain around The Media City. 

Which cluster was it again sorry? I’m in front of Zoom – says cluster Y

Sorry the traffic at Sheikh Zayed sucks at this hour. 

Time equals money – you know if we weren’t waiting for you to get the meeting started, we would be coming up with the next killer campaign idea FOR YOUR BRAND? What would ten fifteen minutes do you ask? Here’s what happens in the social media world in A MINUTE : 448,000 tweets are pushed out, 3.3 million Facebook posts are made, 65,000 Instagram posts are updated. YES WE KNOW! So please value our time.

Here’s how you work around this : You don’t. This is Dubai and everyone is going to be late. -_-

We never get heard

Client : That’s a great campaign. I think we should add Snapchat to it get some geo filters going. 

Social Media Manager : But the age group for this event is 45+ I would rather focus more on LinkedIn or Twitter. 

Client : But our Marketing Director’s daughter uses Snapchat a lot and he thinks it will be a great fit. 

Client Servicing Team : Absolutely! I feel Snapchat will be great – we’ll integrate that into the plan. 

Social Media Manager : *smh* 

Here’s how you can help : When we say something to the client, we say it with a reason – please support us and stick by what we say. 

Dawn Metcalfe, the Managing Director of Performance Development Services (PDS). has some great insights on making meetings more meaningful.

“Improving your meetings is important because of the time spent and money wasted in bad meetings. Not to mention the energy wasted and the motivation destroyed because, again and again, people were forced to spend their time in meetings where communication and collaboration were given less thought than the content, leading to bad decisions and, often thankfully, little chance of execution. For some frightening statistics, simply google the question “how much time is wasted in meetings?”

On the other hand, working productively with others, making decisions and seeing them through – that’s what most people want from their work i.e. meaningful meetings

How can you make your meetings more meaningful?

There are, of course, lots of basic things you know you should be doing

  • Having an agenda emailed to all parties involved and stick to it.
  • Sticking to the time.
  • Having different kinds of meetings for different kinds of things and with different expected outcomes – don’t drag your Social Media Manager to a media briefing meeting.
  • Setting SMART deliverables”

Share this with everyone you know – let’s make client meetings quicker and more efficient! Got some hacks on how to make these meetings better? Drop them in the comments below!

Article features inputs from Dawn Metcalfe

Dawn Metcalfe, the Managing Director of Performance Development Services (PDS).PDS is based in Dubai and serves the wider Gulf region, helping individuals, teams and organizations to get even better at what they do. Her latest book is Managing the Matrix, a guide to surviving and thriving in matrix organizations.

Follow her on Twitter

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