Social Media: Best Practices for Management Consulting Firms

In a recent post, I discussed the results of our new study on the social media landscape for consulting firms.  We found that most management consulting firms make it challenging for clients and prospects to find and directly engage with their thought leaders via social media.

The good news is that consulting firms are already half way there – they have deep content and insightful thought leaders. Now is the time for firms to rethink their messages and distribution strategy in order to build and activate a broader audience.

Here are some tips to get started…


One:  Conduct an intellectual capital audit

  • Review subjects, authors of recent white papers, articles, newsletters, forums and media mentions to understand what the firm is truly known for.
  • Examine content with a new lens:
    • Will this content galvanize a community vs. perpetuating a ‘best.idea.ever’ mindset?
    • Exclude old and heavily-publicized ideas to avoid marketing dilution.


Two:  Develop your Social Media Strategy


Which firm themes best align with your community’s conversations? Helpful tip: you can use SEO analysis to play detective, then leverage your “clues.”

  • Can those themes sustain an ongoing program for 6-12 months?
  • Do the relevant thought leaders have the appetite to regularly contribute? If not, are they comfortable appointing a “second in command” or rising star?


Spend more time than you would like establishing a “home base,” which will likely include the development of an editorial calendar for at least 20 blog posts.

  • Agree on where social media fits in relation to traditional marketing activity, then continually communicate/reinforce to firm’s practice and regional leaders.
  • Identify only three points of ROI measurement, regularly adjusting strategy/tactics.



Create Outpost Strategy

(ignoring all attempts to try a “fad of the month” tool).

  • Communicate Social Media Policy before any external outreach begins.
  • Select three different tools for outreach, possibly including
  • Devote time every day to conducting conversations that are completely unrelated to your content, for example:

–    Comment on other blogs, particularly those on your blog roll.


Don’t forget:

  •  Shorten every piece of content more than you would like.
  • Reimagine your online newsroom: press releases & clippings quickly become antiquated.
  • Don’t just talk to alumni on your site; that’s less than half the battle. Where else are they?
  • If the strategy isn’t working, don’t give up. Go back and listen again. This takes patience and time.

Ultimately, the Consulting firm “offer” is people. Take advantage of your greatest natural resource and promote your thought leaders—not just your content.

How is your firm promoting your thought leaders?

(photo by Wonderlane)

To reach Elizabeth:

Phone: 212.840.0017
Twitter: @elizabethsosnow
: Elizabeth Sosnow