Before I meet any client I like to understand more of their business.
Nowadays with the web a competitive analysis is probably the simplest thing to do. Pick 4 competitors and the firm you are interested in and start searching…
In my view understanding the competition establishes your credibility in the eyes of your client. Nothing super sophisticated just a tour of the neighborhood to understand how well or poorly your client is doing.
In the particular field of social media I would recommend to head straight to the corporate website of the firm and its competitors and find out what they talk about, then find out what other presence they have on line: blog, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or else. That would give you a first overview.
In addition companies love metrics and in truth simply spotting a presence on line does not give you the right picture. So why not look at numbers, the web is full of numbers.
For example check the number of Facebook likes each company has in relation to the number of Facebook users in the country, you can be sure your client is not the best and if he is, then check the following metric: how many people talk about that company in relation to his fans. Here we go, now you have two metrics to talk about.
Keep going, explore, compare, other countries, other platforms, in just a few hours you will find out who does a good job and who does not. If your client has a weakness compared to his competitors get him to ask you what you can do to help him.
Now you are in business…