Recently Mark Cridge of digital agency Glue wrote a feature for NMA online raising the point that social media use has become so widespread that brands can now handle their own social media. We are so surrounded by Twitter and Facebook that it is almost a given that anyone with an ounce of sense can ‘do’ social media. Well they can. Just not very well. And certainly not as well as those working for agencies who offer social media as a product.
Why choose an agency rather than do a DIY social media campaign?
Many digital agencies will have undertaken social media campaigns for different client across a range of industries. They will have learnt from previous mistakes and have processes in place to avoid them in future. They may have specialist ‘gurus’ who’s expertise lie in particular areas from content creation to seeding.
Any digital agency staff will/should make it part of their daily routine to keep appraised of industry news and updates. This ensures they are aware of the latest techniques being applied to social media and can learn from recent campaigns by other companies. If they know what everyone else is doing then the agency can go 2 steps better and create an even more innovative (and therefore attention grabbing) campaign.
3. Not what you know…its who.
Agencies who regularly deal with social media campaigns will know how/where to get the best media space for display ads to drive traffic to social media. They should have among their freelancer list a selection of the best Flash guys, developers & creative kooks.
4. Economies of scale
Particularly in measurement and metrics – agencies handle several client’s social media campaigns (and therefore you’d hope) the measurement of the success/failure of these campaigns. They should already have these tools set up and so have all the processes in place to track your brand with ease.
Any one who is lucky enough to get a job at a digital agency doing good social media will/should be extremely passionate about social media. As well as wanting to do well for you, the client, they will want to create the most creative, impacting, innovative and successful campaign they can. Just because they love it! No other reason. This is in contrast to those people client side (not all, just some), to who social media is part of the ‘to do list’ that needs grudgingly ticking off.
Those who use social media best know that it’s a means to an end. It’s not the be all and end all. The social media campaign isn’t the story it’s just the channel.What is important is the conversation, and the language of this conversation differs so much between campaigns that it takes a real specialist or someone doing it day in, day out to understand it.
Facebook? Twitter? They’re just tools. Social media specialists* are artisans who can use these tools to create amazing things.
*ACTUAL social media specialists of which there are very few, not social media ‘experts’ of which there are a lot!