how to tell if your agency is bullshitting you about social media
By Pat Law • Sep 7th, 2009 • Category: Lead Story
So you’ve finally decided that you need to get into this strange, unfamiliar world of Social Media everyone’s talking about. I haven’t got a bloody choice, you grumble. My boss met the MD of our closest competitor the other day, and he was going on and on and on about Facebook. My boss was caught red-faced when he asked who the author of “the Face book” was.
It feels a little like that time when Spice Girls ruled the world and you were forced into listening to their shrieks about girl power everywhere you went, doesn’t it? Not to make you feel any more vintage than you already feel, but the Spice Girls domination was about 10 years ago.
You find yourself inviting your agency to ask for a presentation on Social Media and a proposal on how your brand can be marketed in this medium. Considering your minimal knowledge of this medium, how do you know if your agency is bullshitting you or not? Well let me, the web designer/advertising suit/ blogger/ digital strategist, tell you how.
1 | The habitual Googler
If you find yourself being shown 50 slides of social media statistics and 3 slides on execution ideas, you know that your agency knows as much as you do – that the medium is important, but they don’t know what the hell to do in that medium.
2 | The social media channel becomes the solution
A common recommendation goes something like this, “We will set a blog up, a Twitter account, and a Facebook fan page!” They don’t identify the problem you have in this medium, they don’t prescribe the solution as a result of not knowing the problem to begin with, but strangely enough, they have array of social media channels to recommend to you. Ask them this question – what do I do on my blog, Twitter account and Facebook fan page?
And no darling, like how your customers do not rush home to watch your TV commercials airing at 7pm, your customers online will not visit your blog to listen to you talk about you.
3 | Using plural with social media channels
Run the moment your agency says “Twitters”.
4 | Using buzz words
Run EVEN FASTER the moment your agency says “New Media”. I agree with what consultant Marc Shelkin says about this term – it is used by agencies who haven’t realized that it isn’t new any more and don’t know what to call projects that aren’t print.
Social media marketing isn’t as complicated as empirical formula unlike what Ivory Tower wannabies want you to think.
Source: Preparatory Chemistry
5 | Spewing social media theories
If your agency’s leading man is too busy penning articles about social media and his theories on trade publications and dissing competitors off with words and not actual works, you should evaluate why you’ve engaged this agency in the first place. The problem with the social media theories penned by Ivory Tower wannabies is that in this unique medium, application is crucial for success. Try sending your boss a 3,000-word article from your agency as proof of a successful social media campaign. Let me know if he/ she buys that bullshit.
6 | Quoting the big boys
A common habit of agencies is to quote the likes of Jeremy Owyang, Brian Solis and Peter Kim one slide before the slide where they tell you “We will set a blog up, a Twitter account, and a Facebook fan page!”. Again, ask them this question – what do I do on my blog, Twitter account and Facebook fan page? Special thanks to my partner-in-crime Tania, for this point.
7 | They hire a blogger, and not a communicator, to be your digital strategist
Your 55-year-old Aunt Amy has a blog talking about her two dogs, Snoopy and Miffy. Will you hand her a 100 grand to market your brand online?
Anyone has anymore to add?
The views expressed on this blog are my personal opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or its clients
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