Many PR and marketing agencies are still using social media ineffectively—for their clients and for themselves.
Social media is still suffering from the “hot new thing” syndrome. Clients need it and agencies say they can master it, but neither group knows why they are using it or how it plugs into the business side.
Here are 5 things agencies should accentuate when it comes to social media services:
1. Listen more and talk less. Agencies continue to overlook the No. 1 required first step of social media: listening. Not only is this detrimental to their own businesses, but agencies also hurt clients by not providing them the first step in building an effective social media program.
Listening is where it starts, and an agency that doesn’t show a client why this is important shouldn’t be surprised when that client decides to part ways.
2. Effectively communicate through content . Agencies need to show clients how to communicate with audience through content, and not market at them through social networks.
Everyone can tweet, but building a true connection with people is where real value lies. This won’t happen without good content, and this is why listening is so important. It helps clients better understand what kind of content they should be providing.
3. Provide education, not just training. Clients shouldn’t be paying agencies top dollar just to learn how to blog and update their social networks. Clients should want to better understand why they are doing the things recommended to them.
Agencies that educate on the why—not just the how—will be truly helping their clients while separating themselves from the competition.
4. Practice what you preach . Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Would you hire an agency that recommends regularly providing effective content, building communication bridges with your audience, actively listening to your competition and industry and measuring ROI when it does none of this?
Agencies need to execute the best practices they preach.
5. Adopt social media across the company. Does your agency demonstrate how social media works beyond marketing your brand? What about customer service, HR and recruiting, sales, internal communications, IT, technology and web development and more?
Agencies should be aware of the increasing importance of encompassing a client’s multiple business touch points within social media campaigns.