Lies Your Social Media Agency Tells You

By: Mallorie Rosenbluth In many ways, social media is not new. Brands that embraced the industry and social practices several years ago as the “early” adopters in the space are now being joined by those with more trepidation about entering the world of Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Many businesses are looking at agencies to help them get started, maintain, or elevate their social media efforts. But not all agencies are created equal and often times, the agency selection process is about the agency putting their best foot forward. For many of these agencies, it’s about the close. And it’s about telling the prospective client what they want to hear. If you’re out there looking for a social media agency, beware of these lies your social media agency might be telling you:

1)      Promising a fan number –more specifically, promising a fan number without any clear sense of how you’ll get there or why. Many companies that are new to social media equate more fans with more success. But that is not the case. Any agency can get low cost fans, but that doesn’t mean they are the right fans. It also doesn’t mean they’ll actually do anything including buy your product. If you work at a company where the CEO and other senior management are set on seeing a specific number of fans, help your agency see why that number is important. And make sure your agency is realistic and clear about how you’ll get there. You’ll likely need an ad spend (and don’t forget the industry average of $1.07 as the cost per new fan) and some big ideas to get you there.

2)      You can launch (or sustain) your entire business exclusively via social media – I’m a huge advocate and believer in social media. However, it’s important to recognize social media as a piece of the puzzle. While social media, executed correctly, can help perpetuate your organization, it’s important to invest in a great customer service team, traditional PR and event initiatives, and to recognize that social media can’t help if your product isn’t any good. Any agency that tells you exactly what you want to hear isn’t comprised of the strategic thinkers you want in your corner.

3)      Social media will only require your marketing team – As noted above, I believe social media should be a piece of the entire marketing mix. Furthermore, social media should impact your entire business – not just the marketing team. It should be central to any marketing, customer service, customer acquisition and customer retention program; among others. Once you enter social media, you can impact multiple areas of an organization from product development to customer service. The best organizations utilize social media top to bottom and side to side. If your agency tells you otherwise, they’re 1) not thinking big enough and 2) aren’t recognizing the true power of social media.

4)      You’ll see ROI overnight – social media takes time (and not just how much time you need to commit to manage it!). Instead, the time I’m referring to here is the time you’ll need to see a positive ROI. Many companies enter the space expecting to see a return on their investment within 3 months. Realistically, any agency should take a month to get to know your brand and build all the elements of a successful launch. Then, you’re left with 2 month to grow a community, engage them, launch a big initiative and drive sales in a significant way. While no easy feat, it’s certainly possible. But the campaign should be built out properly with real, tangible numbers and metrics you’re measuring. The best agencies will also help you see the value of your efforts outside of dollars and cents and help you build the long term strategy to continuously drive results and help your organization feel the positive effects of your social efforts.

These are just a few lies we’ve heard over the years – what are the lies you’ve been hearing from agencies? The good, the bad, the ugly – let’s hear it in the comments below!