July 26, 2010
Is There Such a Thing as a Social Media Marketing Agency?
I recently read a post on the HubSpot Blog entitled Please Don't Start a Social Media Marketing Agency. Since social media marketing is a huge part of what we do here at Tuvel Communications, it naturally caught my attention and peaked my curiosity.
My first reaction was "Oh boy, here’s another article slamming social media marketing agencies and calling their services 'snake oil'." I’ve been seeing a lot of that lately, not only in blog posts but in discussions on LinkedIn (not to mention the infamous "Social Media Guru" video that made the rounds not too long ago). I really wasn’t sure what to expect – but the title, of course, did a good job of pulling me in.
Please do take the time to read the post and (try) to read through some of the comments posted as well, but I’ll give you the executive summary: can an agency be built on social media marketing services alone?
Many of the comments that followed had to do with what social media marketing is (a tool, a tactic), what it should be (integrated, strategic) and how it's typically offered (as a "throwaway" service by web design, advertising and PR agencies). There was also a smattering of comments from those who regarded social media marketing as simply "tweeting and hitting the 'Like' button all day." Although I didn't get to read all of the comments, the general feeling I got was that agencies offering social media marketing as a primary service had their work cut out for them in terms of proving their worth.
Here was my response (in part):
I'm of the perception that an agency can be built on social media marketing services, but to be a successful agency in that space, it all comes down to what it is offering. A robust social media marketing offering will consist of:
• strategy development
• metrics development
• integration with other marketing channels
• set-up, management and monitoring
• relationship-building with social media influencers
• possible client training
And, not to mention a valuable, clear and concise message. So yes, I truly do believe that an agency can be built on social media marketing alone – and I'm not just saying this because I work for a firm that has developed and implemented successful social media and community-building strategies for our clients. To make a successful go at it, an agency must realize that social media marketing is so much more than just Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and needs to be part of a greater whole – not the whole itself.
But that's just my opinion. What is yours?
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