10 Reasons Ad Agencies Should Participate in Social Media for New Business

Fortunately the debate on whether or not ad agencies should participate in social media is rapidly shifting to how they should participate.  But just in case your agency is still on the fence, here are 10 reasons why  should participate in the social media arena:

  1. Small agencies can compete with much larger agencies. Smaller agencies are more nimble and can more quickly adapt their agencies to utilize social media for themselves and for their clients. I don’t know if you will ever have another time as golden as now for your agency to gain market share.
  2. Build awareness. You will find it much easier to build awareness for your agency nationally than you were able to do locally. That is of course if you are willing to differentiate your agency, stand for something, have an appealing position for a particular target audience. It is faster, cheaper, more efficient and effective to build awareness for your agency using social media than with traditional tools. Go ahead and keep making cold calls if you want but you wont find anything that works better than social for new biz.
  3. Agency branding. Social media is a great tool to simplify the complexities of developing your agency’s brand. I speak from experience. Just Twitter  and ask @parkhowell @she-conomy  @sahabib, @ericbrody @jacirusso @karasmamedia to name a few.
  4. Networking on steroids. Social media is a tremendous networking tool. It is the most efficient and effective way of establishing relationships for new business that I have ever used. People have a strong desire to work with people that they “know.” You can network with more people at home in your sweat pants, in your recliner, with your laptop using social media tools than all of the trade shows, seminars, cocktail parties, client lunches, ADFed and Chamber meetings you could possibly attend.
  5. Social media is a great teacher. Social media teaches ad agencies to develop the best new business practices, the way we all should have been doing new business all along. That is leading with the benefits to our target audience rather than agency capabilities. It’s more about them and less about us. Social media is a great help to think, write and talk always to the benefits. Social media provides the best personal enrichment tools I have ever used in my entire professional life.
  6. Know what your prospective clients really want. Understand how to create the right appealing message that causes them to initiate the conversation. Know what their challenges and obstacles are. Have the ability to understand how to market their business better than they do.
  7. Generate significant prospective client online traffic. You can generate great traffic through you agency’s blog and social media tools. As I’ve said often before your agency’s blog is the gateway to your agency. Your agency’s website is more like a static brochure. As important as it was for every agency to have a website it is now just as important to have an agency blog (Note: My page views for last month was almost 16,000 and I’m one person serving a very narrow niche).
  8. Lead generation. When you have an appealing position and you can generate traffic to your agency blog, you’ll in turn generate leads. The new business paradigm for small-to midsize ad agencies has shifted. Instead of pursuing new business, your best prospective clients will find you, soon get to know you and even initiate the call. That conversation will be much further down the road than cold calling.
  9. Reputation management. Social media provides tools to monitor your agency’s brand. Conversations about your agency are going to take place with or without you. It’s by far better to know what’s being said and having an opportunity to respond.
  10. Positioning as an expert. Social media gives your agency an opportunity to be positioned as a respected and trusted expert. Clients are more likely to listen and allow you to lead. An added benefit is that specialist get paid more, are not dependent upon local business and have the opportunity to work with the clients that are the best fit for their agency.

Social media isn’t a fad. It not only is changing the advertising industry as we know it, but it is one of the most important new business tools in your agency’s tool box.

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About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. This is so insightful. We are a small agency who is just now starting to make the shift to social media and we are optimistic that it will lead us to many successes in the future. Hopefully we will accomplish some of the things on this list!

  2. Great post Michael. I just came from a meeting with the business development person at a marketing agency I to work for in Cincinnati and was telling her how important it is for her agency to be involved in social media. I would suspect it’s really hard for an agency to sell social media services if they don’t do it themselves.

  3. Thanks Rob. Social media will require agencies to practice what they preach.

  4. Hey Michael – Good words to live by. I like to use the analogy. “Just because a persons knows karate does not mean they can fight” I humbly call myself a practitioner of social media versus an expert. Please keep up with the educationg, encouraging and entertaining words on social media.

  5. Thank you!

  6. Very interesting article. It gives some good basis on why I should start to be more interested in Social media Marketing and how to start

  7. Useful information. Better not voice my beliefs here seeing that I am somewhat opinionated. It is really really important for you to have thoughts and opinions though.

  8. Elizabeth Custy says:

    As a current advertising undergraduate and a social media enthusiast, I am always happy to read how important the two should work together. I particularly liked the comment on how an agency’s “website is more like a static brochure,” and the importance of building relationships using social media tools.
    If I wanted just news, announcements or portfolio work, I can easily subscribe or visit an agency’s website. But, with social media tools—agencies and businesses, can start building a relationship with me.


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