Ad Agencies Please Know That Social Media is Not a Tactic

“Social Media is a communications channel and not a marketing tactic. Rather than think of Social Media as part of the marketing toolkit, it would be more accurate to consider Social Media as a communications channel. ” August (“Augie”) Ray, writer for Social Media Today and Managing Director of Experiential Marketing at Fullhouse


Social media is much more than a tactic. The more you participate in social media and learn what can be gleaned, you will soon realize its potential. Rich, valuable and instantaneous feedback from your audience. Lots of opportunity to conduct primary research. A wealth of information from online discussions as informative as the very best focus groups.

Social media becomes the hub, the core, the foundation for building an effective marketing strategy.

This is why I so strongly believe in fueling your agency’s new business through social media. It provides the basis for how your agency should be marketed. Not what you think your agency’s benefits are but what your prospective client audience thinks they are. Not what you think your agency’s message should be but what is most appealing to your audience. They are the judge and jury.

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. I read your posts for quite a long time and should tell that your articles are always valuable to readers.

  2. I don’t believe the use of social media should be for advertising but as more of a way to get people to know you better. The better you can make someone comfortable with you the more likely they will buy your product or service. People know when they are being sold to so don’t do it. Sell yourself by being a friend first.

  3. Very true and there are still many that don’t get this. I’ve seen many online campaigns during the past year that have completey failed to leverage social media by not taking into account lead time and social media requirements. Perhaps worst of all, many also have no follow-on strategy for how to capitalise on their social following post-campaign. Too often I’ve seen agencies simply dump the social following that the campaign does have by leaving micro-sites and social media profiles to wither away and die as soon as the scheduled campaign period ends. What a waste!

    Carrington, Spot On PR

  4. Carrington, thanks for taking the time to comment and adding your insights.

  5. @Robert I definitely agree that social media is ultimately about relationship building. At the core. I do think, though, that if a business or company is using social media to connect with their customers, there’s a certain understanding that some advertising and marketing will be included.

    As long as there’s balance within the messaging, the customers will continue to follow.

  6. How many of you have actually developed a successful social media campaign for a client? Everyone is an online expert.

  7. You’re right… Tell that to Old Spice guys. I bet that wasn’t a tactic at all. Nope, just shear dumb luck.

  8. Agree. Most of these comments are ridiculous. OF COURSE IT’S A TACTIC. Social media professionals talk about it likes it’s a new age crystal with magical powers. Social media is a type of communication. It’s not rocket science.

    The Old Spice effort is a perfect example of a success story using SM as a tactic.

  9. The Old Spice campaign was simply brilliant. And the social media campaign certainly looked like a tactic, and a very clever extension of the broadcast campaign.

    Where does that leave Old Spice now? Having cut through the clutter and made their way to social media stardom, do they draw a line under the social media campaign and leave their million-odd fans and followers behind or consider social media to be a key marketing asset that deserves a strategy?

  10. Great post, and point of view. Having the proper perspective on the utility of social media keeps it from becoming what most people of the former years in media, putting it into a control/command platform.

    I call it a Social Network instead of media as people understand the concept of networking as something you do, not something that is done.

    Besides if you put it in the box of tactic, your really missing the purpose/intent. again, great article.


  11. Thanks Doug for sharing your point of view.

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