The Best First Steps into Social Media for Ad Agency CEOs


If you are a advertising agency principal and just getting immersed in social media, try this two step approach that will accelerate your learning curve.

I’m in Chicago this week conducting a couple of social media/new business workshops for ad agencies. I’m working almost exclusively with agency CEOs to help them get their head around social media and understanding why it’s such a great tool for:

  • Professional Enrichment
  • Research
  • Agency Branding
  • Agency New Business

Social media can be a bit overwhelming at first. To help them to “get it” quickly I simplify the process by having them do only two things for the first 30 days: Read and Write. 

First, I show them the importance of developing a discipline to their online reading, making it strategic and organized by using a RSS Reader (RSS = Real Simple Syndication). I prefer using Google Reader. I make it a habit by starting each day by opening my RSS Reader. I have feeds from blogs, news sources, research, weather, sports all coming to one place.

Instead of constantly searching for what I need I have taken the time to have it all come in conveniently to one place and organized in folders. I can quickly share some of the best material through a number of tools that I have added to my browser bar without having to leave my Reader.

When I first started using a RSS Reader it was a bit awkward at first but I realized the potential to save time so I persevered. It has been a tremendous help.

Secondly, I coach them through the first 30 days writing for a blog. I’ll share more about agency blogging in a separate post and include more details of my philosophy and practical tips. Here I just want to stress the importance of writing.

I truly believe that you don’t know what you know until you write it down.

From my experience working for and with ad agencies through the years, most are terrible communicators. You are in an elevator going from the first to sixth floor with an agency principal and ask what their agency does. There aren’t many that can give you a clear concise answer.

I’ve found that writing regularly for your blog:

  • Helps you to become a better communicator
  • Guides you through the maze of social media
  • Accelerates your learning curve
  • Gives you the ability to confidently communicate it to your staff and to your clients

The only way you are going to “get social” is to do it. It has to be experienced first hand.

The vast number of agency principals aren’t leading in social. They are playing catch up. These two things, reading and writing, are the best ways to get you to where you need to be, in a position of leadership for your staff and clients.

Additional posts that may be of interest:


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.

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