How Do I Keep Up with Social Media?

The  first step … in order to keep up … is to have the right mindset.

“How do you keep up?” That is one of the most common questions I’m asked from agency CEOs and executives when I conduct “New Business Through Social Media” workshops around the country.

One of the main reasons agency principals haven’t been as inclined to participate in social media is that they are already over extended with little time for anything additional in their professional or personal lives. When they make time to participate and understand social, is when relent that it isn’t going to go away and will continue to impact our industry. What will make the social media pill easier to swallow is the understanding the multiplicity of benefits it provides.

Social media only becomes a priority when you understand the multiplicity of benefits generated from it to you and your agency.

Here are my top five benefits of  Social media from an ad agency perspective:

  1. A Professional Enrichment Tool. This one benefit alone makes its it worth the time investment and believe me it is time intensive. The past couple of years I felt as though I were working on another graduate degree. But I can tell you the time I’ve devoted to a better understanding of and participating in social media has enriched my professional life. Social media is a tool that keeps me ahead of the curve with the rapid changes in communications and how those changes impact our industry. It brings focus, direction and discipline to my continued education.
  2. New Business Tool. Having spent most of my career in advertising in new business development I can tell you that social media is the most efficient new business tool that I have ever used. It is like being in heaven to those who are charged with creating and maintaing an agency’s new business pipeline. Prospective clients call you, that initial conversation is much further down the road, your best prospects feel they already know you and when they make that call they are usually ready to do business. Social media teaches agencies the way they should have been doing new business all along. Creating a social media new business program is affordable, efficient and is easily maintained during the busiest times at the agency. 
  3. Branding Tool. Most agencies seem to be in a perpetual state of re-branding. It is one of the most difficult task they undertake and few agencies have done it successfully for themselves. They tend to be their own worst client. Social media is the best branding tool I’ve ever used. To be successful with social media, generate appeal, build a community of prospective clients and inbound lead generation forces agencies to answer some basic questions they haven’t answered in the past such as, Who is their best target audience? What is their most appealing point of differentiation?
  4. Feedback Tool. Input from an agency’s target audience is one of the missing ingredients in their branding. It is difficult to develop the right kind of positioning and messaging without knowing what is truly appealing to your audience. Social media provides instant feedback from your target audience as to what is appealing and what is not in regards to your agency’s brand appeal. 
  5. Networking Tool. Agencies depend upon personal networks for survival. Social media is networking on steroids. Social media provides extremely efficient networking opportunities. It isn’t always necessary to attend lots of events to network for new business. If you have an mobile device or laptop you can network anytime and anyplace with lots more people than ever before. It is becoming possible to maintain connectivity from anywhere. I’ve been been able to stay connected and maintain my networks whether I’m in my car (someone else, driving of course), on a boat, riding in a plane or a train.

Social media provides such an efficient use of time that will pay big dividends on investment that time that makes it easier, to not only make room for it, but give it the priority it deserves.


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. Great post! Social media is both very exciting and very intimidating for the uninitiated. On the one hand, as you point out, social media’s reach as a networking/branding/research tool is very powerful, as the connections established through this outlet tend to be much more valuable since they are more of a “friend” than a “customer”. At the same time, however, the initial learning curve of each strategy i.e. facebook, twitter coupled with the constant need to keep these strategies updated and dynamic if you want to truly reap the benefits means that many new users grow frustrated and quit very early in the game. For the 5 reasons mentioned above, new users should definitely stick with it though!

  2. Once again, great points Michael. There is so much debate about social media going on right now and I am personally getting a little frustrated trying to convince the unwilling about something that is so clearly beneficial, both strategically and financially. I have been fortunate enough to have made a 5% increase in my personal salary over the past 4 months simply by being active on Twitter. Additionally, my agency is making big headway as a result. If that’s not reason enough to find time to tweet 4-5 times a day, I don’t know what is. Social media is very soon going to be an essential service, both for an agency and its clients. If you don’t get it by now, don’t worry…you will in a year or two. It’s your choice whether you want to start reaping the rewards now or then. Thanks again for the post Michael.

  3. Mike,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. It’s good to hear from someone who gets social media and understands its benefits. I understand the frustration trying to convince those who aren’t participating.

  4. Great Insights, thanks Michael.

    I’m glad you describe Social Media as a tool. Indeed it is a world shifting tool for connecting with thousands of people for one of a thousand different goals.

    But it is a tool, requiring active participation. Thanks for breaking it down with such an easy to read description.

  5. Thanks Joe.

  6. thanks Michael Gass, for sharing and explaining your experties in social media. there are many of us still don’t know what it is and missued it. it’s sad.

  7. Thanks for taking the time to comment Ali. Hopefully more agencies will get up to speed with social and use their creative marketing minds for its marketing potential.

  8. You do not have to keep up with social media. I agree that socializing is ok and generates some business ideas too, but, studies revealed that Facebook is a productivity killer. Furthermore, 87% of employees using Facebook at work couldn’t define a business reason for doing it.

  9. The communication technologies change so rapidly that you do have to keep up with social media. For instance, it is predicted that Google Wave will make a significant impact. Plus the way we are using the current tools evolves as they become more and more mainstream. Facebook doesn’t have to be a production killer. It’s all in the way you use it. For me, it’s been a good networking tool that helps generate traffic back to my blog.

  10. Thank you for taking the time to comment. It’s good to hear from someone who gets social media and understands its benefits.

  11. I really enjoy to read this awesome blog post.

  12. We have discovered a solution by happenstance that would translate if you found the correct chemistry. Our president(Cello Vergara) and social media guy(me) meet every few days to talk about what we each feel is trending and how our message fits inside the flow. I do the heavy lifting and make sure I put things in front of him that I believe he should see immediately. He monitors and keeps me on message.

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