Ad Agencies Social Media Success Stories

3183563_highI’m hearing from agencies that are obtaining new business by leading conversations with social media and being able to demonstrate their credibility within that arena. 

I just received word that Jaci Russo and The Russo Group landed their 12th new client of the year, CC’s Community Coffee House. This following the acquisition of a new regional client in the dairy category. These  both coming through The Russo Group’s ability to demonstrate the benefits of social media by how it has benefited their agency. The agency They actually use the tools they recommend their clients use and practice what they preach. 

I’ve featured The Russo Group a number of times because they’ve been out front of most small-to-midsize ad agencies when it comes to social media. They’ve learned to lead conversations with their social media expertise that has opened up doors for this agency nationwide. Ninety-eight percent of their new business now comes from outside their market. 

They aren’t the only ones generating new business through social media. Holland + Holland, a small ad agency in Birmingham, has been invited to pitch for a national known brand account. I can’t share the name of the company since they are literally a couple of weeks away from presentations but the invitation came through their niche, marketing to women, combined with their demonstration of knowledge of social media.

Here are just a few other agencies other agencies that have recently reported new business opportunities that have been generated through social media:

  • Chuck Robins, president of Aro Solutions, Charlotte, NC agency, recently shared a new business acquisition through social networking. The new business came without a pitch. 
  • Park Howell, president of Park&Co, Phoenix, AZ, recently share a couple of new business opportunities directly related to their involvement in social media and their environmental marketing niche. Park’s blog, A Brighter Shade of Green Marketing, has also generated conversations with national advertisers and built greater awareness for his agency.
  • John Sonnhalter, CEO of SONNHALTER, a B-to-B agency in Cleveland, AZ, has also gotten new business with a major tool manufacturer through social media. John created a blog called, Tradesmen Insights, to help his clients and prospective clients with tips and strategies to reach professional tradesmen through both traditional and social marketing. 

 Share your ad agency’s social media success story!

If you’d like to share your agency’s social media success story, please add it through the comment section below. It’s an encouragement to others in these lean economic times.


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’ve resisted this for a while because I didn’t want to seem too self promotional, but frankly, I’m not contributing to my agency’s blog much anymore and my co-workers have pushed out some great content recently. Give a look see. Gracias.

  2. Will do Jason. Thanks for sharing.

  3. imarketu says:

    Social Media success stories are always great to read about. I have recently started social media marketing for SmileyHanchulak Marketing Communications in Akron, Ohio.

    I have been targeting potential candidates and there are a lot of people that are still hesitant in taking the social media plunge. However, our PR Director and myself have been using Twitter and a blog that I created to use as an example for potential clients.

    I do have a possible new client in the works, so we will see what happens.

  4. We’ve had a great deal of success leading with social media. The one important point I’d share with other agencies is this – don’t fake it. Take the time to really learn the space before you try and tell clients you can guide them through this space.


  5. Thanks for sharing Tom. I just heard from another agency today that made the finals for a national account in part because of being able to demonstrate their understanding of social media and how they were using it to promote their agency.

  6. I came from “old media” and worked for Network TV for 20 years. I created a new concept last football season called Gameday Rivals in search of the Ultimate Tailgater.
    I have to admit I was totally shocked by college kids and their responses. When they asked me where they could see the show and I said “Fox Sports” they’re first reaction always was “will this be on YouTube?” I completely changed my focus during the 4 month season and concentrated on Social Sites like YouTube, Facebook and now Twitter. Our company has benefited tremendously from Social Media. Bud Light was our main sponsor and they called it the best branding campaign of 2008.
    So this “old media” veteran is now a Social Media convert and it’s my full time company and job. I am doing the same thing I’ve done for 2 decades the only difference is the distribution channels.

    Chris Yates
    Social Media + Video

  7. Excellent Chris. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Rebecca says:

    It’s about time agencies hopped on the social media bandwagon!

  9. Don Beehler, Public Relations Specialist sites this social media success story of a PR firm:

    Client needs forced PR agency Porter Novelli to develop expertise in social media marketing. Just 2 ½ years later, social media work represents about 25 percent of the business in its Austin office.

    According to the Austin Business Journal, the agency’s work now includes developing and managing blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube videos, Webcasts, Web sites and search engine optimization.

    Significantly, the company grew 35 percent year-over-year in 2008. “Telling Your Agency’s Story”

  10. Through our own use of an integrated media strategy that included social media we have been able to demonstrate the power of integration and how it leads to engagement. It has also worked for re:group new business. We have received and responded to three valid RFP’s.

  11. Great news Carey. I just heard from Jaci Russo and just the first three days of this week they have generated 6 new prospective client meetings.

  12. Edward Boches, Chief Creative Officer for Mullen wrote me in a recent email,

    “Can’t remember last time I got invited to present to Boards of Directors re advertising. Now, however, social gets you into the boardroom. Companies want to learn and find people who know what they are doing.”

  13. My agency just recently started a big push towards integrating social media. So far we’ve seen great results. Can’t wait to see what the future holds.

  14. Seth, that’s great to hear. Keep us updated with the specifics.

  15. Michael –

    I generated my first real lead and won the business recently, from an east coast restaurant chain (I’ll leave out the name). All because I found out about them (and vice versa) through Twitter. Once we won the account they wanted our agency to handle their social campaign for a small test of two locations before going across all 100 stores. They wanted results in 30 days for a brand new social effort. We told them that was too soon and required a long term commitment, and well, they decided to go with someone else. Here’s to recommending the right thing.

  16. Our earliest foray into social dates back to Friendster, MySpace, Neopets, even Virtual Magic Kingdom for Disney. In those days we didn’t foresee the fabric weave that social media would become. It was another platform to place the ads, widgets, and games we created.

    Once our eyes opened to the tremendous pass-along potential of the networks we began advocating putting as much content and tools into the hands of the audience as possible. It was so frustrating to be shut down by legal departments and jittery clients who thought it anathema to distribute copyrighted material into the hands of the Wild Wild Web. Most still embraced the notion of driving traffic back to their sites where it could be monetized.

    We had a few wins along the way with Disney and ABC. Scrubs in Friendster. MySpace apps like “puppify yourself” for 101 Dalmatians had people turning their profile pictures into spotted dogs. The MySpace page for LOST and Pirates OTC saw huge engagement and loads of video plays and delivered some swag. It was great to be there at the beginning and see these huge media companies policies and attitudes change.

    We have preached the gospel of social, cautioning against seeing social engagement as a “channel” but more that interstitial weaving that ties together your other channels. It’s the home to be invited into. To bring value. We’ve had great fun with Playhouse Disney for Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (the first sanctioned FB sites for the mouse ears).

    We’re looking for a “big break” in all this. The next wave, movement, mass exodus. In the meantime, we continue to do what we do everywhere else: bring value to the customer experience.

  17. Tom,

    Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

  18. Hello, I look at all your articles, keep them coming.

  19. We have been very successful using #4sq promotions with local restaurants and integrating location-based social media promotions such as Foursquare and Gowalla on our national accounts. We even had someone blog about it.

  20. The Net Impact, an online interactive agency, is continuously working to discover new and better ways to use social media to help customers achieve their goals.

    Check out our social media case studies! –

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