Social Media Isn’t Working for Ad Agency New Business

 social media and ad agency new business

If your agency’s social media participation isn’t developing new business leads, it’s important to know WHY. 

From my experience, most agencies finally got on board with social media in 2010. They created their agency’s blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram accounts and jumped in.

70% of marketers report that social media marketing delivers poor or average return on investment.

Many agencies thought that by merely having a social media presence, it would give them social media credibility. But they’re learning that it takes more than a social media presence to produce new business opportunities.

Here are 12 reasons why social media isn’t leading to new business:

  1. No clear objective for using social media. Ad agencies are going about social strategy backwards, by first concentrating on the tools and technologies instead of focusing on what they want to achieve.  Your purpose should dictate strategy and the tactics used for reaching desired goals from a new business perspective.
  2. There is no focus on a particular target audience. The second step in creating a social media strategy is to identify who you are trying to reach. Community development comes before business development and is key to a successful social media strategy.
  3. A lack of positioning. I’ve often said the foundation of an agency’s new business program is its positioning. Most agencies don’t have a differentiated positioning from their competitors. That’s why new business is so hard. I’ve found that social media actually makes it easer to resolve the problem with positioning.
  4. Agencies using social media for blatant self-promotion. Credentials and capabilities belong on an agencies website, which is your online brochure. Your website is all about you. But, the driving force of a social media program is built from a focus that creates benefits for prospects.
  5. No integration between blogging, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. When the majority of agencies finally ‘jumped in to’ social media, they just jumped in with a check list of channels. Yes we have a blog, Facebook Fan page, Twitter account and LinkedIn. But there was no convergence, bringing them together into a single social media strategy.
  6. Agencies are waiting passively for prospective clients to come to them. If you build it, that doesn’t guarantee that prospects are going to come. You must have clear Calls-to-Action, initial steps that you’d like a prospective client to take. If done correctly, your first face-to-face meeting will be a paid engagement.
  7.  Many agencies lack appreciation for those who are willing to be ambassadors for your agency.  Zig Ziglar’s statement, “You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.”  His philosophy works well in the arena of social media.
  8.  A lot of social media efforts fail because of the lack of value/benefit for the intended audienceYour audience will be your judge and jury as to whether you have an appealing position, post titles that spur interest and provide content that is beneficial to them.
  9. There’s no SEO strategy for your agency’s social media presence. According to Marketing Sherpa, 80-90% of business to business transactions begin with a search on the web. A CMO survey, 80% of decision makers say they found the vendor, not the other way around. “Content Doesn’t Win. Optimized Content Wins,” – Li Evans, search marketing guru.
  10. Your agency’s social media ship has no rudder. Getting your staff on the same page and keeping them there is a lot like herding cats. Empower the person charged with your agency’s new business to keep your social media efforts focused and directed.
  11. Leading with the Agency. You must remember that social media is about PEOPLE connecting with other PEOPLE. Don’t make the mistake of leading your social media efforts with the brick and mortar agency.  The agency owner needs to be the face of the agency. They should be using their personal social media accounts to engage with their prospective clients.
  12. Not enhancing the use of social media for offline events. Social media has transformed offline events. You can easily maximize your offline networking through your online connections with prospective clients. Your involvement with blogging, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can change your whole experience.

Is your agency generating new business through social media? If not, you should review your social media strategy and refocus your efforts.

If you need additional help in using social media for new business, please email me to set up a time to discuss or request my guide, Seven Steps for Fueling New Business Through Social Media.

Additional articles and resources for new business:

Photo Credit: HTSABO

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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