Don’t listen to your agency when they throw a twitter at your brand
For many brands social media is still a relatively new concept, and something that their campaigns must have; falling into the “everyone else is doing it” trap. And so they turn to their agencies to give them “some social media”. There are two problems with this.
“Please set up a Twitter account”
Firstly, some agencies will literally give them what they want. They will simply set up a Twitter account for the brand, explaining that the brand needs to have a presence in this social space, to be engaging with consumers, entering into conversations. All that bunk. The problem is that they don’t explain why. Why should this brand be on Twitter? Why does this add value to the brand, and why will this offer value to users? Agencies fail to contextualise Twitter in terms of the brand’s communications efforts and their brand strategy. It’s just something they’ve rolled out because the client asked for it, regardless of whether or not it’s the right thing to do.
“We want to make this campaign more social”
Secondly, because the marketing industry is still playing catch to the huge potential that social media brings to the table many agencies resort to seeing social media as the gimmicky add-on to a campaign. To them social media is a tactical addition to an already developed campaign, rather than as integral to the broader marcomms strategy. Either they or the client have already developed a campaign and now they just want some social media sauce to go on top.
Like the brands in the first case, these agencies see social media purely in tactical terms, as checkboxes that need ticking. Have we spoken to bloggers? Did we set up a Facebook Page? Are we on Twitter yet? The danger is that agencies roll out the same checklist every time social media is mentioned by one of their clients, as opposed to strategically considering what role social media can play in their campaign.
Simply setting up an outpost on Twitter (or Facebook or YouTube) isn’t necessarily the right thing to do. In fact, without proper planning and being placed in the right strategic context it’s the wrong thing to do. So don’t listen when an agency throws a Twitter at your brand. Even if you asked them to.