Social Media Marketing And Advertising Agencies: Clash Or Made For Each Other?


Though several businesses look at social media as an innovative means for advertising, not all advertising agencies are flocking to social media for their next killer campaign. A recent study by RSW/US took a look at the business-to-business social media habits of a variety of ad agencies and reports that nearly 54% of the agencies polled said they never or rarely use social media when prospecting for new clients.

Is there a culture clash between social media and the advertising world? Or are they partners made for each other? Let’s do a reality check.

RSW/US Social Media Study Findings

Amongst the advertisers which use social media, LinkedIn is the most preferred social network getting nearly 51% of the votes primarily because it’s beneficial on the front and back-end of prospecting. Advertising agencies are joining the LinkedIn bandwagon to research and reach out to prospects as well as building strong pre-pitch relationships.

Facebook and Twitter collectively account for nearly 11% of social media activity in ad agencies polled by RSW/US.

I have to admit that I’m shocked at these statistics. Especially, I find it difficult to believe that Twitter is being sparingly used by ad agencies. The study suggests that lack of time and money are the major barriers to using social media. Both Twitter and Facebook are free so the cost argument is a complete non-starter.

Social media is critical part of overall outreach strategy

The study confirms that a large number of advertising agencies admit that social media has become an important part of the overall outreach strategy; it is by no means the be-all-end-all. Social media is gaining acceptance as part of a fully integrated marketing program.

Marketing to the marketers

It ain’t easy marketing to the marketers. Though marketers are champions at using social media to market a product to customers, they are not exactly fond of social media when it comes to marketing themselves.

Being an online marketer and social media activist myself, I can correlate to the time pressure and stretched schedules of fellow marketers. The report suggests that

People don’t have the time to answer their phones, check out e-mail and be active in the social scene. That [fact] even more so justifies a need to make sure you’re in all those touch points.”

Though that holds true for a majority of advertising professionals, it is a case in point of the importance of social media as well. Social media for outreach can lighten a marketer’s burden assuming that the message is useful and to the point.

RSW/US conducted its poll online in August. The respondents came from a mix of holding company-owned shops like Leo Burnett, DDB, Mindshare and Initiative, and independents such as Northlich, LeapFrog Interactive and Mediasmith.

Do you use social media to reach out to prospects?
What role does a social medium play in advertising your products and services?
Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.

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