Agencies don’t get social media

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  • March 2, 2008
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

A recent poll across North America, France and the UK has found that agencies typically don’t “get” social media.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise amongst people reading Blogstorm as most of us saw how SEO and online marketing was changing some time ago and adapted to it early on. We see clients every week who have been working with SEO companies on a blog marketing strategy for months and not gained any traction.

Clients complained that their agencies — creative, media, public relations, design and others — typically treat social channels like blogs as traditional media. In other cases, their ideas are not backed up by practical skills in the area.

It is usually impossible for an marketing or SEO agency with no blogging experience to start a successful blog for a client. Look at the submissions some well known SEO companies make to Digg and even Sphinn and it’s embarrassing sometimes.

“The existing marketing partners do not understand the ins and outs of the social media space,” David Harris, e-business manager at Suzuki, told TNS. “They can do more harm than good if they apply old models.”

“You get the sense that agencies talk a good game,” said Jim Nail, of TNS Media. “They put up a good presentation about what social media is, but when you get to implementing campaigns, the day-to-day management skills are not meeting the marketers’ expectations.”

In the past a lot of SEO was about finding ways to beat the Google algorithm. Finding links that worked, ways to give Google what they wanted and get to the top as quick as possible.

That might be fine for Google but the same strategies don’t translate to social media. You can’t fake your way to a successful social media strategy.

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