Social media presence is the means of presenting yourself as a brand both online and in the digital world. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to develop such a presence. When such a problem arises, they immediately turn to an advertising agency for help. When it comes to choosing a digital advertising agency there are many factors, which can dictate how you decide which one is best for you. The appropriate research on an agency will ensure you don’t run into a digital PR catastrophe, or waste advertising dollars.
Some ad agencies have a way of marketing their services in such a way as to trick you into buying fans for their pages, to give the illusion of a “social presence”. Being unknowledgeable about such strategies could easily influence you to pick an agency that isn’t appropriate or experienced for the services you need. If you pay close enough attention to these agencies and their strategies, you will notice they only have 300-600 followers with no interaction. An agency with successful digital strategies has well over 1000 Twitter or Facebook followers. Below are characteristics of an agency you want to avoid in your digital agency of record selection.
• Tweets about themselves, and what THEY are doing constantly
• Does not re-tweet others tweets and never involved in conversations on Twitter
• Uses automated following programs to gain their audience and followers
• Has a Facebook page containing posts with no link
• Can’t provide success stories or share any case studies of their work
• Has a very small following on Twitter and very few likes on Facebook
• Social media pages have little to no subscriber activity
• These firms claim to be social media or digital experts and give seminars for free or at very little cost.
(When is the last time you heard of a real expert giving away all advice for free?) It is important that the agency you choose understands your business. That is why one of the most important criteria when choosing an advertising agency is ensuring that they know as much about your brand as possible, and that they appear to take an interest in what you do. If they do not then this should be ample enough reason to continue your search for an agency to represent you.
Digital social media and the online world lives, breathes, evolves and constantly changes. Digital advertising agencies have to be able to grow and adapt to a fast paced evolving digital and social media landscape. The whole globe is going digital, and online is the new high street. With a little homework, you can make the right call and will be well on your way of working with an agency that has a confirmed record of success and has the credentials to prove so.
If you are already working with a digital agency or currently interviewing with a digital advertising agency, take a moment in your discovery phase to answer the following questions about the agency.
1. Is the company willing to show you case studies from their client’s digital campaigns?
2. Do they have a digital portfolio?
3. What social media services do they offer?
4. How big is their team’s personal social media presence and audience?
5. Does the company have testimonials from their clients?
6. How many followers do they have on Twitter?
7. How many likes do they have on Facebook?
8. Is their business on Google Maps and do they have ads placed on Google Maps?
9. How is their company using Foursquare?
10. Is there CEO or Creative Director actively using Yelp or Foursquare?
If you answered “No” to more than one of these questions, it is definitely time to start looking for a more digitally savvy advertising firm. What do you look for when choosing a digital advertising agency?