Advertising Agencies, Social Media And Home Page Clutter

Social media, more specifically content marketing, is now employed by virtually every agency in their own business development marketing programs. Agency blogs, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn profiles, Flickr portfolios and now Pinterest sites are part of the agency inbound marketing arsenal. These social media platforms help agencies get discovered through inbound marketing via published thought-leadership, content curation and SEO.

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There is however, a downside. The use of social media on agency websites, in particular on their home pages, has become de rigueur and not particularly distinctive. In fact, it can be downright boring and counter productive.

To better understand how agencies use social media, I used my Pinterest advertising agency directory to review the home pages of 45 Seattle advertising and digital agencies. Agencies are marketing experts so I though that it would be interesting to see how many feel the need to put social media like Twitter and blog posts up front and center.

My findings indicate that out of 45 Seattle agency website home pages:

  • 14 include a Twitter feed (33%)
  • 10 have Blog posts (22%)
  • 3 have Facebook feeds (7%)
  • 1 (only 1) has a Google+ feed
  • 7 agencies have more than 1 feed from Twitter, Blog, Facebook and G+.


Is using valuable home page space for social media feeds a good idea? I am of two minds on this and I think that my findings are useful for more than just advertising agencies.

Including social feeds allows agencies to post real-time thinking and content on their home page. This sounds reasonable. But this benefit is compromised when you actually read many agency Twitter feeds or blog posts. The nicest word I can use for the great majority of shared Twitter messaging is “boring” (see some examples below.) As is often the case, success relies on execution. It isn’t whether or not you imbed feeds or posts, it’s what they actually communicate about the agency that adds value or just distracts. Read some of the feeds. It is very difficult to see any business development strategy behind the copy.

Bottom line…

OK, go ahead and demonstrate your social expertise. But, post compelling content that drives a single-minded agency message or bag it. Also, consider the relative value of cluttering up your home page and distilling your messaging – clutter isn’t good if you are trying to deliver a concise brand message.

Don’t do it. 23 agencies out of 45 include social media feeds. This is a recipe for a sea of sameness that doesn’t help propel any these agencies into the land of distinction. Do you really think that a prospective client wants to read Tweets like these (I’ve made them anonymous to protect the innocent)…

Democracy has been sold to the highest bidder. Learn more here: URL 

“agency name” Standardizes on AdobeMarketing Cloud: URL

#linkedin an easy, great place to collect customer testimonials URL #social

Hey have a safe and happy 4th you guys!!!

When to listen to advice and when not to.  URL via @inc

My Conclusion.

Social media is an incredibly powerful digital tool. It helps all of us be DIY publishers, subject matter experts and it delivers target-rich traffic to historically low traffic advertising agency websites. However, we need to keep in mind that content for the sake of content is not a sound marketing strategy. Quality is much more important than quantity and thinking hard about how to build and sustain brand distinction in a sea of social media is critical.

Peter Levitan is a leading business development consultant for advertising and digital agencies. He blogs at http://www.peterlevitan.com

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About Peter Levitan

Peter worked at Saatchi & Saatchi for 16 years. He was CEO and founder of Advance Publication’s New Jersey Online. Most recently he was CEO of the Portland ad agency Citrus which he sold in 2011. Peter also recently wrote Boomercide: From Woodstock To Suicide about Boomers “offing themselves” before they go broke.