Coffee Is For Closers. Social Media Is For Openers.

According to a new survey from RSW/US and Second Wind, agencies aren’t using social media tools to their full advantage.

Nearly three-quarters of the 212 agency leaders polled are connected to LinkedIn, 66 percent to Facebook and 56 percent to Twitter. But when asked how frequently they use each, the majority said no more than once a month. For example, 47 percent conceded that they never tweet, 7 percent said they tweet less than once a month and 4 percent tweet just once monthly.
The findings were similar for blogs, with 56 percent of the respondents saying that their agencies have blogs, but only 6 percent use them daily. A whopping 66 percent indicated that they blog no more than once a month.

Adweek argues that this is “another illustration of agencies not practicing what they preach.” That may be, but there’s more to it. Why would one who makes rain look to social media for answers that have always come from another source? New business, just like a new job, is often the result of careful, long term relationship building. Digital communication has a role to play here, but a small one, relative to old-fashioned elbow rubbing.
Having said that, I don’t like to see an agency (or their clients) dabble in new media. Failure to update a blog or one’s status on Twitter sends the wrong message to those on the receiving end. It’s says the agency lacks a plan, and more importantly, commitment. Better to stay away than to have that sign hanging around one’s virtual neck.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.