Social’s Effectiveness Is Over-Hyped

New business consultant, Michael Gass, knows a lot more about acquiring new business than I do. One look at his About page and all his “Career New Business Acquisitions” tells me that much. Yet, I take Gass’ interest in, and relentless promotion of social media as a vehicle for new business, with a major grain of salt.

Here is but one of many mandates issued by Gass regarding the need for social.

The growth of new media mandates agencies participation. Social media is now mainstream, your agency’s credibility is suspect if it isn’t walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

I understand that Gass is talking to small- and medium-sized agencies, and that there’s clearly a grain of truth in what he says. But it’s not the whole story, not by a long shot.

Let me ask you, what percentage of your billings are in social media marketing? I’m guessing it is in the single digits, if that, unless you’re agency is dedicated to this particular practice.

Yes, I’ve heard all about how social has overturned the apple cart. But take an agency like Goodby Silverstein & Partners, or TBWA\Chiat\Day. They don’t even have a blog.

Goodby doesn’t need a blog, or Twitter, or Facebook, because Goodby makes its living by creating mostly exceptional traditional advertising. The agency’s credibility is in no way suspect because they’re slow to the social.

My advice is know what business you’re in before you get too excited about social. If you’re in the TV commercials making business then a blog might be a nice way to showcase the agency’s reel or behind the scenes stories, but it’s far from essential.

Previously on AdPulp: Welcome @GSP To The Tweetery



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.