As the Twitter situation unfolds, we’re reminded of the importance of brand management. I’ve always believed that social media agencies should focus on brand management and reputation-handling services, not selling social media posts per month etc. The agency should be the brand’s eyes and ears on social media, and work with the client to protect its reputation.
I recently sat in a meeting where the social media agency suggested to the ‘Brand’ that they should use ‘mummy bloggers’ social media accounts to promote the Brand’s services and products.
The Brand sells directly to international Ultra-high-net-worth individuals – probably the last audience to be viewing how to make a non-bake Cadbury’s creme egg cheesecake.
Read this excerpt from 2007, has this really been addressed by agencies?
“Social media is changing the rules of brand marketing. No longer can brands simply rely on beautifully crafted advertising campaigns and clever public relations strategies to influence consumer opinion. These days, they have to contend with 24-hour commentary from blogs, vlogs, online forums, review sites and other social media dispensing opinions about the performance and quality of their products.
Unless they engage with these views head-on, their reputations can slip beyond their control. But there are pitfalls in trying to influence social media. Attempts to sway the direction of a debate can appear intrusive when the discussion concerns a brand’s own performance. But if the brand covertly contributes to social media under a false identity, for instance by setting up a blog without declaring its interest, it can suffer strong criticism if it is discovered.” Reference – Marketing Week
My point is that social media agencies need to be consistent, understand the brand and its audience – and stop with the fixed viewpoint on which platform suits which client. Look at the advantages of experimentation and how as an agency, you manage a client’s overarching reputation online – from social media and even digital outreach.
Social Media Agencies (and I’ve checked out hundreds over the years), when expanding their business look towards more traditional digital marketing offerings (PPC/SEO/Web Design), rather than offering a real expansion on their services – online brand and reputation management.