Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us put a lot of thought into what we share publicly. We have our own ‘content strategies’, sharing different content themes to different platforms. We are curators. As marketers, we’ve often left the curation up to our agency partners. They curate the latest consumer trends, insights, and best creative ideas. As our trusted curators, how well are they curating their online presence? There’s a surprising amount you can learn about your agency, or prospective agency, through their social media feeds.
Social media as a tool for agencies to promote themselves has become table stakes in our industry. Agencies need to use these tools to effectively speak to two distinct audiences – their prospective talent pool and their current and prospective clients. It is no easy balancing act. Observing an agency’s social feed can be a great litmus test on how well they balance priorities and give a better understanding as to what they value.
First, perhaps the biggest agency pitfall is a dead feed. How long has it been since your agency has posted to its channels? If your agency isn’t using social in their favor, are they the right partner to understand today’s complex messaging mix? It’s hard to look at an agency that’s not active as being an expert in how to leverage the channels. To put it simply, if they can’t market their own point of view, how can they market yours.
It’s also easy for agencies to lean too heavily into only focusing on the recruiting – sharing images of their softball league, happy hour, or exotic travels around the world. This paints a nice picture of what it’s like to work there, but as their client, it’s easy to assume you’re paying for the beer cart or the first class airfare. It is important to know an agency has happy, engaged employees. This will help ensure they can have consistent talent delivering your work. However, it needs to be balanced.
An agency that truly values and prioritizes thought leadership is constantly seeking ways to share their thinking, including through their social feeds. The agency wants to be a part of and contribute to industry conversations and trends. When you see it, it’s refreshing. It stands out against the sea of sameness and cements your agency as the right fit for your brand.
Here are some things to look for from an agency’s online, public presence.
- Does your agency openly share it’s POV? Today many agencies have their own blogs to share their point of view and thought leadership. Often, employees from across the company can contribute to providing the latest on trends and observations. If not through their own blog, are your agency’s leaders contributing publicly? Sharing publicly exhibits how they value being a thought leader for the client’s businesses.
- Are they participating in the industry’s conversations? There are a lot of issues coming to a head within the industry, and there’s never been more ability to engage in these conversations. Does your agency engage? Whether it be diving into topics like diversity or the gender gap, or sharing the latest tech trends from SXSW, an agency begins to be a thought leader through participation.
- Does their work exemplify what they say they stand for? Every agency has their own market positioning that differentiates their process and thinking. A true thought leader ensures that is the lens for everything they put out into the world, both in what they share and the work the create. Can you see the positioning come through in differentiated work and what they share? Does that come through in their work? It should.
You can learn a lot from your agency’s feed, what they value, how they think, and, yes, if their employees are happy. Select an agency partner, or ensure your partner, aligns with your thinking. When this relationship is in place you can rest assured that they’re approaching and thinking deeply about solving your business problems. All of us want to be around people that inspire us, that push us to be better, that help us get stuff done.
John Winsor is the Founder and CEO of Speakeasy.[“Source-forbes”]