Analysis & Opinion

After only one week on the agency side

June 11, 2009 MullenLowe

As a social media consultant for the last two years, I’ve had the chance to take a top down look at the way in which a lot of agencies and companies approach social media.

Often, it’s been seen as a secret sauce or magic bullet for a lagging product/campaign. It’s not that at all. Social media is simply another form of communication (only it is done on a far more intimate and customizable level). The trick is getting people to take a deeper look at the medium itself and avoid the “Ooh shiny” syndrome that new technology adopters often suffer from.

The effective management and integration of social media into a cohesive program for companies is often done in-house. Sometimes it is done well: Zappos, Comcast, crowdSPRING and sometimes it is done poorly: Motrin, Dominos, and the Whole Foods CEO comments.

The same is true with agencies. I’ve been a critic of agencies in the past but after a week of working at Mullen, I’ve gotten a better understanding of the agency world and how it operates. The structures are different but the desire for change, innovation and new ways of thinking are all here.

Having a story, personality and knowing the rules to the game are often more important than brand message within the space.

Keys to success? A strategy, clear objectives, a commitment to integration with other platforms, and built in measurement and analytics.  The company or agency that executes this isn’t important. The results, subsequent transparency and innovation within the communication medium are.

If you don’t know how to use the tools you need to find someone who can guide you through the minefield to the treasure that is conversions/sales.