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Do clients need social media agencies?

January 21, 2010

According to Campaign, VW is looking for a social media agency in the UK.

This will add another partner to the company’s already expansive communications roster, add incremental fees and mean there’s more to manage and co-ordinate. In a an environment where budgets and resources are being challenged, it seems counter-intuitive.

However, the media has done a good job, Influx Insights included, in hyping the social media space to such a point that client’s probably believe the need a specialist to help them in this complex and challenging environment.

On the surface, at a moment in time when the CMO and his or her bosses seem fixated on the thrills of Facebook and Twitter, holding a review and hiring a specialist seems like a problem solved.

In reality, it might be more trouble that it’s worth. If you take a step back and look at how social media breaks down and what’s needed, it’s pretty basic.

1. Someone has to listen and respond- probably best for the in-house customer service team to work on this.

2. Posting relevant content to get conversation-likely to be split between PR and advertising who both play a role in getting content out to the crowd. Good companies in these fields are already up-to-speed and know the world of social media.

Social media is another channel that must be a part of the communication mix, but fragmenting responsibility, while it seems like a sound plan, might make a marketers life a lot more complicated.

It would be great to get people’s thoughts on this topic.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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