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Do you 'do social' ?

18:27 on Thu, 7 Apr 2011 | Industry Comment | 0 Comments

Yes, social media is certainly flavour of the month in the buzzwords arena right now…..??

And, yes, of course we ‘do social’ here at Further – we’ve been doing it for the past few years, (come to think of it we’ve even won awards through use of it back in 2008!) but we have always used it only when and where it is deemed one of the right ingredients that will help the client meet their objectives.

To me, that ethos remains the right one. If it won’t help a client meet their objectives, then why put their money into it if there’s a better alternative on the table?

Agencies shouldn’t just do it because the client thinks they need it. It’s like any aspect of marketing. It comes down to understanding your client, their market, their competition and making the intelligent choice. It should be what agencies do by nature.

Having said all this, the digital marketing landscape is changing more rapidly right now than it ever has.  One way or another this has brought ‘social’ far more into play than ever before.  Google is even adding its own social elements, as well as using social signals as influencing factors in its algorithm.  On the video front, youtube is now considered the second biggest ‘search engine’ on the planet.? We are giving and sharing opinion on products and services with our peers online like never before.

Look a little harder and you’ll see Facebook hosting social commerce storefronts for early-adopting retailers. This is just a flavour of what is now happening out there to change the way online marketers like Further can help clients to get to the end user where for opinion-forming, brand exposure or for direct sales. 

Any SEO agency who still dismisses social media as simply a fad which has no benefit or positive effect on client marketing efficacy may as well get their coats.?? What never ceases to amaze and at the same time concern us, is what some people and agencies professing to suddenly be experts in ‘social’ are out there pushing in seminars and workshops in a bid to steal the social pound before anyone else does.??

Social in our humble view is far more than showing a client how to get up and running on facebook, twitter, linkedIn.  Valuable as they can be if used, and more importantly resourced, in the right way, we’re not even skimming the surface.

Sadly it’s not even a helpful start unless it is based on my old chestnut of ‘objectives’ once again. After all, how can you even start to populate content if you have no idea of the correct content strategy to be employed, not to mention the tone of voice, rules of engagement..need I go on.

In the world of Further, we sit down with clients, gain a complete understanding of their business, targets, requirements, budgets. We then create a complete online strategy for them that will satisfy those goals. (It usually helps us to keep clients longer if we show them results for their money!).

From this we would look to their proposition, key messaging and devise a content strategy for their social campaigns. Only once this is completed will we approach which social channels to use.

Is it indeed Social Media Optimisation they need?  Should they be looking at Social Media Engagement activity, Social media Management, Social Commerce maybe??  You see there is so much more science to this social lark than meets the eye – and like everything else, it needs to emanate from that all-important strategy. The strategy that will make the difference between success and failure, between ROI and waste of money.

This fast-expanding social landscape is potentially a fun, exciting, challenging and ultimately creative one to work within than traditional search – agencies shouldn’t just accept it and add it to their list of services as a new fee-earner, but wholeheartedly embrace it, learn it properly, get passionate about, and come to love it.

Your work will be better for it. As will your results !

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