Ad agencies, while quick to recommend social media to their clients, are slow to use it themselves. A study by RSW/US and Second Wind shows that while nearly 75% of the agencies they polled have a social media presence, but most a majority of them don’t use it more than once a month.
According to an article on Adweek.com:
Nearly three-quarters of the 212 agency leaders polled in the online survey are connected to LinkedIn, 66 percent to Facebook and 56 percent to Twitter. But when asked how frequently they use each, the majority said no more than once a month. For example, 47 percent conceded that they never tweet, 7 percent said they tweet less than once a month and 4 percent tweet just once monthly.
The findings were similar for blogs, with 56 percent of the respondents saying that their agencies have blogs, but only 6 percent use them daily. A whopping 66 percent indicated that they blog no more than once a month.
I’m not sure if I should be surprised by all of this. (I’m not.) Many agencies suffer from the shoemaker’s children syndrome. They have the knowledge and experience doing the things they recommend, but they don’t have the time or energy to implement the strategy themselves.
How many web designers don’t have an updated website? How many social media strategists don’t monitor their own ROI and stats? We’ve certainly seen our share of agencies that aren’t eating their own dog food, but is it because they don’t have the time or because they don’t actually believe in it themselves?
We like to think it’s because they’re just too busy doing client work. But there are more than a few large agencies that just don’t get social media, and the only reason they’re on Twitter or Facebook is because they told an intern to set up the accounts.
Six months ago.
If agencies want to be in the position to tell clients why they need to use social media, they need to use it themselves. They need to eat their own dogfood. How else will you keep up with the developments in the field — developments that your clients will need to know about — if you’re not using the tools on a regular, frequent basis.
Appoint someone in a senior position to use social media, and give them permission to speak for the agency in their own voice. Make sure they’re given some time each day to use it Chris Brogan recommends 2 hours per day. (Hey, some of us work for a living, Chris.) We usually recommend 30 minutes a day, especially if it’s not part of your regular job description.
If you’re going to tell others to use social media, you need to do it yourself. This is not a “do as I say, not as I do” business. You’re doing your clients a disservice if you’re not tweeting using Linked In, or using other social media tools on a nearly daily basis yourself.