The Gong

The mostly official blog of the Hodges Partnership.

Social media execution is a collaborative process

August 06, 2010 | by Jon Newman

Interesting blog post by Lauren Fernandez on the Radian6 (social media monitoring firm) blog today exploring the question "Should Agencies Execute Social Media?"In it she details some of the factors that go into that decision including the now what seems to be long-time debate of "who should do what" and some rules of the road like planning, education, etc.Personally, and for obvious reason, I'm glad to see the conversation move from an absolute yes or no and more towards how agencies and clients can collaborate on social media for companies and brands to be successful.Our experience is that the extent of collaboration is related to the comfort level of the client, some of the factors that go into striking that balance include:

  • The experience and education of the client:  The levels vary, but the clients know their organization needs to be playing in the social media space, so they work with the agency to do as much or as little as needed to help them on a daily basis.
  • Manpower:  Some companies have enough people to do the day-to-day while others need the agency to shoulder more of the work.
  • Cost:  While most of its platforms are free, it takes time and money to execute social media work on a daily basis.
  • Layers:  This is newer phenomenon on "layering" higher level design and execution like Facebook landing pages, contests, games, etc.  In some cases all the client needs are the ideas and counsel, in others they need soup to nuts like design work and development.
  • Trust:  Not the trust between brand and consumer, but the trust between client and agency.  Does the client trust the agency to represent the brand?  How good of a plan can be created to make sure roles and responsibilities are clear?
Not every client has the knowledge, manpower, money or creative resources to execute what is needed in the increasing competitive social media space.  Agencies (you can debate which agencies - Ad, PR, Digital - till the cows come home) are an important partner for those who need to extend those capabilities.IMHO, we are beyond whether agencies execute social media campaigns and we should focus on those best practices that will make agencies good collaborative partners for their clients.Your thoughts?

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Picture of Jon Newman

Jon Newman

Jon worked on-air and in management at a number of radio and TV news organizations in New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia before joining The Martin Agency. He parlayed his media background into national media placements for countless clients, and that media relations focus is still a core competency at The Hodges Partnership. As the media landscape has changed, Jon’s focus now also includes social and digital media. Read all posts by Jon Newman »

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Picture of Pete Voss

By Pete Voss on August 06, 2010

Great post! I agree that it’s a collaboration. Clients should maintain control of the company’s social media platforms and update it as necessary.  The agency’s role is offer guidance and counsel to the client executing the social media space.  There are plenty of opportunities/threats and risks and it often times takes a skilled PR agency practitioner to help the company spokesperson make the most of it.

Picture of Lauren Fernandez

By Lauren Fernandez on August 06, 2010

Great post, Jon - and thanks for the kudos!

I think you hit on one of the most important parts in the first bullet, which is education. It’s all about evaluating what is known, how you can teach, what should be taught. After you’ve established that, then its time to figure out how you can collaborate together.

Great breakdown - and something that many agencies can learn from.


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