Mitch Joel, CEO of TwistImage and author of ‘Six Pixels of Separation’ recently used his podcast to hold a debate over a recent AdWeek article about the rise of Social Media Agencies. A good outline of it is on Mitch’s blog. (Archer is proud to have Mitch joining us, along with Chris Brogan and Julien Smith to speak on Social in March here in Wilmington, Delaware. We couldn’t be happier! Stay tuned for details.)
First, I give a lot of credit for Mitch holding this debate on his podcast for all to witness. There were opposing viewpoints, cursing and respect. Everything a good debate should have. This level of authenticity and transparency is what social is all about, and its great to see Mitch put it in action.
Second, Mitch made a great statement [and I’m paraphrasing from memory] about digital marketing agencies needing to ask the ‘why’ of clients pursuing social marketing strategies rather than the ‘what’ of doing social marketing tactics. Also being a CEO of a digital marketing agency, I understand how that when clients ask us to set up a facebook page or twitter page, we need to instead help clients formulate the answer to ‘why’.
Social Marketing isn’t about Facebook or Twitter. Social Marketing is about building relationships and creating conversations and adding value. The prettiest corporate Facebook page will do nothing if the brand can’t offer enough value for consumers to converse with the brand and with others.
There are a lot of parallels to the early days of the the web, when companies had to have websites because the CEO’s grand-daughter asked for the web address, and today’s social gold rush. As long as we keep helping the clients answer the ‘why’ digital marketing agencies will continue to stay relevant, regardless of the social flavor of the month.