In these days, social media is all the rage in the marketing of brands to consumers, but not so much among some shops in their pursuit of business, when it comes to marketing a product to consumers, most advertising execs are quickly jump on the social media bandwagon but when it comes to marketing themselves, not so much, according to a new survey of agency leaders on business development trends and tactics.
A recent study by RSW/US took a look at the business-to-business social media habits of a variety of ad agencies. Overall, there are some interesting findings about the new business processes being used by Agencies: some insight into what’s working and not working; some interesting facts about the use of social media in the Agency new business process; and some enlightening perspective on the perception/value of hiring new business managers to help build business.
As reported by Brandweek, 54% of the agencies polled said they never or rarely use social media when prospecting for new clients. Of those that did use social media for outreach, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are among the favored outlets for those who apply social media to business development. 51% of the survey respondents cited LinkedIn as the “most productive” social media tool, followed by other means like online newsletters and then Facebook, which polled at only 9%, agency blogs and Twitter less than that.
If time is spent anywhere, spend it on LinkedIn – the one tool that most Agency executives note that helps them the most on the new business front.
Use of LinkedIn can be beneficial on the front and back-end of prospecting. It can be a great tool to search through companies to find prospects, it can be a great tool to share value with communities of prospective clients, and it can offer insights into a prospect you’re trying to engage, according to the survey.
Beside that, study says – if you use social media, three things need to be considered:
1) Stick with it. Don’t start and stop otherwise you’ll look bad;
2) Don’t let it consume you;
3) Activate it. Don’t just blog and let it sit. Make sure you have a well thought out strategic plan on how to orchestrate all media, and how to push it out to prospects so they can appreciate the value you’re bringing to them.
Without question, the world of new business has changed. No longer is it a game of networking and referrals. And no longer is it a game of schmoozing search consultants. It has become a world of much more aggressive outreach. While social media has become an important part of the overall outreach strategy, it is by no means the be-all-end-all. Social media is important but it must be ACTIVATED and it must be part of a more fully integrated marketing program.
Regardless of the media used in ANY program, if you’re going to use social media for outreach, your message must be value-added, must be consistent across media and must be presented in a consistent manner. You must make sure your message is tightly on-point and useful. Don’t just send a request for a meeting, send an idea and you’re more likely to get heard.
Remember that, a stop and start program and/or a program that doesn’t present a consistently themed message will fail – just like a poorly executed ad campaign. It’s no different.