Should social media management fall under the care of an advertising agency? You may think that since it’s all about communicating to online consumers, then it should be the responsibility of an ad agency. Or more appropriate, your friendly interactive agency. I’m not so sure about that.
Social media management essentially consists of all efforts that either initiates contact with prospects online or responds to online activities that reference your product or service. I’ve defined it rather simply because it is actually as simple as that. Anything that you do or the consumers are doing online with regards to your business must be monitored regularly by a dedicated team. Be it an internal team in your organisation or an agency that specialises in social media management, which I think is non-existent here in Malaysia.
Think about it. Let’s say you ask your existing ad agency to take care of social media management. Stuff like creating and updating Facebook/MySpace pages, publishing an informative, relevant and interesting blog and responding to comments about your product in third party blogs. This requires a concerted, calculated effort because of it’s never ending nature. As more and more consumers discover the wonders of going online, the more comments, approvals and criticisms there will be about your product or company.
And who do you think most likely be managing your company’s online presence in this ad agency of yours? Wait for it. Yes! It’s your overworked, multiple-account-handling and possibly clueless copywriter… and maybe a planner or strategist if you’re lucky. Would you really let the future of your brand’s online direction rest in the hands of one or two persons?
You may think a copywriter is suited to handle social media, true but not entirely. I’ll give you 2 reasons:
- Copywriters are trained to write marketing copy. Anything that smells like regular copy, especially words like “Buy”, “Free” and “Exclusive” are ignored by users. Social media is all about the influencing power of peers and not an advertising wordsmith.
- To make interesting blog posts and respond to comments or criticisms, the copywriter has to have an extensive knowledge of the product/service, brand and company. No, a powerpoint outlining company history, brand guidelines and product catalogue will not do. How many companies will allow a writer to be embedded with them for at least a month? Not many.
Social media is a different ballgame altogether. Relying solely on a copywriter is like asking a property lawyer handle your criminal case. While it’s possible, the risks are far to great. Your brand might just end up in the slammer.