Content has always been something that comes second nature for me and I gravitate to and am always observing things and taking notes.
Facebook is the most popular channel, but surprisingly some agencies don’t mess with. mono actually has never made a page, and I was told by a past employee, that they have no desire at that time to be part of that space. It was their image to be slightly mysterious. [how cool right?]
But that isn’t the norm, about 98% of all advertising agencies, design shops, creative firms have a Facebook page to talk about themselves, show how they celebrate Birthdays, post shameless summer party photos, share photos from their taco-themed Tuesdays and share how they give back to local charities.
When a friend starts at a company or your interested in working at a new place, what is one of the first things you do? [Facebook them of course!] It’s a very secretive way to snoop and it gives you personal and real-time insight to get to know a possible future employer. See their space before visiting, understand that they have clients they hang out, how they work hard and play hard, the sometimes stocked keg in the kitchen or the cool Ice T and Ice Cube is on their pop machine.
What companies also forget is that Facebook is another place where client’s engage and look at their agency too. They want to see their agency having fun, making a difference and being really cool and different. I can clearly remember working at a web design firm that a corporate client [I'll just tell you it was General Mills] and they would come in every other Friday and they were just excited to crack a beer and play video games and hang-out with “their agency folks”. Why is that? Because the agency part is the fun part to their corporate jobs! They don’t want breakfast meetings with plain bagels and bad coffee with mini creamers. They want afternoon meetings with beers on the table, giant bags of chips and 90′s music playing while you sit in the coolest and most comfortable conference room they have ever been in!
Where agencies miss the bar is spotlighting their employees within their social content. Lets face it, you can have a really cool name, do fairly great work but if your employees are stale, boring and un-entertaining that client will leave you because there is another agency that does just as great work but has a ping-pong table, a killer view in their conference room and the people just get your needs and make you feel so comfortable – also that Creative Director is just so damn cool the client secretly wants to be him.
How to solve this? Have fun with your employees and let them come to YOU with your social content too.
Example: At an agency I know, they had a employee craft fair. [Neat idea thought from an employee of course!] What was showcased was employee’s original talents, crafts and photography that they did on their own that you never knew about them because of their titles and day jobs. The entire event was just a few hours at the agency but a month’s worth of social content! Spotlight the production manager as a talented jewelry maker, take a picture of her with hand-made earrings on she made for another co-worker and post that. Or the quiet developer that you never knew his name actually paints guitar picks! Even cooler he actually has one from Elvis, [not a true story but that could happen].
Employees love talking about themselves and sharing things if the right people at the agency ask them about it. Before you know it, the employee is sharing their picture on FB with their friends and their old college roommate is the data analyst you have been looking for and you not only have a new hire, but that same guitar painting guy was going to start looking for a job. But now, he likes it because his distance friend is there and he feels like his employer not only cares about him personally but he feels loyal to them.
The small entertaining things work too. Take a picture of the Friday beer cart and post that a few times a month [not every Friday of course that deadline for the client was killer]. Did a partner or Creative Director speak somewhere for a local nonprofit? Did someone go and take a picture of him? Did you write a blog post about it or at least post the picture tagging the organization? You just missed out on thousands of impressions and that speaking gig lost his chance to triple in value.
I took this picture and made these employees laugh to capture the Friday beer trolley invented by this employee and friend.
When client’s visit, remember they check-in too and some will even tag you on Twitter. Twitter is slightly different then Facebook in my opinion with agency content because you want to also be forward-thinking and have new business at top of mind always.
When that same client tweeted your agency did you reply back to them? That can be a negative feeling for that client without you even knowing. Remember to check your social channels and respond and thank NEW re-tweeters and always be mindful of client tweets and remember if you want that digital business you better be watching them in their digital space.
Finally, I have to note that a very small 10-person design shop that I worked at wasn’t on any social sites and didn’t want to be. I convinced them they should be because the website didn’t say ANYTHING about the people that worked there. So after multiple weeks of selling and then educating the company and 4 partners on what Facebook was (other then stalking old High School friends) we launched. Not only was it successful and but even got all 4 partners to get on Facebook themselves and they found those old friends and past co-workers who then noticed and starting bringing in new business. I moved on from that job months later after getting social up and running but the Facebook page and Twitter (even though it’s just posts that are posted on FB that I totally don’t recommend but is good for these guys for now) is still up and running. The content still continues to be new and it’s even better then I could have imagined because a production artist with some passion was added to the admin to maintain the content as well. The social creative is still up with what I designed and created for them and it’s part of their agency culture to update it.
This blog post is near and dear to this MN Design Gal’s heart, because I’m so passionate about agency branding and online content that I find myself thinking of new and re-branding strategies in my sleep. [nerd]
your agency design gal – designing my path through life one post at a time