The Dangers of Agency New Business Social Media – Part 1

Social media is an important component to any successful agency new business development program.

While important, it is critical to not over-emphasize or become too reliant on social media. I spoke with an agency principal the other day who thinks so much of social media that he is going to use it as his sole means of generating opportunities. Not a great idea.

As part of our own RSW/US “re-launch” we integrated a more aggressive social initiative (e.g. twitter, facebook, blogging) into our new business development program.

We haven’t however, (nor should agencies), rely solely on social media as the means to attract new business. At RSW/US, we integrate social elements into trackable, themed email campaigns, we push out value-added mailings, we issue PR releases, we survey our agency’s prospects (and release findings), and we use calling as part of our integrated effort to attract new agencies to RSW/US. This multi-media approach helped us finish the first half, up +15%.

The integrated program we use for RSW/US is the same type of integrated approach we use for our agency client programs. We generated 155 qualified meetings for our clients in the 3rd Quarter, +55% year-over-year. Clients closed more business in the 1st Half of 2009 than during any other Half since our founding in 2005.

So don’t fall into the trap thinking that social media is the be all, end all. It’s a vital component to any new business program – but not the only component necessary to drive prospect interest.

To be continued….


Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.