2017 Agency New Business Tools Report-Social Media: Punch Drunk And Not In Love

Our blog series focusing on our latest report, The RSWUS-Mirren 2017 New Business Tools Report.

2017 Agency New Business Tools Report-Social Media: Punch Drunk And Not In Love

Oh social media, when it comes to driving new business, you are indeed punch drunk.

For yet another year, social media is the most-used category, as reported by agencies, at 87%.

(Although that is a 6% drop from last year.)

However, agencies keep beating you down-the lowest effectiveness ratings of any category in our latest survey report. (Overall effectiveness average out of 5 is 2.2)

Before I talk about why, here’s the top tool breakdown:




And no new tools from agencies in the category this year.

We’re back to the conundrum-agencies using social like gangbusters but not really finding it effective, leading to the question:

Why are you using it?

The answer, essentially, is that agencies aren’t using it-not for actually generating leads.

(LinkedIn is the exception, unsurprisingly, but I’ve personally heard higher levels of vitriol from agencies in the past 6 months on getting hit way too often by pushy and ineffective salespeople on LinkedIn.)

Agencies finally seem to be wrapping their head around what social is really good for: brand awareness.

I’m not saying they’re still particularly good at it, overall, but it’s a positive step from several years ago when all the shiny objects were being chased and agencies jumped all over the latest social platform.

A quote from an agency response in our survey:

For a lot of them – Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. – our buying audience just is not on those platforms (and if they are, they aren’t there in a professional capacity). For the design side of our business, sure, Instagram can be nice, and it can also be a nice way to show some of our culture, but it’s not going to bring us big business. For the strategy side of our business, visual platforms like Instagram don’t lend themselves to showcasing that work. You can’t really SHOW strategy in a pretty picture. LinkedIn tends to be where we have the most success, it’s a platform where people are interested in having discussions about innovation and strategy (as well as design).

Sums it up pretty well.

Ultimately, if your prospects aren’t on a particular platform, you really have to ask yourselves why you’re spending time using it at all.

When it comes to lead generation, agencies are fairly united in their response: social’s not the category driving it, even though they’re using it like crazy, apparently.

Author: Lee McKnight Jr

I’m the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.