How Ad Agencies Decide What to Share on Social

Many of our discussions about advertising here on Insights center around how to use social media networks’ ad products. Today we’ll flip that question around: how can ad agencies use social media for their own ends?

When your agency is going to be responsible for cultivating the image of a client, it’s important that you prove your own capabilities by doing the same for your own brand on various mediums – including social media. With a little bit of forethought, you can use social to accomplish your goals, strengthen client bonds, and create a sense of what makes your agency unique.

Find Your Purpose

The first step to deciding what you should share is to consider what you want to convey with your social media presence. There are many goals that an advertiser can accomplish with social, from establishing a strong reputation within the industry to presenting a savvy, trustworthy image to potential new clients.

Once you know what your goals are, they should guide all of your posting choices. Having a clear vision can help give your social life consistency.

Promote and Protect Your Clients

It’s natural that an agency will want to talk about its clients on social media, but those connections are so valuable that they need to be given the proper respect. You don’t want to accidentally create an ethics breach by sharing confidential information or even posting something that is off brand. To avoid any problems, have your social team and your client relations team touch base to create some guidelines for how to talk about clients on social channels. Be sure that anybody on your team who will be posting is fully trained and aware of those rules. You can even share those policies with your clients to give them peace of mind.

In addition, you don’t want to risk a gray area where you diminish your client relationships by posting content from other sources. It can be beneficial to explicitly state when you are posting something that was an agency contract. For instance, on Ogilvy & Mather’s Facebook Page, it specifically notes when a post includes client work. In fact, the agency adopted the hashtag #ClientWork for that type of update on the network.

Tips for Tone

One of the biggest differentiators for ad agencies on social media can be in the overall tone of your social profiles. Each outfit has a slightly different attitude and set of skills, meaning they’ll have unique outlooks on what they can do for clients. That can all come across in a social media presentation. Whatever your particular angle is, there are two traits that you absolutely will want to incorporate into your social choices.

Be timely

Social is all about a real-time experiences. Advertising is as well, so it’s perfect for both the medium and your profession to include social posts about current events. Show that you know and value the importance of timeliness.

Share breaking news that you care about or that’s relevant to the big topics of your field. Tech, social media, or legal news could all be of interest. Also stay on top of the latest events within the ad field. Major hirings or awards might be worth a post, especially when a business partner is involved.

For an example, look at the tribute Huge prepared to recognize CEO Aaron Shapiro for his 10-year anniversary with the agency:

Be hip

Advertising is a forward-thinking field. “Edgy” is still often a big buzzword of the industry, which means your agency may have more leeway to be hip and funky than other professions would allow. Take the example of Big Spaceship. The Brooklyn agency lets different team members take over its Twitter feed each week, so followers get a glimpse into the various creative minds behind its campaigns.

If you’re at an agency that specializes in web work, then know the day’s top entertainers, the current memes, and the latest buzzwords. When you’re a social expert, stay abreast of the trending hashtags and use them wisely in your own posts. Be involved in the culture world as well as the news world.