As PR agencies aim to take on more social media work, it’s a huge red flag to see them neglect a hugely important part of the puzzle; their own channels. When positioning agency or personal fluency regarding social media capabilities agency and public employee channels must function as a reflection of this expertise. The goal is to have evidence of your ability to build digitally savvy and successful brands, in part through your own company brand; to have a prospective client think, “That. I want that. I want those people working for me and representing my brand.”
Any best practices you recommend to clients should be implemented across owned company channels, from weekly themes to a style guide and monthly content calendar. On Instagram, for example, the strategy must go beyond simply republishing gorgeous images from influential accounts. It’s time to create a clear social media brand identity and to develop original content that clearly sets you apart.
Treat Your Agency Account Like a Client Account
You may choose to demonstrate your PR expertise with expert quotes, statistics, and industry tips. Or you may use your accounts share the energy and culture of your agency through depictions of themed dress days and company yoga dates.
It’s time to create a clear social media brand identity and to develop original content that clearly sets you apart.
If, in addition to PR and social media, you have strong skills in other areas – photography skills, in-house video capabilities or a law degree gathering dust – incorporate those differentiators in your content strategy. We work with people we like, so don’t be afraid to pepper in the personal interests and passions of your team into your feed. You never know when a mutual love of mini-ponies or 90s soap operas might just be the ticket to a new client relationship. In today’s world, you never know who may be listening in.
Take advantage of free and inexpensive social media tools
With tools like Canva, you no longer need a graphic design degree to create a branded, consistent look. Photo apps like Pic2Go and VSCO make it easy to mimic the style of professional photographers. Take a cue from brands who are moving away from photo shoots intended for print advertising and instead opting to invest in social image creation. Agencies must also evolve to promote and divine for new business where prospective clients are spending their time. Cut costs on expensive printed brochures, postcards and proposal print-outs and invest in your own stock photography that you can use across your online presence.
It’s common for agencies to give little weight to their own online presence simply due to time constraints; all the focus goes to client work. But just in the way that we google search, read reviews and vet everything from potential interns to new coffee makers, a shoddy online presence is simply money left on the table. As you begin to plan for 2017, make sure a company social media strategy is part of that plan.