In a SXSW panel which took on a refreshing discussion-based approach entitled Bend Over? Surprise! Agencies Are Screwing You, one of the attendees made the point brands should be wary of paying an agency to use a free tool to speak the brand’s voice calling it a slippery slope and a waste of money.
Agencies are paying good money for the so called social media guru who, if just a little bit of background research were done, could easily be found to have no experience at all. Be wary of the sharks was the advice given.
One of the audience members in attendance made the point it’s a lot more effective for an agency to train a brand to handle their social media rather than attempting to do it for the brand. After a training period of six months or so , the agency should step into a consulting role.
Some agencies have seen success in productizing and packaging social media efforts as opposed to handling it on a retainer basis.
Among panelists and audience, the consensus was social media is best handled by the brand long term with the agency taking on an advisory role.
Another attendee suggested agencies have far too much overhead to cost effectively handle some aspects of social media such as Facebook app creation or Twitter account creation and management.
Final conclusion of the panel? Nothing has changed. Agencies and clients are still oil and water. But on the upside, both realize improvements need to occur.