10 social media trends that agencies should know

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Agencies, gear up for a new type of service you can sell: social media management.

That was a major theme of last week’s Bolo 2011—which stands for Be On the Look Out—an annual conference by Agencyside that helps agencies learn how to cope with an ever changing marketplace. This year the focus was social-media heavy, especially Facebook.

Here are a few takeaways for agencies and anyone who offers social media services:

  1. Jay Baer predicts that social media will be a $5 billion industry by 2016, meaning there will be A LOT of agencies positioning themselves to get a piece of that pie. What are you doing to stay ahead of the game?

  2. Not only was there an emphasis on social media at BOLO, there was a healthy dose of mobile mixed in as well. More than ever, people are consuming information on the go. Is the content that you’re producing for social media mobile friendly? If not, it should be.

  3. Facebook! Facebook! Facebook! Are you advertising on Facebook? How do you find the success rate?

  4. There’s a lot less ad clicking going on these days, so advertisers and agencies will have to become more creative in their content creation and find other ways to drive traffic and conversions.

  5. Yes, yes, a million times yes! It amazes me how boring and monotone big brands are on social media. Actually, it doesn’t amaze me at all, it’s to be expected. With the amount of red tape and mediocre hiring that goes on at a large corporate level, you’re light years behind the game before you even start. Be mindful of this when representing brands…remember that just as you are human, so is the audience you are speaking to.

  6. With an emphasis on Facebook comes a very lengthy conversation on how many brand’s status updates are actually available to individual users. The “Like” button on a Fan Page takes half a second for a person to click. Is that truly engagement? You could have 1 million Facebook Fans, but if only 1% of those users are actually seeing any content from you, where’s the value?

  7. Brands and the agencies representing them have to remember that the objective of the content they are producing shouldn’t be “Does this make me happy?” but “Is this going to engage our customers?” As Scott Stratten said, don’t be average, be awesome.

  8. More Facebook! If you have a social media manager at your agency, are they keeping up with the absolute latest in trends when it comes to Facebook? Your clients will love you if you make it as easy as possible to truly engage with their customers in this space.

  9. QR codes came up quite a bit at Bolo as well. If you think about the number of Americans who actually have a mobile device, this number is quite small. But there may be an instance or two where it does make sense to use a QR code. TV commercials and billboards are not one of them.

  10. No comment needed.

If you run an agency or are employed by one, you may want to check out Bolo 2012. You’ll find great insight there on the issues that plague agencies today—and plenty of networking opportunities, too.