In those years, nearly all social media content was written (with a side order of UGC photography). Social success was often rooted in exceptional community management, with eager and talented individuals using humanity, humor, and witty phrasing to engage and delight customers and fans via organic Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.
Because so much of social was about writing, it felt operationally similar to blogging, email, and related disciplines, most of which were (and still are) executed by in-house personnel. Further, because the tone and tenor of interactions with customers was such a driver of engagement, it was believed that community managers could best capture the spirit of the brand if they were employed by those brands.
When social media was all about the writing, much of social media was performed by employees, with agencies providing strategic counsel and campaign support.
But now, it’s all different.
Reasons Social Media Agencies are Going to Flourish
A move to multimedia
Today, social media is manifestly visual. The advent of Instagram and Snapchat (and even Vine, RIP) combined with the algorithmic emphasis on video currently de rigueur at Facebook and Twitter have made multi-media the coin of the social realm. Not to mention the impact of Periscope and Facebook Live.
A recent study from Vidyard found that businesses are now creating an average of 18 videos per month (including social video). That requires a set of skills that are massively different than what social necessitated just two years ago.
Do you need a photographer as part of your social media team? A videographer? A video editor? Multiple graphic designers? Maybe, and that’s not how it used to be.
Beyond the multimedia explosion, another social sea change tipped the canoe of necessary skill sets:
A move to paid amplification
Organic social can work, of course. But increasingly, even the best social programs require at least a nudge – if not a shove – to attain the desired behavioral results. Is that an indictment of the power and effectiveness of social as a marketing tactic overall? Perhaps, but that’s a different blog post. For now, I’m certain we can agree that most companies are using paid social media advertising and/or influencer and advocate outreach to give lift to their social communications. And those require more and different skills.
Community managers with a background in writing find themselves having to learn advanced media buying optimization techniques. Social strategists must now be able to unearth appropriate influencers and connect with them; skills that are right out of the historic public relations toolbox. SEE MORE