This month I was asked to share my story and thoughts on how Propel, as a marketing agency, left social media services behind and forged a new trail without it. Listen to the podcast or watch it on YouTube, and see the Q&A notes below.
Being interviewed by Brooke Sellas for Social Media Examiner’s Marketing Agency Show was a great opportunity to dust off my love of speaking and get back into sharing my story. But it was easy since the topic of exiting social media is definitely something I can talk about with anyone anywhere because it is close to the chest, and especially moreso now that I have a daughter who I want to protect from all the garbage and mental destruction we’re seeing come out of “social” medias.
The topic was “Should Your Agency Say Goodbye To Social Media?” and while I can’t speak for anyone else, I did share my take on why we said goodbye to this part of marketing and removed it from our management service set.
- What were the key reasons behind your decision to stop offering social media services? Well, first of all, our client base is strictly micro and small businesses, and solopreneurs. These businesses are oftentimes bootstrapping or they have a limited marketing budget. What I started to find is that you have to pay to play the social game. Not only by hiring a company like ours to do your strategy, develop your content, publish and then monitor, but with advertising. As the years went on, it only got more expensive and involved and our clientele not only couldn’t keep up on the costs, but they couldn’t keep up if they were executing the strategy. We exited because we couldn’t continue being the responsible party who had to continue increasing our rates due to constant social pivots and advertising costs.
- How did your team and clients respond to this shift away from social media services? My team was pleased because social was the hardest service we offered and required an incredible amount of time from the strategy to the reporting. Our clients understood, too. In fact, the last social client we handled came to us to say they would be discontinuing social media management as a company based on the platform directions. That meant we didn’t even have to fire our last client because they came to the same conclusion when we did.
- Can you talk about the overall impact on your agency’s revenue and client base since discontinuing these services? I am a firm believer in embracing what you love doing because you are better at doing that thing than striving for the uphill battle of trying to do something you hate. Just like I shouldn’t be doing my own bookkeeping. Even though I know how to do it, I also have a bookkeeper who handles it because my time is better spent consulting, building websites or strategizing a brand. For that reason, our client base has narrowed to focus on what we enjoy doing and it’s a win, win, win.
- What alternatives, if any, did you propose to your clients who were previously utilizing your social media services? We gave them blueprints for their strategies, handed over assets and if appropriate, even connected them with other social media managers who they were encouraged to interview and work with.
- In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges and drawbacks that come with providing social media services? Platforms are constantly evolving and new players/competitors enter the scene daily, not to mention the adoption of new techniques, media content, and more. It is an ever-revolving door, unlike developing a brand or building a website, which is foundational to an online presence and the first place a company should start.
- Given your experience and the market trends, do you believe other marketing agencies should reconsider their social media service offerings? Why or why not? This, I believe, is a personal and professional decision every marketing agency owner should consider carefully. What you do and how you do it is something you must own, be responsible for, and do exceptionally. If you are passionate about it and you have great success with your clients and their platforms, by all means. If however, you are finding it a struggle to keep up, perform well, mark big wins consistently, then perhaps there is a restructure or pivot that needs to happen.
- How did this decision affect your agency’s marketing mix and strategies for your own branding? We decided to bring all of our content in-house and under our site’s umbrella. Instead of feeding the social platforms with content they use to grow their online footprint and exposure, we reserve our intellectual thought property for our own site and it benefits our SEO strategies.
- Looking ahead, do you see your agency ever re-introducing social media services or have you moved on to new areas of specialization? Could you elaborate on this? I don’t foresee a day where social media management will be a service set for us again. And while we can strategize with our clients to develop strong communication approaches for their social platforms, we would rather be the first step in establishing an online brand and website foundation. We’ll be focusing on brand development, website creation, blogging and email marketing long into the future.
- Tell everyone where they can find you or what you’re working on! PropelBusinessworks.com is our online home and where all of our content can be found. We still “own” our social platform locations, but all of our communications now happen on our blog, so stay tuned there for semi-regular updates that happen in between mompreneuring, which is the newest adventure I’ve embarked on.
Related Propel Articles:
- Disabled By Instagram: When Social Platforms Shut You Down For No Reason: https://propelbusinessworks.com/promote/social-media-strategy/disabled-by-instagram-when-social-platforms-shut-you-down-for-no-reason-propelbizworks/
- Why I *Really* Escaped Traditional Social Medias: https://propelbusinessworks.com/promote/social-media-strategy/why-i-really-escaped-traditional-social-medias/
- How Leaving Social Media and Taking Control Of My Content Improved My Business And My Life: https://propelbusinessworks.com/propelsocial/how-leaving-social-media-and-taking-control-of-my-content-improved-my-business-and-my-life/
- Social Media: Voice of the People or Place to Connect? https://propelbusinessworks.com/promote/social-media-strategy/social-media-voice-of-the-people-place-connect/
- What Will You Do When Social Disappears? https://propelbusinessworks.com/propelsocial/what-will-you-do-when-social-disappears/
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