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Social Media Monday Blues

I had a sneaking suspicion that today would be an interesting day.  And it certainly has been a “Monday” for several folks in the social media world.  One of the email lists i subscribe to is Tom Fishburn’s Maketoonist (@TomFishburne)”Brand Camp” cartoons.  The cartoon today was especially interesting to me, since the cartoon nails what I believe a lot of brands get wrong – outsourcing social media management.

I’m certain there are many highly qualified and competent agencies that do a solid job for their clients.  In fact, we use a hybrid model at my company.  That said, I’m a firm believer that brands and their marketing (digital marketing) organizations should manage social media in house.  Here’s why.  First, Nobody knows the brand better than the brand team and the marketing organization supporting the brand(s).  Second, paying a third party, exposes the brand to the risk of the constant churn in agency account teams.  When that twentysomething leaves for the next step in their agency career all the knowledge leaves with the person.  On the other hand, having a brand person (ideally multiple brand team members) actively engaged in the conversation keeps the knowledge of community management in house – and when that brand person switches brands that skillset stays withing the organization.  It’s all upside.  Granted people will leave the organization, however, I would rather manage that transition vs. a new junior person at the agency (which I will certainly have little or no control over)

I’m sure there will be plenty of agency types reading this and several will disagree with me.  There will also be brand marketers reading this and say “I have no time for community management”.  Both are fair points and I will certainly be happy to address them.  In fact, I  plan on writing a few posts with my thoughts on both of those viewpoints.  Stay tuned.

Midway through today I heard the news that Gilbert Gottfried, the voice of the beloved Aflac duck was canned for tweeting some incredibly insensitive and moronic things about Japan.  Not a good thing to do, especially given that 75% of Aflac’s business comes from Japan.  Talk about a #FAIL of galactic proportions.

I’m a bit bummed since I do like Gilbert’s voice for the Aflac duck, especially since I don’t have to see Gilbert’s annoying squinting eyes.  Perhaps Gilbert and  the guy that thought he was tweeting from his personal account but tweeted from the @ChryslerAutos account and dropped the F Bomb, was subsequently fired by his agency, New Media Strategies, right before they were fired by Chrysler, can join forces and form one of those agencies that mange social media strategies.  [See above paragraph].

I am biased towards in-house social media management but I truly think there is good reason.  I’m always happy to hear your thoughts, so feel free to ping me at @Dougchavez or post a comment below.

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  1. Jessica
    March 17, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Nice cartoon and well said, Doug. Social media is best run in house by those closest to the brand and messaging. While sometimes it proves beneficial for agencies to guide social media programs for companies just entering the water, companies are almost always best served managing the online conversation in house.

  2. April 2, 2011 at 8:14 am

    You have brought up a very superb details , appreciate it for the post.

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