When hunting for new business, agency leaders have embraced the use of social media platforms, but only the most established hubs.
In a new poll from RSW/US—shared exclusively with Adweek—46 percent of 300 agency honchos described LinkedIn as the “most important” social media vehicle for generating new business leads, well above blogging (24 percent), Facebook and Twitter (both at 14 percent) and Google (just 2 percent). The same poll, though, found that only 21 percent use SlideShare to market their agencies to prospective clients.
Interestingly, SlideShare has been around nearly as long as LinkedIn—seven years compared to 10. So, both are ancient in the realm of social media, but obviously LinkedIn is a bigger name in b-to-b networking.
“It’s more top of mind. It’s a little bit more corporate,” explained Mark Sneider, president of RSW/US, a Cincinnati-based new business consultancy.
Also, LinkedIn “requires the least amount of effort to maintain and use effectively,” Sneider said. “All I have to do is to invite somebody into my network and now I have a network.”
Podcasting goes back even further than LinkedIn or SlideShare but like SlideShare, is seldom used in marketer prospecting. More than three-quarters of the poll respondents don’t use podcasts—or blogs, for that matter—to connect with prospects. Why? Because, like Twitter, these tactics are time- and labor-intensive.
“You have to be on it constantly. And if not, it has limited value,” Sneider said. “It requires a whole heck of a lot of effort to maintain [these] social media tools to make them effective, whereas LinkedIn is generally a fairly passive prospecting media platform.”
Although a whopping 92 percent of the agency leaders polled employ social media tactics in new business development—up dramatically from 58 percent in an RSW/US poll in 2009—the number of channels may be few. As Sneider put it, “There’s a wide spectrum in terms of involvement in social media. It might just be, ‘I’m on Facebook’ or ‘I’ve got a LinkedIn page.’”
The latest poll was conducted earlier this month, with questions provided by seven consultants, including Convince & Convert’s Jay Baer and Michael Gass. Participating agencies included DDB, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Havas Worldwide, The Richards Group, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, Mindshare, Digitas, Razorfish, The Barbarian Group, OgilvyAction and Wunderman.