Though not strictly speaking a GoogleWhack, I'm both pleased and dismayed, (is that possible?) that the above search phrase has turned up absolutely nothing.
Pleased because it's a 'first' and I might be on to something. (Well, I can live in hope can't I?)
Dismayed because I would have thought 'Social Media Management Fees' would have been a key revenue stream for the world and his digital brother in pr, advertising and web agencies right now. (And consequently show up as a popular search return on Google.)
Of course, most Marketing Directors are aware that Social Media is a big deal for them. And keen to use it for the benefit of their brand. However, many are also confused about the ROI, unsure how to use the tools, and perhaps most important, undecided who to trust for guidance.
This has led to something of a bun-fight/turf-war between a brand's advertising, pr, digital and design agencies, not to mention their web developers, seo people and even media buying agencies.
With many of them claiming; "Yeah, we can do that social media stuff." (Or 'gubbins' as I once heard it described by the Director of a web developer I visited.)
But can they?
A switched-on client's response would be: 'Great. Send me links to your blog/flickr sets/YouTube channel/LinkedIn profiles/Tweets/Friendfeed room/delicious bookmarks/slideshare stacks' etc, etc, etc.
And they'd be able to see online, in an instant, who's just talking the social media talk, (i.e. bullshitting), instead of walking the walk with authenticity, integrity and commitment.
(No returns on this search? Shurely, schome mishtake?)
However most clients probably don't think to do this, and so some social media 'vendors', who are ill-equipped to help a client, actually get the business/'gubbins'.
And then suggest, develop and implement all sorts of made-up-on-the-fly/painfully out of date social solution cobblers.
To wit: An ad agency account man rang me last week asking if I wanted to work on a well-funded web 2.0 project for a high-profile client. At first I said yes please, lovely. He told me the client; to which I said; 'You can have my first born if I get to work on this.' Then he told me he'd pre-sold the client on spending a not insignificant wad of cash building a 3D environment in Second Life.
As you can imagine, my initial, eager, salivating 'yes', quickly became a firm, definite, get-off-my-porch NO.
IMHO, I thought Second Life was a dubious concept well over 12 months ago when you couldn't open a browser without reading about it being an industry game-changer, now I'm more than dubious, I think for most brands it's a positively barmy/barking idea.
But the problem is, too many clients are being sold 'past their sell-by solutions' by those who don't get social media in the first place. (Far less, actually use social media themselves.)
Yet, so many comms outfits today want/need/are desperate for the business. But unfortunately for all concerned they haven't a scoobie about how to actually help a client engage in social media.
It's all a bit like IFA's mis-selling pensions. Which in my book, and on my blog come to that, is a poor do.
Of course, the classy digital agencies do get it, and in the main are leading from the front. (You know who you are. Oh I've made you blush.)
Some ad agencies, pr and design companies too are doing great work.
But the vast body of the marketing and comms industries have a hell of a way to go until they can honestly start charging clients Social Media Management Fees.
So what should the ad, pr, design and digital agencies who don't yet get social media do?
Well, since you ask, my advice would be:
1. Realise that social media prowess isn't an overnight thing. It takes time and consistent effort. (But is fun along the way.) For now, forget ROI. but think ROT; Return On Time. Start playing with the tools. Sign-up. Build profiles. Devour all the stuff that's out there. Get an iPhone. (Seriously.) Audit what your competitors are doing.
2. Look for the 'social stars' in your agency. You'll find them. Great photographers/flick fans, brilliant bloggers, mini-dv maestro's, terrific tweeters, networking nutcases, booking-marking behemoths...(okay Mike enough alliteration, they get the picture.) Build a 'social-taskforce'. And give your social stars the opportunity to shine. (Perhaps even provide a bit of Google 20% time.)
3. Go balls-out to use the full range of social media tools in-house, in your own agency; test blogs, build flickr sets, share bookmarks, appoint a blip.fm house dj, get your head around tags, everything and anything social that takes your fancy, then point these strengthening skills outwards; circulate online at the social media party.
4. Now you're ready to take your new found social media knowledge, evangelism and coaching to your clients and work/collaborate with them. Repeat steps 2 and 3, for the benefit of their brand, (And for the benefit of monthly SMMF's for you.)
Here endeth todays lesson.