Social media advertising, for an advertising company
By Justyn Loguidice and Anthony Liberatore
When looking into social media and its outreach in this country, it is truly phenomenal what power it holds. For this project, we were given the opportunity to act as social media consultants. Through an external interview, we were able to derive valuable information from a company based on its current social media catalog. The company that we chose to look into for this project is a small advertising firm in Boston, MA by the name of Full Contact Advertising.
Full Contact specializes in creating brands to the fullest through a variety of platforms including digital, television, radio and print advertising. Of course, being an advertising agency, Full Contact has spent time in the social media aspect of business as well. Currently, Full Contact operates a fully-functional website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, LinkedIn, and Vimeo account. While fully operational in these facets of social media, the amount of focused attention to their social media outlets isn’t on par with many of its competitors.
We had the opportunity to speak with one of the founding partners of Full Contact, John Young. John has the title of Chief Strategist at Full Contact, and therefore, was the perfect person to provide us some vital information in regards to their social media usage. John has been working in marketing and advertising for his entire working career, holding various creative positions and starting multiple successful marketing communication firms. His catalog of works includes worldwide brands such as Pepsi, McDonald’s, Disney, Sony and Budweiser. Overall John has been a very successful businessman and it was truly an honor for us to be given the opportunity to speak to him.
After getting the personal background of John and the company, we wanted to get a feel for how the company feels about social media and using it to self-promote your business. John mentioned to us that, “Social Media is a valuable tool, but takes time away from our customers”. John felt that while there are tremendous benefits to establishing oneself online through social media, their time is solely focused on their cliental. He then went into more detail on how Full Contact feels social media is effective to an extent, and is tremendously valuable when used for their clients. Internally, however, they are like “the shoemaker’s children” and have “no time to worry about themselves”.
John was able to provide us with some Google analytics in regards to their website activity. Of the company’s web traffic, 51 percent comes through Google, 17 percent is self-directed, and the rest come from referrals (blogs, press, directories). Full Contact averages around 400 unique visitors a month, 30 percent existing as return visitors. About 30 of those customers access their website through a mobile device. Visitors spend an average of 5 minutes on their site, reading an average of about 5 pages.
Their Facebook page has 312 likes. John mentioned that the agency only occasionally posts new content on Facebook and there often isn’t much sharing. A vast majority of the likes are from employees, vendors, and clients.
Their Twitter feed has very little activity. Currently @FullContact is following 29 individuals and has 265 followers. John’s personal feed, which he uses mainly to connect with friends and former co-workers, has 1973 followers.
Although these are healthy numbers, John feels that they can certainly improve their social media catalog; believing that by successfully communicating themselves online they can generate more brand recognition. However, John also believes that “There will always be a human approach to what we do”. With this being said, we then began to converse with John about how they want their social media activity to evolve and what they ultimately hope to get out of it.
First we discussed what things need to be changed in terms of their current social media channels. John stated, “We need to clean it out; some stuff has been around for a while”. That being said, he felt that their Facebook page is probably maintained the most out of all their other channels and stated, “If you want to get a feel for Full Contact, go to Facebook”.
When it came to future plans, John was earnest in his response, saying that he constantly asks himself, “How will social media benefit our brand?” John wants to create an aura surrounding his company’s work and ultimately get the social media community to start socializing about it. This can be difficult though as they don’t have an employee whose job includes updating their internal social media channels. The reason for this, as John stated, “it’s hard to fund…we need to see that it can generate results”.
John then went on to mention that social media itself, “doesn’t drive people in the door”, and that it’s ultimately their work that helps them to stay successful as an agency. That being said, the agency does have interest in improving their social media handles, as John stated, “We’re doing it heavily for our clients, we need to show that we can do it for ourselves.”
To end this section of our project, we want to include something that John said to us that really struck home, and was something that in summation represented his overall thoughts when it came to social media. At a point in the interview John stated, “social media is prevalent, but the most important thing to remember is that people are the ones who will always be social”. With this statement it was clear that the company isn’t looking to use social media just to be social online; they want to utilize it to generate content that will break through the clutter and connect online users.
Upon analyzing all of these elements, we think GoFullContact.com needs to become the agency’s social media hub. The agency’s Facebook and Vimeo accounts have links on the site, but their Twitter account has not yet been added. Twitter can be a useful tool when used correctly, so a link to their Twitter handle should be placed on their website.
The agency’s website is the first online channel that needs to be updated. As of right now a majority of their online connections start at their website, so it’s critical that all the information on the website is updated appropriately, especially the news section. Information hasn’t been added to the news section since October of 2011. The agency has a lot of exciting things going on, so they should update their news feed at least twice a month.
Beyond simply updating their news feed, Full Contact has to update their “Our Agency” page, specifically the “Our Clients” tab. The agency is working with some great clients that are not being represented as part of their client portfolio. There are also some former clients that are listed, which the company hasn’t worked with in a while. Full Contact creates great work for their clients and that work should be represented on their website. The agency should strive to gain permission from their clients, so that they can place more of their recent creative work on their website. The agency should also strive to make the work representative of all the different content that they can create. For example, the agency should add some examples of mobile creative content that they’ve generated for clients, as that’s where companies are really putting a lot of their marketing attention. When it comes to their Facebook and Twitter pages, more updates are needed.
Full Contact’s Facebook page already acts as the social media channel which gives individuals an idea of the company’s workplace culture. Due to personal experience, I know that the agency has a great workplace culture and this is something clients like to know as well. Happy employees are productive employees and Full Contact is full of happy employees, so they should try to illustrate that happiness even more on their Facebook page. This could be done in various ways, adding some new funny agency photos/videos, or sharing interesting and humorous agency/industry related news. The company’s Twitter feed is highly underutilized, as it hasn’t been updated since August.
That being said, Full Contact should not approach Twitter with the mindset that it has to be updated every day. Most advertising agencies update their Twitter multiple times throughout the course of the day, but that can just tend to generate a lot of clutter and wasted payroll. Full Contact should have the mindset of utilizing Twitter to capitalize on a really interesting piece of work that they have just created.
For example, during my time spent at the agency, the one piece of work that stood out the most was the video filmed for Safety 1st’s air protect car seat “Success Story”. This video featured a real family whose new baby girl, Ella, was involved in a terrible car accident, but was left unharmed because she was in a Safety 1st air protect car seat. This video is highly emotional and is still viewable on Safety 1st’s website. This video, even though it’s a bit outdated, is the kind of content that Full Contact needs to get the most out of, because it’s an attention grabber and something people actually want to talk about. It’s work like this that can go viral and attract new potential clients.
As the agency strives to better utilize their website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed to showcase their creative abilities and positive workplace culture, they should make sure that all video content is derived from Vimeo and continues to exist on the website for future views. The agency’s Vimeo account has about eight videos on it, but needs to be updated to show more recent content.
To organize and measure their social media efforts, Full Contact should think about using the social media analytics platform, Klout, which will ultimately help them to measure the amount of influence they have on their overall social media network.
The agency may also want to utilize HootSuite, which exists as a social media organization tool that allows brands and individuals to manage all of their social media activity in one place. This program might make it easier for Full Contact to have more consistency when it comes to updating their social media material.
If the agency does increase their social media activity, then they should keep an even closer eye on their analytics, stemming from platforms such as Google and Facebook. It’s through analytics that Full Contact will have a better idea if their social media efforts are actually paying off, because at the end of the day, they hope that the material they’re posting will generate more awareness for their brand, which translates into increased business.
During this process Full Contact Advertising was a pleasure to work with and as student researchers, we were able to gain a lot from the experience. The main message that we’ve taken from this project and working with Full Contact Advertising is this: social media is so effective because it gets people talking. It’s one of the best ways to start interactions between brands and individuals and can ultimately lead to generating strong and potentially profitable relationships.
Full Contact Advertising is a very successful business, full of highly talented and genuine individuals. If the agency is able to utilize social media to further self-promote themselves and get the most out of all their creative content, then it will only benefit them in the end.