We are at a cross road in the digital space.

There are agencies that know where this world is going and there are those that are playing a game of digital 101 and aren’t very effectively taking their clients to the places they need to be.

In a recent postby digital strategist Mark Smiciklas, he cites steps agencies (and marketers) should take to maximize the performance of the digital and social media outreach:

  1. Listen – what kind of content do your consumers want to consume
  2. Publish & Participate – design a content strategy that makes you relevant and makes you an active participant – not just a broadcaster of messages
  3. Activate – be proactive.  As I’ve said in past posts, social media is inherently passive.  You have to activate it in order for it to work for you.
  4. Nurture – Create incentives to motivate your advocates them.
  5. Empower – make them feel special.

Mark’s bottom line is agencies (and marketers) have to start looking at their digital and social world with a bit more strategic sophistication.

Simply counting likes and followers and claiming success with these one-dimensional metrics is not the answer.

More active participation, better metrics that assess loyalty, conversion, and passion for a brand ultimately will be truer measures of a brand’s social and digital success.

So what does this mean for you?

When looking for a new digital or social agency, don’t get overly enamored with their creative talents as these will only go so far.  And if all they show you are “likes” and “followers” as their measures of success, run.  You’ll be short-changed if that is the only thing you focus your energies on.

Ask them to articulate past program strategies.

Ask them to dimensionalize how they plan and buy and measure performance in this new frontier.

And ask them what they would do if they found a program they put together wasn’t working as well as it should.  Would they “punt” or do they have a well thought out plan for making adjustments and re-assessing a program’s performance.

Just how sophisticated are they, really?

Something you deserve and need to know.