Advertising agencies constantly stress the importance of a social media presence to their clients.Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, agencies hope their clients realise the strong potential of these important resources.
We took a look at the Twitter accounts of the top ad agencies in the world — ranked by revenue, per Ad Age — to see if they practice what they preach. Do they use social media effectively? Do they communicate with followers in a meaningful way?
It turns out, some agencies want their clients to do as they say, not as they do. Many agencies let weeks go by between tweets. Think about that: How can an agency recommend an “always on” social media campaign if it can’t handle its own Twitter account?
We ranked agencies by total number of followers. Because large agencies have an advantage over smaller ones in terms of collecting followers, we then gave each shop a separate, subjective percentage score based on how useful and interesting their Twitter stream was.
Sample tweet: 'Black Friday is no longer about waiting in line, it's about going online. Over $1 billion spent on Black Friday this yr http://bit.ly/Re1GEG'
Zimmerman, part of Omnicom, has a very small follower base compared to the other agencies on our list. The few hundred that subscribe to its page receive information about the advertising world, but not about Zimmerman itself.
Sample tweet: 'Move over, in-flight movies: YouTube content coming to Virgin America flights http://ow.ly/fXIrC'
Lowe offers its followers a good balance of company updates, industry news, and 'behind-the-scenes' tweets that give insights of what is going on in the Lowe's office. For example, one tweet mentioned the company's holiday Christmas party.
Sample tweet: 'It's almost like we were there... Some of the best
#2012Olympics moments showcased in our hallways http://instagr.am/p/RyRriiQDSD/'
Team One, part of Publicis, gives its followers a good sense of what it's like behind-the-scenes in their office, which most of the other agencies on our list do not do. But while they excel in this aspect, they fall behind in providing information about their work and the ad world in general.
Sample tweet: 'The business of social business: What works and how it's done - New Report from our colleagues at @IBMIBV http://ibm.co/XpRdaV
Like a few other agencies on our list, IBM Interactive does not tweet very often. When it does tweet, it primarily publicizes company information.
Sample tweet: 'Grey Group Beijing displays art installation 'Lost Mirror Lake' in Soho Square, Beijing. Check it out here http://ow.ly/fXssE'
Grey Group does a fantastic job of publicizing its own work on Twitter, keeps its followers informed on the agency's latest projects. It would have received a higher score if it had updated its account more frequently. Days, and sometimes weeks, pass between tweets.
Sample tweet: 'Getting ready for our MadMen viewing party tonight. Putting on our finest fedoras as we plan the drink menu. Any faves you suggest?'
Dentsu, like Team One, uses its Twitter account to tell its followers what it's like at the Dentsu office. It lacks company and industry updates, as well as a consistent tweeting rate. Its last tweet is from over two months ago.
Sample tweet: 'Oh man. via @vulture The Year in Local News Bloopers http://bit.ly/XqCcG2'
Young & Rubicam mixes a lot of tweets about random musings, such as the sample tweet above, with a little bit of relevant company news. Their company updates mainly consist of publicizing the work of different offices.
Sample tweet: 'Work we're proud of: S&S China's 'Water for children' performance art piece for Greenpeace http://www.neehao.co.uk/2012/12/saatchi-saatchi-china-launches-water-for-children-for-greenpeace/ …'
While Saatchi & Saatchi keeps its followers informed about both the company and industry it works in, it received a lower score because, like a few other agencies on our list, fails to update its account daily.
Sample tweet: 'Businesses must have strong beliefs -- and be willing to change everything except those beliefs. Thomas Watson Jr., cited at
Deutsch, part of Interpublic, adeptly creates a good combination of industry and company tweets, while also keeping the tone casual with random tweets such as '
#TGIF! Who is ready for the weekend? via @milkmustache We are!'
Sample tweet: 'Proximity Colombia have won 2 PR Lions at
#canneslions. Check out the awesome winning work for Landmine Awareness http://youtu.be/ELtHtp5osSE'
Proximity, part of BBDO, mainly uses its Twitter account to provide news about the company and its work. It does not tweet very often, giving it a lower ranking.
Sample tweet: 'How to take the sting out of negative feedback and use it to your advantage (via @fastcompany): http://bit.ly/S1clho'
McGarryBowen, part of the larger Dentsu Inc., uses its Twitter account to keep its followers up-to-date on AdLand with the occasional tweet about the company itself.
Sample tweet: 'Do you have to travel the world to meet the world? Heineken challenged two guys to meet 194 countries in 1 city, live: http://tinyurl.com/boz69dc'
Tribal DDB's Twitter account primarily includes links to interesting advertising news, and occasionally publicizes company updates.
Sample tweet: 'Creativity: Fernando the Cigar Genius, Wunderman New York's novel approach to promoting Camancho cigars. http://ow.ly/e2LR0'
New York City-based Wunderman uses its Twitter account to retweet Wunderman Seattle's information, as well as providing company and industry news.
Sample tweet: 'Check out @DDBChicago and Thornberg & Forester's 'The Gift of Togetherness' work for RMHC featured in @LBBOnline today http://goo.gl/RqFTX'
DDB's Twitter account is full of a healthy mix of company updates and links to industry-related news. They do a good job of keeping its followers informed about the advertising world and DDB itself.
Sample tweet: '@getgravitas thanks for the reply, and interesting insights. We definitely see your point, but let's not forget about television as well.'
SapientNitro does a great job of replying to tweets, but a not-so-great job of publicizing company news.
Sample tweet: 'Digital technology is being used to improve the customer's store experience: http://bit.ly/SxLjQF
#technology #innovation #retail #digital'
Havas Worldwide, formally Euro RSCG Worldwide, mainly tweets links to other articles. While followers get a good sense of what is going on in the advertising industry, they do not get a clear understanding of what is going on at Havas.
Sample tweet: '10 million regular @Foursquare @Nielsen says 42% of those who downloaded app use it at least once a month.'
Publicis keeps its followers entertained by tweeting out interesting industry news, rather than filling its feed with only company-specific updates.
Sample tweet: 'Leo Burnett announces new Los Angeles office led by Shannon McGlothlin @creativitymag http://ow.ly/dNVe3'
Leo Burnett does a great job of informing its followers about news within the company, such as awards the firm has received or new hires. They mix up their company-related tweets with article links. Their tweets are very hashtag heavy.
Number of followers: 20,361
Sample tweet: 'Is it possible that Apple Maps is an experiment in natural selection? http://huge.is/RXQrRg'
Huge is part of the Interpublic network, but operates autonomously. Its Twitter account is full of funny commentary on accompanying story links. Hardly any industry or company news is presented.
Sample tweet: '60% of UK Twitter users tweet while watching TV RT @jwtwow: Twitter has a phenomenal relationship with TV http://sco.lt/7Cs5kf'
JWT successfully engages with its followers by replying to a good number of those who tweet at them. There's a good balance of company and industry-related tweets.
Sample tweet: '@pogopictures Funny spot. May we suggest turning your goat onto Doritos Locos Tacos next? You've got our vote.'
DraftFCB tweets look random but many of them are actually promoting the agency or its clients.
Sample tweet: '
#gmail is down with a possible torn ACL. Walking down the hall + talking to people is in as replacement.'
McCann's Twitter feed is one of the more casual, lighthearted accounts on our list. It does a good job of responding to people who tweet at the firm, but rarely tweets about company or industry news, lowering its rank.
Sample tweet: 'In 2013, Asian cultural & social trends will play a larger role in Western pop culture. See what else is coming http://bit.ly/SDOyWR'
Digitas primarily tweets out AdLand news versus company updates, which docked at few points off of its rating.
Sample tweet: 'Smart and CLMBBDO demonstrate Smart's ability to park anywhere, anytime, so you're never late when it counts'
This New York based ad agency fills its Twitter account with company news. We would have given it a higher score if the company updated its account more consistently. Sometimes it tweets everyday, but other times days or even weeks pass between tweets.
Sample tweet: 'It is morning. I open my inbox and see two words -- two dreaded words -- a person hopes never to have to confront: Pinterest webinar.'
R/GA, part of Interpublic, does not utilise Twitter to keep followers informed about the company or the advertising business in general. The feed is often filled with random thoughts that are irrelevant to advertising.
Sample tweet: 'Inspiring interview with our legend Lee Clow with The FWA. Check it out and see who is his all time favourite client. http://fb.me/1lzdwXGYw'
TBWA does a great job of keeping its followers in-the-know when it comes to company information. It also updates its account very frequently.
Sample tweet: 'We need to create a world where creativity is pervasive. And we must be braver than ever! -Tham Khai Meng
Ogilvy's account is updated frequently and has a great mix of posts.
Sample tweet: 'FLUENT, our digital marketing technology platform, wins @iMediaTweet 2012 agency award http://rfish.us/SNf0gr'
Razorfish tweets a lot about its personnel, including information about new hires and links to articles mentioning its employees.
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