How social media agencies are stealing your money


by @DavidAPortney

Many digital/social media agencies (let’s just call them social for the purpose of this blog) are stealing money.  How?  Let me explain…

First off, I’m not generalizing to mean ALL social media agencies, just many that I’ve come across.  Last week I was speaking with an owner of a used car dealership, and she, like many business owners, employed an agency to handle their social media accounts.  They set her up, started posting content and told her the unthinkable:  they would not give her access to post on her own!

She didn’t know any better and thought this was the norm with this field.  Let me tell you…IT’S NOT.  Many agencies try to keep their clients in the dark so they are needed, and subsequently keep writing them a check every month.  They don’t do a good job of getting to know the business they’re serving, and just go after the all mighty dollar.  Where I come from that’s bad business, and in the long run bad business NEVER wins.

What pleases me the most is when a business owner approaches a social media professional or agency, they work TOGETHER to advance their band online, then the client becomes comfortable enough with the social media platforms to at least begin to handle it on their own.  Obviously, if both parties are pleased with the relationship they can and should continue to work together.

No one knows a business better than their own employees, so why put blind trust in an agency who may now have known you even existed before they reached out?  If you’re a business owner and looking to hire an individual or agency, make sure the they understand this is a RELATIONSHIP and not you just handing over the keys to your online presence.

Has anyone else experienced this or heard horror stories of social media agencies going rogue?  Let me know!

(image courtesy


About dportmedia

Thanks for checking out my page! The purpose of this blog is to touch on the interaction between media and society. I don’t profess to have all of the answers, but hopefully we can have meaningful and cordial discourse on the topics most relevant to all of us. Follow me on Twitter @DavidAPortney
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3 Responses to How social media agencies are stealing your money

  1. A lot of so called Social Media Experts and Search Engine Optimization “Professionals” are stealing money from people as well, not just the agencies. The claim to make a small business #1 on Google is a complete grey area, but most organizations who are not involved in Search Engine Marketing do not understand that it’s a false promise being made. Sure, you can be #1 on Google for maybe a day or even a week globally, but it won’t last unless you have a huge marketing budget to inject into PPC. Making the promise of being #1 on Google locally would be more realistic, but it is still partially the truth because social media marketing is all about embedding social as an enterprise, not as a department. This goes for social media marketing as well. The only thing that you can do as an organization is to net all of the customers that you possibly can based on your specific demographics. So I always put it like this to a business, “If your business is failing, then so will your social media strategy”. I believe that it is important to solve one issue at a time and if the business is suffering, social media marketing is not the magic bullet.

    • dportmedia says:

      Yes I 100% agree. SEO/Social/Digital Media will only further expose your business whether it’s good or bad. I would say social media marketing doesn’t really “solve” anything, it only further connects a business to its customers. My only concern is if this becomes more widespread, businesses will become increasingly weary of hiring ANYONE to help with their online presence. Only time will tell.

      • I always warn social media specialists or SEO professionals not to present themselves as strictly online promoters. People in the digital world should constantly be expanding their skills digitally, not just through Google certifications and with social media platforms. Essentially, if you want to keep getting business in different avenues of marketing, you need to be well rounded and digitally sound. This could mean being Adobe Creative Cloud proficient, being a professional in Digital Photography or producing high quality videos. The quickest way to put yourself out of a job is to say that you are a social media specialist or strictly an SEO Guy.

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