We Are Social launches paid media unit

by David Gilbert in News

As you may have seen in the MediaPost, Campaign, Marketing Interactive or All Facebook, last week we announced our new paid media offering.

As Media Director, I’ll be leading the service, which will be a key pillar of We Are Social’s strategic offering across all of our eight offices worldwide. We now plan and buy media across all of the relevant social platforms, from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to Tumblr and Sina Weibo, amplifying the right social content at the right time.

Why is our offering different? Well, generally, agencies either specialise in media buying (paid media) or are a creative agency offering strategy, creative, content production and community management (owned and earned media). They seldom offer both with equal ability.

We’ve found that by bringing best-in-class paid social media expertise in-house, and positioning it alongside the social content creation and community management teams who create and optimise owned content, we are uniquely placed to drive better reach, engagement and ROI for our clients.

We’ll help marketers deal with the increased blurring of the lines between paid, owned and earned media by the social platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter asking brands to pay to promote their social content, rather than buying conventional display advertising. This change in emphasis from conventional display advertising to the concept of “promoting stories” is a complete paradigm shift that traditional media agencies are yet to get their heads around.

There are significant advantages to We Are Social being the agency which looks after this. Firstly, we already know what the ‘important’ updates are ahead of time (for example, product launch announcements, promotions etc..) – because we’re the ones creating them. These are the sorts of updates that brands should always use paid media budget to amplify.

Secondly, if an organic Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr post gets high engagement, it makes sense from an ROI perspective to amplify that post to a wider audience – using paid media to generate even more earned media. In the past, we would contact the client, tell them what’s happened, and ask them to get their media agency to promote the post via paid media. Then the media agency would be briefed, would call We Are Social, find out what post to promote, set up the ad, get the client to approve the ad, and set the ad live. This process at best would take hours, most often days (or not happen at all because of the barriers against it happening) – so the opportunity was lost. Now though, if the client has agreed to run paid media with We Are Social too, then as soon as the organic post has proven to do well – we would convert the organic post into a paid media advertisement, and set it live – within minutes!

We can also compete head-to-head against any generalist media agency because we have more specialist knowledge and a better approach to paid social media – we have employed experienced employees from several of the original Facebook Ads API alpha partners, so there’s no one out there who has more knowledge of paid social media than us.

We Are Social has built up an impressive client base around the world and produced great results over the past five years with a focus on earned and owned social media. By combining this with market leading paid-social thinking and execution, we’re delivering a paid promotion offering that will create even better results for our clients, something that no other agency currently offers.

I’ll leave the last word to our Global Managing Director, Robin Grant:

Today’s social environment demands that media planning be integrated into brands’ social media strategies and for media buying to operate in real-time and in synergy with always-on social content creation and community management.

Traditional media agencies, hampered by legacy structures, just aren’t geared up to take this approach. We’ve designed We Are Social’s new paid media offering from the bottom-up to solve this problem for brands. With David’s leadership, we’re confident that this offering will change the game for our clients.

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  • ghensel

    I would love to praise you for your vision. But in fact I wonder why so few other agencies have taken this path. Congratulations David. An exciting role in a great company…

  • ALEX HO

    Great approach, from ALEX HO

  • Anon

    “uniquely placed” – presumably unlike all the other digital PRs that have added media buying strings to their bow over the last few years

  • http://wearesocial.net/ Robin Grant

    Hey Anon

    Not quite sure which ‘digital PRs’ you’re referring to?

    For example Edelman announced their first hire in this area at about the same time as we made our announcement. And they don’t seem to be talking about integrating their media offering with content and community management in the way that we are. I’d say that’s justification for uniquely placed?

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