Home Back Issues November 2011 Boutique social media firms carve a market niche

Boutique social media firms carve a market niche

| Print |  Email
Articles - November 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article Index
Boutique social media firms carve a market niche
Page 2
 

 

1111_BoutiqueSocialMedia_02
Jeff Selin of DoJo Agency uses a wall-sized whiteboard to brainstorm his company's social media strategies.
// Photo by Alexandra Shyshkina

“It’s still very wild, wild West,” says Todd Pitt, owner of Zero Strategist, a digital marketing firm that helps small businesses establish or refine their online identity. The uncertainty makes for a volatile market. Not only is the technology evolving rapidly, but the boutiques trying to harness and package it to clients come from a buffet of different backgrounds, from advertising and marketing, to public relations, search engine optimization and so on. Their approaches to social engagement and campaigns can differ significantly. Choose the wrong path and business suffers.

In addition, Portland itself makes the market more complicated, observers in the industry say. With an educated workforce and struggling economy, the market is saturated with tech-savvy folks jumping into social media marketing, regardless of whether they have the ability to synthesize what a business wants and needs or deliver a product that will help them manage their brand amid swirling online conversations and a shifting landscape. What you end up with, Pitt says, are “social media snake oil salesmen,” unprepared to juggle the many needs of small businesses.

Ryan Lewis, president of Bonfire Social Media, takes a glass-half-full view of the sometimes drastic differences in the approaches of the city’s digital marketing firms. “There’s no one way to do social media,” Lewis says, “just wrong applications for different strategies.”

Some companies can post Facebook updates all day without rankling fans. But with other companies, any more than two updates a day begins to feel like spam.

The shifting landscape of the social media world isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Portland’s specialty boutiques. Smaller firms believe they are more nimble and better able to keep up with changes than larger agencies that might have a long-standing predilection toward old-school techniques.

Alisa Zwanger, head of marketing strategy for Mambo Media boutique, says that while the region’s bigger advertising houses can do amazing social media work for their clients, it’s the smaller, specialized boutiques that can understand and adapt to changes as they happen. “I think the bigger your ship, the much harder it is to steer,” Zwanger says.

That dexterity, coupled with a real depth of experience, has already started to separate the gurus from the greenhorns among the city’s social media boutiques. As the market matures and client loyalty builds, that experience and ability will be how the West was won.



 

More Articles

Attack of the Robin Sages

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 07, 2014
070714 thumb linkedinfakesBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.


Read more...

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

Poll Wrap-Up

News
Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 NewPoll-report-newsletterthumbIn this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.


Read more...

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY LINDA BAKER  | OB EDITOR

The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation  — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment. 

Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Pete Friedes

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

082714-thumb friedesbookTom Cox interviews Pete Friedes, author of "The 2R Manager," about becoming a Best Boss.


Read more...

Two sides of the coin

Contributed Blogs
Monday, August 25, 2014
0825 thumb moneyBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Ferguson Wellman’s investment views on the economy and capital markets.


Read more...

Register for 100 Best Companies survey

News
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
OBM-100-best-logo-2015 150pxwBy Kim Moore | OB Editor

The 2015 survey launched this week. It is open to for-profit private and public companies that have at least 15 full- or part-time employees in Oregon.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS