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

Fly Zone

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


Read more...

The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


Read more...

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...

Water World

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


Read more...

Reimagining education to solve Oregon's student debt and underemployment problems

News
Thursday, November 13, 2014
carsonstudentdept-thumbBY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peter Lizotte at ACME Business Solutions and Roger Busse at Pacific Continental Bank share their favorite reads.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies survey is open

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


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