Cristina Aced, a freelance journalist and consultant from Barcelona who wanted to know how a social media agency works in London, has spent three weeks with us here at We Are Social. She shares her point of view on the questions brands should ask themselves when embracing social media.

Should a company have a blog? Well, I’d reply: “It depends”. I usually say that it’s not a must to have a corporate blog (or a corporate Facebook profile, i.e.). It makes no sense that a firm has all these 2.0 tools if they are only a tactic. Of course, I think it’s important to monitor social media, in the same way firms follow what happens in mass media, but I defend they don’t have to create a blog just for the sake of it (as we explained in this study published in 2007). Web 2.0 is more than a fad; it should be part of an overall business strategy. The key questions firm should answer are: why do we want a blog?, what are our aims?, how can we integrate it with our strategy?

Yesterday, I was listening to a Spanish radio programme called “L’estiu en un blog” (Summer in a blog, COMRàdio), and they were talking about corporate blogs and how companies use them. They spoke about social media agencies and they quoted We Are Social as an example of best practice. It’s cool to hear the local radio in your hometown speaking about the international agency where you are spending a few weeks :) (The podcast is available here, but only in Catalan).

Some colleagues ask me if the way of working in social media here in London is different to Spain. I think processes are very similar: the research, the same tools for social media monitoring etc. However, the critical point is strategy. Here, in London, both agency and clients rely on (and believe in) strategy. In Spain, there are professionals able to formulate a social media strategy, but clients still don’t understand the meaning of this. Most of them consider Web 2.0 as just as another tool. That’s the problem. I think I’ll miss the willingness to learn and to understand the new reality that clients have here in the UK. I like the way We Are Social works: brainstorms, working as a team, but most of all, their strategic approach.

I love this 2.0 philosophy, this conversational way of doing things. We Are Social really is a conversation agency, just as they define themselves. It’s my last day here, but the conversation will go on, as the internet breaks boundaries of time and space. Welcome to the age of conversation…