Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Touché PHD // Canada's pioneering media agency: Social Media Revolution

If you work in media, and especially if work with online media (seems like everybody is) there’s only one thing everybody is talking about… Social Media. We cannot deny that social media is now mainstream and the fact that everybody’s parents are getting in on the action proves it.

That said, you’ve probably already seen the original Social Media Revolution by Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business book as well as his Socialnomics blog. The YouTube video has been seen over 1.9 million times, inspiring a slew of copycats.

A couple of weeks ago Erik released a follow-up video aptly called Social Media Revolution 2. In reality it’s not true follow up, more like a refresh of his first video. SMR2 has mostly updated information on social media & mobile and a few new statistics that are hard to ignore according to the author.

I won’t run down to you everything on the video because a lot of the information between SMR1 and SMR2 repeats itself, but here are some of the new and updated statistics in SMR2.

• 96% of Millennial’s (people born after 1982) have joined a social network.
• In SMR1 Facebook added 100 million users in the last 9 months. SMR2 states that Facebook added 200 million users in the last year.
• If Facebook were a country it would be the 3rd largest country in the world, in front of the United States.
• 80% of companies use social media for recruitment, 95% of them use LinkedIn.
• Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears have more followers on Twitter than the population of Sweden, Israel, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway and Panama.
• Some universities have stopped distributing email accounts to students, instead they are giving them eReaders, iPads and tablet computers.
• More than a 100 hours of video has been uploaded on YouTube in the time it’s taken you to watch SMR2.
• If you were paid $1 every time an article was posted on Wikipedia, you would make $1,712.32 an hour. In SM1 that number was just over $156/hour.

At the end of the video Erik asks us if we still think if social media is a fad… I’m not sure, and I’ve never liked to make predictions when it comes to human behaviour. I’ll be honest, I can’t picture it going away and I think it’s here to stay but will continue to evolve in ways we can’t imagine yet.

I was inspired by Erik’s video to post this article and by chance a small book was dropped on my desk last week that I think can help our clients get a better picture of what’s going on right now. So in a selfless act of self promotion I’d like to mention that PHD has just released their second guide on the current media landscape called Fluid: PHD on Harnessing the Rising Speed of Influence (available for free here) that gives a very up to date bird’s eye view on the current social environment. In case you’re curious, the first one was called 2014: PHD on the Future of the Media Agency (also available for free).

Having just read Fluid, I think it’s a great guide that can help show our clients the current barriers they must face if they want to jump into the social landscape. One such barrier, which will probably be the hardest for most clients to deal with, is transparency. We’ve all seen examples in the last year of brands (that I will not mention) committing this faux-pas in the social media landscape. I commend these brands for taking the risk and rolling with the punches.

I believe that we must make our clients (big and small) realise that the relationship with their customer has changed; it’s no longer a simple, one-time transaction. Because of the web landscape and the social environment, more and more customers are coming into stores with more knowledge on the product than the employees at the store. Customers like these are devoted to brands and should be nurtured because they will become brand ambassadors and an invaluable asset.

So where does this leave media agencies when their clients ask them to include “social media” sites in their media plans? One thing that has become very clear and that we NEED to make our clients realise is that a simple banner on social networks or a Facebook/Twitter account will not do it. We need to let our clients know that we are in a world where brands have the opportunity to become their own specialised content networks. These specialised “networks” can now easily connect directly with their fans and brand ambassadors through social networks and they will in turn share, chat, tweet, blog and share news about their products.

From a media planners point of view I think our job has become much more of a collaborative effort with our clients. Media agencies and planners need to become brand ambassadors and work even more closely with clients and help guide them in this brave new world.

We’ve been working hard on our end here at Touché! PHD to build a social media offer which will be revealed soon. We are confident that our media planning perspective on tackling social media will be unique and pioneering.

This said I’d like to hear your comments and thoughts on how you or media agencies can help introduce their clients to social media...Touché PHD // Canada's pioneering media agency

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