The Impact of the Social Web on Media Agencies

Social media has had an incredible impact on a brand’s marketing program, and in the last few years, with the real blossoming of Facebook and the evolution of Twitter, social media has become more of a player in how brands are engaging with consumers. And just like 10 years ago when agencies were thinking about how to integrate digital, they’re now starting to think about how to integrate social in their strategy as well as the campaigns.

So how does social media fit into a campaign, and how is it impacting media agencies? With media agencies today, it really comes down to defining “media” – because now social media is an incredibly important part of the media, and it has changed the nature of what a media agency is. Social media needs to be thought of as an integral piece of what a media agency is offering, to remain relevant as an operating organization.

When creating a campaign, it’s important to think about how social is going to play into that and how to measure it to make sure it’s impactful. Brands are becoming more personable -– consumers are engaging with a brand as someone they know, so it’s imperative that media agencies today try to keep that experience going, and make it shareable.

Agencies also need to understand mobile and social and digital, as a part of the overarching, holistic planning process for campaigns. These will vary by who the client is, what makes sense for them and where all the buzz is. But success is driven by two things — the category that you’re in and the consumer segment you want to talk to.

One of the biggest changes that’s emerging for media agencies is the role of mobile. Media agencies need to have some appreciation for and familiarity with mobile marketing – because mobile should begin to be included as part of every major program that’s being planned. Everything is moving towards mobile, so understanding the implications and opportunities in mobile inside and out, is not something that can be overlooked.

Also, campaigns used to have a start date and a stop date, and with social media, it becomes more of a continuous effort. You can’t engage in a conversation and then just drop out of it, because you have people who are engaged with you. This means that the speed at which an agency works is quickening. The pace of producing content has become much faster — social media is something that can not wait.

With social media becoming so ingrained in our daily experiences, the agency needs to acknowledge the direction that marketing is headed and proactively work to incorporate new methods to engage consumers.