Social 2.0 is here and it is different indeed

Social 2.0 is here and it is different indeed

Is New Age media a buzz word or is it fundamentally different to what we have seen before in social and digital?

Social Media 1.0 was also considered an inflection point for the marketing agency space. Or was it? It is true that there was a complete change in perspective. Social-first became a buzz word on all pitch decks. But, did social 1.0 fundamentally revise the core skills and functioning of a typical marketing agency.

Agencies jostled to innovate on its delivery processes but the core skills of creative ideation, content production and team structure remained same. Leaner but same. Seasoned agency hands became digital creators and client facing teams had a few online bourses to browse through. Innovation was incremental, at best.

This shift is timely to revisit in the context of what new age media of today has to offer. I believe agencies would find it hard to weather this change with incremental innovations.

There are 3 fundamental differences from social 1.0, which in a way also characterizes what the new age media of today stands for:

  1. Platforms: Platforms 2.0 do not replicate real life behavior and social connections on an online platforms. But fundamentally new and never seen before digital first behaviors are formed organically on these platforms. Consider: A user dancing on a trending challenge pre tiktok days and this was unthinkable; even out of place. Agencies of today have to comprehend this new behavior germination and translate these social cultures for brand campaigns. A conventional agency doesn’t have the creative wherewithal to navigate this.
  2. Creators: There is a new set of social media users who ‘creators’ first. In fact, users use media based on social function and not the content type. As a result, content-first and platform repurposing doesn’t work anymore. Native campaigns to be part of targeted digital communities with varying social mores will become increasingly common. A ‘one size fits all’ social campaign will not result in brand results and agencies need to get selective in saying yes/ no to platforms.
  3. Formats - As a consequence of new platforms and creators, new content formats have emerged. This requires agencies to employ new resources for content creation which didn’t exist earlier in an agency eco system. Again, incremental innovation with existing resources doesn’t apply.

How do agencies survive in a new age Media context? Or is this time for the anti-agency?

Not. With fragmented media habits, there hasn’t been a bigger need for agency thinking than now; for an agency to marry these diverse new age media cultures with brands and their users. Brands cannot do it by themselves and users are inundated with plenty of choices. Agencies have to reimagine content formats, delivery processes and rethink team structures to deliver solutions befitting to these times.

By: Aasim Shaik​
LPS Managing Director

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