How did you get your news this morning?
Chances are you skipped the morning broadcast by your local TV station, passed the newsstand without picking up a daily paper and tuned out the radio news on your commute to the office. Then, instead of tapping into those traditional news sources, you scrolled through your Twitter or Facebook feed for a quick look at trending headlines. Or you popped open your favorite, personalized news app, filled only with stories known to interest you.
In short, you consumed “the news” on your schedule, on your device and on your terms. Amazing, isn’t it?
In the old days of not that long ago, the news – like most media – was distributed in very limited ways and through very limited channels. “Sharing” meant clipping out an article from a print newspaper, sealing it in an envelope and sending it via snail-mail to a friend. When the twice-daily newspaper went out of style, broadcast news became the most frequent source of daily updates – and it didn’t come close to rivaling today’s 24-hour cycle.
And it’s not only news that’s been affected by the digital shift. Movies, TV shows, books, textbooks and more can be shared and downloaded online at all times of day and night now. And while you stream your favorite program on a mobile device, you can log onto social media to share reactions and comments with a community of like-minded viewers around the world – if you brave the risk of #spoileralert.
Social media has inflicted incredible disruptions on traditional media and, in fact, daily life. But the power of these tools can be harnessed for good, as the most successful companies today know.
With 76% of adults using social networks, you can bet your customers are among them. Social media has become THE tool to promote and share content, build and influence audiences, communicate with users and gain insight to their behaviour. Networks such as Twitter and Facebook can be used to “personalize” the brand, while driving traffic to sites and collecting useful consumer data. Tools like Instagram, Vine and Snapchat let brands hang out and learn from younger, millennial users.
Nearly 90% of marketers say social media efforts have increased exposure for the business. Strengthening customer loyalty, conducting market research, growing a customer base, providing customer service, learning about the competition – even, amazingly, brewing a beer – can all be done with social media insights – if a company knows how to make sense of it all.
And that’s where technology solutions come in to play. Just as social media success depends on the soft power of creativity and a user’s ability to delight, inspire and, most importantly, engage, it also relies on platforms that collect and make sense of real-time data, manage content assets, understand the metrics and more.
Technology may be even more of a player in the social media of the future, which – at least in Mark Zuckerberg’s opinion (and investment!) – involves 3-D hangouts with friends and family in a virtual world. Goodbye, Twitter feed; hello, Oculus Rift. Imagine being put “into” the news alongside the friend who shared the link with you, as well as the thousands of other viewers enjoying the same piece of content at the same time. Pretty exciting stuff!
So, if social media isn’t part of your media strategy today, may I suggest that you take time to embrace the future of now and the technology solutions it requires – cause the next big thing may be right around a virtual bend.
How is your company succeeding in the social media space? How is technology holding you back?
As always, I welcome your input on how to approach changes and challenges in media. If you think I’ve misread a situation or trend, let me know. If you have a new way of thinking about the topics we discuss, pass it on. I want to engage with all of you in this space as together we make sense of today’s media industry.
Scott Dryburgh joined CSC in 2015 as the Industry Lead for Media with responsibility for UK projects in broadcast, publishing, advertising and entertainment. Prior to joining CSC, he worked across a broad range of clients and was responsible for transforming multi-faceted businesses using a creative and entrepreneurial approach.