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Over a decade since the social media revolution and we are still seeing examples of some of the world’s biggest and best-known brands – pardon our French – cocking it up. You only have to look at the recent Starbucks strategy to feed a live stream of #spreadthecheer in the Natural History Museum that was hijacked by tax protestors. This post-dates a whole host of ill-advised social media dramas involving Skittles, Chrysler and even Ryanair, to name but a few. Only #waitrosereasons managed to claw back some integrity for the brand.

The ‘shoot now and ask questions later’ approach that is adopted when it comes to social media is drawing to an end. The ease with which you can update, upload and respond means that it becomes very easy to lose sight of a strategy. Not only that but it is also very easy for mistakes to be made that will no longer go unnoticed. Rogue bandits can cause more damage with a single misguided tweet than the most scathing of press reviews. The web has gone wild and it’s time to bring back some order.

Within a year, internet use on mobile devices will overtake desktop access for the first time, which is easy to believe when over 60% of all mobile phones worldwide are internet enabled smartphones. Consumers now have the attention span of that of a gnat, with a reduction over the last 25 years from 12 minutes to 5 seconds. Not only that but their ability to multitask has also gone through the roof, 86% of smartphone users will be online while undertaking other activities such as watching TV. Only recently it was reported that the general population checks their phone over 100 times a day.

Integrated marketing is not a term that is unfamiliar, so why is it so challenging to implement this across all online activity? Particularly when you know that your target audience is likely to have their fingers glued to their phones and watching your every move, making judgements and drawing conclusions based on how the brand is presented.

The social media obsession is drawing to an end to make way for a new and more advanced management protocol that is designed to ensure continuity across all digital outlets.

Consideration for the interaction between digital channels is now more important than ever. While a campaign can be run on a single platform, thought must be put in to how this will translate should the audience wish for it to be drawn out across the web as a whole. The length of a tweet, responsiveness of a website and compatibility of your links will all play a part in determining the flop or flight of your online campaigns.

Digital media management has evolved as the integrated and strategic approach to the management of a digital footprint. There is no longer the option of independent online channels operating in isolation.

The sheriff is back in town…

To get your online engagement rounded up, and find out more about digital media management email nigel@ferrier-pearce.co.uk

Article as featured in The Drum Magazine March edition

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