It has also brought with it a veritable avalanche of information, some of which is essential for brands, some of which is useful, and much of which is simply words on the wind, to be discarded or filed for future use.
The trick lies in understanding which is which, and reacting at the speed which is now an entry-level expectation for any brand operating in this fast-forward environment.
It is with this in mind that Publicis Machine has launched Newsdesk - an innovative new service provided by the agency that ensures agency teams, their clients and brands keep up with the relentless pace of social media, enabling them to not only react and respond to potential opportunities or threats, but also catch onto trends as they emerge in the social arena.
"This is not about 'reactervising', but rather about creating a way of working between the agency and its clients that we believe is best designed to cater to the needs of platforms that are both time sensitive and data dependent," says Publicis Machine Head of Digital Andy Gilder.
The Newsdesk is essentially a dedicated boardroom in the agency, equipped with multiple monitors displaying data from the agency's always-on reputation management software as well as local and global trending data video conferencing. The room is also set up with the latest video-conferencing technology, enabling teams to not only communicate with brand leaders wherever they may be, but also with third-party suppliers right then and there, eliminating broken-telephone scenarios and significantly shortening the production cycle and feedback loop.
"First prize is always to have the entire brand team, from both client and agency side, at the Newsdesk, so that all the stakeholders are privy to the same information and can make decisions based on the same information, at the same time," says Gilder.
"The system essentially enables clients to be far more responsive to digital consumer engagement, but it has a deeper positive effect on the way in which we work with our clients," adds Andrew Michau, Chief Strategy Officer.
"The group dynamic, which is essential for Newsdesk to function, promotes an open and trusting relationship, with the result that the combined client/agency team is far more likely to question their existing means of communicating with customers and innovate. The process is iterative rather than campaign-based which also promotes speed to market, continuous improvement and responsiveness."
To date, the agency has worked at the Newsdesk for Nescafe's Dolce Gusto Christmas campaign, which both agency and client agree contributed significantly to the success of the campaign. Importantly, the Newsdesk enabled the team to carefully measure the campaign against sales every step of the way, allowing for last-minute adjustments to further improve performance.
"Newsdesk is about decision-making more than anything else - having the right people in the room with the right data in hand to make the best decision possible in the most efficient manner. To this end, we've got everyone from clients to creatives to data analysts in the room - not only contributing to the decision, but embracing the collaborative way of working that is key to the future success of brands on social," concludes Gilder.