As far as we understand, social media is a part of media mix, it is globally still very immature without established practices. It resembles the beginning of the internet era when the tech guys tried to sell services communicating with clients by using jargon, and having neither understanding nor skills of client businesses.
Digital, on the other hand, is data that are electromagnetically stored in the form of discrete digits, according to whatis dot com:
Digital describes electronic technology that generates, stores, and processes data in terms of two states: positive and non-positive. Positive is expressed or represented by the number 1 and non-positive by the number 0. Thus, data transmitted or stored with digital technology is expressed as a string of 0’s and 1’s. Each of these state digits is referred to as a bit (and a string of bits that a computer can address individually as a group is a byte).
Prior to digital technology, electronic transmission was limited to analog technology, which conveys data as electronic signals of varying frequency or amplitude that are added to carrier waves of a given frequency. Broadcast and phone transmission has conventionally used analog technology.
Digital technology is primarily used with new physical communications media, such as satellite and fiber optic transmission. A modem is used to convert the digital information in your computer to analog signals for your phone line and to convert analog phone signals to digital information for your computer.
Social and digital are not the same, one huge difference is in the emphasis on human interaction over tech. Iis a manifestation of something that in many cases requires a new, and often temporary, nucleus to help socialize existing methodologies toward marketing, advertising, communications, service and etc. At the highest level, ‘social’ is construct, a mindset and cultural instigator, to enable it, we need to use digital tools to help.
When come to the subject of social strategies, they are quickly becoming digital strategies that touch all parts of the organization and not just mar-comm. The other thing we see is many PR agencies nowadays are hiring young people who just out of college and give them the title of Digital Strategist when their only digital experience is a Facebook page, or MySpace and Skype chat and to let them take care of their clients social media campaigns. But when corporations realize that social business is not about short term campaigns, they give $ to boutique agencies.
The data below indicates that there’s a significant jump in spending on boutique social media firms when the buyer is advanced and sophisticated in social business. They know their traditional agency lacks flexibility or doesn’t have a business model for social engagement and relies on them, according WebStrategist’s Study
The skill of social media agencies is their ability to convince/con corporations into believing their Digital Strategist’s are exceptional communicators, ask any social media agency, they l hardly to admit that they outsource social task to others.
In regarding to why social media boutiques differentiate and win deals from advanced buyers, it said, for some of the traditional agencies, they might lack the right culture to get social (or digital for that matter) right. As we know the working way of traditional agencies – creatives rule the day. Often time, they fail to adopt an agile data driven culture needed for digital, or a relationship based culture needed in social.
In addition, traditional agencies are hiring but they have a lot of layers to go through (approval, marketing, content etc) before the social media stuff is implemented or before you write content for a client for the traditional agencies.
Social, on the other hand, is fast and it is real time stuff, you are dealing directly with the clients, because its always changing, so you need to understand the social psychology as well, you’ve got to be adaptable and ready be able to deal with change in a timely manner, due to the fact of there are less politics and less layers to go through, thus a new and young agency can do that well.
According to Jeremiah from web-strategist, Social Media Boutiques are taking the budgets away from Traditional Agencies as corporations become mature. Corporations know they need these specialists for the following reason:
* Offer a specialized skillset in new media and social business that traditional agencies may not offer
* Often offer change management within the corporations – traditional agencies have a reputation for layering social media on top of existing campaigns.
* Rather than be campaign” focused, instead are more long term focused such as building a community with customers for the long term.
* Are ready to roll up sleeves to assist with deeper customer engagement – not just deploy traditional advertising (one of the top spends in social business)
* Are more agile within smaller teams and can quickly maneuver as the technology space changes over time.
* Fundamentally are geared to measure differently around engagement, and what it means – not just top line and bottom line measurements … continuing read here
In a nutshell, to success on the social journey, focusing on customer experience across all the touchpoints with a brand is a must thing to do. It’s about the “point of value” between when your product/service is purchased and when the consumer feels they are getting full value from their purchase. It is also the moment where brands have the biggest opportunity to catalyze value from social customer engagement.
Beside that, a broader set of skills than the outcomes historically favored by traditional marketing also need to put into the place.