Social Trend Watching: September

Michael Oelschig Submitted by on the 8th of September 2016

Welcome to September’s edition of social media trends to watch out for.


The Customer Interaction Centre… The Digital Centre of Excellent Customer Service… The Social Interaction Centre of Service Excellence on Digital…

…or whatever people are calling it these days. There has always been talk in our industry around the benefit of businesses taking traditional, ATL advertising in-house. There are certainly arguments and proponents on both sides of that discussion. I, for one, have never thought it is a good idea, for many reasons that aren’t necessary to go into now. The fact that most businesses still have a traditional agency partner in one form or another does seem to back me up.

But the same can’t really be said for taking social in-house. At Cerebra, we’ve always said our end goal is to not be the caretakers of a businesses’ social comms in perpetuity – even if that isn’t the best approach financially on our part. Our end goal is always to give our clients the necessary grounding, knowledge, IP, processes etc. that allow them to take it over themselves. Cerebra’s role ideally then evolves into one of consultants or advisors. It is just better that way, again for many reasons that are not necessary to go into.

And now, businesses the world over seem to be waking up to this idea. Most of our big corporate clients are beginning to set up internal social command centres that cover the full scope of social media, from content marketing to paid media to customer service to analytics, and the benefits are profound.

Social, unlike traditional advertising, cannot exist as a siloed department. It is constant, always on, on-the-go and it requires a level of agility that traditional advertising does not. The structure of your social team needs to then also be set up for such agility.

By creating a command centre that brings together, physically and mentally, all aspects of social into one hub of collaboration and awesomeness, it opens the door to becoming a truly social business. Just imagine the power of the analytics guy getting context for his data from the customer service guy who is giving his insights to the content guy who then collaborates on which is the best content to promote with the paid media guy. And they all have the kind of intuitive knowledge about the company and its products that only comes from working for that company. Brilliant.

So, if your company isn’t even thinking about this approach yet, I would recommend giving a nudge to whomever you need to. This is one trend you really don’t want to be left behind on.

If you can’t beat ‘em…

Less an actionable trend and more of a musing on my part; I have noticed something strange in the neighbourhood recently and it has made me wonder; have we reached, or started to reach at least, a plateau in completely new social media platforms and add-on tools from existing ones? The reason I ask this is that there seems to be quite a lot of copycatting going on. I still laugh every time I think about the giant balls of Instagram not only blatantly copying Snapchat Stories but, in an epic case of not giving a shit, they went and called it the same thing. Classic.

Anyway, this seems to be happening a lot lately. Google recently announced they are expanding their Accelerated Mobile Pages, which is basically the same as Facebook’s Instant articles. We recently spoke about Facebook taking aim at Periscope and, when WhatsApp was losing some ground to other IM’s with better encryption, they added in their own. The list goes on. It seems that all the big players are trying to outdo each other’s main features as opposed to building new and never-before-seen ones.

Again, I’m not entirely sure what I want you to do with this information, besides breathing a sigh of relief that it doesn’t appear you will be adding another channel to your marketing mix anytime soon, but I do think it’s a very interesting development.  Use it as you will.


Mike O