A decade of social
There is no question that social media platforms have topped the news agenda over the past decade. According to Doubleday, people’s attitudes towards social have taken a battering in recent years, with regulation topping the agenda. As well as the rise of influencer marketing and the crisis of confidence amongst more traditional agencies and marketers which has accompanied it.
These controversies have contributed to a media narrative which makes it easy to overlook the phenomenal opportunity social channels offer brands and society more broadly, providing the platforms for brands, leaders and individuals to connect. Or the fuel for people-powered social movements such as #MeToo or #JeSuisCharlie.
Yet at the same time, amongst marketing circles at least, there is a growing cynicism surrounding social media. As well as a growing awareness of the mental strain of that ‘great life you aren’t living on social media’ on the mental health younger consumers. Although arguably, it is the baby boomers and millennials who didn’t grow up in an always-on environment, who naturally find it more difficult to navigate.
So, as social media comes of age, what should brands be aware of? “Authenticity is what people are looking for,” explains Doubleday. “Social media has played a role in huge global societal changes,” she explains. Pointing to the growth of communities of influence which can play a vital role in providing research and insight into what audiences are really looking for.
Social media comes of age
The We Are Social story is not just a tale of first-mover advantage; the agency has played a key role in elevating the role of social media in marketing more broadly. This means the agency has taken a level-headed approach to the phenomenal rise of influencer marketing, in the midst of a business narrative that is often wedded to the status quo.
“We have so many different brands; influencers are important, but they play a role. Making sure it is the right role and ensur[ing] they drive people through that purchase funnel is vital,” explains Doubleday. She believes that it is not good enough for brands to just put stuff out there in a short-term attempt to capitalise on any given trend. Instead she is eloquent on the need to strike a balance between efficiency and engagement.
Having begun her career at Coca-Cola, Doubleday says her career arc has followed developments in technology. After a stint at Dare, she opted out of the industry choosing to spend six-months waitressing in Cornwall. She is refreshingly open about her decision to follow her gut and gain some perspective: “Over the course of eight years your life changes and you can’t take a one-size fits all approach to your career.”