Mediacom’s Nic Hodges: Forget snake oil – social media should be about insight

Mediacom’s head of innovation and technology has warned that agencies rushing to monetise social media may not find the goldmine they expect.  

Nic Hodges Mediacom mumbrellaThe comment from Nic Hodges came after Mediabrands – the parent company for Initiative and Universal McCann – said is to launch a social media division, which will probably be called Rally.

And it also follows renewed debate about where in the communications mix brands’ social media should be led from.

In a posting on his blog Uneven Distribution, Hodges said that the real value of social media to many brands is the data and insight it can generate. He said:

“What gets lost in this debate about who’s posting on a Facebook page and replying to tweets, is the immense amount of insight social media can offer a brand.”

Saying that clients want the “snake oil” taken out of social, he added: “Almost everyone overlooks this value that social monitoring brings to the overall marketing picture. And I now watch with even more interest on how specialist social media agencies (or divisions within agencies, as UM announced today) plan on selling and monetising their services. Because the bulk of real value that a social offering brings to clients actually lies outside social media, so having a business dedicated to just social doesn’t seem like the goldmine many still believe it to be.”

Hodges, previously digital creative director at Clemenger BBDO Sydney, has been in his role at Mediacom since April.

The topic of the what type of agency should lead social media was also debated at the last Mumbrella Question Time.


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