If you are still conditioned to think of traditional media, when it comes to "information wars," think again. Print media’s relevance is definitely waning. Even TV is no longer the most consumed media in certain geographies.

By the look of things, social and digital platforms are exactly where hearts and minds are now being contested and won, in real time.

What “wars” are we talking about, exactly?

  1. Literal, raw and unfiltered: live streaming has changed the way we view conflict and violence, and even change our perspective on certain things. When a Minnesota woman live-streamed a scene where a police officer shot her fiance multiple times, many watched. Quite a few posed questions about the accountability of police force.
  2. Political: skillful audience segmentation and targeted social media outreach proved to be instrumental in "conquering countries" and Trumping one's opponents. How many times did newspapers and TV news quote congratulatory social media posts by heads of countries, congratulating the new US President-elect on his victory? Easily more times than they cared to respond to media inquiries.
  3. Reputational: “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” as Winston Churchill once famously said. Companies prepared to listen and engage in relevant social media conversations ahead of their competition stand to win multiple reputational “brownie” points. Especially in a crisis, when a business directly impacted by an adverse event is slow to respond.

What’s the winning “plan of attack”, then?

Despite the undercurrents, digital and social platforms are definitely the place to "move it, shake it, shape up" for both companies and individuals. It’s definitely a place to experiment, surprise, excite and win big almost overnight!

  • Got an insight? Use it, and it may keep your campaign running for many months. How many things can one Always do #likeagirl and win all sorts of awards for? 
  • Got a trend-starter? Whoever came up with the Mannequin Challenge, the 'freezing' video craze is sweeping the web, and is still going strong working wonders for celebrities and fashion companies alike.
  • Got moves? Always room for another instant internet sensation: the Italian businessman and his model girlfriend being one of the most recent examples, thanks to a hilarious video of them dancing on holiday.

2017 is definitely time to embrace the brave new world of social and digital. Happy strategizing!