Even today, hearing the words “social media command center” still sounds huge and exciting. What comes to mind is akin to a space control centre — strategists, analysts, controllers, all looking at big screens monitoring data levels and other statistics that read off important information.
Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) has just recently unveiled D+gility, its very own Social Media Command Center. It claims to be the biggest in the country with more than 30 screens powered by state-of-the-art tools and technology. It houses 60 of the biggest brands in the country which are currently doing social as part of their digital ecosystem.
More than being a social command center, D+gility (Digital + Agility) is the network’s Center for Social Media Excellence. And more than just offering community management and social content creation, D+gility specialises in social intelligence, 24/7 operations, agile solutions, and future thinking to help brands continuously evolve and stay relevant.
“In line with our vision of innovating the way brands are built, we believe we can help the brands we work with to make their mark through the lens of social media. Given its wide usage here in the country, D+gility will also power other Dentsu Aegis brands around the region as it is recognized as one of the centers of excellence in the digital space,” said Donald Lim, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Philippines.
“We don’t want to do social for the sake of just having presence online. Instead, we want to harness its power to ensure relevance and cut-through for our brands. We want to go beyond likes and shares, and adopt a data-driven approach and a purposive use of social media that is sure to deliver impact and business results,” added Jim Guzman, Head of Social at the network.
Guzman further explained what being the network’s Center for Social Media Excellence means. “The typical command center offers community management and social media management and the tools you are using. Ours is different being the center of excellence. We are not only actually trailblazing social but also digital. How do we provide solutions to clients’ businesses? Right now, when you go to the command center, we don't even talk much about community management any more. We talk about artificial intelligence, social and digital transformation workshops that we do with clients. we talk about crisis management,” he shared.
Guzman currently leads a team of five experts and more than 50 engagement specialists within D+gility and the entire network. The team serves as the hub for social for all seven agencies under the network. With Guzman are other leading digital professionals in the industry: Mapaul Manalo as Head of Strategy, Tracy Orozco as Head of Creative and Content, Carla Mendoza as Head of Operations, Suyash Adhav as Head of Social Analytics, and Patrick Geronimo as Head of Tech & Innovation.
As the hub for social media in the network, D+gility also brings together the social media professionals from the network’s seven agencies. At the same time, their specialists also get involved with the agencies which need social media solutions for their brands. “We have brought in people from the different agencies. To be able to work in an environment such as a hub like D+gility, it ups their social media game. In a typical day, you would see them going back and forth from the command center to the agencies. We call this ‘citizenship’, because that’s when they get involved in pitches, business planning, growing their respective clients. This is the mothership, where they get the guidance and expertise to support what they need from various areas in social and digital,” Guzman explained.
At the same time, D+gility prides itself on its flexibility and agility in providing client needs and moving on trends and changes in the digital space. “What’s exciting about D+gility is that because we are that flexible, we always pursue what’s new and the latest and apply that to how will our client be at the forefront of social and technology. We also have four pillars in D+gility: Social Intelligence, Agile Solutions, Operations, and Future Thinking. With regard to future thinking, we are bringing prototypes now of artificial intelligence to our clients, so they can hit the ground running when they subscribe to it,” Guzman enthused.
From a management standpoint, having a social media hub within the network ensures a standard level of quality and consistency in providing solutions for clients. Lim explained that in the past, each of the seven agencies had their own social media operations from campaign conceptualization to content creation to media buying. While the agencies can run these on their own, there surfaced a need to consolidate their social media services to standardize quality and pricing, to improve solutions and proposals given to clients, and to make full use of the expertise of the social media specialists under the network.
For Guzman, the strength of the hub is also in its ability to collaborate with seven diverse and dynamic agencies within the network. “I think D+gility is now the best model of collaboration within the seven agencies of the network, because you see how each of the agencies are really utilizing the center of excellence for any of their social media requirements, and it expands to digital not just in social media,” he said.
“Previously, whenever a CEO approaches us and says, ‘I want to do digital, and I want to engage your agencies for social media,’ normally what I would say is ‘we have seven agencies. Pick one from seven great cards.’ But now, it’s a central hub. We are now really a centralized agency for social media,” Guzman added.