There is a lot of information out there about social media. Is it a phenomenon? A fad? A trend? A viable tool?
No matter which camp you are in, we must accept the fact that social media is now a normal part of our lives.
Whether it is a necessity in some settings (like being able to check Facebook from your car dash) is a whole other blog to be posted.
Change is not easy. Humans like routine, and when we have found that comfortable setting, getting us to shift our perspective, let alone to try something new can be met with lots of resistence.
Social media continues to expand, and for businesses not to incorporate it in their daily operations is in danger of going by the way of the emu. There is no mistaking the impact of social media in business. Retailers, service providers, and corporations have quickly adopted Facebook and Twitter (for starters) widgets and logos in their print and online media. TV ads for products tell you to find them on “Facebook”, and celebrities Tweet their off-the-wall statements and opinions, which immediately get re-Tweeted, blogged, and exposéd.
Businesses that resist or don’t think they need a social media presence is like trying to create a PowerPoint presentation using a typewriter and liquid paper. It just won’t work. Skeptics: be aware that it is no longer about finding long-lost buddies, old flames, and college roomies. For your business to get any notice or play (forget about ranking or analytics for the moment), you have to get on board with social media.
Like the die-hard typewriter user, getting your work done with an old IBM Selectric will get the job done – but you will be left behind by the whiz kids of the app and iPad(TM) age.
1. Social media is not a fad – it’s become a necessary tool for business. It’s the way people are connecting with prospects, customers, and loyal fans. Most people will Google or Yelp a business before they buy or dine. If you don’t have a social media presence, you will likely not be found.
2. Business is evolving rapidly – Once upon a time, there were mom & pop stores. Then came big corporations. As the world grows smaller, businesses are no longer as static as they used to be. Companies are extending their reach all over the globe, employees are more mobile, and with a slumped economy, entrepreneurs are increasingly making an entrance into the marketplace. Some industries are dying a slow death as manufacturers go overseas, and American plants close down. Social media has been the way for companies and businesses to keep trending in order to stay alive and fresh.
3. Instant messaging – Messages are being transmitted precisely when it occurs. The phrase, “The shot heard around the world” made famous by Emerson’s poem, ain’t got nothing on the faster-than-lightning speed in which news and information travels today. Significant news is transmitted on RSS feeds and Tweets sometimes long before the “breaking news” comes on the TV or radio. With the constant stream of information, businesses that are on board with social media are at a greater advantage than their counterparts that are not.
4. Competition is fierce. Sometimes the turtle does not win. Bottom line is that a company is in business to make money. If it does not position itself to compete, it will likely lose the race.
5. An online presence is becoming more and more normal. You will be lost in the shuffle if your presence doesn’t remain on top. A business can not hope to even join the fray without a social media strategy in place. A company’s reputation can be made (or broken) without an intelligent way to transmit its message. Savvy use of social media is at the heart of it.
Like it or not, social media is here to stay.