Social Media is becoming more important than anything else for business. More important than google. Easily more important than our own company websites. Social media is essentially becoming the current version of the internet. The internet has already become mobile first and is heading towards mobile only.
Most people’s primary means of communication is by the apps on their smartphone. Not all of us like that or are comfortable with that but, that is the reality. Social Media has become a more effective and more convenient way to communicate with our world. Please read these 5 reasons why Social Media is so important.
1. Social Media is Curated
This is the most important reason and it’s something nobody is talking about. Every 48 hours we create more information than we created from the beginning of human history through 2003! That is a lot of information to sort through.
Facebook was the first to develop an algorithm which is designed to curate our feed for us. Rather than showing us every single post that is posted by our friends, we see them in the order of what Facebook believes we want to see based on our past interactions. “The book” is always learning and gathering data.
Twitter, has now implemented an algorithm which is a good thing because there are very few people who actually consume much on twitter anymore. This is due to the fact that twitter is flooded with people posting garbage 20 times per day that is useless to most of us.
Some of the newer social platforms don’t have algorithms but that is okay because most of us learned or lessons from twitter. We won’t follow every single person anymore which means it won’t get noisy for us.
The bottom line is that Social Media is getting really good at showing us the exact things we want to see. It greatly simplifies our job of searching around doing google searches and YouTube searches. You like techy stuff? That means you see things from TechCrunch in your feed.
You like fishing and hunting? Yep, you see stuff from hunters and hunting brands in your feed. It is extremely convenient.
The better they get at it, the less we will ever have to leave those networks. Even seeing advertisements has become relatively pleasant in these platforms because they are native to the feed so they don’t disrupt the experience. Plus, you only see ads that are relevant to your interests.
As a 31 year old male I am not forced to sit through Depends commercials, Viagra commercials, or Kotex commercials as we had to do when we used to watch TV.
2. The world is going mobile
Did you know that almost 40% of Chinese internet users are mobile ONLY? A huge portion of Chinese websites are mobile ONLY. Not mobile responsive, mobile ONLY. The United States is actually behind the curve in this area.
Modern phones are built more for Social Media apps than they are for voice. Social Media is with us all day. The rise of smartphones makes social media easier to do and it allows the addicting nature of it to travel with you.
Over 50% of our time on a mobile device is spent on a social media app.
The laptop is becoming irrelevant. Most people don’t need one. In the future, almost nobody will need one.
When you are out at a restaurant or watching a ball game at a bar, check out how many people are on a social network on their phones. 90% of our time with a smartphone is spent on a social app. We don’t use google nearly as much on our phones.
3. The older generations aren’t afraid of technology anymore.
I remember being in my early teens and answering phone calls from my mom asking me how to turn on the VCR so her and my dad could watch a movie. I remember showing them how to change the ringtone on their phone. They looked at it like it was rocket science. Fast forward to today and technology has become far more user friendly.
Facebook actually has more people over the age of 40 than it has under age 40. The average American adult consumes digital media for 11 hours per day. Grandmothers and Grandfathers are on Facebook now because they want to see pictures of their grandchildren. Do you remember when parents had to call their kids and ask how to turn on the VCR or the DVD player? This isn’t the case anymore.
4. CEOs rely on Social Media to make important business decisions
84% of CEOs and VPs say they use social media to help make purchasing decisions. Enough said.
5. We are humans
We want to connect with other humans. Social media is the easiest and most efficient way to connect with both people and brands. I’m not saying it will ever completely replace face to face interactions but there is no doubt that it is making business more personal than it was in the past.
There are numerous small brands emerging in the last 5 years built entirely on social media. They are taking market share from big brands by being more personal and giving their audience the opportunity to connect with them.
Our customers want to connect. The businesses that do social media the best will have the best chance of winning customers.
The industrial revolution made business impersonal. The only thing that mattered was what was in the best interest of the corporation. Social media is changing that. Social media serves our human desire to connect.
It doesn’t matter if you are a software company, a CPA, a comedian, or a furniture manufacturer because the world is going more social and that trend isn’t going to stop. The internet is only 20 some years old and social media is around 12 years old.
There are several ways of looking at this and it’s hard to give an exact formula for how businesses should be handling this shift. There are numerous creative ways to do social well.
The first thing to realize is that understanding how to produce and distribute content for social media should be very high on the priority list for any business. A really good start would be to get very very serious about video on Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. Here is an excellent resource on how to create videos that sell massive amounts of product.
Second, the humanization of business and connected relationships that brands and businesses will have with customers in the near future is absolutely the way to win.
Businesses should be using social media as a way to scale personal interaction. A salesperson can only interact with so many people each day. That number grows exponentially with social media though.
Businesses need to focus on how to make their marketing models feel more personalized for each consumer. Even more important, they need to make their customers and potential customers feel as though they matter.
If you want to make sales today. I can’t say for sure that this is the number one way. Direct advertising and promotions still work for the here and now if you want to boost sales today. That is short sided though. Without a doubt, social is the best way for customer interaction, brand building, and awareness right now. Moving forward it is the future of sales and marketing. Winning in these areas now means setting yourself up to win really big in the future.