Where there is innovation, tradition always frowns. Tradition has the habit of maintaining the status quo, but innovation wants change because she is bored of doing things same way all time. The hunger for difference drives innovation towards creativity so as to make sure that there is reinvigoration and sprouting of new ideas. This is the case between the old and the new methods of communication.
In the old method, mailing letters, sending telegrams and using the telephone were top of the range. In traditional marketing, the use of television, radio and billboard adverts reigned and ruled. But just like in every typical tradition, only those with the money dominate. So, the ordinary man in the street could not afford it. Today, things have changed. The SOCIAL MEDIA rules!
Currently, there are about 3 or more billion people on the social media – Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Flickr, etc. This is a huge traffic. My lesson about the relevance of traffic came from when I was in my home country. Usually, the major roads weren’t as good as it is in the western world, so, people with business minds always took advantage of it. They would buy different products and hawk when there are traffic jams. This provided them with some money.
The traffic jams on literal roads hold the same principle as that on the social media – traffic provides opportunities to make money! Unfortunately, many people on the social media don’t know how to leverage this new age privilege. To lots, the social media is a platform merely for sharing and viewing images or videos, and posting updates, of which most don’t make sense.
Having said that, besides socializing, what do I think are the benefits of using the social media?
1. Positioning: when you go into a supermarket, the items are positioned on shelves in such a way that as you come in, you easily see them. For those who are used to shopping in a particular store, they already know where the items are. So, when they come in, they go straight to the product shelf and pick up what they’re looking for. This may be good for the buyer as she quickly goes in and comes out, but for the seller, it isn’t because new products or other products not in the shopping list of the shopper are not easily noticed. So, some products stay long on the shelf without purchase. But in order to make sure that shoppers aren’t blind to other products, the management of the supermarkets deliberately move products occasionally to different shelves. So, as you go to your usual shelves, rather than see your usual products, you see new ones. This strategy may prompt you to buy what you haven’t bought in the past. This is called repositioning.
The social media help to position and reposition your offering. Whatever you’re selling; product, service, idea, etc – the platform is a shelf for showing people what you have. Imagine showing your offering to about 3 billion people!
2. Perception: perception is how people see you. People rate you based on how they see you. If they see you low, they rate you low; if they see you high, they rate you high.
For instance, if you are a businessman bidding for a contract in an organisation; you know for sure that there will be other bidders. Every bidder may have the wherewithal to get the contract. To distinguish the winner, perception will come into play. What perception do you think you will get, when the organisation decides to ask for your social media accounts, and you don’t have one? Or, how will you be perceived if they actually visit your page and find out that it is dormant or full of crap?
3. Branding: different bakers make cakes. The baking of cake uses almost the same recipe. In spite of that, some cakes are far more expensive than others. Cakes, baked the same way by two different people may have a wide price margin between them. The reason is because one of them gave hers a good branding while the other may have felt that a good cake will simply sell itself.
It takes branding to position the cake, and give it a great perception. The social media is currently the best platform to brand whatever you do. To brand yourself, business, product or service, you must be where the people are. The people are on the social media. Why are you shy of it?
4. Generation of ideas: ideas do come from feedbacks. Feedbacks are comments from other people. Lots of comments are generated from the social media as you post updates. From these updates, innovation can be born through maybe, a passive comment made by a contributor to your posts. This is one of the benefits of using the social media.
5. Business launch: Beyoncé, according to New York Times, in 2013, rather than use the music industry’s traditional promotional machinery, to release her album, decided to demonstrate the power of the Social Media to amplify news and to forge a direct connection to her audience. On Instagram, she posted the word, ‘Surprise’ to her 8 million followers, and later followed with the release of 14 songs and 17 videos for sale on iTunes. On the same day, 365000 copies were sold! THAT IS THE POWER OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA.
6. Networking: Do you want to know what other people within your industry are doing? Do you want to keep up with the trend? The social media is the best place to catch up. Don’t be ignorant – THINGS HAVE CHANGED!