We’ve always had one form of technology in our life, from fishing in 3,000 years ago to satellite technology today. This is all about our power of creativity and willingness to develop past inventions, just to make life easier. We’ve always looked for ways to change things, especially making our everyday communications more effective. Mobile phones, text messages and emails all played great roles in that. In the past couple of years almost everyone’s been talking about Social Media and almost every business has been trying to take advantage of the new technology.
Despite many businesses think Social Media is new, the medium is older than anyone in this world; in fact Social Media is as old as history. Social Media is a place for interaction and communication; the place where people are involved and converse with one another. Social Media is all about communications and as you know the root to communication gets back to history; the days we were interacting via drawing pictures on the walls of caves. Then we realised that we can communicate via sound when language was born, how we’ve been ever since giving meaning to our drawings and sound; what we widely refer as pictures and words. Based on this, creativity is not a new thing either; we’ve been creative throughout the history, haven’t we?
Social Media is a new change which once again needs our creativity to further improve the way we communicate with each other; even the way brands communicate with us. Brands’ communications used to be mainly in the form of marketing and advertising followed by different PR techniques; but all seemed to be one way and less engaging from people’s point of view and origin of communication culture.
People have questions and brands can no longer afford ignoring those questions or aiming to change minds of public through their traditional PR techniques; Social Media has given the platform to everyone in every society to be heard if they feel ignored by brands. So, brands need to apply some changes in their marketing and PR exercises too. Here’s where the value of Social Media sit and need acknowledging.
Social Media is here to take us back to basics, origin of communication culture; the two way avenue. This is perhaps why brands need to have a strong and effective presence in major Social Media channels and commit to monitor their reputation while engage with their customers and prospects on Social Media; and wherever their brand has presence in fact.
Some brands and even charities have been using the medium for direct marketing and sales generation with no consideration of principals of ethics and Social Media culture, which unsurprisingly led to Social Media failure. On the other hand some brands are using Social Media to strengthen their brand value and reputation. The viral effect of the medium must not be undermined; good practice on Social Media will create positive word of mouth, which ultimately reduces costs of marketing and PR.
As evident above, Social Media is not a machine to bombard people with marketing messages, but it is the means to genuine communications and interaction with people for mutual benefits. Social Media has changed the way businesses and their audience communicate with each other.
Image is courtesy of upwardaction.com