Connection. Tribes. Networking. Word of Mouth. All ways of being Social. Since I’ve always been a social person, Social Media fits me like a glove.
I have always been incredibly social. In grade school, I was always being reprimanded for being too chatty.I liked to be friends with all types of people I was a figure skater, I rode horses and loved to dance. I hung out with the skiers, and sometimes, despite my height challenges, with the basketball girls. I loved the drama crowd yet was always too shy ( those who know me are rolling their eyes now) to try out for a part in high school. The cool kids, or the nerds, the sporty crowd or the bookworms – I was friends with all of the assorted tribes. People and their ‘why’ always fascinated me.
Fast forward to March 2007, Facebook opened up to the general public. This social media channel gave me a way to stalk my adult children without phoning every day. Fairly quickly, I surpassed both kids in the number of friends online, and I saw that this could be useful for business. When fan pages were introduced I advised my business clients to use them as a new tool to expand marketing efforts. I expanded my web design and search optimization when I became certified in relationship marketing and social media. as an early adopter of Google+, I realized immediately that SEO would relate to social media and how my clients would benefit from integrating their web presence.
It was beginning to seem like social media was made just for me. In fact, being social is something most people do: Have done, since the beginning, As soon as there were more than two humans, we humans opted to be social.
If you look back, in medieval times, when people lived in small villages, there were always those few souls that had their ear to the ground, their finger on the pulse, of everyone in the village. This amounted to word of mouth marketing for that time. We still have word of mouth marketing, now it’s with technology.
Word of mouth was how people could sway public opinion. It was the social thing to do, sharing your good and bad experiences with your friends and neighbours. if your neighbour went to the farrier at the east end of the village, and that farrier took great care of the neighbours horse, he was also kind and gentle to the neighbour’s children, your neighbour would tell his friends.
That east end farrier got the lion’s share of the work in the village due to the reputation he had built, which was spread from neighbour to neighbour.
Sadly, the farrier at the west end of the village, who did an adequate job, did not offer the added value of kindness, which caused him to lose business because of pre-tech word-of-mouth marketing.
Since the inception of the home computer. We have found multiple ways to connect. From the early BBM boards to the myriad choices we have today in social networks, always, we humans are simply wanting to connect. The need for connection to one another is intrinsic for us.
Today our word of mouth marketing is amplified and expanded by our use of social media. We can now do business around the globe. Thanks to video chats like Hangouts we have even been to a Space Station. Our Canadian Astronaut, Chris Hadfield, sang and played his guitar in Hangouts and became a YouTube sensation.
I see social as a way to connect with your customers, to add their voice to the choices, the decision-making, and the day-to-day running of your business. It has never been easier to find out what your public wants.
Whether we call it social media, word-of-mouth marketing, or simply chatting with your neighbour; it amounts to the same thing: throughout time, we gravitate to those we know, like and trust for the products and services we need and want. And it’s never been easier to find out what your neighbors think of the shop at one end of town or the other. We look to our friends, family, and business associates to suggest other people in business that we can learn to ‘Know Like and Trust’ as well.
I like to Share my experiences as a consumer. So do my friends. So do yours. Are you being Shared?