There have been plenty of ‘bandwagons’ in the past that have screamed out for people to jump on them but most have generally petered out and been shown as nothing more than just a craze. In my life time alone Yoyos, Pokémon cards, Tamagotchis and curtain haircuts have all come and gone, but anyone expecting the same to happen to social media is going to be waiting a long time. This 21st century communication method is not the craze but the means by which crazes are spread.
Social media has surpassed the detrimental tag of being a bandwagon and has quickly turned into a full on freight train. Anyone still waiting for it to be abruptly derailed or debating whether to get on board needs to buy their ticket, take their seat and enjoy the ride because otherwise you’re going to be left alone on the platform.
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To be honest, it surprises me how anyone has lasted this long without taking to social media because quite frankly it’s inescapable. Everywhere you look nowadays there are people on their phones or other devices,but they are not using the spoken word to communicate.
There are now so many technological devices that allow us to interact in this way and a lot of people tend to have more than one. It is now possible for a joke to circulate around a whole room without a single word being uttered and the smatterings of laughter will do nothing to mask your disappointment of being left out.
It’s almost impossible to get through your day now without being confronted with social media in one way or another. You may have ignored the people talking in social slang on the tube, using the word ‘hashtag’ before everything they say; you may have even escaped the meeting in which your boss showed various videos from YouTube, but just when you thought it was safe to relax, you turn on the TV only to be greeted by flashing hashtags on the screen as programmes practically beg you to interact with them.
Whether it’s the business world or the real world, the sad fact is that if you’re not ‘being social’ then it’s going to quickly become a lonely place to be. Invites to exciting events are no longer sent out in paper form and now simply require just a one click response as to whether you will be attending or not. And so, through no fault of your own, you could be missing out on things that you would normally be a part of.
This could be even more costly when it comes to business. As a business owner or company manager, even if you or your business is not using social media, the vast majority of your clientele will be left out. Competitors may not be as hesitant as you and could be reaping the rewards at your expense right now.
There is no excuse to forego this new form of interaction and leave it out of your marketing campaigns as it can be adapted to suit any type of company. So whether you are the Chief executive of an international technology PR agency or a self-employed local cleaner; it can and will be of benefit.
A recording company once said of The Beatles: “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” Inventor Lee Deforest once said “While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility” and the president and founder of Digital Equipment Corp, Ken Olsen, once stated that “there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” How they wish they hadn’t been so quick to discount such ground-breaking occurrences now.
Social media is here to stay and is only going to get bigger. So even the biggest technophobes need to wise up and start socializing in a way that has become the norm. You may not want your personal life to be dictated by likes and re-tweets, but you should be welcoming these with open arms from a business perspective. You can carry on running if you like, but in virtual reality there is nowhere to hide from the social media express.
This article is written by Chris Mayhew whilst working for Eclat. Eclat are a technology PR agency who promote their clients through the release of unique and interesting content and the use of social media.