There is an unseen power that connects all businesses and customers: audience. Mastering the platforms appropriate to your audience is simple, empowering, and essential to your success.
We may have a tendency to think of social media as a plaything of the generation who grew up with the Internet, used for gossiping and showing off. This could not be farther from the truth. The 2008 presidentia campaign, which saw the first black president elected to office in American history, was also the first campaign in the post-Twitter age. Obama’s campaign successfully integrated Twitter, garnering millions of followers whose enthusiasm helped him get elected into office. During the 2011 revolt in Egypt, cell phone service was disbanded, and people relied on social media for up to the minute information on what was happening. The Fukushima nuclear disaster also destroyed all cell phone service, and Line App, a text message application that uses Wi-Fi was created, helping families to find one another and stay together, people to find food and shelter, and loved ones from other prefectures to reach those affected by disaster.
Suffice to say, world events have taken on a new tenor since social media. We are all affected by this new immediacy of information. Because of this, our appetite for information is greater than ever—and luckily, it is rather easy to satisfy. This impatient appetite for information is the reason why simply showing up to a Trade Show will no longer be enough to grow your business. While the trade show brings your audience to you, it does nothing to express your unique brand to customers. You need the present day tools of communication—Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and Snapchat (just to name a few) to simultaneously express your brand and connect and respond to your audience in real time. Digital marketing is no longer the same: rather than exist on its own, digital marketing must mine these fields free information in order to work. The thoughts of users can be accessed by anyone, and express the desires and ambitions of your costumer base. Such information is worth more to a business than the marketing polls and email campaigns of yesterday.
Economists have already remarked that we are embarking on a post-capitalist age. In other words, commerce is individualized and diffused across time and space into a so-called “sharing economy.” People rent others apartments rather than stay in a hotel (Air Bnb). They buy rides form individual drivers rather than taxi cabs (Uber.) How do these miniature “businesses” make money? By connecting to customers through social media. You can empower yourself by manipulating these tools to communicate business to an unlimited audience. While such technology can reach a very wide audience, it also has the potential for extreme precision—the precision of a marketing campaign as focused as that of Kroger, for example. You can target specific demographics with different platforms. While Linkedin is ideal for long form thinking, Twitter can get a new idea out to millions in just a few seconds.
Mastering your social media image also allows for a transparent and honest business practice, on both a personal and public scale. The more often your business appears in the correct avenues (free advertising!) the easier it is for customers in all corners of the world to find exactly what they are looking for. On a personal level, it allows you to keep up with quickly changing audience perspectives and needs in different sectors of your business. Power is distributed more evenly and fairly between consumer and business than ever before.