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Business Adventures in Social Media Land

Business Adventures in Social Media Land
Written by
Claire Burdett

A pal of mine announced this week on Facebook that the House DJ consortium KOTG (Keep Off The Grass) he heads up had ‘just discovered Twitter'. I was stunned.

Not because I thought they shouldn’t, quite the opposite, but because he seems to be into all things online and also fairly marketing savvy. He uses Facebook a lot, especially for promoting the KOTG events, so to confess to having ‘only just discovered Twitter’ seemed amazing, especially considering I joined it years ago a few months after it launched, and have been known to ‘ehem’ bang on about it a fair bit.

So I asked him - like you do - what had taken him so long? His reply? “The cool kids are always late”, to which I have to confess I laughed out loud, which perhaps wasn’t kind, but while being late might equal cool in the music world (I'm still not convinced, actually), it's completely untrue when applied to media and technology, which is why over the last decade all the geeks and techno bods have become the coolest kids in the world, let alone town!

In fact, in light of the current social media privacy uproars, that’s actually like claiming that you are being ‘fashionably late’ to a party, when you in truth you spent ages pretending you didn’t really want to go, got lost en route and only manage to turn up when the bouncers have been sent in to straighten the place out and some of the peeps are thinking about calling a taxi.

On the plus side it did get me thinking.

While there is no arguing with the fact that sites go in and out of fashion – just look at Ecademy, which was the place to network online in the early noughties and is now somewhere the savviest business people I know can’t mention without shuddering – at what point in business terms does being ‘fashionable late’ (lol…sorry, still making me chuckle) become ‘don’t even bother’?

Forresters’ report of B2B marketing last year highlighted the way corporations and businesses are using social media in all areas of business from making purchasing decisions, keeping tabs on trends and competitors to promoting their brand and recruiting staff.

And they concluded that if you were B2B business and you weren’t in social media already in 2009 then, as they put it so succinctly, “You’re Late!”

B2B is a way behind B2C social media marketing, and KOTG is definitely B2C, albeit on a small but perfectly formed scale, so where does that leave them in the grand scheme of things? Wasting their time or is it just simply a case of better late than never? We are all aware of how much the sheer 'noise' level has increased on Twitter, especially over the last 18 months, and as a digital strategist who uses Twitter as part of marketing cycles for my clients I know it can be an uphill struggle at times, depending on the product and brand. And obviously changes are in the air, as already noted about the privacy uproar.

However, despite everything that's written about it and all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, and yes the snotty attitudes from some of the 'latecomers' and dismissal by others, it can be extremely effective as a marketing tool as long as it is used properly, with proper analysis, reporting and monitoring...

And fun and addictive if it isn't!

As a girl who has been early in to just about every digital trend there’s ever been, with daughters who use it all as naturally as breathing, I definitely think it’s not going away any time soon and here are my top 5 reasons why I think so:

  1. People’s lifestyles are more fragmented and busier than they have ever been and they can end up feeling disconnected – social media makes it easier to keep up with friends and family and trends, plus it makes it easier to make decisions (what’s everyone else doing?), and makes them feel connected to the wider community. Don’t ever underestimate the power of feeling ‘one of the gang’.

  2. People are used to looking at screens and getting information at the press of a button. It is in our nature to find the short cuts and to want it NOW, so this is our perfect medium, so it really isn’t going to stop any time soon.

  3. The digital revolution has driven a whole new way of working, especially for parents, and in their turn they are raising a generation for whom it is normal for parents to work from home, even if only part time, using a computer, and a huge number do it as a career, marketing themselves, networking online and running their businesses, all using the internet and while they still often ending up looking like something out of The Matrix. It's becoming the norm, not distinctly odd as it was when I started way back in 1995!

  4. The computers that run the web love anything that is frequently updated and fresh and if that isn’t social media I don’t know what is! Social media = SEO = being visible online = comment/purchases/sales/influence/decisions...etc. etc.

  5. It’s fun. We are a species who likes to play. We learn when we play and we play as often as we can wherever we can. This is just the latest way we do it and until we get bored it's here to stay.

So... glad you decided to join Twitter, http://twitter.com/kotg_djs @KOTG_DJs, welcome to the party, look forward to reading your tweets!

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