It was no more than a few years ago that we had no idea where social media was going. Nevertheless, many of us intuitively knew that we should get on board to see where where it could take us.
After a fair amount of work, a great deal of trial and error, and a few embarrassing moments, I’m sure there are very few that would not agree this has been both an enjoyable and productive experience.
Is there any reason to expect we cannot keep this going?
In a nutshell, that is my vision for social media – using it to make business easier, more productive, and to have more fun doing it.
My belief is that that we will see the day when social media will make marketing so easy, efficient, and effective, that it won’t feel like marketing at all. It will simply be an enjoyable process of engaging, sharing, helping, influencing, trusting, growing, and more.
When we get to that stage in the evolution of social media, the definition of marketing will be something entirely different than it is today. One thing is for certain, it will be defined less by what you do for your community, and more about what you do together.
#1 – Social Media Will Make Marketing Easier
The capabilities of social media have enabled every small business to get their message out faster, with greater frequency, farther reach, and for a much lower cost. Granted, we’ve all had to make a concerted effort to accomplish this, however the stickiness of our social content will make future marketing communications much easier – giving us more time with our family, friends, and customers.
Not everyone enjoys marketing as much as those of us that practice it everyday. Yet, the more social media becomes seamless with everyday business communications, its use will be as common as picking up the telephone – with the by-product being the accumulation of descriptive content that readily attracts the right customers.
#2 – Social Media Will Increase Productivity
One of the profound advantages of being in the social media spotlight is that you are forced to run a better business. Businesses have historically responded to customer needs and competition. However, just because you outdo the competition doesn’t mean your customers are delighted.
Social media puts more emphasis where it should be – on customer feedback. While I cannot prove this, I suspect the unhappy customers use it more than the satisfied ones. They know the social networks are powerful for the helping the squeaky wheel to get the grease.
I envision a day when we use the social networks more to express our gratitude for a job well done. Last week our flooring contractor did some outstanding work at our home. Instead of the common practice of sending a note to that effect with my payment, I said thank you on their Facebook page wall.
As this becomes a regular practice, the quality of work will rise across the board. Competition will no longer be necessary to raise productivity. We will all willingly raise the bar to earn a steady stream of favorable feedback
#3 – Social Media Will Make Work Fun Again
We all choose careers where we believe we can excel. Think back to when you started your business or began working in your current position. The time flew by because you were having fun.
What happened after that? You settled in and lost the excitement that comes with new challenges. Since we were infants we instinctively took on new challenges. When we had an adoring audience cheering us on, we looked for even greater challenges.
Social media provides that audience. That’s one of the reasons bloggers keep doing what we do. It only takes a few encouraging comments for us to stay the course.
Having fun at work starts with doing what you love. A little bit of positive encouragement is the fuel that feeds that passion. You can and will get that from your social media communities.
Social media is much more than technology, it’s a neat little system that encourages favorable human behavior at all levels. We all help each other to get and stay better, and what could be more fun than that?
Anyway, that’s my vision of the future of social media.
Feel free to leave a comment below – or share this with your social community on Facebook or Twitter. You may also wish to try the new Google+1 button in the red bar at the bottom of your browser.
Until tomorrow, Jeff