Greg is my cousin, living in Brisbane, Australia. Within minutes my sister in Johannesburg, another cousin living in Chicago, Illinois and me, sitting in my deck chair in a little village on the Eastern Cape coast, all connect, comment and share a very special moment.
Welcome to social media! Is there any doubt it is here to stay? I for one am not about to give up something that I haven’t been able to do for 30 years – reconnect with my family spread far and wide around the globe.
But Facebook and social media are not just about that. We live in a fast-paced world, and it’s only getting faster. Social media gives us a platform to share a thought, an opinion, a glimpse into our hearts or minds in seconds. Those “wish you were here” moments have become “you are with me” moments.
Taken into the context of a profession or a business, it opens the world for new opportunities, new learnings and new ways of doing business altogether. It’s not just about connecting on one platform, either. In the consumer space, your customers will want to connect with you on multiple platforms, from Facebook to Twitter, web, blog and newsletter – oh, AND via your App, too!
But don’t take my word for it, here’s a statistic: 60 million Facebook users interact with Apps on mobile – every month! [source: The Next Web]
But we can’t give young master Zuckerberg all the credit. Sure, he’s a smart guy, but the catalyst has to be the perfect timing of the smartphone and tablet computing devices. The culmination of social media platforms such as FourSquare, Twitter and to a growing extent Facebook, too, has to be the smartphone. After all, many of these rely on mobility in order to truly be effective.
Which brings me to mobile apps. Apple claim 18 billion iOS downloads – that’s 1 billion per month! 10 billion Android app downloads and 2 billion downloads on Blackberry. Plugging into our every need and want, making life simpler, more fun and yes, more connected. Plug that into a $17 billion industry predicted for 2012 and you’ve got more than just the need to share a photo with a mate.
Apps help us buy cars, find places, have fun, solve problems, sell stuff, buy stuff. And in the publishing space, apps are going to ensure loyalty and convergence. Not to mention save one or two from extinction. That’s not to say that print is dead. No, it’s about connecting with a brand on multiple levels. Having a more personal engagement and going beyond just reading an article on your favourite subject matter. It’s about sharing experiences, having a two-way conversation where I want, when I want.
So long as we desire to be social and interact with one another, regardless of the how, social media won’t be going anywhere.
Digital Business Manager