Social Media Has Evolved. Have You Caught Up?
I think you would agree with me that social networking platforms has changed A LOT since the days of Friendster and Myspace.
It used to be more about me. It’s often about asking for testimonials about ME, creating MY personal customised space, etc..
Today, not only do we have more platforms, there are also a lot of different ways of using it. Ranging from professional networking with LinkedIn, photo-centric Instagram, short and sweet Twitter, Security/Privacy focused Snapchat, the almighty Facebook, and narrowly niched ones like social networking sites for the affluent.
So, what’s the purpose of social media?
Uses of Social Media
- Keeping yourself updated about friends’ life.
- Share experiences like daily happenings, travels, and life events.
- Make announcements.
- Read the latest news.
- Discover interesting topics/images/videos.
- Voice opinions about current affairs.
- Network professionally.
- Follow celebrity or people they admire.
- Be part of a community. Often for support.
- Engage with others.
- Create brand awareness.
- Increase brand power.
- Form communities.
- Keep up with trends.
- Recruit talents.
With so many different platforms serving so many different purposes, it will be crazy to try and keep up with everything at the same time. So how can an entrepreneur who wants to succeed make the best of these platforms to his advantage?
For most people, the only thing they do is get on all the popular social networks and push their content out to a everyone and anyone, sell, pray, and hope that it goes viral.
Problem is, that’s only serving 1-2 purposes that the users are using social media for.
No one ever say they log into Facebook to look at the beautiful ads. They much rather watch cat videos or see pictures of their buddy’s latest travel to South Africa. No wonder your “valuable” content often gets ignored and drowned in the noisy social media space. What’s missing here is the engagement.
They want you
Talk to your audience. Respond to their tweets, like their comments, share their post about you, answer their questions, record a thank you twitter video. It only takes a bit of your time and mean the world to them.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a big time blogger with an email list of 100k subscriber or you just started out. When some one subscribes to your list, it means they like your work. By giving them your most valuable asset, time, you will stand out from the mass of bloggers starting out everyday.
Here’s how some top names are rocking it:
- Gary Vaynerchuk : Responding via Twitter video
- James Altucher : Weekly Twitter AMA (Ask Me Anything)
- Nicholas Megalis who Spends 6 hours responding to comments on Vine
In essence, be sociable with your audience. Give them opportunities to engage with YOU. Not just your content.
What if I have no audience?
If you have not made it big, you want to get noticed. You want to know more people and let more people know about you. The best and free way of doing it is on Twitter. It’s like a huge and never-ending party with the whole world invited.
Best part is, you get to eavesdrop on EVERY SINGLE conversation and join in if you want to. Heard someone talking about playing soccer and you are a coach? “I overheard you guys debating about zonal vs man-marking. I’m a coach and here’s the pros and cons of each and how my high school team used them both against different types of teams.”
Notice, it’s about giving value. NOT promoting YOUR content. If you are not adding value into the conversation, shut up.
Social Media platform’s evolution
As the number of social media platforms increase, each platform continuously make changes (good or bad) to hopefully standout or serve their current audience better.
Facebook is constantly evolving to protect their position as the top social network. Not just the privacy policies but also the way ads are served, reach of pages, site layout, etc.. All these are often meant to improve the user experience.
After all, social media is started and developed with the users in mind. Without users, there is no social networks.
Recent big changes include Twitter Video and Snapchat’s Discovery. Both are extremely awesome.
Instead of pushing out video content with the new Twitter feature, Gary Vaynerchuk spent hours with his audience, one by one answering their questions individually.
He shared why he’s excited about it and how it has set up the perfect Thank You Economy situation.
Gary also shared 5 Snapchat hacks to get started.
Social is about the present. Now, not tomorrow or yesterday. Aging upwards for social media is immensely important. Not obvious but important.
What’s the bottom line? :
The young people are using Snapchat and Instagram so should you and your business. Because in time, this will be where the action is and you don’t want to be late to the party.
Remember the old folks in mainstream corporation trying to figure out Friendster and MySpace and making tons of noobish mistakes?
Don’t be like them..