HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS!
So, you’ve seen countless blogs and listened to numerous podcasts over the past few days all talking about marketing predictions for 2016. I guess it’s time to add my ten penneth to the mix!
So here we go …
Over the past few months live stream has brought real time, face to face, raw and authentic people onto our phone screens like we have never seen before. We have become social media. We are no longer a person behind a post or a CMO behind a tweet. We are the face, the voice, the person behind our brands and businesses, laid bare for all to see. The rise in the popularity of Snapchat further demonstrates the desire that consumers have to view people, business owners, CEO’s, Marketing Managers (the list goes on) in the most raw and authentic environment possible. Authenticity has become a social currency and people are flocking in abundance with real desire to ‘consume’ us as real, raw individuals.
For those of us in the social media world, the marketing world, the big data world, the web world, the social media savvy small business owners who have quickly adapted and taken on board that this is EXACTLY where social media is going, it is second knowledge, well first knowledge in fact, that telling our stories, authenticity, real time engagement and relationship building will be the foundation of many successes across social media platforms. There are small business owners who are smashing it on social media, with HUGE success!
Now, for a moment, lets contrast that with this reality:
There are numerous business owners, CEO’s and HR departments who repeatedly quote the same stance….
‘I’m not sure I need social media’
‘I’ve got a Facebook page but I can’t remember the last time I logged in’
‘I set up Twitter a year ago but I don’t really like it’
‘I have an advert in the Yellow Pages, a website and a blog, what can social media do for me?’
‘What is Instagram and how can sharing pictures help my business?’
‘I don’t have the time to focus my efforts on social media’
Let’s be completely transparent here. If the above sounds like you, you are BEHIND, but YOU ARE NOT ALONE (As I will continue to explain)
There is no question about it. Social media is moving at such a quick pace, that those who are only just getting to grips with Facebook and Twitter, have a lot of catching up to do.
DO NOT WORRY! Education, training and guidance, support and understanding is needed for a substantial number of small business owners.
For those of us who work in the industry, who are repeatedly seeing new Apps and platforms pop up on a weekly basis, it is moving incredibly fast for us, so it is no surprise whatsoever that it is overwhelming for anyone who is trying to run their own business, be their own accountant, manage their own clients, juggle personal life commitments, children, school runs, holidays and everything else that goes into the mix of day-to-day life. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, In fact you are in the majority, there are millions upon millions of people out there that share exactly the same view that social media is not easy.
The gap has become wider than ever before, when it comes to the pace and development of social media and the understanding of small business owners, who, are extremely successful at what they do, but lack the knowledge and understanding of how best to utilise even the most fundamental social media platforms.
Then it comes to live streaming, platforms like Snapchat and video marketing. Let’s forget for a moment, the ‘top tips’ to become awesome at all of these platforms (which I really enjoy by the way). Let’s strip it back even further than that, further back than strategy, further back than hitting the ‘start broadcast’ button, further back than recording a video Snapchat to share our story for the day. Let’s take it right back to reality. There are millions of you out there, who are successful business owners, fantastic at what you do, yet, you may lack the confidence to go on camera. In fact, I have heard from many business owners I speak to, that it frightens the life out of you to even think about going on camera. Again, take comfort in this, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I think it’s important to highlight that YOU ARE NOT ALONE because the gap that currently exists needs to be bridged somehow. The gap exists between assuming that everyone is ready for Periscope, or ready for Snapchat or ready to video blog daily …. and then the reality, that for many, these platforms are not something they have even heard of or thought about yet! Education/training, support and understanding is needed, because the opportunity of of using these platforms, for business owners, is immense! As marketers, we need to take it back even further than delivering top tips and content that marketing professionals and very media savvy business owners understand, and be completely able to relate with business owners who would really like a greater understanding of how best to use social media for them personally, without the jargon.
How can we help you to overcome any fears that may be stopping you from fulfilling your potential? As social media managers and strategists we have a responsibility to you, not to blanket approach your business with the rest, not to assume that you understand exactly what we mean when we are talking industry jargon but to really understand what matters to you and to advise and educate and help you to be the best you can be and to be comfortable doing it.
So, my prediciton for 2016 is that the gap will widen further as social media continues to develop and business owners become more overwhelmed that they cannot keep up with the fast pace at which it is moving. I believe that the role of the ‘social media manager, strategist, consultant’ is more relevant and prominent than ever before. The role may be changing slightly as emphasis moves to education/training, support and encouragement so that business owners feel the confidence, understanding and desire to be their best possible selves on social media. We have a duty to help you make this the year that social media becomes more manageable, understandable and not quite so overwhelming as it may seem right now!
Happy New Year Business Owners, Employers, Employees….. Here’s To A Very Successful Year For All.