The two-way dynamic of social media continues to baffle business
The Riddle Of Using Social Media Effectively
82% online adults ages 18 to 29 use Facebook, along with 79% of those ages 30 to 49, 64% of those ages 50 to 64 and 48% of those 65 and older – this is significant because it means that a majority or significant quantity of each group is represented. If you then factor in the global participation rate of internet usage – well you have a huge number.
In the year 2000 the number of people using the internet was placed at 738 million; this has blossomed to 3.5 Billion in 2015. We can safely claim that the vast majority of all developed nations are online, with a good percentage of less developed countries also joining the party each month. This critical number has had overwhelming consequences for our entire civilization.
Without getting too academic about it, I think we simply do not fully understand the full impact of being globally connected – those of us who have been online for 20 years tend to take it all for granted these days, but in actual fact the impact on politics, economics, business has been massive*. Socially the influence and effects have been even more apparent!
The fact that we have all taken to using smartphones in our daily lives is a further development which we are all experiencing, and this has enormous implications for business. There is a critical difference to the dynamic of social media which is completely different to all versions of mass-media we have developed, and were completely used to in the 20th Century – this is of course the interactive nature of the media, as opposed to broadcast.
We can see that this broadcast type thinking is still very much in evidence with many businesses in their attempts to use the new social media platforms, and we can quite easily see that this is not terribly effective. This accounts for around 80% of the commercial content we see each day in our news feeds, and other social media accounts.
Facebook is now the ‘default’ platform for heterogeneous market types – just about every man, woman, child & their dog has a Facebook account. So it is useful to use Facebook as the typical social media activity for people in general.
From a purely ‘business’ perspective Facebook is an interesting case. We have lots of local businesses publishing their business page & displaying that ubiquitous ‘Find Us On Facebook’ sign – however there is a confusion of purpose with this approach. By concentrating on gaining ‘likes’ and gauging the ‘ROI’ of their Facebook activity on the sheer numbers of people seeming to interact with their biz page, many business owners are missing the whole point.
Certainly seeking to build rapport, and interact with customers is valuable as a customer-service activity, but it is the Advertising platform of Facebook which offers us the most powerful employment of using Facebook for business.
However, we should not be using this advertising opportunity in the same way as using the local community newspaper, or radio station; this is where so many business owners get it so terribly wrong. The use of traffic from ‘dark posts’ is the answer to this riddle. Building landing pages, media presentations and opportunities for selling from these online ‘funnels’ is the truly golden mean of leveraging social media for business. This is what we focus on.