When English is your second language and you are writing a blog with an international audience based in Canada, do you spell it “Organization” or “Organisation”? I checked several resources and discovered that “partly as a result of our historical links with Britain and our proximity to the United States, Canadian spelling has tended to waver between the forms used in these two countries, so that, to this day, there is no clearly established Canadian standard.” Public Works and Government Services Canada.
While more and more businesses have realized that Social Media networks are important places to connect with their customers, many organizations are still struggling with the question of how to handle it, whether they are non profit organizations, franchises or even organizations serving members of regulated professions.
In the last few years I have personally observed organizations doing heavy damage to the local efforts of their local volunteer efforts by implementing generic social media methods. In other cases I have been able to help by developing strategies that fit the structure, goals and budget of the organization.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Sadly the most common approach we still see is the ‘Ostrich approach’ to #SocialMedia” @BlueBirdBC quote=”Sadly the most common approach we still see is the ‘Ostrich approach’ of not doing anything and hoping the whole question of Social Media use will go away.”]
World wide there are more mobile devices than toothbrushes.
96% of Canadians have access to the Internet.
Of these Internet users over 60% are regular users of Social Media networks, meaning we log in more than once a month.
Given these numbers there is no question that our societies have shifted towards interacting and connecting online.
There is no organization that can ignore this shift.
It is easy to assume that Social Media activities would be largely directed at the younger generation. If you look at this historic growth chart you can easily see that the fastest growing group of users is the age group of 65+ Seniors. And it is safe to assume that this use is not limited to catching up with grandchildren.
Social Networking has replaced porn in time spent on the Internet.
Different Social Media tools serve different audiences. Worldwide Facebook is the largest Social network but Instagram is the fastest growing network under younger users.
The time spent on social networks is rapidly growing. And over 80% of users are accessing social media sites on mobile devices.
Social media users are cultivating social connections online. Contrary to common perception the number of people we are connecting with on a regular basis is also increasing.
Just like email revolutionized business communications, mobile devices and social media tools are now becoming the preferred communication channels between customers and organizations.
[clickToTweet tweet=”To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach [email protected]” quote=”To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach ~ Brian Solis”]
Along with the fact that social networking has become an integral part of our lives, the role of social media tools has also changed. Customer service and information functions have risen in importance while marketing messages are getting less attention.
To succeed in reaching this connected audience we have to become part of it.
The Future of Social Media.
Consider the changes in society related to technology over the last 20 years. There is no indication that this trend will slow down any time soon. Technology and social networking will continue to become more integral to our lives. The next wave of this revolution is already beginning with networked devices appearing in our houses and businesses.
For business and organizations the next logical step is a further dismantling of traditional silos and a change to much more intense “customer-centric” business models.
The Challenges for Organizations are:
- Added communication channels
- Increased demand on staff or volunteer hours
- Reputation management
- Changed requirements for branding and messaging
- Supplying content and guidance to local branches
- Training needs
The most common mistakes made are:
- No coherent strategy
- No consistent presence
- Only broadcasting without engagement
- Leaving local subsidiaries without guidance
How we can help:
- Developing a digital media strategy for the organization
- Developing a useful social media policy that considers all stakeholders
- Outsourced social media community management if desired
- Customized social media training programs in person and through our new BlueBird Academy
I would love to talk to you about the specific needs of your organization. [button link=”mailto:[email protected]” color=”green” window=”yes”]Drop Me A Line[/button]