Social media for the masses

I live on a tiny island.  In Malta, social networks extend to neighbours and friends of friends and migrant communities in the four corners of the globe.  And always, there has been a hunger for technology, learning and shiny electronic devices.  So when social media hit the attention bandwidth, people scrambled to Facebook.  Over 25% of the population now reportedly has an account.

And yet, mention social media in business circles and you’re likely to be met with shrugs and visible signs of suspicion and discomfort.  It’s not entirely surprising.  Like many countries, there are many vested interests in keeping the status quo intact when it comes to marketing budgets:  many of these are still spent on mainstream newspaper print, TV and radio.   PR agencies continue to play it safe and rely on ‘trusted’ networks and influencers and ‘sit on the fence’ until someone forces them to do things differently.

And yet:  the new tribes of communicators, bloggers and trouble-makers are starting to quietly mobilise.  Every day sees a new Facebook page, a blog and more fumbling with Twitter.  I don’t know how long it will take – but in a micro, highly-competitive business environment, it is inevitable that decision-makers will wake up to the fact that their customers and prospects’ attention now lies elsewhere; and that they are going to need to engage with them in a totally different way using the ‘new’ tools.

This is the deck of slides I used earlier this week for a talk at Digital Arts Expo, Malta’s largest digital media event.

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2 Responses to Social media for the masses

  1. Michael Damanin says:

    I read this article with interest and went through the lengthy presentation .

    I am of the opinion that small companies as do larger enteprises are aware of the benefit of social media to market products and services .

    What orginizations lack is how to structure and create an interaction with consumers which is consitent in approach and enticing to participate .

    All too often orginizations are latching onto social media such as facebook, my space etc , the same they would use print or TV media to market the product , STATICALLY . The monetory investment is less and the perceived audience is larger however without interaction the results are difficult to determine .

    Orginizations look at this from the exposure point of view in relation to number of hits and eyeball exposure . What marketers should really be investing in is interaction with consumers and the development of communities to spread individual belief of the brand , product , service with an element of ownership . To take it to the extreme a segmentation of ONE indiviual with a single belief that is common and yet owned individually . MY BRAND to protect and defend and talk about .

    Social networking is not about the internet . The internet is a medium to communicate and express electroniacally to a wider audience . Social networking is about a basic necessity to commumincate and express oneself to others .

    All too often local orginizations have not invested in the expression and interaction of communication and use the internet to get a message across to the masses .

    So we going around this the wrong way .

    PS apologies for spelling mistakes . Can t be bothered as long as you get the gist .

  2. I agree, Michael! The challenge for organisations is to be prepared to ‘interact with customers’ and communities (existing customers, prospects etc) in what may potentially be a ‘two-way, public’ dialogue, as opposed to the ‘me-broadcasting’ methods that have been deployed for so many years. Fear creeps in – which is why so many companies are still blocking employees’ access to social media in the work place – forgetting that we all now carry mobile devices that can enable such interaction regardless!. Thanks again for your insight.

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