If we were talking to an alien or a simple tribesman from a forgotten village somewhere and tried to describe the internet, the power of the world wide web and the impact that digital communication has made on the world as we know it today it would sound as though we were describing some type of leviathan. It is after all extremely large and powerful in and has taken over in comparison with other forms of media and it has forever changed the way we live.
Social media has further solidified the legendary status of digital media. Among the possibilities a business man in Japan can become friends with a farmer of corn in Iowa. No more are the days of “mail order brides” or only dating those who live in your small hometown. Today entire social media platforms are dedicated to matchmaking. In marketing a business can utilize the web and social media to make new connections never before possible.
A look at of social media and its history relies on an understanding of two elements essential to it. These elements are people and technology. While it is true that the youngsters born as Gen AO and Generation Z (Gen text) will never likely understand a world without our digital technology and worldwide communication ability, it is Generation Y (Millennials”) and Generation X that have been most significantly impacted and have had the most impact on social media itself.
Generation X adults are about 30 to 50 today (rounded ages) and remember a world before the internet. They were the first generation to have computers in schools and homes and talked on phones with cords in kitchens after school. They contemplated the great and mysterious concepts of the times like what is a gig-a-watt and is 1.21 of them a lot and do they matter at all in time travel. They wondered if the force may be with them too. As they moved beyond their boundaries and attempted to succeed. (Eighties)They became radical, independent thinkers that choose to work more independently than their parents who they had seen fall victim to corporation policies and bureaucracy. It was these types of attitudes that resulted in the advancements in business and technological innovation. Generation X bestowed Google, YouTube and Amazon and many other digital innovations as solutions for the future. (Stephy)Generation X is also known for its acceptance for diversity and important steps toward a united world like with the falling of the Berlin Wall. It is not a wonder that Social Media networks used in the U.S. by Generation X population to be estimated at around 78 million users that use them at least once monthly on some type of device. (eMarketer)
There has been (and still is) a learning curve when it comes to B2B usage of social media. The first priority for B2B’s use of social media platforms began with the same traditional ideas used for lead generation in other types of marketing. Unfortunately problems were encountered with this strategy. The first is the difficult in tracking the leads resulting specifically from social media and that the contact often didn’t seem social it seemed like a sales-pitch. Businesses & marketers have since learned this lesson and are trying to solve the problems. Better understanding of how to track social media results and a better understanding of what “productive” social media interaction is are just first steps.On the up side social media and social networking has given businesses the ability to improve their interaction between both their target markets, existing clients, business partners or associates such as vendors and increase productivity, increase revenue and in some instances even come up with strategic or innovative ideas. (B2B)
Social media is recomended as part of the overall business building strategy of most companies, this is true for both B2B and B2C models. The marketing strategy of today has evolved beyond that of just the product, place, price and promotion and has integrated the most important element of social media PEOPLE.Hank Wasiak writes on Mashable.com that “John Janitsch of Duct Tape Marketing has another take on the four Ps, and has turned them into four Cs for the social age: Content, Context, Connection and Community.” The chart shown indicates this new “take” on and how an integration and how they add a natural balance to the strategies. (Wasiak)
The days of listening to the baseball game around the A.M. radio have passed generation X had the interactive ability to write letters by “regular mail” and send them into Casey Casem for a “Long Distance Dedication” and that seemed pretty interactive at the time. In the digital world today however you can take your son to a ballgame even if you each in a different sate (or country) by virtually sharing the experience thanks to live video streaming and Skype. The digital media user has an unlimited number of choices.Social media usage is everywhere from home, work, the game, camping anywhere you can get a “signal” and a digital device you can participate in some form of social media. This is 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Compare “spots” on radio or broadcast & cable television which only appeal to a mass audience even when highly targeted (and due to cost prohibition is self limiting) businesses today can communicate on a one on one basis with clients at anytime anywhere. The types of social media and methods are filled with potential.
Results of the emergence of digital & social media.
Emergence of Digital & Social MediaDigital Media andSocial media havehad an extremelylarge and powerfulimpact.Together they havenearly “taken over”when compared toother forms ofmedia.
Social Media Offers: Personal & Professional relationship maintenance Matchmaking/dating Create new connections Online gaming/competitions Virtual life/worlds Sharing images/video Collaborations and other group and individual activities.
People = Generation X and Generation Y (Millennials’) Technology = Infrastructure & accessibilityThe two important elements social media relies on.
Social Media& Generation X78 Million people inthe U.S. classified asGeneration X basedon ages 25 to 50 usesocial medianetworks at leastonce a month.
B2B social media, the AD agencies & small business usage.
Social Media, the AdvertisingAgency and Small BusinessB2B Marketersin the U.S. usingsocial medianetworks as partof theirstrategiesincreased from63 % in 2010 to66 % in 2011 bya margin of 3%.(Sagefrog)
Advertising & MarketingTraditional (Four P’s) Social (Four C’s) Product Place Price Promotion (Wasiak)
Types of Social Media Social networking sites Blogging Image & video sharing Music & radio sites Email Live video (ex: Skype) Gaming Clubs, associations & organizations News updating Comment participation in online communities
Stephey, M.J. "Gen-X: The Ignored Generation?" Time. Time, 16 Apr. 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2012.<http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1731528,00.html>. 6EMarketer, comp. "US Social Network Users, by Age, 2008-2014 (millions)." Chart. Total Access - EMarketer.EMarketer Inc., Apr. 2010. Web. 15 Sept. 2012.<http://totalaccess.emarketer.com/Chart.aspx?dsNav=Nr:P_ID:95882>. 6"Eighties Movie Quotes." In The 80s. Ed. Charles R. Grosvenor, Jr. Charles R. Grosvenor Jr., 1995-2012. Web. 15Sept. 2012. <http://www.inthe80s.com/moviequotes/s.shtml>. 6"B2B Marketers Still Unsure about Social Media Strategies." EMarketer.com. EMarketer Inc., 11 Nov. 2011. Web. 15Sept. 2012. <http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?id=1008689>. 8Social Media Tactics Used by US B2B Marketers, 2011 (% of respondents)Sagefrog Marketing Group. "Social Media Tactics Used by US B2B Marketers, 2011 (% of Respondents)." Chart.Total Access - EMarketer. EMarketer Inc., 2 Aug. 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2012.<http://totalaccess.emarketer.com/Chart.aspx?R=111927>. 8Wasiak, Hank. "How Social Media Has Radically Altered Advertising." Mashable.com. Mashable, Inc, 6 July 2010.Web. 14 Sept. 2012. <http://mashable.com/2010/07/06/social-media-advertising/>. 9