One of those questions many people still ask is why social media really matters.
I think, at this point, we all know social media is more than a trend. With Facebook’s ongoing attempt for world domination, we can be assured that social media is not going away any time soon! Just as radio and TV once revolutionized media and communications, social media has done the same thing. Beyond that though, social media is more than just a broadcast tool—if anything, that’s a minor component of the entire thing that is social media.
In reality, social media is just that—social. We connect with friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers. I read something really funny the other day: Back in the day my mom warned me not to trust anything on the internet and not to get into cars with strangers. Nowadays, we use the internet to invite strangers to come pick us up in their cars!
The world today, as we know it, is drastically different than it was 10 years ago—before Facebook, Uber, Tinder, and the gazillion apps still to be developed. And in our modern society, social media is a major component of that communication and media consumption.
Can you survive without social media? Of course you can! For now. But the future, and even our present, is consistently more dependent on social media and online integrations. We consume more content now on our smartphones than we do on computers or tablets. If a website isn’t mobile optimized and easy to navigate, you leave; if a site doesn’t accept PayPal, you bounce; if a signup page doesn’t offer a Facebook quick launch, you won’t waste your time.
Beyond all of this, all of it is becoming more integrated—things like being able to go right to a product page from Facebook and purchase that item immediately. In the not-so-distant future, one app will allow you to do what now requires 4 or more separate apps. From photo sharing, to ordering food, to paying your bills, scheduling appointments, and watching “tv”—all of these activities will be in one common app. And, this is why social media is so important.
Social media is the core at which all these apps will be built to integrate and serve the users. And the reason is because that’s where we are—we’re on social media. We want to be where our friends are. We want to be where we can connect with those who matter most to us. So, if the “other” things we need are integrated into the place we already spend time, it’s efficient and convenient. And the more we can do in one app, the more that app can make money. So they’ll keep giving us convenience and integration! It’s a clearly visible circle of life.
So, yes, you can avoid having a Facebook business page, or even a Facebook account all together. You can ignore the need for a LinkedIn profile or a Twitter account or even an Instagram account. But, you will get left behind. Your competition will be ahead of you. They will be connecting with customers, building relationships, growing a brand that is trustworthy online. They will be learning the nuances of the platforms, learning where their audience spends time, gathering data and details about what their audience really wants and needs. They will be ready to adapt and move forward with new opportunities as they arise. And you’ll be left scrambling to catch up in a year, two years, or more. Starting from scratch and wishing you had started earlier. Don’t let that be you!
It takes time to learn how to use each platform effectively. It takes time to build an audience that trusts you and will listen to you. It takes time to get good at social media.
And there’s no time like the present to get started. The longer you wait, the harder it will be and the more you’ll have to catch up.
So get started. Focus on one platform that will give you confidence and momentum. Build from there. Don’t try to do it all tomorrow—you’ll drive yourself crazy in the process. Build it, one step at a time.