Can you believe that only 10 years ago, there were no such thing as Facebook and Twitter? Even 15 years ago people actually waited to hear from each other because even email wasn’t that popular.
Believe it or not, social networking has been around since 40, 000 years before the internet! (give or take a few months) Some refer to it as “Neanderthal Networking” – drawing on cave walls. Cave wall drawing were used to communicate stories and warnings to other people. In 146 BC through to the 18th Century there was text messaging with legs – town criers. Town criers ran from place to place spreading the news of the day, and the newest orders from the King.
In the 17th Century we had newspapers, before the internet it was the only way to hear the news, and do a cross word puzzle. By 1870 there were over 5,000 newspapers in the U.S. alone. In 1938 people had pen pals – one-on-one networking by exchanging letters with people in far off lands. In 1979, the first internet service was created to allow the exchange of emails. by the end of the 1990’s, social network sites have been created. Such as Linkedin, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pintrest etc.
Since the beginning of time, people have craved social interaction with each other, and we have come a long way in that area. When we sit in front of our computer, and now our cellphones, we are no longer separated by the boarders of the world. We can communicate and share with any one (with the help translation). Not to mention that it is free, unlike making a phone call across the ocean.
When it comes to marketing, social networking is an amazing concept. As I have just mentioned, people crave social interaction. We went from sharing our life experiences occasionally to sharing everything we do and experience in a day. With the click of a button, we can share, review, post, and comment on almost anything online. As a society we are becoming very reliant on the internet to answer our questions and give us solutions to our problems. Social media has paved the way between businesses and consumers. Now consumers can tell the businesses exactly what they want, and the businesses can tailor their products to meet our needs. A HUGE amount of the population already exist on social media sites, and this will grow in time. From a business perspective this is amazing news. Your target audience is sitting online, in a reachable and approachable place. Why not tap into that?
The following video discusses how social media marketing affects your business.
For another good read check out Social Media and Society: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly