What did social media and the internet do?
The extreme importance of social media in business today!
Social media... it's all the rage today! It is increasingly becoming a more integral part of people's daily lives, especially now that people can carry the world in their pockets with internet-enabled cell phones and have data packages. With more than two billion people – nearly a third of the world's entire population – connected through social media today, it has become essential, even critical, for businesses to take advantage of the enormous potential that social media gives them. Those who fail to take advantage of this trend do so at their peril!
Some say we are seeing the repetition of the trends we saw at the beginning of the century... all over again. Although the Internet as a communication tool began on October 29, 1969, celebrating the first communication between two remote computers, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in March 1989, giving us the hypertext markup language (HTML) that enables pages. , links and browsers used all over the world to interact with each other. In 2000, the network as we know it was only eleven years old. Businesses began to realize that the Internet was getting bigger and bigger and was moving beyond the military (its original user), academia and business, and increasingly into people's homes (and now... even their pockets!) Online shopping was gradually gaining ground. Brick and mortar retail is increasingly competing for shoppers' dollars. Businesses that took advantage of the trend became more successful, while those that didn't suffered as their competitors beat them to the online market.
Good examples that have been in the news recently include Borders Books and Blockbuster Video. Borders didn't believe the chain would become as big as it did and was soon founded by Amazon, which started using its online platform for books and now sells almost everything. Blockbuster Video, once seen in so many communities, has now closed so many of their brick and mortar stores since Netflix arrived on the scene. If Dish Network hadn't come in, most of the Blockbuster stores would have had to close. Now their attempt to win back Netflix customers angered by recent fee hikes. Blockbuster hopes to stay viable and relevant with their newest show.
Return on investment... a bang for your buck!
The main point is that we see a similar trend in business today when it comes to social media. The businesses are starting to "become human" and return to that "familiar" feeling of hometown businesses, where business owners and customers often connect personally. Social media is helping to create this personal feeling on a much larger scale now, in the sense that people can stay digitally connected more than ever...even when they are "flying" in their homes/offices and have less face-to-face communication.
While we can debate the negative social effects of that social trend, businesses cannot ignore it. By virtue of what they do, those engaged in network marketing, aka affiliate marketing or multi-level marketing, certainly cannot ignore it as a primary tool for building lines and expanding their business beyond their hot market of family and friends, many of whom may or may not be interested in a home business or opportunity Business to work at home, as this trend is growing rapidly. The social media explosion is getting more and more attention. Business leaders are talking about it, authors are writing about it, and some say it's just the beginning.
Business trends experts like Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy, say we're seeing "the calm before the social media storm" (see the link to his MSNBC YouTube interview at the end of the LinkedIn discussion below. It'll blow your mind what this guy know and imagine about the power of social media for business!). Many people in the business world have not yet jumped on social media. They scale it up and calculate the return on investment... not realizing that the longer they wait, the more they may be missing out on the huge potential of being able to get their brand, product(s) and service(s) out in front of millions of potential people in a very cost effective way compared to media Traditional print and television advertising. Branding, name recognition, market share growth, customer loyalty, brand ambassadorship... are all important goals of the business enhanced through social media.
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