There is no doubt that getting business through social media is the hot topic in business at the moment. There are those who say that it will revolutionise how we all do business. Well, stop press, every technology step change for the last 100 years has done just that, so we should be getting used to it.
- Telephone, started around 1900, common use 1950, everywhere by 1960s
- 256 bit computer, started in 1950s most corporates by 1980
- Home PC, started 1980s, common by 2000, everywhere now
- Internet, started 1990 (really), common by 2000
- Broadband, started 2000, everywhere by 2005
History teaches us that in each of these step changes there are common factors. At the start of any stage many businesses are in denial, but they cannot hold things back. If they do not go for change they are forced into it as late followers, typically by their customers. Some businesses cease to exist while opportunities for new businesses are opened up at each stage, e.g. Outsourcing mainframe operations, working from home, virtual PA, website designers. However, each stage has its unique characteristics and this one, the adoption of social media as a tool for businesses, is no exception.
The winners this time will recognise that:
- Business and social communications are becoming more mixed
- Integration on single device is increasing, smartphone being the key
- Consumers and purchasers are actually leading providers and suppliers on how they want to purchase
- Consumer recognition is becoming more powerful than traditional advertising
The winners, as with every other technology step change in the last 100 years, will be those who adopt the new technology and integrate it into their business operations. Only then they will be able to increase their income at the same time as reducing their costs and improving their customer service. The losers will be those who stay too long in denial and wake up to find their customers have chosen to take their business elsewhere.Kevin Hardern Elmgables Consulting Business Mentor Contact Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 07785 950702