At today’s Social Media Breakfast Ottawa (SMBOttawa), guest speaker Brady Gilchrist of Admodo offered some valuable insights on the way people are consuming information in this “age of abundance” [of information]. And of course, the affects social media has on business as a whole.
Brady broke it down like this…
Mass media = the individual is a voice in the wilderness
Social media = the individual becomes a voice in the crowd
So with social media, your opinions count and are valuable contributions to the crowd (think community).
Near Web = everyone of us hunched over our laptops
Mobile web is coming on strong making it even easier to be connected everyday and all the time. The apps you can download to your iPhone (lucky you) are the “digital snacks” you can use/consume easily and at low cost. Brady says that as the price and cost of entry to create digital snacks lowers, that’s where you see the “unboxing” of newspapers into thumb-controlled media.
Therefore, traditional newspapers can actually be enhanced by social media. Think the GlobeandMail live blogging on issues of the day with a richly engaged readership base. The newspaper becomes the social medium where people gather to appreciate and hear what others have to say. Which means everyone has the opportunity to be the voice in the crowd.
If you embrace how people snack on information via the social web, and see it as a “yummy” opportunity and not something to stifle or dismiss, then as a business you create opportunities to increase your relevancy in an age where word of mouth is king.
Far Web = mashup between TV broadcasting and the Internet
For cable companies, the far Web disrupts traditional business models as more Internet TV becomes available. It’s silly for media companies to ignore this phenomenon or to try and stifle it. Brady indicated that no one with buying power is watching commercials therefore the TV advertising business model is flawed. As he said “the TV revolution will be blogged before it appears on TV.” By that time, it will be too late to do anything about it.
These new technologies on the market today seem to come out of the blue and change all the rules. If you’re a business leader and you’re not paying attention to social media and its potential impact on your business, it’s to your detriment. Social media can be seen as an early radar system for future trends.
Brady is not saying that digital snacking or social media are the solutions. Its the power to connect that is. It’s the ability to map our interests and what connects us as a collective (again that idea of community). Therefore, it’s all about understanding the power of word of mouth (WOM). So for marketers, the rules for participating in these conversations are to be present, connect with others and talk about what people care about. A lot of companies don’t get the idea of this. Of contributing value.
Reach then, is no longer as important as interaction. So don’t guess at what people want; know and understand your audience.