Published on: August 25, 2015by Michael Sansolo
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the day we met, my wife decided to post a 1975 photo of me on Facebook. It reminded me that while I’ve kept the girl, I clearly have lost a lot of hair.
Incredibly, I no longer own the shirt I’m wearing in the photo, although my wife wasn’t completely sure of that. Both she and my children remind me repeatedly that some of my clothing has long since passed its prime.
(FYI: I am keeping that Mets 1986 World Championship shirt until my team actually rewards me with another year to celebrate. Thank God I’m not a Cubs fan!)
But there’s a serious side to this: times roll on and things change. We see it in “Throwback Thursday” photos of our homes, our cars, our stores and even the products we sell or eat. Fashions, taste and technology are constantly changing and we need change with it.
Not surprisingly, it happens with even the newest technologies. A recent Pew study examined how Americans are using social media and unsurprisingly, patterns are changing. The skyrocketing growth of Facebook has leveled off while messaging apps like Kik and What’s App, and social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, are growing at a much faster pace. And those changes are happening among all demographics, not just Millennials.
For businesses, there’s a lot to consider in those numbers.
First off, we need to stay current with technological change or risk looking as silly as I did in my throwback photo. Let’s hope no one out there is running their social media strategy through My Space or Friendster or offering Internet service through dial-up in a store.
Many companies have mistakenly assumed social media is free since it’s on the Internet. As experience is constantly showing up, we need well thought out strategies for social media and that requires staffing and budgetary support.
Part of that support is recognizing that a simple website is an insufficient Internet presence and that a social media strategy must evolve with the web itself.
The second part of the Pew study is a reminder of just how powerful these social sites have become. Granted, Facebook’s growth is leveling off, but the reason may be that there’s no place left to grow. Nearly three-quarters of Americans currently are using Facebook so it’s increasingly harder to find people to add.
More importantly, 70 percent of adults check Facebook daily and almost all do so more than once a day. It’s hard to imagine any other medium that even comes close to that kind of level of interaction.
Those numbers are a powerful reminder of just how important social media has become for business. If your marketing strategy relies too heavily on newspaper ads, television or radio you too need to pull out an old photo and contemplate change. While those media can and should be part of your strategy, you need consider your digital connections and how to make sure they are constantly up to date.
Retro is great for Chuck Taylor sneakers, but horrible for my hairstyle or your marketing plan.
Michael Sansolo can be reached via email at email@example.com . His book, “THE BIG PICTURE: Essential Business Lessons From The Movies,” co-authored with Kevin Coupe, is available on Amazon by clicking here. And, his book "Business Rules!" is available from Amazon by clicking here.
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