It was 2004 when I first experienced social media.
A theme was chosen for my MySpace page, a couple pictures were added, and a song was embedded on my profile before I ever understood what the PURPOSE of it was for.
The initial reason I started one to begin with, was because all of my friends had one, and I wanted to stay in the loop and up-to-date with what everyone was doing.
Oh man, if I had an image of what my most recent MySpace looked like… Teenager’s now would laugh.
But, this is how I first met my, now, fiancé.
Yes we lived in the same town. Yes we went to the same school. No this wasn’t through Tinder.
For some reason, I couldn’t wait each day to login and see all the colorful notifications saying I had new friend requests, messages, and comments.
And you can’t forget about the profile views.
Profile views and Top 8’s were the two things people talked about most with MySpace.
But social media has evolved since then, and it’s absolutely amazing how each platform has taken off in the last 10 years.
After MySpace, came Facebook.
Facebook, on all accounts, is absolutely tearing up the game. Mark Zuckerberg is a pure genius.
But I’m not here to state the obvious.
Facebook was created as a “re-purposed” version of MySpace, eliminating all of the HTML technicalities and heavy customization which made it easier to operate for most users.
Not only did it attract those who were currently on MySpace (Millennials), but also for the older generations.
“Gee, everybody’s parents are getting on Facebook now…”
Man, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that.
Facebook (at the time) allowed users to connect with friends in the area, friends who went off to college, friends who moved, and family members.
But now, it’s taken social media to a whole new level.
Now on every square inch of your news feed you see cat videos, memes, engagement announcements, baby pictures, and everything else we didn’t have immediate access to more than a decade ago.
Nevertheless, it took me until high school (2006) to get a Facebook, and wow was it a game-changer.
Facebook was my bread and butter until college. And then Twitter and Instagram hit.
I created my first Twitter handle right before my freshman year of college (2010).
Twitter was used in the past, the same way it’s used today: to inform others who “follow” you, of what’s happening in your life.
For the most part, it’s in real-time.
If you could figure out how to say what it is you wanted to say in less than 140 characters; Twitter was the solution.
It allowed you (and still allows you) to broadcast whatever it was you were thinking, immediately.
“What’s everyone doing today?”
“Going to the movies, everyone meet me there!”
“Sitting on the toilet, playing Candy Crush…”
However, now it’s used more efficiently. Brands use it to market themselves and reach audiences in more ways than they could ever imagine. TV, newspapers, and billboards just aren’t as effective anymore.
And while we’re talking about efficiently marketing yourself, this is where Instagram excels.
Marketing and advertising thrive off the way something looks, sounds, and feels (emotionally and psychologically).
What better way to do that, than through visual appeal?
PICTURES. VIDEOS. GLAM.
BRIGHT SHINY OBJECTS.
Danielle once did that to me, showed me a bright shiny object she wanted… And I’m all like “ooohh ahhh”, and now it’s on her damn finger… I’m a sucker.
But seriously, Instagram has taken the strategy of using pictures and videos to visually communicate with others.
This is why Instagram is arguably killing the traditional “communication skills” (speaking) of late-Millennials, and/or Generation Z.
All you have to do is scroll down the dang feed and see what it is you want to see, potentially leading you to BUY something without ever talking to someone about it. How crazy is that…?
Let’s say I’m the CEO of Ford Motor Sporting Trucks.
Someone just buys a new Ford and posts it on their Instagram with the caption, “Like, OMG, check out my new Ford Festival GT 3000 Limited Rose Gold Edition pickup truck!”
First off, nothing like that exists… LOL!
But second, Ford just received free advertising from that person who purchased the vehicle. UNWILLINGLY!
This is the beauty… and this is how social media has changed the world of consumer goods/services for the better.
Yeah, you have the MEDIA who take things and blow them all out of proportion, mainly from the perspectives given through those using social media, but there’s more to it.
Use it effectively, and you can successfully (and unknowingly) market a brand.
Oh, one other thing, IT’S FREE TO DO IT!
So create yourself a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (at a minimum) if you have or know someone who has a brand product/service and make a difference.
It’s not about the numbers to start, but the engagement and outreach to those who you care about most.
Although, numbers do help.
But that’s not the PURPOSE of social media.
Use it for the same way I used MySpace and Facebook back in the day, to connect with people.
You just don’t post stuff to post stuff… it’s about building relationships and maintaining trust in your name to provide valuable information that people care about.
For heaven’s sake, it’s 2017. If you’d like to crawl out from under the dark rock you’ve been hiding under all this time, contact me and I’ll help clarify your need for social media if this post hasn’t already done that.
But if not, then thank you for listening.
Tata for now.