Aug

The Advantage of Social Engagement for Business, in Simple Words

                                                   

Much is being said about social networks and their importance for businesses. The amount of analysis, explanations, and advice keeps on growing, while the matter is being investigated from every possible angle, real and imaginary.  

As for me, the need for businesses to market and sell on social can be explained by a simple argument.

Here it is.

The principle advantage of social networks for a business over other mediums is in the social networks’ potential to build trust. Traditional marketing mediums, such as TV, newspapers, internet, radio, etc. are not designed to build trust. They are information channels, or scaling vehicles, or sales means, but their primary goal is not to build trust. Social networks, on the other hand, are exactly this - a trust building tools.

And herein lies their biggest advantage in today’s market. The endless variety of options consumers have and the ever growing dissatisfaction with traditional aggressive marketing methods, such as commercials or banners, means that creating trust between businesses and their audiences is now the most efficient way to attract customers. The way that guarantees long-term sustainability and growth.

This is, simply put, the reason for businesses to embrace the social.

 

Interested in reading more? Check out our other blogs:

Is Anonymity the Future of the Internet?

Right now we're in a world that sees  transparency as the new form of integrity. Right now we're in a world that understands that reputation is everything. Loyalty is somewhat fleeting as consumers, armoured with this incessant flow of knowledge from the web, have the ability to make swift  judgements and decisions about individuals, companies and governments, often times to the detriment of the target.

The emergence of social media has forced companies to stop hiding from behind that veil of corporate spin and address the very things that the web has thrown at them. Nothing is secret any longer. Even secrets that were once held secure behind invulnerable fortresses now have a strong probability of materializing today.

Is transparency as a norm working? Or, are the results of transparency surfacing a new order that will create yet another tier of acceptance from the masses?

"Anonymity is Authenticity"

Following the death of Rahteah Parsons, who, after being assaulted by 4 boys, was tormented relentlessly by classmates and other kids on social networks; and also following the suicide of Hannah Smith, who experienced the same torment, it's clear the internet has evolved to an era that has given free reign to voice an opinion and use like-minded affiliations to express and further spread that opinion. In these cases, anonymous profiles proliferated the incessant stream of hateful attacks that eventually wore down both girls' defences.

And while I originally argue that anonymity was a cowardice state that allowed people to be and feel comfortable being the anti-self that runs away from accountability, my stance has seen another side of this coin.

Anonymity is Safe

It becomes clear that humans, while inherently social, are discriminating of the things we disclose and to those to whom we share. 

If transparency breeds contempt, then anonymity should build acceptance

The freedom to express opinion and judgement without feeling guarded, or without fearing others linking you to a statement is indeed liberating. And while this free reign may take the form of a soapbox soliloquy or criticisms (and perhaps bullying attacks) against opposing views, there is a large segment of users who want the ability to share a secret, or have a place to vent their frustrations or challenges -- without the fear of reprisal.

Despite revelations from Snowden and the NSA that nothing on the net is private, this does not stop the wave of user adoption for applications like SnapChat, Whisper or Secret.

Here are some recent stats for Snapchat from Mashable

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I've recently downloaded Whisper and my experience has been more than liberating. It has allowed me an outlet to record my hopes, desires and more importantly, my anger and not-for-public emotions. Being judged in real life or on social takes its toll. If my reputation precedes me, then I will be discriminating about what I say in places where my content and identity are linked.

Popular opinion just doesn't matter. It's irrelevant. But I want to track progress in my life: my emotions, my dark moments, my personal observations, my milestones -- all in my own digital diary.

Why shouldn't users have the option to keep part of their identities secret and separate?

It's up to the next generation

This new medium has created is an endless volatile loop of positive and negative reinforcement. While transparency has extreme benefits, there are just as many negative consequences that have come as a result of creating this honesty within social channels. Society continues to send the wrong message to Millennials and GenZers, warning them to be more discerning and to suppress who they really are as individuals... warning them of the potential consequences should they venture down the wrong path.

How we communicate today poses tremendous issues for this younger generation. Their experiences are grounded in the fear of being vulnerable... fear of being misjudged... fear of not being accepted... fear of being punished. When the next generation grows up, it'll be up to them to shape the landscape and determine how to balance the impacts of transparency and anonymity.

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Easy Yet Untapped Revenue Channel for Hotels Worldwide

There are many travelers looking for hotels and places to stay on social web. Every day.

Take Twitter, for example:

 

Or this:



People are genuinely looking for help. Surprisingly though only few are getting it. According to nmodes data less than 12% of Twitter travel  requests are being answered. The rest - lost opportunities for hotels and businesses in the hospitality industry.  

 And how big is this opportunity anyway?

nmodes Twitter data shows that every 15 min somebody expresses intent of going to, or visiting New York. Most of these travelers need a place to stay there.

Every 33 min - intent of traveling to London.

Every 54 min - intent of traveling to Paris.

We started Twitter recommendation service @nmodesHelps and were encouranged by the results. 72% of those that received our travel recommendations reacted by thanking us and expressing their gratitude. This reinforced our assumption that people seek travel advice on Twitter, accept it as an instant value, and are prepared to act upon it.

The hotels that are ready to move fast to monetize this opportunity will benefit the most.

 

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