Business needs to reflect the reality of the clients who are living in the information age. Your client today is “interpersonal, logical, spatial, intrapersonal, musical, linguistic, naturalist and bodily-kinesthetic person”. Attempting to engage digital native potential clients with methods that are no longer valid, is like taking ads space out on CB radios; the only choice is to change the way we approach marketing. Unfortunately, no matter how much your company may wish it, it is highly unlikely the Digital Natives clients will go backwards. In the first place, it may be impossible—their brains may already be different because of their access to social network and on demand vast amounts of information. Businesses need to exist in the spaces the clients exist, understand their culture. You have no credibility if you are not where they are. They are using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Today’s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, over 10,000 hours talking on cell phones but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV).” And send 200,000 emails or instant messages. In 1999, tweens spent an average of 2.4 hours a week surfing the net and in 2000 that increased to 3.8 hours a week. The information age allows the people the opportunity to “create, consume, remix and share material with each other”. They ask many questions, as reflected in the “estimated 7.8 billion searches made in the United States.
The social networking tools bring a completely different set of tools into the hands of the digital natives. The popularity of these tools has surprised and frightened the ‘Digital Immigrants’ to the state where most business, rather than embracing these tools, have banned them. The banning of facebook, instant messaging, blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, myspace, social bookmarking, podcasts, youtube, and flicker, just to mention a few , has made a huge statement that business world is not adapting to its changing clients are not willing to join the ‘Digital Natives’ in their world. We could use the web2.0 tools to help reach clients. It is necessary to believe the power of technology is our friend. Ignorance is our enemy. ‘Digital Immigrant’ business leaders can continue to think that it is possible with a dated system of marketing to compete with the information age which is a reality to the “Digital Natives” clients. An information age with connected potential clients having instant information, communication, multimedia and entertainment and social networking tools is a new era that no old business market plan can realistically compete with using the current marketing approaches. In the past technology has been used as a supplement to marketing. As businesses get more comfortable with technology it becomes a support but until it becomes integrated with marketing we will the clients of the future in their world.
This 30 day process will take you from using Social Networking to a process which will increase your clout on the web so you can leverage the strength of these new communication tools to sell product, create a digital reputation, and control your digital footprint. If you have never used social network site, if you are a casual user, or if you are an experienced user this process will have something which will increase your ability to control the flow of information from your personal, business or product social network sites. Each day will have an activity which will increase your understand and show you how to create a powerful interconnected network of your creation.
I will try to use common language to explain some of these processes which should make it easier for develop a plan and execute it. Social Network sites refer to any site where users follow, like, share, communicate and build a group of people with common interests. For 13 years I have used these sites to build my network to learn about online teaching and personal development. This is referred to as my PLC…my personal learning community. My personal learning community is made up of a number of people from numerous social networking sites with common interests who share research, news and interesting items on common topic which are of interest to me. For me in the pas these topic have been education, specifically online education but currently it is business, project management and productivity. When designed correctly it is not necessary to rebuild your social network just because your interest change or job changes. The design will allow the followers, comments and shares to change with you as you grow or change. It important to follow the steps, and remember to build a success network take times but to design a network which can grow and continue to grow is possible in a shorter period of time. It will be necessary to dedicate a minimum of 15 minutes a day to your network. This small amount of effort will resulted in powerful online network. My network has given me more clout online than the Mayor of our city but less than the Premier of our province.
One of the steps which we will explore is the measuring of your clout so you can see your growth and what works and what does not. The reality is that by the time I am finished writing down this information, much of it will be outdated, but what you will get out of this is a framework in which you can add the new sites and approaches to continue to grow and change as the internet does the same. So the question is: Are you ready to have your voice heard?
It is not what you are saying so much as how many people will hear it, people will come back to hear it a second and third time if it is interesting but when developed correctly you can have your voice ripple across the internet with very little effort, and now starts the sharing of the secret of how to make that happen.