Social Media has changed everything
Social media is the newest creature that we’ve had to familiarise ourselves with. In the span of a few short years, it has heavily, indelibly, changed the world as we know it. It’s given us ways of interacting with each other in an informal setting that transcends borders. It’s left its mark on commerce, as well, reinventing the way companies communicate with consumers, influencing buyer behaviour, and creating emerging industries and new jobs.
No one can avoid the social media avalanche
Even if a person isn’t necessarily active on social media, the influence and impact is still felt. Every time you rush to check if anyone you know was harmed in a local disaster such an earthquake or typhoon, you’re acknowledging the reach of social networks. When you heard about how celebrities and even political figures took part in the ice bucket challenge, you witnessed how it can bring people together for a cause. Businesses and financial institutions now include a person’s social media history in their background checks, and even the police have used it to piece together stories of how a crime went down.
It’s even beginning to influence politics! Gone are the days when the only legit poll were those where a uniformed agent would show up at your door to ask you about your opinions- Facebook polls can now take the temperature of how a political race is going to be run.
In social networks everything happens instantaneously
If something big happens, whether it be a celebrity flash mob or a horrific shootout, you can bet it will be on social media in minutes, if not seconds. People can access information instantly, react with a push of a button, shop using a mobile phone, and even weigh in on important topics as soon as they happen.
With everything at the tips of people’s fingers and where money can be made and lost with a flick of a finger on a handheld device with a touch-sensitive screen, there’s ever-increasing pressure for businesses to be able to respond in as short a time as possible. Because that means operating with one finger on the pulse of social media channels, corporations have begun to employ teams of managers and marketers whose task it is to manage, monitor, respond on these said channels, becoming, in essence, the embodiment of a brand online.
Getting yourself geared up for the future
These chosen few do have their work cut out for them, though. They have to learn about a myriad of networks and how to best use each one, and for what clients. They need to know how to respond to situations that may involve anything from a hacked account to an irate customer, and how to analyse what the statistics generated from these various accounts mean.
Most of the time, these skills aren’t taught in regular schools. You don’t get to take Facebook Analytics 101 at your local university. However, people in the industry have taken it upon themselves to train the future generation of social media managers and marketers in the finer points of their craft.