USING IT: D is a scientist by profession and a photographer by passion. I have seen him grow his passion/hobby to a semi profession purely via social media. The scientist friend of mine has done wonderfully well in using the social media. Much in the lines of HubSpot’s inbound marketing, he never advertises his photography skill directly on the social media. He does not try to sell his skills for money openly in social media. It is posted out there for you to see and it is clear that he is willing to do it professionally. Throughout the year we see his photos from various events and covering various topics in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram etc. He has a huge number of followers and friends and his photos speaks for him. People would reach out to him directly to get his services, all through social media. The customer finds him. These days he gets booked for weekends well in advance. This is a great strength that social media can provide to small businesses. Someone like my friend can thrive as there is hardly any acquisition cost.
GETTING USED: It was an early Monday morning and John is up to start his week. He walks into the kitchen where his wife is making a steaming cup of tea. While the tea is on the process, Jen, John’s wife is looking into the phone. She is not happy and looks like something big is missing from his life. “We have to watch his movie and tonight!!!” Jen demands and John is shocked. John is more of a movie buff and Jen is not. John would often want to go and watch a movie in the theatre while Jen things it’s a waste of time. Then what happened today?
Jen continues, “All of my friends are talking about this movie and they all have watched it over the weekend. I just cannot post anything, I feel left out. WE HAVE TO WATCH THIS MOVIE TONIGHT!!! Jen demands again. John asks – “So it’s not really about the movie. What is really bothering you is that you cannot post anything in the social media and participate in the conversation?” This infuriates Jen more, she is not ready to accept the logic presented by John. “Off course I want to watch the movie, I was always interested”, Jen tries to make it clear to John. John and Jen both knows that it is only about taking an active part in social media and not about the movie at all. Anyway, John obliges and they do go for the movie that evening. As soon as they enter the theatre, Jen “checks in” in Facebook, then she tweets and then gets into a WhatsApp conversation with a girlfriend. As the credits roll on there is not much attention given to the movie. So it goes to prove again that the social presence is more important than the actual event, the movie in this case.
We see numerous such instances all day along and everywhere. People missing on the movie, or a key moment in a game in attempt to post in social media. We see folks missing out key part of a vacation or a musical concert in an attempt to post in social media. People seem to be too bothered to post in social media than enjoying the moment. It has almost become an addiction. Social media is almost controlling their life.
Finally, let me take this opportunity to tell you a funny story. I just came to know about this very recently and was totally surprised about it. A friend of mine was talking about a friend of hers. Let’s say her name is Mary. Mary lives and works in Boston and is an avid social media user. I just came to know from my friend that, Mary often checks in to an upscale restaurant or a designer shop while going past it. She would come out during the lunch time and check in to a popular restaurant just by getting close in proximity. This did give Mary a reputation of being at hip hop places, whether actually being there. Mary is probably using the social media to upgrade her social status. The restaurant is also getting another “check in” even though the customer never made it in. Seems a little unethical from Mary’s point of view. It is also creating wrong analytical data for Mary. Any organization who is trying to target Mary and understand her preferences would get wrong information. How will an organization do a proper predictive analysis if the data itself is false?