Times…. they are goin’ social
So, here is a little background to help this make sense. I live and breathe social media on a daily basis. I get a good amount of referrals off of it for work, not to mention; most of my friends live out of my area and that is the main way that I communicate with them. So I would say that about 8 or 9 months ago I changed my main homepage from Google to Facebook, I stopped using Comcast for email and went to Google Apps. So, what this means is that I have no immediate news feed on my homepage anymore. I should also say, I don’t watch TV.
Lets jump to part two, and the more relevant aspect. I live in Florida. It is hurricane season. You get used to it after a while. July 5th I spent the day driving home in heavy downpours from South FL for the holiday weekend. No idea why. I get home only to find out that there is a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico…who knew? I sure didn’t. This morning, a friend on FB in Clearwater posts about the upcoming Tropical Storm. Tropical Storm? What Tropical Storm? Blindsided again!
The issue here is clearly outlined above. In today’s world of instant information on the web with Twitter and FB, blog subscription combined with a lack of TV and homepages changing to social networks we now decide how we want to receive our information and news. This is a great concept (unless you forget to “like” Weather.com on FB). In his book Socialnomics, Erik Qualman outlines how we now choose the ways we want our information through multiple social networks. That we no longer want to go search for it, we want it to find us. This does two things for us. It make information virtually instant, and it also allows us to filter out the junk that we don’t want. My preferred method to receive info is Facebook.
Through subscribing to these feeds on social networks we are able to get info that we may not have gotten otherwise. Here are a few examples from today alone. This morning, I got a status update from Southwest Airlines – they are running a special on flights. This drew me into their website to book a flight that I probably wouldn’t have booked with them originally. I now know when hurricanes are coming via The Weather Channel and Weather.com …. you fill in the blank on the benefits here. Lastly, I know that a hotel that I like to hang out at back home has deals next month, and lots of great new bands to play at night.
As the masses move further and further into the world of instant gratification and streaming media we realize that we are more likely to get updated information through these streams, then waiting for the news at 6pm. My point behind this is simple, are you providing information to your consumer base in the form that they want it…. or are you still sending them an email drip once a month?