In the last several years I have witnessed firsthand the rise of the so called social media phenomenon. Over seven years ago when I found myself midway through my freshman year in college Facebook was initially offered only as a communication device amongst my school. Then the network expanded to include other universities and God forbid—high schoolers—until eventually my mother began posting on my wall and adding baby pictures of myself. In terms of tools or facilities for communications the internet has developed from email, chat rooms and instant messaging services, to message boards and forums, to social networking sites and blog formats. It is more a little too obvious and stupid to say that it has never been easier to (in)directly communicate with as many people as once, a prospect that rightly so has appealed to people of shapes and sizes, and particularly business ventures. While the web bloats with message after message that attest to the efficacy of a well groomed social media presence, I believe many miss the point. For one, if you are going to market through social medial, it cannot just take up cyber real estate but has to offer some creative contribution that stimulates those already using outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to take an active interest. More than ever before, people want to buy experiences: it’s no longer being convinced of a service; i.e. seeing that you are actually on
Facebook that will encourage others to take an interest in your business, but providing others with an experience they take an interest in. People love to shop at IKEA because they can experience the products they can hypothetically purchase.
On the flipside of the same coin an oft overlooked tool by those who have thrown themselves headlong into boosting their web presence is video. It is my belief that as far as media goes video transmits the most convincing, compelling, and immediate “experience” available at the moment. Since Facebook and Twitter are largely “word based” devices (though slowly changing), our culture remains primarily image based and oriented in terms of communication. Several young friends of mine have recognized this and developed a video production unit that offers records footage for businesses and universities (as well as other interested ventures) solely with an internet audience in mind, and there are many others who have picked up on this niche market—video businesses and videod businesses. Who knows; a video might look great in your profile.