Man has always found ways to communicate, Social media is not new, it is just the tools we are using today are upgrades of those we used yesterday.
Alex Bell patented the telephone in 1876, after many inventors had played with the physics of electro magnetism and its applications to voice transmission. By the 1890’s farmers were using the barbed wire fences that were strung the length and breadth of the US to communicate. Phones in those days generated their own power by means of a crank and batteries, all you needed to do was hook up to wire, give the mail order telephonic device a crank, and bingo, a phone.
Downside was that someone had to be on the line at the other end waiting, and there was no direct dialling, so everyone was on at the same time, the ubiquitous party line, where privacy was a victim.
(Reliability was also an issue, everything from rain to the neighbours randy bull causing problems with the wire)
Point is, all this fancy new technology is no more than a new solution to an old problem: how to communicate effectively with those to whom we have something to say, from the mundane and trivial to really life altering messages.
Small businesses need to remember this simple truth, as they are bombarded with “opportunities” to expand their reach via social media. The only useful contacts are those with whom you have something in common, and with whom you can collaborate to generate value for you both. Those sorts of “friends” are invaluable, and do not just “happen”, it takes time and effort to find them and build relationships individually. Just getting a “like” on facebook is as useful as Harold Holts flippers, particularly as the organic reach of facebook is now down around 5% as Facebook seek to financially leverage their membership base.
Fancy some barbed wire?