It’s a reality that technology changes our perception of things and, more recently, the way that we communicate.
I’m a Generation X and thanks to that I’ve had the opportunity to experience the technological evolution throughout these last 30 years. I was one of those who lived without a cellular (mobile) telephone, but only for a while. Mobile communication has been one of the major breakthroughs in technology that influenced our lifestyle; the necessity was created and now we can’t live without it anymore.
With the advances in wireless and mobile communication a new era of social technology was born: a more dynamic and fast-paced form of communication that we know nowadays as Web 2.0. These recent changes in the use of the Internet allowed for a more interactive and collaborative dialogue between people worldwide and helped us reach a whole new level in terms of communication.
But this entire social technology boom brought up questions, doubts, fears and skepticism. What is its real power? How much can we achieve and how will this affect our everyday lives? To answer these questions: Its power has no limits, we can achieve anything we set our minds on and this will definitely affect our everyday lives, big time!
So let’s start by having a quick look at two of the negative aspects of social technology which affect our most precious asset: our right to privacy.
Privacy: We all fell for Facebook, right? Since the beginning it was so easy to connect and communicate in real time with your friends, loved ones, colleagues, exes, etc., who lived around the globe. Wow! Isn’t that fascinating? We got to share our photos, our statuses, our jobs, our life stories. Although since then, it was our decision to share information publicly, the constant changes in Facebook’s privacy policies, and all the other social networks, hasn’t helped users to overcome the fear of how much information is really being shared. Our lives are out in the open. Is it our responsibility? It definitely is. Whether you want to be found or you don’t want to be found, you’ll be able to.
Geolocation: Yes, we can be located everywhere at any time. How? Well it’s really simple if you have a device, any device as long as you have internet access. The most used geolocation technologies are GPS, WiFi networks, mobile networks and IP addresses. Now this can be good or bad depending on the uses that we give to the geolocation services. Today almost every platform and app uses geolocation to improve the user experience and as a security tool in case of emergencies, but also to send information to companies that process people’s data without proper consent. Geolocation it’s still a known and unknown territory.
But we have options. Mobile devices have become friendlier with the years allowing us to set up with which apps we want to be visible to the world, in terms of geolocation, and privacy settings can also be strengthen.
So what does this all mean? And here comes the positive side. It means that the boundaries have disappeared. We can communicate globally 24/7 with people and, more and more lately, with brands. This is the part that I find more interesting and here’s why:
In the past brands were seen like a “thing”. A logo, a service, a product. But where’s the people? Brands are made up of people. And that is exactly who we look to communicate with when closing a deal or asking for assistance.
Social media was an amazing opportunity for brands. Reaching out to us in places where we spend our days: our mobile devices. Instant, direct communication. As simple as that. And that is why brands have come into our lives, so fast, through all the forms of Web 2.0 available right now.
As a recipient I have no problem with that. The way brands communicate in terms of marketing and advertising hasn’t changed, but the tools have changed allowing for an even more massive reach at lower costs. And as a Marketer, I have no problem with that either although I’m aware, as a recipient, that we all might feel overwhelmed and annoyed at times with the constant display of adverts on our personal social channels.
Looking at it from another perspective, this situation puts brands to the test. They had to change the way they reach for audiences. If they want to be closer to us they need to reciprocate. They need to be available to us in the same way that we are available to them. Communication in Marketing has become a two-way street. Marketing is now about Relationships. Public Relations are even more important now than ever before.
We all are writers and readers. We are opinionated. We suggest. We review. We share. We decide. We complain. We praise. We, ‘the audience’, are the ones holding the real power of communication to make a difference.
So when I came across PureMatter’s CEO Bryan Kramer’s new book “Human to Human: #H2H”, his new communication concept made perfect sense: “There is no B2B or B2C. It’s H2H: Human To Human”.
That’s why brands’ communications have changed. We are all human and we look for real, authentic, honest relationships and brands know this. That is why, now, they’re closer to where we are.
At MGR we make Social Media Marketing a breeze for your company! So are you ready to open the channels of communication with your audience through your existing, or new, social media channels? Come visit us at MGR Consulting Group.