We find ourselves in a weird shift in the world where practically anyone with a connection to the ‘interweb ‘can literally have their 15 minutes of fame. This fame may be deserved or undeserved but the fact remains that anyone from your quiet elderly neighbor to your niece has the ability to become an instant hit and have their chance to experience fleeting fame. Social media has for the first time has granted us all an equal opportunity to become known. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay and will continue to flourish.
One of the most important aspects of any business or someone trying to ply their trade or art is marketing/advertising. The picture below pretty much sums up what this entails, and judging by the amount of info on there, you can be pretty much certain that it means a lot, a lot of work.
In days gone by in order to make a name for yourself, whether an entertainer, business or just extrovert, one had to do the hard yards, pounding the pavement, paying for expensive advertising and entertaining clients. Advertising was considered essential for a successful business, but in order to afford advertising one has to be successful in the first place. Leaflets and other printed material are great, but highly wasteful and in todays modern world, quite environmentally irresponsible. Word of mouth is probably the most effective form of advertising but it can take a considerable amount of time to really start to pay off.
The only real viable option available to everyone at very low cost is social media. Thanks to technology and the ‘interweb’ everyone’s phone, tablet, laptop or PC becomes a virtual shop, a virtual gallery, a portal to funnel your art and trade. One now has the opportunity to reach out to more potential clients and customers now than ever before. The only time one would be able to attract more customers is if aliens landed and adapted to our lifestyles (Heavens forbid!).
Now upon saying all this, let me say that I am not a big fan of social media but I would have to be completely stupid not to recognize the potential. Besides I find it somewhat ironic when someone uses social media to criticize social media. Being somewhat older than this generation I am somewhat relieved that we didn’t have social media back then to record our mistakes and embarrassing moments for all eternity. But none the less, social media used well and responsibly can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal to gaining the exposure and fame one desires.
I must admit that I have never really taken social media seriously as it consists of ‘social’ and ‘media’ which to me means people news, that is mob news. A situation where the mob begins to dictate the social norms and what is acceptable. To me this is worrying because as individuals we are brilliant, but as a group, we are primal.
But then again that is maybe a too harsh a generalization as social media has done a lot of good as well. It has helped raise awareness for many different causes, one particular being The Free West Papuan Movement. Unless you grew up in Papua New Guinea or had some sort of connection with the area you wouldn’t have heard about it at all. Over the last five years, thanks to social media and in particular Facebook, the movement has grown and is now starting to attract world wide attention. How? Well technology put the power in the hands of the West Papuans. For the first time, they had available to them a way to get their story out with very little expense. If, and I do sincerely hope it does, but if West Papua ever gets their freedom, they would in no small way owe a debt of gratitude to social media.
So I would be crazy to ignore social media. I may have experience operating my own business but that was in another industry, another field. This is all brand new territory for me, and although I am familiar with social media, I just never realized how important a tool it can be.
Over the next few weeks, I shall be creating a Facebook profile, A YouTube account, an Instagram account and a Twitter account. I already have a Twitch account but never thought it was relevant until this weeks online lecture.
So watch this space.
Thats all for now. Thank you for your company, I hope to see you again.
Peace, love and blessings.