Not on various social networking platforms sharing your personal statistics and daily whereabouts with the world? You could appear unusual or even suspicious to others, according to a recent UK report by the government’s chief scientist Sir John Beddington.
The report contradicts popular opinion of old that staring at your computer (and phone, tablet and other devices) rather than living in the real world with real people alienates you from normal society.
But LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are all part of our current normal society – they’re all methods we use to communicate en masse. History is littered with utterances of “It’ll never catch on” from the TV to telephone and internet, yet where would we be without them today?
Professionals are increasingly seeing the need to have a web presence to build and maintain relationships with current and prospective clients (and employers). The ‘younger’ generation run their social lives with Facebook and Twitter, gossiping, laughing together and arranging to meet – permanently online and available so they don’t miss a single moment. And there are plenty of the older generation either taking to Facebook to keep up with their families, or grumbling about who knows what first because they don’t use Facebook.
Which sheds light on the report’s point of view that those who don’t network online could become ‘disenfranchised’. Anyone not socially networked could be overlooked or appear conspicuous by their absence. The same goes for brands as well as individuals.
Brands that are thought of as “behind the times” have an increasingly short shelf-life and decreasing buyer population, so not connecting with others through social channels is far from desirable.
Of course, some actively choose not to stare at the Gogglebox or bare their innermost thoughts to the whole world on Facebook and Twitter, but they’re increasingly in the minority.
When it comes to marketing, selling products and keeping customers happy, who wants to reduce their ability to do so based on their availability? Why not just ask your customers to write you a letter if they have something to say and have a chap on a horse deliver it in a week or so?
It’s time for everyone to get social and use the channels the masses use, in the way they want to use them, or get left behind.