The Internet and social media have changed how we do business, connect with other professionals, and communicate within the digital world that has been created and continues to evolve today. Prior to Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin’s existences, business was conducted through multiple avenues that required one to either travel, visit an office, play on a golf course, or have lengthy discussions on the phone or in person. Today, business decisions can be made with a click of a button, instant messaging, talking back and forth on social media platforms, and video conference calls. While many still do business as if it was 2003, heading into 2015 there are more time and cost efficient ways that can close deals within minutes.
Marketing isn’t what it used to be. What was once a “push and sell” philosophy has become more personalized and down to earth where both sides of a deal need to be familiar with each other and create a business relationship. That wasn’t completely necessary in years past. We live in the social media age where everything has become “social”. You can connect and follow a CEO who runs a business a few blocks down the street from where you live, and almost instantly create some form of a friendship through mutual interests if communication takes place.
Yes, this seems like something out of elementary school, but as Gary Vaynerchuk, who is the founder of Vayner Media and turned his father’s $3 mil wine business into $60 mil, has said repeatedly over the years that we’re seeing a youth movement in our society. A 40 year old man twenty or thirty years ago acted much older than a 40 year old in 2014. When adults are texting “LOL” and “OMG”, using hashtags, and talking about their favorite athlete or sports team on social media, you realize that how we socialize today can also shift how we market to multiple generations tomorrow.
The beginning stages of conducting business have been made on social media in the past, whether that’s B2C or B2B. When a 21 year old can talk to a 35-40 year old business owner on Twitter or Facebook, the foundation for a virtual interview is there. When that 21 year old who is an aspiring or current business owner starts talking with that experienced entrepreneur, a business connection can be made and it could lead to business transactions or a possible interview for an internship or job.
We are living in an amazing time. While you’ll say, “That doesn’t happen in business” it already has and will continue. Even in B2C marketing, Twitter has become the platform for businesses to offer their services to customers who might need it. I’ve seen business card offers, web design, SEO, advertising, and marketing pitches on social media, not just Twitter. Thinking that business can only be conducted the way it’s been for the past 100+ years in backwards thinking; we’re now heading into 2015.
The sooner we see the endless possibilities social media has, the sooner we can start advancing ahead in our careers, begin to build business relationships with people we may never have met, and grow strong business connections that not only benefit those your business’ services can help, but also get you loyal and lifelong customers and clients.