Why are we all so wonderfully addicted to Social Media? Well, I believe in the rule of 3’s, and 3×3 = 9. So here we go with 9 reasons:
1. It’s fun, yes, but also incredibly important.
To your brand (personal or business) everything is social. Or it better be. It represents your voice to the world. It’s your dialogue, your sounding board, your relationship avenue, your deep research and insight pool, your biggest fans, your instant feedback loop. It’s not just “another channel”…it’s infused in the most important parts of your customer’s journey of how your target audience thinks about you, your brand and your product.
2. It’s inherently and insanely connective.
How else but through social could I interact with my college roommate, my favorite high school teacher and an old work friend that just had a daughter… all in the same day? My friend attended his grandmother’s 80th birthday party in a Google Hangout. You are likely reading about this blog post through Facebook or Twitter. Snaps and Stories may only last a day, but the connections we maintain through social actually last.
3. It’s social, and social = human.
As author Paul Adams says, “We build relationships with brands the same way we do with people, through many lightweight interactions over time.” Think about it. Those who are most important to you got that way over time and through REAL experience together. And we revel in sharing our real experiences and interactions on social, because they actually mean something to us. You must be real and authentic, just like in your offline life, or else be viewed as, gasp… #fake. No one likes the person at the party who kicks open the door and says, “Hey look at me. Do you like me? Do you like me?!?! Tell your friends!” He’s not real. He doesn’t get invited back.
4. It’s wonderfully narcissistic.
It’s how we share all the things we hope others will care about: our happy times with friends, our best meals, our new outfits and hairdos, our biggest accomplishments, our vacations, our selfies, our check-ins, our “I just ran 3 miles,” our celeb spottings, our proud moments, our “OMG’s” and “Did you see thats?!,” our political rants, our calls for help, our community in times of loss, our spoiler alerts, our precious shared moments, and so much more. If “it’s all about me,” social makes it all about us.
5. It’s happening at the speed of now. Right now? No, that was then. Now now!
We learn about news from our social networks before we do from CNN or CBS. We’re all reporters, on the ground correspondents, and viewers of events happening everywhere around the world, 24/7. We’re all holding a broadcast studio in our hand. The “news cycle” is happening right now in our pockets. In today’s world, it’s how good news spreads at the speed of posts, RTs and grams. But it’s also how we find the bad guys, how we came together throughout the country when a hurricane ravaged our hometown, or how someone like Bat Kid collectively touched our hearts. If your brand is not talking about it now, your competitors are. And someone is commenting how slow you are.
6. It’s an environment that favors the bold.
As Willy Wonka said, “We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of the dreams.” I love being one of them. And I love that it constantly introduces new ways and platforms to tell stories. Those who have a “we’ll wait and see” attitude are still trying to figure out the ROI on roadside out-of-home billboards.
7. It’s always with us.
Mobile Facebook usage now outranks desktop 9 to 1. Our phones are extensions of ourselves, and have millions of times more computing power than all of NASA had when it put a man on the Moon. Wait, what? Yup. And they have onboard cameras that rival DSLRs (in proper conditions, of course). This allows us to constantly be sharing, posting, gramming, snapping, live broadcasting, reporting, tweeting, checking in, finding and connecting with friends and family, and chronicling our lives no matter where we or they go.
8. It’s entrepreneurial.
It’s inherently evolving and always changing, being created and recreated, written and rewritten by those who believe good enough is not enough. It’s an open evolving space where billions of dollars can follow the next lightning bolt that provides real utility or real entertainment, or real opportunity for expression.
9. It’s shameless with dog pics.
I have one dog (@LittleJackTheDog) but I love every single one of them! I always make sure my phone is handy to capture the next pic of him I might post. As pervasive as social media is in our lives, it is also a wonderful escape when needed. I could happily spend hours looking at Buzzfeed Animals and watching rescue videos, so please, bring on all the wonderful #DogsOfInstagram!