I am currently engrossed in the most amazing book by Bill Bryson, some of you will probably have read it already – “A Short History of Nearly Everything” for which he won the prestigious Aventis Prize in 2004 for best general science book. It’s a remarkable book and I believe the world would be a better place if it was mandatory in every school library.
I know I would certainly have taken an interest in science if this book was around in my day and had been readily available to break down the mysteries of atoms and photons.
Bill Bryson is a gifted story-teller and he presents the study of science through this book in an articulate, friendly and light-hearted way and more importantly, in a language everyone can understand.
The most curious thing happened when I was reading this book that had a profound effect on me. Now I’ve only read the first few chapters so far but no matter what page I turned I couldn’t stop thinking about the incredible similarities between The Big Bang Theory and the arrival of Social Media… it’s quite extraordinary.
What about this analogy?
The Big Bang Theory and social media both appeared as uncontrollable events, a force majeure, something that took hold at a moment in time and has been spreading ever since.
“It took three minutes for 98 per cent of all the matter there is or ever will be to be produced and voila! The Universe was born.”
I’m not saying that the “coming” of social media technology was conceived and completed in three minutes, but we do know that this phenomena exploded onto mainstream consciousness in a similar fashion and expanded with a parallel intensity … and is still spreading.
Both events appeared with a “hiss and a roar” on a magnitude of universal proportions.
Social media keeps on expanding…
“In less than a minute the Universe is a million miles across and growing fast.”
In less than six years social media has made a major impact on our lives… and continues to mature and grow on a daily basis.
And what about this from the Book?
“In 1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were troubled by a persistent background noise, a steady stream of hiss that was relentless and unfocused. It came from every point in the sky, day and night, through every season”.
(Does this remind you of a small flightless blue bird that has its lodgings in every corner of the world?)
It was eventually discovered that this “persistent background noise” was in fact the edge of the Universe – some 90 trillion miles away!
So, are you starting to see not only the connection here but also the amazing opportunity?
You can be thousands of miles away from anywhere and still be connected to friends, families and communities, in fact, anyone, anywhere, at any time, in the entire world…
Isn’t that incredible?
How does this impact on our lives? How does it affect how we communicate with each other, how we educate ourselves (and others), how does it increase our interest and knowledge in pursuits, hobbies, our sharing of information? (just take a look at Pinterest as an example)
The Big Bang starts here…
Think about what this social presence can do for your business!
• the people and potential customers you can reach out to
• the chance to plug into and learn from other like-minded people
• the opportunity to gain knowledge from authority figures willing to share their time and information
• the opportunity to have discussions with those in your industry that would never have been possible before
• a place to encourage your customers to share with each other
• a chance to communicate whenever you want with whoever you want
• a place to ask the experts first hand for their advice
• somewhere to listen and learn what your customers really want
• an amazing way to establish your presence online
• a platform to build relationships with your specific audiences
• a new way to build brand and company loyalty
• the potential to reach a global audience
Opportunities for you as the business owner
You all have this great opportunity at your fingertips to use in your business, to share and communicate your ideas, your business services, create useful information, share your expertise and experience, offer the hand of friendship to others you may never have had the opportunity to before, make friends from your living room, build relationships with people, help others, let them help you…
No matter what industry you work in, what your values and beliefs are, it all comes down to personal relationships. Think about the people you do business with and why you continue to do business with them – you will more often than not find it is because you have developed a personal relationship with them, you have a rapport with them and you like what they have to say.
Where is social media taking us?
Again… just as the Universe is taking us on a journey through Life, so too is social media taking us somewhere very exciting – we’re not quite sure where we’re going but most of us can understand why we need to be there…
It has created the biggest ever opportunity to get connected and one of the best things is that it operates on a level playing field – anyone can participate – the only skills you need are integrity, a willingness to help (Mark Schaefer calls it ‘authentic helpfulness’ in his book ‘The Tao of Twitter’ – no affiliate link here – just a fantastic resource to a complete understanding of how Twitter works and a great read) and a commitment to work at it on a daily basis.
Many of you will dismiss the magnitude and impact that social media has on our lives… and that’s okay.
Many of you will dismiss the formation of the Universe or have a different belief around its inception… and that’s okay too.
We always have choices
However, what would be wrong, would be to remain ignorant of the world we live in and not have a point of view or opinion about how we came to be or how the Universe was created.
Similarly, it would be a big mistake not to have at least explored the concept of social media – just in case it could work its magic for your business.
You can choose to participate in any business trend by adopting a test and learn strategy. At least by doing this you are giving your business the opportunity to blast ahead at the speed of light, watch it expand, broaden the horizons and achieve galactic outcomes…
Or… you can be a passenger in life – sit back and stare out the window, while someone else does the driving, waiting for something to happen.
This is not a good business model.
To succeed, a business needs to be guided and driven in the right direction.
YOU are the one to make the decisions about which way to turn.
YOU have to drive your business toward its end goal and make this happen.
YOU are the navigator and the pilot.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People