Social media for many older Australians has been a curiosity, at best, and a wait and see prospect for many in business. It is loudly trumpeted by large sections of the community and either praised or demonised at various times for its acuity. Some of us thought and hoped that it might fade away in time, but this looks increasingly unlikely. Younger Australians have embraced it, as they do most trends and novelties at that age. Belonging to a group or tribe seems to be an important element in adolescence and early adulthood. Social media is it now an essential part of life?
A Vital Component in the Marketing Arsenal
Businesses have been told that it is, now, a vital component in their marketing arsenal. That it is a space where conversations can happen between businesses and customers (I thought that was what the telephone was for). Announcements can be made by businesses. Feedback can be given by the deliriously happy and the disgruntled. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter have all provided platforms for this exchange of information and opinion. At times of course, these innocent stages have been gamed by nefarious agencies via bots and bought followings.
Facebook & Cambridge Analytica
Facebook has famously sold our data to scumbags in suits like Cambridge Analytica (how the dons at that august institute in the city of the same name must loathe this organisation). Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, disputes this data selling fact, telling Congress, that they place ads where advertisers want to reach specific demographics. Third-party apps can, however, gain access to this data, and this was how Cambridge Analytica got hold of it. Facebook lost control of yours and my data and it ended up in the hands of these political black hats. Have we put our trust in technology, naively?
Get Expert Advice Before You Take the Plunge
Social media is it now an essential part of life? It is definitely a two-edged sword, to use an old analogy, because a bundle of likes can feel good, but, similarly, a tidal wave of hate and complaints can, potentially, send you over the edge. Do not approach social media like Mr Smith going to Washington, get some expert advice before you take the plunge. It can be a slippery slope for the uninitiated. Businesses and individuals can get burnt before they know what is happening. Something seemingly innocuous can be akin to the terrors of the old school yard, when bullies and gangs were a part of life.