Friday, 15 January 2016

It’s 2016 – and we’re getting instantly social

So here we are in 2016. Like so many New Years, it seems to have come round in an instant.

Speaking of instant, I think immediacy will be something of theme for the way we communicate this year, and beyond.

Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook’s Messenger are changing the way we connect. Not only socially, but in business, too. As if to confirm this, Twitter lifted the 140 character limit on its direct message facility last year.

Simple to use, available across multiple platforms and free of charge, these apps are overtaking email as the go to channel for realtime communications.

Not only do they let you ping images, video and text, they let you share links to content directly from webpages. You can see when specific people are online and available and, thanks to voice over IP (VoIP), you can have good old telephone conversations with them, too.

Such is the reach of social media now that a complete stranger on the other side of the planet can become your technical support hero, newest client or forum buddy within minutes.

This is great for building networks, winning new business, supporting clients and sharing ideas. And, remember, it’s not just about you doing all the talking. It’s your opportunity to listen, too. To take the temperature out there, find out what people really want and be alert to buying signals and new business opportunities.

These days, I learn so much by following links on social media, They take me to news and analysis in both new and traditional media, including the websites of respected magazines and newspapers. It also means I’m on top of the stories and issues that really interest people. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s all there in a single device.

A smart phone, for instance.