I stumbled upon a movie fan page on Facebook the other day that reminded me of the most beautiful woman in the world, and coincidentally, something rather important for big (and small) businesses wanting to leverage social media in Zimbabwe today. Ever asked yourself, who is the most beautiful woman on planet earth ‘besides your wife – of course’?
In my early twenties, that question was authoritatively answered for me.
Of all the female stars in all the movies, and on all the Facebook pages and personal profiles (timelines), one for me has always stood out as the most beautiful woman…by miles.
Catherine Zeta Jones.
All rational thinking human beings on the planet, must agree with this objective conclusion. Go ahead, look again at that picture. Look closer. CLOSER!! Food for the soul isn’t it?
Catherine Zeta Jones is not a woman. She is something more. Something much, much more – an angel, a myth…a mystery, but not a woman! Here, a quick test…see is you can tell which of the three creatures below, is not merely, a woman…
This is how I felt about Zeta in my early twenties (seriously)…and it’s how I feel about Social Media today.
In working with brands and helping, watching and studying businesses grow their influence online, I have seen a lot. The more i learn about Social Media, the more i see its tremendous power at work in society in general and business specifically, the more deficient the term “marketing tool” becomes, to describe it.
It does you a great disservice to simply slot Facebook and Twitter into the “communication channel” box and treat it like you would any other. It’s one of the major marketing strategy mistakes many a local company is making in the way they go about using social media. If you underestimate it’s power, it’s influence and the transformation it is causing, you’re going to completely miss the amazing opportunities it provides.
This is a communication tool;
This is a communication tool
But Social media is something much more. A decent understanding of this, is what many companies lack and it reflects in the way they attempt to do social. Lets talk a little bit about what social media actually is…
Social media is the end of the communication monopoly. Up until only recently in the history of mankind, communication has been controlled and monopolized by a few privileged people and entities. If you didn’t have a lot of money behind you, your chances of developing any wide-spread importance or influence were very low.
You needed dollars to create the message in whatever form (videos, photography, audio), and you needed even more money to spread that message (TV, radio, newspapers etc).
For big business, the battle for relevance, for dominance was mostly won or lost on the basis of advertising budgets and funding.Whoever has the bigger budget, gets to be seen, heard, known, believed and followed by more people. Social media is dramatically changing that.
Facebook, blogs, YouTube and more are giving birth to mega stars and brands that would not at all, under different circumstance every have become anything significant or useful.
For example YouTube had a great deal to do with how this unknown kid…
Became this ridiculously rich and famous kid – AKA, Justin Bieber.
Social media is changing social culture. Facebook has changed what it means to socialize. Today I can easily transcend time and space and communicate in great detail with someone on the other side of the planet… And in Zimbabwe right now, I can do it all day, everyday for as little just $3 a month, from my phone – thanks Econet.
The effect of this kind of interaction, by over a billion networked people on the planet…is insane. And it has tremendous implications for your business. Do you know what they are?
If you’re a company in Zimbabwe, particularly a large one that was built years ago, in a completely different era (just 5 – 10 years ago), Social media is radically changing the game for you. What made you big, will not keep you big. The strategies and ideas that worked once, are fading in their ability to deliver results. The marketing competencies that were once central to your growth are being replaced by a different skill set all together.
Social media is more than just the latest communication tool for marketing. It’s a revolution, everything about how you interact, spread ideas, innovate and maintain relevance is already being changed.
Social media is the end to business as usual. It’s the end of many of the business school strategies you learned when you got your degree. If you can’t see that yet, you will in time – but it may be too late by then.
As Catherine Zeta Jones once said “Social media is awesome!”
OK. maybe she didn’t say that…but i just know we have that in common!