Is social media disrupting your industry yet?
I don’t have a crystal ball but I do know that the way we are doing business is changing, and this change is just in its infancy.
Globally, billions of people use social media every day. It is estimated that by 2018, 2.44 billion people will be using social networks. This figure is up from 970,000 in 2010.
Our growing love of social media is changing not only how we communicate but also how we do business. And it’s happening at an unprecedented rate. Australian statistics compiled by socialmedianews.com.au for December 2016 include:
• Facebook – 15 million active users monthly (steady).
• Instagram – 5 million active users monthly.
• Snapchat – 4 million active users daily.
• LinkedIn – 3.6 million users monthly.
• 6 in 10 Australians use Facebook.
• 1 in 5 Australians use Instagram.
• 1 in 6 Australians use Snapchat.
A whooping 61% of the Australian population is now an active monthly user on Facebook. If you deducted the under 14s and the very elderly, that is a large percentage of us that look at Facebook at least once a month.
When you look at these statistics it is easy to see why social media is set to change the way we do business, in much the same way as we have already seen how technology is changing industries. Technology has brought about huge changes in the publishing industry. Online distribution and print on demand has seen large numbers of authors self-publish. This choice is not restricted to new and emerging authors but established authors are also choosing to self-publish.
Overall, traditional publishers have been slow to adapt to this change and have seen a shrink in their market share. Social media is already shaking up industries. The healthcare and wellness industry is already using social media to change how it operates, through how it conducts its public health campaigns to virtual doctor visits on Skype. Business coaches, councillors and other wellness professionals are now running their consultations via Skype from the comfort of their homes.
At a recent networking function, I was chatting with an amazing woman, Therese, whose company Buddybid is disrupting the way real estate agencies promote their listings. Using an estate agents own Facebook page, they run smart advertising campaigns to reach people who are most likely to buy and sell. The real estate industry is only one of many industries that Buddybid has the potential to disrupt and the knock on effect onto advertising agencies and more traditional media will potentially be significant.
Social media is no longer a place where people just hang out and chat with their friends, it is a place where we build relationships, conduct our research, follow the news and keep up with trends. Even the most traditional of industries, the finance sector, is looking at the opportunities Facebook can bring to their businesses. Financial Technology (FinTech) has emerged and is set to change the financial services industry. There are even predictions that it won’t be long before we can pay for goods directly through our Facebook accounts and even apply for loans and credit cards.
It is no longer sustainable to think these changes and the impact of social media won’t affect you or your business. They will – it is just a matter of when and by what degree. With planning and forward thinking, we can all adapt and still be relevant. It may not be easy and our business structures may not look anything like they do now, but unless you want to join the ranks of Video Ezy, then it is a must.
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About the contributor:
Ann Wilson is the owner of Post Pre-press Group and founder of Independent Ink. Our team of specialist editors, designers and typesetters work alongside traditional publishers and self-publishing authors to help produce beautiful, professional books. With over 25 years’ experience running a small business Ann is passionate about helping entrepreneurs reach their full potential by sharing their unique story in a published book. Website: www.independentink.com.au/