Month: May 2016

Home / 2016 / May
Is Anyone Really a Random Stranger?

Is Anyone Really a Random Stranger?

I had an encounter the other day on the London Tube.

A couple of people walked up to me and asked “Can we take a picture with you? We’ve been given an assignment to photograph ourselves with random strangers”

That got me thinking.

 

On the face of it, yes, we were random strangers to one another, but were we really? If I tracked these people down on social media and connected with them, there’s actually a good chance we’d turn out to have mutual friends, or at least mutual friends-of-friends.

How much of a random stranger is anyone these days?

Six Degrees of Separation

The concept of six degrees of separation, popularised by the film of the same name, suggests that you can link any person in the world to any other person by six stages of friendship, family connection or some other kind of association. Even if the exact statistics don’t bear close examination, the principle holds good.

This was proposed in the pre-internet world, when opportunities for connection were far sparser than they are now.

Online social media has created a connected world like a complex tapestry covering the globe. The people sharing a traffic jam with you, or sitting in the same train carriage or plane, may all seem to be random strangers, but the chances are that you have online connections with a surprising number of them.

Social Media

Social media is almost as old as the internet, starting in forms like small newsgroups, where people could discuss mutual interests. Since the early 2000s, it’s taken off to the extent that Facebook is now estimated to have over 1.18 billion active users.

LinkedIn is smaller, with around 400 million members, but it’s far more business oriented — not the place to see pictures of cute cats, but perfect to connect up with the global business community.

All the major social media platforms (and many of the minor ones) have their place in connecting to people who could be useful to you.

Facebook may be better if you’re trying to get the attention of the general public, and LinkedIn if you’re selling to business, but both have value for any business, along with others such as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Global Network

On any of these platforms, you may have many contacts you’ve never met physically, but that’s only the start.

Once your contacts start sharing your content with their contacts, and perhaps some of those share with their contacts, you never know who your message might reach.

It may even reach some ‘random strangers’ you meet on the Tube.

 

Why mobile is no longer an option – it’s a MUST

Why mobile is no longer an option – it’s a MUST

And I mean this in every sense of the word.

We are living in a hyper connected world. We are always on the move and always connected to the internet, via our smartphones, laptops, tablets or more recently devices such as wearable and smart home technology.

The IoT is here (Internet of Things), and will only get more sophisticated as it continues to shape the society we live in. The increasing digital interconnection of people, devices and indeed – things – does not bear ignorance, especially in business. We are connected – anytime, anyplace.

Taking your business into the age of mobile

Until recent years, we saw mobile as an option to consider as businesses, marketers and advertisers. It was something we never thought would take over the world as fast as it did. The age of mobile is here, and it’s no longer just an option – it’s a must.

Why do we need to think ‘mobile’?

I’ll list a few main points here in order to paint a bigger picture for us to realise where mobile fits in – now and in the future;

  • The shift
    Consumers and businesses are shifting from a brick and mortar environment to online environment, where mobile plays a major role in driving engagement, sales and awareness. More than 1.2 billion people globally use the internet via their mobile.
  • Always on
    We are busier, more connected and more mobile than ever, and as such – always on the move. We carry our smartphones and tablets everywhere we go. Therefore businesses need to ensure they are visible within the mobile environment too, or they risk losing a lot of money. According to a recent comScore report, users are now spending the majority of their time consuming digital content on mobile applications.
  • Online presence
    In terms of digital marketing, and especially search engine marketing – the search giant Google now favours websites that are mobile-friendly. If your business website is not mobile friendly, you risk losing visibility within the search engines.
  • Competition
    Your competitors (at least most of them) are most likely transforming their businesses and adapting for the mobile age as well. If you run an ecommerce business online and your shopping cart abandonment rate is high, poor usability could be pointed out as one of the main reasons. Don’t risk getting left behind.
  • Going full circle
    As businesses, we need to ensure we create a seamless ecosystem around our customers. We need to provide them with a great customer experience no matter how they wish to be connected to us; offline or online – or as in most cases nowadays, both.

Think global, act local

Since the dawn of the internet, we’ve been able to reach worldwide markets in a few clicks. And most of these markets are reachable by mobile today.

We need to be global, think global, and act local.

With the ever evolving traceability of our individual movements within our own geographical environments – we expect to be served relevant content that we can relate to.

Mobile makes acting local possible. Even if your business is not physically nowhere near the areas you wish to target and market to.

It’s imperative we filter our business strategies from high level global thinking down to local strategies and realise the opportunities within a specific culture, environment and geographical area. We need to create bespoke marketing strategies, and we need to keep mobile at the core of them.