Effective Communication in the 21st Century – Social Media

In the past 10 years, we have witnessed a communication revolution.

In a recent blog post on Flip the Media, Hanson Hosein, Director of the Master’s of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) program at the University of Washington did a great job of summarizing this change:
“Effective communication in the 21st century requires us to build relationships by telling our story and providing value-added content to online community platforms, quite often with inexpensive, amateur content creation and distribution tools. This approach reflects current economic and budgetary realities, as well as a need to engage people with entrepreneurial zeal.”

The key concepts from this quote include:

  • Building relationships
  • Telling stories
  • Providing value-added content
  • Use of inexpensive, amateur content creation and distribution tools

Building Relationships
With the advent of social networks and social media in general, the world has started to build relation

ships in new and exciting ways. Staying in touch with friends is easier than ever. With web 2.0 we can now connect with people we never would have met before. Communication is cheaper, faster, and more convenient then ever before thanks to social media around the web. These things are all positive and have helped strengthen – not destroy – personal relationships.

What is perhaps even more exciting is the change we are starting to see in the business world. In the latter half of the 20th century, advertising was based on broadcasting to people. Communication was very top-down.

Advancements in technology have flipped the traditional structure upside down. If companies wish to succeed, they must have conversations with their customers through social media. Companies are going to have to be personal, and they must actually listen to their clients. Being faceless isn’t going to work in the 21st century

How much will this cost me?

Until recently, creating content was difficult. Cameras were expensive and editing equipment was difficult to use. To make make things worse, distributing content was difficult. Television, radio, and newspapers/magazines were the only viable ways to reach a mass market, and buying ad time/space was unreasonable for small businesses. Now you can buy a high definition camera that has editing software built into it. Simply plug it into any laptop, and you can edit and distribute your video through free social video websites such as YouTube. Sure, you have to have some basic video training and creativity to produce a decent video, but the barriers are far lower than ever before. The inexpensive nature of content creation and distribution means connecting with costumers in ways unheard of in the past.

What does this all mean?

What this all means is businesses need to rethink the ways they do marketing. Consumers are looking for personal stories and relationships, not faceless advertising. Fortunately, telling these stories and building these relationships is far easier and cheaper than ever before. We believe this is great for both business and consumers, as it helps connect your target prospects to your business emotionally, increase user loyalty, deliver your company’s message clearly, and confirm your credibility.

Call us optimistic – but at Sayenko Design, we believe the days of manipulative advertising are slowly fading away. These ads are being replaced by more honest and authentic communication between consumers and businesses. One thing is for sure – business and brand loyalty has taken leaps and bounds to help connect small businesses to their consumers. It is time to take advantage.