Forgive me for my pop culture references with this article.  You see, Art imitates life, and as much as there are lessons in life there are endless opportunities for lessons in Art.  While watching Downton Abbey the other night there was that reference for keeping up with the times.  These people are living in the 20’s, the post war era, and they mentioned how in just 10 years how the acceptable moral standards had changed and also how their lives as aristocrats had changed.  And if they did not accept and embrace these changes they would be left behind.

Bringing this back to now, in business this is especially true.  A lot has changed in the last 10 years, especially with web sites and Social Media.  I began building websites back when all websites were custom built.  I’m really glad I did as it taught me so much about the structure of a web site before platforms like WordPress came along.  In the past ten years web sites have gone from being solely custom built, to being based on themes, built with ‘web builders’ like Wix and WordPress. The past ten years has also seen the emergence of Social Media.  Facebook has been around for over ten years now, and where it(Facebook) is something to embrace, they (Facebook) have also evolved over time.  They saw how we (the members of Facebook) embraced their social media to use it for selling and advertising our businesses.  You can’t after all control how your customers will use a product but you can corral them in the right direction.  And that is what Facebook decided to do.  The web is their business and they do it well.

So, what does this all mean for you.  It’s about awareness and taking advantage of what is happening online.  Be aware of how things are changing.  Assess what changes you should embrace.  It used to be, that businesses would spend thousands of dollars on the yellow pages and other directories, print advertising, tv and radio.  While some of these are still relevant advertising platforms, they are fairly static.  We are moving towards a more dynamic engaged model of advertising, an online engaged presence.  For most businesses now, your customers are online, in more ways than one.  They’re online asking for references, they’re online searching Google for your services and they are looking for your web presence.  If you’re not present and engaged, they will find someone that is.  Online marketing has gone past a business card web site.  They want to see your business as an extension of you, as a personality in its own sense.  They ask the questions that matter to them?  are you quick to respond in the age of instant gratification.  Are you local?  This is a trend on the rise and depending on your business, this is something you should look to capitalise on.

 

Key points:

  • Be engaged with your customers

  • Use Social Media for your business

  • Try to be aware of changes in Social Media

  • Think about where your marketing dollars can be best used to retain and gain customers/clients

  • Engagement goes past talking about your product and services.

 

Keep up with the times or get left behind.  It doesn’t matter what era, understand how your customers are changing, and use the tools at your disposal.  Back to the Downton Abbey reference: Do remember that those who refused to change as the times did, didn’t survive.  Those who stuck to purely the traditional  ways, lost it all because they couldn’t adapt.  Embrace the change.

 

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