When people are together in a social context, many are on their smart phones, way too often, in my opinion, socializing with someone who isn’t there. This makes me think, “what am I? Chopped liver?” This is the downside of social media.
On the other hand, in the US, the middle class has been declining since the 1970’s due to employment shifts. The economy has been improving since the latest recession, in part sparked from a resurgence of American manufacturing. In addition, there is a trend to build call centers in the US. Among the positive trends that may, in the long run, help improve the job market and bolster the middle class is social media. Here’s why.
1) Social media is mostly free, as long as you have a smart phone. The number of users is up 800% in the last 8 years. The market is growing and expanding rapidly overseas.
2) While only 15% of Chief Marketing Officers claim to see, “proven quantitative impact from their social media expenditures,” 95% of companies plan to increase their social media expenditures.
3) Small companies depend on the “free” marketing available through social media. If the CMOs of large companies with significant resources don’t know how many sales they get from their social media expenditures, imagine how small business owners feel!
4) Social media is successful when it is a two way conversation and is unsuccessful in the traditional advertising model, where companies push out messages and measure response in sales. Two way conversations are dynamic and require regular nurturing, not just 9 to 5.
5) Computer programs are able to distill large amounts of data from posts and tweets to analyze trends, but they are not able to relate to people’s thoughts and feelings. If computers could handle companies’ social media effectively, you would, over time, have computers talking to computers. Which misses the entire point of “social” media.
6) There is likely to be a growing number of jobs related to social media to handle the rapidly growing market, including data collection (computer-related jobs), analysis (analytical jobs), communications across social media outlets (creative jobs), and managers across the social media spectrum (boss jobs). As social media grows, the competition among companies to recruit and hire the best will make these jobs more valuable, and, therefore, pay scales are likely to increase.
What does this have to do with entrepreneurs? Simply put, the numbers of opportunities for entrepreneurs to start new companies to build and support companies’ social media expertly across all functions will continue to grow. As social media outlets grow, the number of new employees increases. Think of the possibilities!
All the best,
PS – Please remember to put your phone away when you are indulging in face to face social time or driving a car!