Are You Connected?

Posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 11:47 am by bryna
Maasai warriors on their cell phones, in rural Kenya. Are they more connected than your small business?

Maasai warriors on their cell phones, in rural Kenya. Are they more connected than your small business?

I have to admit, after the earthquake hit Haiti, I was having trouble writing new blog posts. I was having trouble writing anything. When the world is rocked by tragedy, our collective heart goes out to others in extraordinary ways. Already having a passion for this nation and its people, I was happy to see the world community reach out.

Non-profits, government, military, and citizens put their creativity to the test to mobilize and act to help Haiti.¬†I was blown away by the level to which new technologies assisted not only relief efforts, but also rescue efforts. We saw an iPhone app save a man’s life. Tweets from Haiti were sent, and picked up by CNN,¬†moments after the quake. I was able to follow the Canada for Haiti telethon unfold on Facebook, while watching the American efforts live via the Hope for Haiti iPhone app. Both the American Red Cross and World Vision Canada initiated text campaigns to raise funds.

All of these efforts have raised millions of dollars. Millions. And those are just a few examples of the ways that social media has united people for the cause of Haiti.

So what’s the lesson that your business can take away from this?

It’s that social media works, and it isn’t going anywhere. Let me repeat: Social media is not simply a trend. It’s not a fad. It’ll change–that’s guaranteed. Next year we might not be talking Facebook. We might not be using Twitter in the same ways we do now. But I can promise you, social media tools aren’t going anywhere.

When the tsunami hit Thailand on Dec 26, 2004, we didn’t have the iPhone. There was no “app for that.” The term “app” wasn’t even in our lexicon. That was only five years ago. Imagine how our communications will change in the next five years?

With technology being accessible to the masses, whether through free online platforms, websites, or smart phones, it’s time that small business owners sit up and take note. Your target market is donating millions of dollars online. They’re creating movements via text campaigns. They’re looking at your website, judging your expertise based on your content. Your audience is connected. Are you?

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