Small business owners often tell me that they are reluctant to embrace social media because of the technology involved. Many do not believe they have the skills to conquer the technology needed to use social media sites. Fortunately, those skills can be learned, yet these are not the most important skills in utilizing social media effectively; it’s the people skills that are most vital to a successful social media campaign. Despite this, some business owners are still hoping social media is a trend, as their fear to embrace technology and its many changes can be a barrier to their strategy. I decided talk with local IT Professional and friend, Deena Malley. Deena remains at the forefront of technology trends and can explain some of the puzzling questions in “layman’s terms.” Her journalism background combined with her knowledge of modern technology, her vast connections, and her generous spirit make her an amazing resource!
You wrote a great article about Foursquare (called “Mobile Leaders”) in April. I recently read a blog that predicted that Foursquare may be the medium that will kick it in 2011, despite its popularity in big cities. What are your thoughts on the future of this medium?
Applications using geolocation in one form or another will continue to be an emerging area of growth. Whether it is Foursquare, Facebook Places, Gowalla or something else, there is a place in the market and they will find their way. It’s all a matter of putting it out there, letting people and businesses interact, and letting the market drive the future.
Social media: Technology or People?
It’s always been about people. The technology just makes it happen. It has proven to be the best evolution in the tech industry.
How frequently do you encounter business owners leveraging social media to market their business? In your opinion, how effective is social media at building a brand?
Everyone wants to be a part of social media in some form. Social media has proven you can build a brand without ever going the traditional advertising routes.
Any predictions for technology in 2011?
More and more businesses, especially small businesses, will want more out of their social media programs in terms of analytics. They will want highly localized data so they can target their customers accordingly. We have now come to a point where just blogging, having a Facebook page, using Twitter is not enough. Small businesses want to better understand what they are telling the world, what does the world think of them, and what do they need to do to make stronger, more meaningful connections to increase sales.