Scotland Should Wake Up to Social Media

Why should Scotland wake up to Social Media? Is the new behaviour relevant in either business or social dimensions? Have the cannie Scots watched the bubble grow and burst with typical reserve, rightly interpreting all the noise as simply a construct of short term opportunism. Or has Scotland clung to past glories whilst the new world moved on to pastures new.

What do you think?   My perspective over the last several years is Scotland, and particularly the Highlands, is living in the dark ages.

We get traffic to our sites from all of the English speaking world, and a good chunk from the rest of Europe. The geography sending the most visitors is the USA. Next comes the Philipines, followed by England. We’re based in the Highlands but get more visitors from the Falklands than we do from Caledonia.

Until recently we put this lack of interest down to Myopia but a few weeks ago we were asked by somebody to explain about blogs and Twitter and Facebook. This organisation had woken up to the stories about Social Media marketing, and needed extra business.

Since then we’ve seen evidence of others wanting to explore the new possibilities, using Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to build relationships. Scotland, it seems, is quietly waking up to the new possibilities.

Meanwhile the Rim Dwellers are moving on. These people who live on the edge of innovation have grown tired of Social Media. The whole environment is now swamped by spammers to the point where ordinary people looking for connection and entertainment are giving up. They no longer log into Facebook, or Twitter, or Linked In, or a host of other sites.

Even Chris Brogan, one of the original apostles asks “Is there a Social Crash Coming”.

More importantly my mother, an 80 year old invalid who was once so excited by the chance Facebook gave her to follow grandchildren on the other side of the world said ” I find out things I’d rather not know”.

So are the laggards just catching on to a bubble that’s already burst? Or is there potential beyond the bust bubble? What should ordinary people, who work for a living do – sit back and wait for the next bubble, or get stuck in exploiting the new possibilities left behind after the gurus have moved on to the next thing?

My answer is unequivocally YES, get stuck and use the new tools and behaviour to connect and relate to others. See our example at the foot of the page

BUT they should beware the snake oil salesmen still promoting “gold in them thar hills”.

There is no gold. Social Media isn’t going to make anybody rich. But it is going to help them stay in business.

Starbucks is a wonderful example of the REAL world – not Twitter or Facebook or Foursquare. Just a business in an increasingly competitive market finding new ways to create value for customers.

Originally Starbucks provided free Wi-Fi in its coffee shops. Customers would prefer Starbucks to alternatives, and stay longer buying more coffee and lunch or snacks. Then the policy changed. Some salesman persuaded the bosses they could make more profit from the Wi-Fi than the coffee.

What happened?

Customers went elsewhere, to coffee shops with free Wi-Fi. Connectivity had become the point of competition.

Starbucks is a smart company. It’s now realised the main opportunity isn’t the obvious profit. It’s in adding more value. The business has returned to free Wi-Fi with a sophistication. Now customers can be connected for free as long as they want – to the Starbucks portal.

And in the Starbucks portal they get offers – special deals on travel and accommodation and a bunch of other things they’re interested in buying. And of course they buy those things from Starbucks. The company has created a new kind of relationship at a fraction of the cost traditional marketing would have required.

Starbucks has transformed itself from coffee and cake into a vendor of anything customers want to buy.

Where’s the relevance of the Starbucks story to social media? It’s in the relationship between the company and its customers.

For those of us who don’t have coffee shops the message is still relevant. The answer to customer mind share and permission marketing is in the relationship, and we can’t have relationships with our customer demographic without social media.

Quite how that works for your particular organisation is unique to you. But it’s about mindshare and people preferring to spend time with you.

Best of luck.

Here’s one small example you might be interested in.

Our Discovering the Highlands blog is brand new but yesterday we posted two articles which have already received 48 visits from these countries:

  • USA
  • Scotland
  • England
  • Wales
  • Cyprus
  • France
  • Holland
  • India
  • Germany

which is pretty good for the first 36 hours 🙂

These are the articles

Who Won the Shield in 2010
Carnegie Shield Week Prize Giving

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2 Responses to Scotland Should Wake Up to Social Media

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention What Can Social Media Do For Scotland | Avantrasara -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: Social Media Success Without Snake Oil | Avantrasara

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