Even the most respectable names in business have been awfully wrong about the future potential of technologies.
“There’s just not that many videos I want to watch”, said Steve Chen, CTO and co-founder of YouTube, in 2005 about his concern for YouTube’s long-term viability.
“Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop”, Time Magazine wrote in 1966.
“Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night”, said Darryl Zanuck from 20th Century Fox in 1946.
“This telephone has too many shortcomings to be considered as a means of communication. The device is of inherently no value to us”, a Western Union internal memo expressed in 1876.
The list of poor predictions goes on.
We can laugh at it today, but the matter isn’t so lightweight when lots of money is at stake in the first phases of a new venture.
There are good ideas everywhere, but how can we know the good seeds from the bad before the product starts growing and developing?
In many cases, it’s hard to know.
You can do all the research it takes to be confident that your offering addresses a real need in the market, but there’s still an element of randomness at work on anyone’s journey from creation to business success. More so, there’s plenty of hard work, mistakes, learning curves and clever thinking required to reach success. It’s not a smooth process.
Gary Vaynerchuk, an entrepreneur, author and internet personality, said about technological predictions: “Be on the right side of history. Do not waver”.
He gave an example of his first speaking engagement where he had to speak after a businessman who said “the Internet is a fad and no one would ever put their credit card into a computer, and here is some data to prove it. This kid is going to come up next and tell you that people are going to buy wine on the Internet.”
Well, Gary did go on to selling wine on the internet, and he became quite successful.
He wouldn’t have succeeded if he didn’t believe in the potential of his own business, nor would he have succeeded if he listened to the naysayer who spoke before him.
Gary was on the right side of history.
What about social media?
This brings us to the purpose of this article: Social Media.
If you invest in social media for your business, will you be on the right side of history or the wrong side of history?
Some people have said in the past that social media is just a fad.
It will soon be replaced by “the next big thing” and that “there’s no point of any businesses investing any time or money.”
A few years have passed since then and there’s no doubt that social media is not just a fad but that it’s here to stay. Those that have invested heavily in social media are now reaping the rewards.
They were on the right side of history.
What about you?
Most people don’t actually know this but Skyline Social didn’t start out as a social media agency. We evolved into a social media agency.
Well as an agency, our goal has always been to help our clients succeed and we would use whatever were the best strategies available at the time to do that.
As time went on, social media became one of the easiest and most powerful ways for small businesses to grow their business. We got in there early and as a result, our clients have also been reaping the rewards.
So that’s why I believe that investing in social media will put you on the right side of history.
Will social media always stay the same?
The platforms and types of social media will probably change in some ways, but people have a fundamental need to interact and stay connected with like-minded people.
Social media platforms make it so easy to communicate, network, market and research things that it would leave a big hole in our everyday functioning to have it disappear.
From the business side, almost anyone you want to target, you can find them on social media.
Social media allows you to build a targeted audience with those that are interested in YOU (your service, your business and your values).
In one survey from 2014, people were asked why they still used Facebook (in spite of concerns over privacy etc.). The most frequent answer was “because everyone else uses it”. To this day, Facebook’s number of users is still growing strongly and even in 2017 they are still the largest social media channel in the world (by a long way!).
Businesses who acknowledge these statistics and use social media now as an integral part of their marketing are the ones who will continue to not just survive but thrive in the future.
It’s not too late to stay ahead of your competitors
Additionally, if you use social media before your competitors do, they will be left in your shadows trying to keep up with you.
In other words, you will have the advantage over your peers who haven’t managed to establish a strong presence online, and you’ll be steps ahead in building trust with new and existing customers, establishing yourself as an industry expert, or better still – a thought leader.
It’s essential businesses use social media to keep themselves strong amongst competitors, and there really is no way around it because social media is here to stay.
So make the right choices – use social media – then you’ll have a good chance of making sure your business is on the right side of history and doesn’t simply become history.
Want to learn more about how to use social media to get predictable leads and sales appointments? Watch this short video here.
Ashley Davis (or ‘Ash’ for short) is the CEO & Founder of Skyline Social. For over 15 years, he has been helping business owners with lead generation. Ash specializes in helping businesses get high-quality leads, appointments and clients each month in an automated, scalable and profitable way. You can watch his free Masterclass training to learn more.