Right from the beginning of creation, there has always been the need for interaction and communication among human beings and wherever communication is not achieved, misunderstanding ensues and fighting or war may follow. For this reason, man has fought so hard to bring his environment as close as possible to himself, developing means of communication that could make it easy for him to reach anything, and anyone within the shortest time. He has worked day and night to improve on technology and will keep working until he achieves the greatest ease in communication technology.
By 2000, the words e-mail and website were not commonly used in this part of the world. It was not until 2002 when people started using e-mail. They discovered that the internet could solve most of their problems. The catch-phrases then were chatting, yahoo, yahoo messenger, and google and that year marked a revolution in the communication sector of this country. Nigerians saw they could communicate with people all over the world, some got wives, others husbands while some others got jobs, gifts and most especially friends. I wrote letters to countries abroad for my friends that I never met, they replied and we exchanged gifts as well.
Snail mails (post office mail) and telegrams were the only means of sending documented messages to people until e-mails and fax came. Snail mail has been improved to ‘speed post’ delivering documents and packages within 24 hours where possible, unlike the usual 4-15 working days these mails usually spend before getting to the owners.
2003 saw a revolution in the communication sector with the introduction of GSM phone in Nigeria. A lot has changed. Less letters are posted now because people could send text messages and make phone call to reach their loved ones in a second.
There is a growing concern about a certain area of communication, the social networking, and the youths of this country. But why would someone say the youths of this country when the right thing to say is the youths of today. Correct that now, because the trend of social networking is a wild fire that is eating up the minds of young people all over the world without looking back.
But is this communication for social reasons really necessary? If yes, who needs it most, the youths, parents or children? I will say everybody needs it and nobody needs it as well.
Communication for any reason is a thing of choice. No one forces anyone to associate with others because it is a very free world where everyone gets 24 hours a day, with the right to do whatever they have chosen to with it. But like I stated earlier, we are all connected with one another and we cannot do without this connection. Man must communicate.
Social networking is simply the act of expanding one’s contact for social reasons. This could be done on-line (on the internet) or offline (off the internet). Social networking offline is one of the greatest challenges facing our youths today. They cannot interact with someone they are seeing, because of low self-esteem and fear of being embarrassed. Who do we blame for this?
In social networking, you don’t know the person, he or she might be older or younger, healthy or sick, able or disabled it doesn’t matter. They just send messages and be good friends. That is what the whole concept is all about meeting new people, discussing and wasting time.
The part of wasting time aside the exchange of pornographic messages is the major wrong everyone had identified in social networking. And sincerely, it is a very big wrong indeed.
I have more than 2000 friends on Facebook, more than just 100 followers on twitter, close to 300 friends on 2go and more than 100 favourite contacts on Whatsapp, not forgetting above 150 friends on the kop (a social networking site for the fans of Liverpool FC) and others. Gaining these figures means I wasted a lot of time but I can simply prove you wrong with this concept of business networking which can only be achieved through a well-established social network.
If I’m into fashion, making good designs that only people passing through Douglas road could see, I can post my best designs on facebook and let us see what will happen. Out of my 2000 friends, about 1300 all over the world will see my design, about 700 will smile and say “wow nice design” about 10% will click the button, while above that number will add a comment to it and before I will receive more than 40 comments, more than four of those people will say they want it. How much did I spend for this advert? Nothing.
Some people I know are comedians today, but they only started by posting free jokes for their friends to read and be happy. One day, someone called and said “can you anchor my comedy show?” and that was how it all began.
Pastors post messages on facebook, pay for people on facebook and the next thing; they are invited for a programme where they get paid.
An unknown musician shares a demo track online and a marketer hears it and contacts him. There are so many ways you can achieve success in your business today through social (business) networking. The best place to sell news is online, just post it, someone will surely repost it. In Twitter, they will say, “tweet it and someone will surely retweet it”
Why can’t a designer use her latest design as profile picture on 2go with a status update that reads “checkout my latest design, call 0803322**** to get yours”
A keke driver can say “Call a keke for hire @0707358****”
A pastor can post a scanned image of a crusade flyer as profile picture on 2go with the update “it’s …… church, 25th June call 08189**** for seat reservation”
You have to understand the features of the social networking application or site you are using.
Facebook has a long status update and notes where you can write anything and share as well as an unlimited album where you can show people your products in pictures. And unlike Opera, facebook and twitter allow you to post as many links as possible, so you can use these sites to draw traffic to your personal website by sharing links on your profile, tweets and status update.
There is nothing you cannot sell through social networking, all you need is to understand the power of your status update. Agents post land for sale, house for rent and so on, just start it and see what result it will yield. But you have to note that people might laugh at you, but with time, the same people will call you if they need to rent an apartment or whatever product and services you are advertising.
Social networking is common for everyone, but business networking is known to few. There are more to be known in this area, just plenty that cannot be said here, but I wish you could start with these.
We are all connected to one another, in a struggle for bread (survival) and in this quest for bread, just look around you, there’s always something you can sell, flour, machines, labour, idea, etc. For a student, while laughing with that guy online you still say “lol, but do you know that I have nice designers cotton shirts that could really fit you from what I’ve seen on your profile pix” Sell the shirts, wrist watches, jewelries before your body. You don’t need special gadgets nor special training to do this, just the same phone and a different mindset.
I wish you all the best in this thing