The effective use of social media, as well as access to Big Data, should not be – it shall no longer be – the exclusive province of global corporations with seemingly endless marketing budgets and a near-constant presence on every relevant online platform and feed.
For there is no reason why entrepreneurs and medium-sized companies, from individuals with a passion for technology to organizations with a commitment to engaging consumers, should face the false choice of mass versus class; which is to say, there is no bar that prevents a business from reaching a substantial audience with a customized message that is as elegant as it is eloquent.
Indeed, the latest chapter in the ongoing story of marketing and communications is, perhaps, the most important section of all: The democratization of data and affordable access to experts fluent in the language of the Web; professionals who forgo the generic for the specific, and apply the power of creative design instead of the lazy conformity of templates and a series of unremarkable illustrations.
I write these words from experience because, as the founder of Ocoos.com, I know that the barriers to analytics and design – and the obstacles to achieving credibility through social media – are artificial and surmountable. Put another way, never have so many choices been available to so many companies for so little (comparatively speaking) expense.
What, then, should companies and consumers expect from this phenomenon? How will this milestone revolutionize so many aspects of social media outreach?
The answers to these questions will be a visual delight for each viewer and a legible feast for each reader, where businesses can move beyond the sort of predictable – and predictably boring – websites with their (digital) paint-by-numbers appearance and their cut-and-paste prose.
We will also witness the sort of personalized engagement, through the analysis and parsing of data, that consumers crave.
That means businesses can build brands – there are plenty of the former, but few of the latter – that speak directly to the needs and interests of a variety of individuals on behalf of a diversity of communities.
Gone will be the posting of sentence fragments and links, which denote “busyness” in lieu of bespoke conversation; where one says something that accomplishes nothing, while the other says the right thing, to the right someone, for the right reasons.
I celebrate these changes because, above all, these forces will make social media more dynamic and responsive.
These options will empower companies to demand excellence rather than accepting the merely acceptable.
These rewards redound to everyone who wants a better online experience, and anyone who seeks – and deserves to receive – a virtual display of artistry, superior copy and supreme use of social media.
With these options so readily available, there is no longer any cause for delays or excuses.
We have it in our power to shift the way companies market their goods and offer their services, making one more accurate and the other more intimate and respectful.
Businesses owe it to themselves to provide – and customers owe it to themselves to let companies know they must deliver – a better Web, infused with news and not noise; suffused throughout with social media marketing that is as timely as it is compelling.
Welcome to the democratization of data.