Last week, while on my way to see a client, I got into a Matatu which is like most Matatus that ply this route – loud and flashy. Interestingly, after I entered, I watched as a couple of middle aged ladies who had been waiting for a Matatu too troop in after me. This was despite the fact that another descent looking Matatu which had no music at all was also at the stage. I wondered how the hell these ladies would opt for this loud and flashy car instead of the more conservative Matatu that would grant them some piece of mind as they traveled to town. Then my answer came when we left the stage leaving the quiet Matatu at the stage virtually empty and with the conductor almost losing his voice calling for passengers.
It is not that the older generations who have for years complained about the loud music have suddenly come to love it. On the contrary, they probably still hate the music but their new found understanding is that the only way to get to wherever they want in time is to get onto these loud Matatu’s. Earlier, the older generation could get away with ignoring the loud Matatus for the more conservative ones or bulldozing the driver into turning the volume down but those days are long gone. Now, they willingly wait for the loud music because they are popular and therefore fill up first and they do take the shortcuts that get us to our destinations faster – which are what we all want.
Before the advent of social media, businesses waited in line for the same old ways of advertising themselves. Now with social media, they are still at the sidelines sneering at the loudness of social media and waiting for the more conservative traditional media Matatu for them to ride. Of course, the smarter ones now also realize that they wait longer at the stage for their “matatus” to fill up; that they drive along the same old roads and therefore always arrive late, and that they need to shape up or ship out because social media is the new competitive edge.
Look at your organization’s business processes and ask how it can be made better than it currently is. The most probable result will be a solution that has a social media connotation to it because frankly, social media has become so pervasive that it now affects almost all business functions. A while back, I read an interesting article on Holistic Planning for Social Media and outlined in were the different business functions that can leverage social media.
Let me know in the comment section below what business functions you are responsible for in your business and I will let you in on a social media aspect of it…