Thoughts on Walthamstow
Picture of Walthamstow Town Hall taken by David Anglin
As I come to understand the impact of social media I find it surprising that businesses (especially in my home town of Walthamstow) don’t embrace social media as a means to show their ideals and beliefs. Social media and the inter connectedness of the web offer for business a return to the traditional days of trading, when custom would come not through having large marketing budgets but through connecting with people showing that you can provide outstanding services and more importantly building relationships so these customs become regular.
Social media at its essence is a great way to build relationships simply by allowing you to tell your own unique story. For instance when you take time to study the streams that are constantly coming at you, you see a pattern of stories each enriching of the person’s life as they try to carve out a path for themselves in a life that at times can seem confusing. These moments are precious when seeing a person you talk with online accomplishing a goal or feeling empathetic towards them when it seems things just aren’t working out the way they would like, and this is what builds relationships.
David Amerland mentioned in a video that with social media and the semantic web the layers of masks that we use when conducting business are being striped away, so people can get a real sense of the person and decide if they want to get to know that person (semantic web - search engines are becoming smarter and are learning to understand the meaning behind words factoring in the human context through greater understanding of our use of social media platforms).
This made sense to me as I thought of how long I’ve been getting my haircut at the same barber 100% U, Walthamstow (just low fades!) I remember going there as a young child and he has seen me grow so that we are now able to discuss also sorts of topics some being very personal, but we built up that rapport, and I couldn’t even consider getting my hair cut else where. In return he not only makes me look sharp (look at the profile pic ;-)) but when I’m on any business endeavors he actively tries to support what I’m doing all because we have built up a solid relationship.
For startups and small businesses these relationships are key and when even large organisations embrace this concept such as Richard Branson and how he tells the story of not only virgin media but himself as a person you begin to realise that this is more than just an ideal. What’s wrong with knowing the person behind the business? As I know I don’t become attached to things but I can get attached to a person, like all humans it’s in built.
So to businesses new to social media I say take away the veil, let people know you they will either love you or not, but I know you will come across those who like you and so are willing to support your endeavors. A customer comes and goes but a good relationship can potentially last a lifetime.
I have to give a shout out to Mark Traphagen as he was the first to put me on to the concept of bringing an actual person to business and not a brand.
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By David Anglin
Creativity mixed with a lot of ideas and a touch of web consultancy. That sums me up!