Social Media: The Evolution of Behavior through Technology 21 October 2014

Social Media is something that cannot be ignored. From tweets, vines and viral videos to effortless functionality, the rate that society has adapted to the instagramming, hash tagging, screen-junkies of today is pretty astonishing.

‘Social Media: The Evolution of Behaviour through Technology’ was the topic on debate at the Financial Services Forum’s event last week, with delegates from across the financial services industry meeting for a morning of discussion and analysis.

From the lo-fi era of MSN messenger, communicating with others online has developed into a multi million, multi platform, highly competitive industry. It is safe to say social media is big business.

But is all of this ultra convenient communication actually a social hindrance? Gerry McCusker, owner of Dog Digital seems to think so - as he presented the first of the mornings razor sharp presentations. Gerry argued that social media is more of a communications barrier and through its all-encompassing presence, has taught us that it is all too easy to emotionally disconnect from others online.  Gerry also went on to discuss how these culture changes could have a negative impact on mankind and its evolution – a point that sparked contentious debate. 

The pro’s and con’s of the advancements of technology is something that is well documented, but thinking of social media and its relation to evolution is something that sounds far fetched, but certainly isn’t. No one can deny the big changes that social media has made to the way we act, react, and engage online. But how do companies harness the positives of social media and add value to their business?

Christopher Langlois, CEO of Visible Banking suggests finding the right way to communicate with your customer and when to do so is key to driving interactions:

1.    Focus on the customer
 
Tuning into your customers needs and providing relevant information online are key for ensuring customers interact with your business online and keep coming back for more.  
 
2.    Provide a superb customer experience
 
From start to finish, the customer experience in the digital age is under more critique than ever. Businesses need to ensure they take a unified approach to ensure a consistent and branded customer journey throughout. Ensuring social media platforms are regularly updated with relevant and appropriate content will help to build a following of online users who are interested in your digital output.


3.    Be transparent and brave

Being transparent with clients and customers online is key to gaining trust and building a positive social media standing. From glowing reviews to customer complaints, consistently interacting and responding to users is essential in creating a credible online reputation.

The social media landscape is something that is constantly evolving and adapting to cultural and behavioral change.  In keeping with Living's philosophy, the FSF’s seminar showcased the ability for online communications to add significant value, yet emphasised that human interaction remains preferable, and that technology should always act as help, not a hindrance.

Kieran Haddock, Team Assistant

 

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