As a child of the 70s, if I wanted to see what my friends were doing I would walk over to their house and knock on the door. My wired Mickey Mouse phone is what I used as a teenager in the 80s. After college in the 90s, I would just pop in to the local hang-out and see who was out and about. If I wanted to see what was going on over the weekend, or if I had a question about a service or product, I would ask my family, friends, or co-workers in person. I might even crack open the newspaper! As a professional in the late 90s early 2000s, if I needed help finding a vendor or service, walking a tradeshow floor, like many of you are about to do at EMC World 2015, was almost the only way to find what I needed. I could talk to the expert live and in some cases try out the product.
The way in which we communicate has certainly changed. Now in the 2010s we are plugged in to our smart devices. Texting is the main means of communication when I want to talk to my friends. Many people now get breaking news on Twitter or Facebook. I rely on Facebook to see what events are happening over the weekend. If I need advice on a product I go right to my Facebook friends. Just recently I needed help finding black dress pants. I posted the request on Facebook. Within an hour I had about 20 recommendations. Lastly, if I need advice on a vendor for work I rely on my 500+ connections on LinkedIn and still attend the top tradeshows. Events are still very relevant in this millennium, however, I use Twitter to communicate with other attendees, share interesting facts I learn in sessions, and find out what the hot happenings are that are a “must attend”.
Social media works for me because I get the information I need from the people I virtually surround myself with. I trust their judgment, advice, and reviews. Plus it is instant. I don’t have to call my best friend and wait four hours until she gets out of work to answer my question. I just post my question and BAM! If social media is so important to how I look in to services and what I purchase, how important is it to a CIO, CTO, or other IT decision makers?
Our internal EMC social media team did some research on how IT decision makers use Twitter. The statistics were eye opening as to the importance of social media to this group. Here is how they specifically use Twitter:
- 43% Use Twitter to discover new technologies, products, and solutions
- 34% Use Twitter to research an IT Initiative
- 29% Use Twitter to purchase a solution
- 31% Use Twitter for support post purchase
Being plugged into the twittersphere, I understand the impact social media has on decision making when it comes to a purchase. But nothing will ever take the place of face-to-face communication. What would happen if the two combined?
The conversation is definitely not over. If you have more questions and want to take a technical deep dive there are two chats happening between May 11 and May 22 with our EMC Experts in the EMC Community Network. You can join those here:
- Data protection is more important than ever – Is your Data Protected
- Your guide to survival in the transforming world of IT
Let’s continue to celebrate combining “old school” communication with “new school” social trends! Whether you attend a future event in person or join us virtually, I hope to be chatting with you and including you in my virtual trust circle.