I was leaving a ballroom dance class recently with a friend of mine that works for one of the big banks that survived our recent economic debacle. I asked her to go see the “Social Media Revolution” video that I have linked to on my home page. She told me she couldn’t respond to “blogs” and other social media from work. I thought she was joking!

Email is on the way out

One thing I pointed out to her was that email is soon to become a dinosaur. It has been a wonderful tool, but it has had its shortcomings. The main one being that anyone can send you any message at no cost to them. This allowed spammers to send 100 billion emails PER DAY in April of 2008 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junk_email). Internet users have become sick of this and they are starting to do something about it.

The YouTube video I was referring my friend to points out that in 2009, Boston College stopped distributing email addresses to incoming freshmen. So that means that students and professors are communicating another way. Things like blogs and other social media that can be closed to unwanted participants.

Services like facebook are going to take the place of email. To get a message to someone on facebook you must have their permission to send them one. And after you are allowed in, you can always be “black balled” if the receiver doesn’t like what she is receiving.

Promotion will have value

So, does this mean that a company can’t send out a blanket message anymore? Will they not be able to get access to contacts via social media services? No, it does not. But, they will need permission to send these messages. And before the facebook contact is going to allow the sender access to his time, he will need to see value in the contact.

Businesses must now offer an incentive to get the facebooker to allow them in as a “friend.” That could come in the form of a coupon for free goods or services. And once that business has gained access to the facebooker, they must be very careful about what they send. At any time the facebooker can terminate the contact.

Businesses can contact their clients, and potential clients, with messages that have value. And they work like never before to maintain trust. Otherwise, the receivers of their messages leave them in the dark.

I think there are some big bank managers out there that need to learn to deal with social media. They need to encourage their employees to use it. And they need to develop methods of using it as a tool for promotion and communication.

A new day is here!