As a child of the 70’s, I can’t really speak from experience about what it was like to grow up in the 50’s. But when I start talking about how we engage in social media at one of my workshops or speaking events, I tend to find myself making an analogy related to how social media works like the businesses that flourished in the 50’s.
I actually found a site called 1950’s Memories where people who were raised during that decade shared their memories of what it like to grow up in that time of our history. When I read the section about the ‘Corner Drugstore,’ I found these great quotes:
“I remember the corner drugstore where you could get a chocolate Coke for a nickel. And a Malt for 20 cents. And get to sit next that pretty girl from Algebra class, at least for a while”
“We had a corner store in Terrell, Tx. called Rutledge Drugs. I love their limeades and floates. I loved to go there. That was a treat to walk there on Saturdays.”
Those were the days where you could walk into your neighborhood store and the owner knew your name. Your mother would shop there every week, knew everyone who worked there and they all knew what your family liked best for Sunday dinner. It was a time when everyone developed this close relationship with the people who worked at the neighborhood store. You would chat about your lives, talk about where you were going on your summer vacation and share pictures of your kids with the owner behind the counter.
So what does this have to do with social media and how to grow your business? Just stay with me on this one as I fast forward to 2012. When we’re working through our marketing strategy with our social networks, one of our top goals is to create that feeling of community with our fans. To engage in conversation with them about what they like, what they watch, what book are they reading (or just downloaded), their favorite foods/restaurants and we laugh at the funny pictures of their kids they post in our Facebook contests. After we’ve developed this relationship with our customers, can we really say that we’re that far off from the 50’s neighborhood store?
Last week, I found myself reading an article discussing some new trends in 2012 to follow and one in particular took me back to my 50’s analogy. The trend had to do with the fact that the economy was getting back on track and this year, we could see the rise of ‘mini luxuries’ coming back into our lives. The trend said: Live a little: After years of navigating through a tough economy, people are tired of cutting back and, while they can’t afford to really let lose, they’re eager for little treats or luxuries that make them feel better.
I think we can safely say that there is some economic growth going on in our country. I can see it in my business and I’ve been hearing stories from many of my strategic partners that I work with on different projects. I believe our country is getting ready to turn the corner into another era of doing business.
So ask yourself this … when the economy really starts to pick up and we find that our customers will start spending more of their discretionary income on these ‘little luxuries,’ how will they decide what to buy? Who will be the company that gets chosen to be the luxury item that’s purchased with this week’s paycheck? Will it be your company or the one who took the time to connect with their customers and created their own social network neighborhood store?
Which company will you be in 2012? Share in the comments below.