I’m not sure if the term “The Three Rs” is universal so I had better explain it. It’s partly a joke and partly serious, the 3 Rs being, reading, writing and arithmetic. The sharp eyed will see that reading, writing and arithmetic don’t all start with an “r”.
In 3 R formation, it reads as reading, riting and rithmatic, you can see that the term is “tongue in cheek” as words are misspelt or should I say mispilt. Anyway enough of the jollity.
Reading, writing and arithmetic have been fundamentals of schools and education for over hundred years. Buying in shops, reading roads signs or even buying off Amazon (or local variant) all require us to use those three skills, so why isn’t social now a fourth fundamental skill?
If you are a fan of Simon Kemp’s Global Digital Report, you will know that the Internet is rapidly expanding, there are now 4.5 Billion people on the internet, or put that another way, they have access to all of the delights of the internet. Amazon (or local equivalent), an infinite amount of data and as many cat videos as you can watch. Compared with last year, this figures has grown by 10% or 416 million.
Social Media keeps expanding, with WhatsApp passing the 400 million user mark and Facebook the social media network that “everybody is leaving” grew by 100 million, active users. The total number of active users on social media is now 3.725 Billion.
Whenever you think that social media cannot get any bigger, it gets bigger. It does not look like it will stop at any point soon. There is a direct correlation between the internet and social media. As soon as people get the internet they get access to social media.
A friend of mine tells a story about how he was on a safari and was was “talking” to the Masai mara who protected the came from roaming lions, over the camp WiFi about the latest Manchester United defeat. This is globalisation and while you may not like this, the internet is everywhere, even in parts of the world where “first world” people might not appreciate it has reached.
In fact, the internet, social media and mobile has reached the point where, while there are another 3 billion people not on the Internet, it feels like “everybody” is on it.
So what does this mean for the world of business and commerce?
The excuse that “my customers are not on social” simply does not hold up anymore. there are there you just haven’t looked for them. You will also find that while a senior person isn’t on social or may not use it regularly the people that are doing the research and drawing up the short list are on social. If you are not visible on social, your prospects and customers won’t see you and you won’t make the short list. It’s as simple as that!
Commerce and social works now with the internet, social media and mobile. For you to transact business the way the world now works, you need to be on social and you need to understand how it works. Should therefore be that the 3 rs should now be 4 rs. With social people the 4th r.
Certainly if you cannot read, write or do arithmetic you will fall behind. The same can be said of understanding social media. Access to it is a human right (another blog for another day perhaps) and being able to use it is central to being in business.
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