Taking Advantage of the Connection Economy

BY: ANEESH GOEL, VP BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

 

Humans are one of the best species at connecting with one another. Seth Godin, a marketing guru, first coined up the term, “Connection Economy”. He believes that we are shifting from the industrial economy towards the connection economy.

With digitarians (people born with high speed internet and computers) entering our society, our world is transforming. Across continents, individuals feel connected more than ever before.

Ever since the creation of Uber, the social taxi service, other similar platforms have arisen, and more businesses strive to better connect our society.

AirBnB and Facebook are a two of the largest media companies. The funny thing is, both companies do practically nothing. All of the content that is created is formed by the users. They simply created a platform that connects people from around the globe. Connection is one of the biggest business trends right now, especially because of the ever advanced internet.

The main question is, “Are you benefiting from connecting online?” That is the overarching question that companies often ask themselves to make sure that the internet platforms they provide to users will be a hit.

 

Here are five simple ways to take advantage of the connection economy:

 

  • Social Media

 

Social Media adds value and is the most powerful internet tool. It is used by most, if not all companies, to connect consumers towards their products/services, and to engage with suppliers. In this generation, social media is used by everyone who has access to the internet. The Pew Research Center states that 76% of Americans have at least one account on a social networking site.

 

  • Review Sites

 

Another study by the Pew Research Center, concluded that 90% of Americans carry their smartphone with them everywhere they go. This means that they also use their phone more to review products online. Most Gen Zers check product ratings and review sites before they buy products. They are very careful with the way they spend their money. Engagement on review sites definitely helps identify what consumers like and what they don’t like. It can help understand how your company can improve and create a more positive consumer behavior.

Review sites are meant for the public to communicate with-not your business. You are supposed to simply observe the reviews and trends, so that your company can become in better shape.

 

  • Forums

 

What I would like to emphasize here is that it is important for your business to keep up with trends, business news, and understand the market. Forums can give your company insight on how to better shape the future of your company.

Forums are probably the most overlooked avenue for engaging prospects in the connection economy. Some successful small businesses have started because their owners first established themselves as experts on the forums. However, the point I want to stress here is that you should engage on as many good forums as there are that relate to your business, and your posts should be very helpful and knowledgeable.

Carve out a little time each week to browse relevant forums and look for posts that pose questions or discuss problems. The connections you make can be very valuable in the long run.

 

  • Local Community Groups

 

For many businesses (especially local businesses), local connections are most ideal. Have you observed the trend in which the most successful businesses are always involved in their communities? Local businesses hope that the community will help support their business by buying their product, or using their service in return. Connecting with the local community through social networking is a good start to what can be a strong relationship between the consumers and business. It is no coincidence that the companies that get the most attention also contribute the most to society.

Having  good public relations in your local community will benefit your company long term. Not only can it boost sales, but it can also increase your business’s brand equity. If your business is a new entrant, it will help consumers buy your products or use your service over incumbent  businesses.

 

  • Friends and Family

 

Every business starts somewhere. Making sure that your family and friends buy your product or use your service is very important. They should be able to understand your business goals, and the purpose of the business. To start off, they should be the biggest supporters of your business, and it is extremely important to connect with them. It is important to value their customer experience because in the future, they can provide the  recommendations to their friends and the public to buy your product or use your service.
With Gen Z-ers being exposed to 5 pieces of technology, they are connected to thousands of individuals online. They have digital friends across the globe and can help your business gain publicity.

 

Photo Credits: By Ibrahim.ID [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons