Before I dive in, let me give you 5 personal (out of the innumerable I’ve witnessed) real life instances of social media at work.
I got my fattest cheque (so far, till 2012) for a contract only because the decision maker saw my blog and a couple of my articles. I earned her trust. Cheque signed – no story.
I was about boarding an Arik flight to Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 2012 when one of the leading life coaches in Nigeria tweeted, requesting for my contact details. I sent my mobile number and we got talking. That’s a strategic contact I wouldn’t have gotten “so easily“. I asked him how and why he reached out to me, and he told me of how he follows my weekly Technology column on YNaija, tweets etc.
June 2012, a Lagos based company was having a strategy session and they needed someone to handle the social media activities of one of their brands. My name popped up somehow and the CEO of the company insisted no-one else will handle it except me. I was not part of the meeting. I had only met the CEO once in Abuja during a conference where we had a very short conversation. A friend who was part of the meeting told me how the CEO “boasted” about me – someone he has never worked with. How? He has read my articles and seen some of my tweets, even though he wasn’t following me back then. Deal signed. Money in the bank.
Same 2012, one of my Twitter followers reached out to me for an opening in a Lagos based firm for a digital marketer. According to him, he felt I was the best candidate for the job. I didn’t follow up on that due to the terms of the job at that time and my commitment to other things.
In the last 24 months, I have been part of several decisions made by some of the brands I’m associated with. I’ve been part of mere conversations as well where people just form a perception of other. I’ve seen the same patterns all through.
What is common in all the above [real] instances is the amount of decision made based on the social web. This is defining and just a small picture of what is to come.
Here’s the bottom-line
In the next 10 years (actually less than that), it will not matter who you are, how intelligent or smart you are, how rich you are, how beautiful you are (fill in the black with the best attributes known to the human race), if you do no have an internet presence (social web), you’re simply a no-body. Period. Argue all you like.
You may be intelligent offline, but so long you cannot package that intelligence in bits and serve to the social web, you may be doing yourself a great disservice. Micro content will continue to rule for some time and only those who can package their content in “digital format” will eat the fruit of the land.
When you apply for jobs, your CV will not be that dirty two page paper in an unkept envelope you send to employers. Your CV will simply be an online portfolio. The best of jobs will be gotten based on mere social referrals, from people you’ve never met. When you walk in to an office to submit a proposal and the boss excuses himself for 2 minutes, he’ll be performing a Google search for your name within that 2 minutes. Whatever pops will be the decision maker. People will make decisions on you, simply based on a Google search – no more emotions. In fact, when you propose to a girl, she’ll first go to your social profiles (Facebook, Twitter etc) to checkout “who you are”. I can write a whole book on all these, but…
Sequel to this, you want to carefully build a brand for yourself in your own “little” way. You want to be careful of what you post on the social web. Why shouldn’t you have a blog by now? In 2014. An aggregation of these will either make room for you or haunt you forever.
Don’t be caught unaware. This is life like you’ve never imagined. Welcome to the future.