The reason behind the success of social networks may not be the one that most people expect. While it is true that they are innovative communication channels, the real key to their success lies not in the technology but in the human nature.
As Aristotle first stated, humans are social animals. As such we instinctively seek to interact with others. Our way of living, technologies, social structures and cities are all built around this concept, and the need to interact is so deeply rooted into our nature that it makes it almost impossible for us to live happily in isolation. Social media has not changed this but simply taps into this basic need and makes it easier for us to fulfil it.
Understanding this is crucial for a successful marketing strategy since it shifts the focus from a platform and technology related approach to a social and relationship-based one.
Specific communication platforms like Facebook or Twitter may or may not be around in 5 years’ time but social networks, intended as connections between individuals, will remain and adapt to whatever communication system the technology will provide. For marketers this means that long term strategies should be based around the creation of relationships between their brands and their customers, optimizing tactics based on the specifics of each communication channel that is used.
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