As a young girl in Overland Park, Kansas in 1980-something there’s nothing I wanted more than an Atari. I remember standing in the electronics department at Venture at 95th and Metcalf begging my Dad for the Atari 2600 so we could be cooler than the neighbors who only had the console with lame sports games. For those of you who didn’t grow up in the Midwest or as part of Generation X, Venture was a pre-Target discount department store that would captivate me and my sister for hours with endless aisles of fun. I was thrilled to be the first person on the block to get to wield the joystick with the orange button to play Asteroids.
After we got home and set up the Atari, it was even better than I imagined. Asteroids, Pac Man, Frogger, even Bowling was awesome.
Fast forward to today and I experience the same excitement when I log on to Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook. Being a part of these online communities gives me the same feeling as that day in Venture – a sense of pride and pioneering. I know these tools will become more sophisticated over time, but it’s kind of cool right now to know I’m participating in something that is changing how we communicate.
We are on the cusp of transitioning from social media being only for early adopters to the next stage – early majority, where lots of people participate. Social networking has emerged as a very real option as part of the marketing communications mix. It’s a vital tool we can all use to develop and grow relationships. With marketing budgets tighter than ever before, we need innovative ways to engage the truly desirable customer.
One day we’ll look back and fondly remember the first text, tweet or blog. We’ll recall how it was back in the day and how it’s even better than we could have ever imagined.