Our Connected Lives

June 10th, 2010 by | No Comments

photo by .Licht und Schatten

In the United States, a whopping 68.9% consider themselves regular internet users. Whether it’s email correspondence, social networking, or simply browsing, Americans are online almost 30 million hours every month. It seems impossible, but mobile media platforms allow users to stay connected wherever they go. In fact, every day, 22.4 million Americans use their mobile devices to access new and entertainment, with social networks driving 9.3 million users to their phones to connect.

So what happens when we remove ourselves from this connected web? Well, for many, leaving the laptop and mobile phone at home can induce a kind of anxiety. They liken it to forgetting to put their watch on and feeling the phantom of it on their wrist. That doesn’t mean we need to lessen our dependence, nor does it mean we need to make internet access available everywhere, all the time. It just means we need to evaluate the relationships we have with the internet, social networks, blogs, forums, and the like, and determine if we’re happy with it.

Naturally, when we add concerns like the increase in Twitter account hackings and the continued tug-of-war over privacy between Facebook and its users, these relationships get further inspection and can end in a parting of ways. Just last month, a campaign to quit Facebook found support across the country, with over 36,000 users committed to leaving the site for good on May 31st. Though the involved users ultimately account for a miniscule portion of the Facebook community, it left many in the social media and marketing space wondering if this could be the beginning of movement away from social networking. Ultimately, these fears are mostly unfounded, what with new apps making press daily and technologies like e-readers, Flip video cameras, and the iPad providing constant forward momentum.

However, for marketers concerned about keeping up with the fast pace of technology and the ebb and flow of social networks, there is one way to protect your brand from falling out of fashion with an uncontrollable change in the media. By keeping a consistent message and content strategy across platforms, your consumers will continue the conversation with your brand wherever they are, and are therefore significantly less likely to be lost in the shuffle of innovation and ever-changing popularity of new media channels.

So before someone at your brand or at your agency brings up the newest “death of Platform X” or the “movement away from Network X,” take a look at your communication across platforms and confirm the consistency of your content and messaging. This simple evaluation can help prepare you for the inevitable changes ahead, help calm fears within your team, and ensure that your brand is with your consumers wherever and whenever they invite you to join them.

Claire Grinton is an account planner at DraftFCB in San Francisco. Find more from Claire or shoot her a line at claire[dot]grinton[at]gmail.

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