“The ideas changing the world are the ones bringing people together.”
This was a great quote by Andrew Keller from Facebook. His SXSW session this year went into much more detail on how brands can benefit from building communities and lending them their spotlight, but this quote was the big idea connecting everything together.
Look Back to Look Forward
Let’s think about the technology that brought about the biggest societal shifts: trains, cars, airplanes, and the Internet. While the first three are all modes of transportation, the problem they all solved was about bringing people together within closer proximity. Distant family members could visit each other easier and more often and businessmen could travel the globe to have meetings and solve problems.
Aside from things like the post office and telephone, the Internet was really the first thing that brought people together virtually. It started with instantaneous communication, but advanced into other more collaborative tools like Google Docs. Social media was another big idea that used the Internet to bring people together in more personal ways than ever before.
Social Media is More Engrained than You Might Think
Advancements within social media itself have brought us Facebook Groups where like-minded people can share ideas more easily. Or think about all of the events that people are interested in, or RSVP to, via Facebook. At this point Facebook not only helps us come together online, but empowers our offline interactions too. Should you ask out your co-worker? Not before checking their relationship status!
How Do You Bring People Together?
Many of our clients here at Agency Entourage have a product or service that brings people together. Schwab Meat & Co. creates amazing food that’s often shared with family and friends. Frontera Strategies provides in-office diagnostic testing so patients and doctors can better help each other. Pine Lake is building a community for people to come together and enjoy the outdoors.
Through social media we’re able to take these messages and amplify them to a broader community of people. But we also challenge ourselves to come up with new ways to enhance the product or service to better serve people. Even if your product or service doesn’t inherently bring people together, you can use your brand to build or activate communities online.
The next time you’re trying to come up with your next big initiative, ask how it can bring people together, because those are the ideas changing the world.