The Billion Dollar Question?

To many, Facebook’s takeover of Instagram will be last week’s news, but today I’m using this story to highlight an after thought from this story that will hopefully add value to your business.

To give you some context to my inspired moment, I must take you to Facebook where my friend (distant from the world of marketing) innocently asked; “So all this chat about Instagram being bought by Facebook for wan billion or however much…What does this actually mean? What changes?” – That’s when I had my moment of inspiration, right there, and then.

It suddenly dawned on me how easy it is to work in marketing, and business and still miss communicating our point to the consumer. My friend caught wind of the billion dollar sale, but he failed to understand the impact this sale would have on him – as the end-user. Should he bare the responsibility for this, or should we – the marketer, writer, and communicator take responsibility and communicate our news in a way that is effective, and relevant to those that matter.

The answer is, none right now. Mark Zuckerberg released a statement highlighting the reasons behind the decision, and their intent is to ‘try’ to continue building and growing Instagram independently.

The fact of the matter is that this sale came at a very interesting time. Facebook are positioning themselves to launch into the stock market next month, and Instagram has just broken record to be one of the biggest app releases on the Google play platform, in its history.

In March, the app hit 1 million users in less than 24 hours of its Android Launch.

Selling at this moment in time may seem perfect for many, but disconcerting to many of its users.

Perhaps, if we keep this in mind when we write our tech savvy articles, content, and informational material we wouldn’t cause so much of a scare to users who aren’t always interested in how much your company sold for, but instead more interested in how your sale will change the user experience?

The bottom line is that there is a danger to many media sharing, information platforms, and businesses that we are still so consumed with the structural changes happening in our culture and effecting every inch of our business that we are failing to have some form of clear communication with our end users – who are not tech savvy, but a faithful and dedicated user of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Don’t believe me then just take Facebook’s shift to Timeline. I lost count of the number of people lost and confused on the subject matter of Timeline. Questions like, what is it? How do I change it back? – Came flooding in their droves. As I continued to explain there was no going back, and the implications that Timeline could have on their profile privacy. Most users were shocked, and certainly unaware of the implications caused by the face-lift.

Of course Facebook informed marketers of the changes, but this didn’t filter through enough to the end-user, and that’s my point today. How well are we filtering information through to the end-user?

As effective as I believe social media marketing can be. It is meaningless if we don’t have well-informed users on the other side of each tool. We’d all do well to keep this in mind.

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