A couple of months ago, my manager asked me to create a LinkedIn account to be able to manage our corporate page and keep it up-to-date with our business news. I had never created one on my own before partly because I had a number of social media accounts to manage - Facebook (both personal and for my business), Instagram and Twitter - and mostly because I had underestimated LinkedIn's potential.
It's amazing how people shift to new ways of running a business, and new ways to manage their lives, and accepts new ways of marketing things without really noticing how that change took over their lives.
None of my friends care about owning music anymore. They do not bother to download songs via iTunes and transfer them to their iPod devices. They just check for the latest songs on YouTube, and now that they are able to play YouTube videos on their smartphones, they plug an Aux wire to their car speakers and sing away.
The last time I bought a music CD was ages ago; maybe I was still in school. I cannot recall. What I do remember was that I once owned a Walkman cassette device, then a CD player, followed by an iPod Nano, and an iPod Touch. But once YouTube was launched, there was no looking back.
I remember a colleague of mine first introducing me to it in 2006, and I thought it was just a fad for people who had nothing better to do with their lives except uploading videos. Now it is my go-to place for music, news, and my free 24/7 archive library whenever I wanted to dig something I used to watch as a child. My mother is no different. The woman who thought Twitter was silly and not the ideal place to read about current events given the 140 characters limit, is the same woman who tweets more than I do, and reads about the latest news before I get a chance to.
People always resist new ways of doing things. When digital reading devices such as Kindle were introduced, people thought they would never replace books, and the touch and smell of paper.
But people's lives evolved. They are always on the go, and perhaps a Kindle is more suited to carry around than four 600-page books when they are travelling.
Digital books sales are over the moon and many writers opt to launch their books via Kindle first, see how the demand is, before approaching publishers to print them. It is both economical and more effective. This great shift we witnessed on the digital sphere makes people rethink the best ways to do things especially when it comes to marketing efforts. More organisations now opt for LinkedIn sponsored posts and Facebook targeted advertisements to traditional forms of media such as newspapers and magazines. By doing so a great amount of money is saved that can be put towards the development of a business.
For instance emerging fashion designers in the UAE mainly advertise their work through social media accounts such as Instagram and Facebook instead of paying a four or five-figure sum for a traditional medium advertisement. And I am one of them.
The best way to understand what would work and what won't in terms of your business is to identify what would facilitate an easier, faster, and a more effective positive impact on it.
If you run a financial services organisation, then perhaps you should consider sponsored LinkedIn posts where you could target the right crowd. When it comes to marketing, advertising, and running a business, companies should be very adaptive to change.
The enemy of any form of change is the negative mindset that says, "No one will ever do that".
It is the same mindset that stated that no one would want to share their personal pictures on Instagram, the same mindset that thought social media was a fad, and the same mindset that thought no one would follow random individuals who blog instead of credited journalists and writers.
If you belong to the family of people with the above mindset and you want to develop your business, then it is time to jump on the bandwagon and shift away from your old ways of doing things. However, keep in mind the kind of shift you want to take place, and how it will impact your business.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning writer and fashion designer from Abu Dhabi. Follow her on Twitter @manar_alhinai