Why do we connect? What makes us want to reach out to a neighbour across the street, or talk to someone on other side of the world? And besides, what's this got to do with Social Media Marketing?
The earliest known cave paintings can be seen at El Castillo in Northern Spain. They date back over 40,000 years ago and depict quite detailed scenes of different animals found in that particular area. Shortly afterwards, 30,000 years ago, San Bushmen in South Africa were creating minutely etched and coloured images of hunters, their prey and their traditions. Meanwhile, Aborigines in Australia were making hand prints on rocks and painting images showing the location of plentiful food and water.
Why were these early humans drawing images in caves and on rocks. What was the purpose?
In palaeontology terms they were simply documenting and sharing information, mapping resources, teaching and creating a community of shared experience. The pre-historic world was a place where communities searched for food, water, shelter and created boundaries. The world was big and humans were inquisitive, tirelessly seeking ways to better their existence. This continual quest for knowledge took human communities to all four corners of the planet and beyond.
Social Media is a 'place' too. It is a definite somewhere with people in it, people joining together in groups or networks sharing experience and learning from each other. Once we join it we want to belong somewhere too. So we seek out like-minded people and we share with our new communities and in turn we learn from them too.
What's more, the Social Media place is every bit the same place as the world in which we live in, the one where we take the bus to work, turn on the computer, make our colleagues a coffee and finally make those phone calls. Except Social Media has greater reach, unlimited possibility and its much quicker. One phone call can reach one person; one tweet can reach millions.
Social Media is great for business, but it works in all other facets of our lives too, helping us to reconnect and re-affirm family and friendships, both life-long and long-lost. It is also a place to have fun and a place to learn, share resources and develop new ideas. We connect because as humans, all of this is important to us.
The pre-historic world is little different in wants and needs than it is today. 40,000 years of human development haven't really changed much; people are still tweeting each other pictures of the best places to eat and drink; mapping their whereabouts; and updating us with what's on their mind.
Social Media can be as simple or complicated as you make it. But at the heart of Social Media the reason we all have email addresses, mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook, Skype and LinkedIn remains the same reason as it ever was: to say we are here, to join in, to exchange ideas, to open doors. Why do we connect? Quite simply, we need to connect.
Thinking of utilising Social Media for your business? Read our blog post 'Social Media - Should we or Shouldn't we?'.