Three Industries Forever Changed by Social Media

Social media guru Brian Solis has published a new book entitled “The End of Business as Normal,” which he discusses in this recent Fast Company article. This article presents the incontrovertible stats and facts that illustrate how social technologies and media have become core to our cultural fabric.

The title of Solis’s new book got me thinking about how social has already created new business models and opportunities and has breathed new life into some older industries.

Financial services companies such as Currensee would not exist and blossom were it not for the power of social networks to meet the need of Forex traders and institutional and retail investors seeking to collaborate and mimic trading strategies. StockTwits is another example of a financial service spawned by social. It’s also helping other Fortune 500 companies ‘get social.’ Meantime, “old-school” financial institutions have been realizing that social media not only augments their services but also provides new opportunities for marketing and customer communications. Check out this story about The Hartford’s recent “Achieve Without Limits” social campaign.

The music industry has been impacted on all fronts by social media. MySpace, an early darling of the social space, has become a destination for bands and singers to directly connect with fans. Facebook has provided another booming platform for artists who are using applications such as RootMusic’s BandPages to promote themselves to fans (RootMusic even drummed up $16 million in recent funding). And the innovation keeps humming – just last week RockCityClub, creator of the world’s first “Social Music Network” for independent music artists and bands, went live. Meantime, Spotify’s integration with Facebook keeps it top of the music social apps.

Another industry completely transformed because of social media is news reporting and publishing. Today, citizen journalists break the news. We turn to Twitter and Facebook as our “ticker.” Journalists themselves tweet second-by-second updates, creating real-time news feeds. NPR’s Andy Carvin’s vanguard coverage and curation of the Arab Spring set the bar for other reporters and news organizations. Mainstays of the media, the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have also innovated their business models and products to compete for, retain and profit from their socially motivated readers and subscribers. If you’re interested in this topic, it’s worth reading Matthew Ingram’s regular column on GigaOm.

Needless to say, we are in the midst of an incredible social orbit. Social is the new normal, to quote Solis. I agree 100 percent.


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