Picture this. Six months ago I’m sitting in a crowd of several hundred people as I work on my laptop during an athlete Q&A session with fans. All of a sudden I receive a public message on Twitter with a photo attached, asking if it was @DigitalRoyalty (me) in the photo. It was. The photo had been taken from about five feet away. Right there, right then. But I couldn’t locate the person who snapped the photo. The photog had seemingly disappeared. And before I could process the situation or have the chance to respond, my followers did for me. Having watched from afar, they voiced their concern for my well-being in lue of the incident, which they believed to be slightly creepy. Oddly enough, I wasn’t too affected or ever felt truly threatened by the tweet, so I responded.
Why? Well, “wait a minute,” I thought to myself. I choose to play this game and everything that comes along with it. Transparency has led to openness, which has lead to access. The virtual world and physical world have collided. It’s a beautiful thing for consumers and brands.
Should we be scared? No. See below. Should we be smart? Yes. See above.
Let’s break it down. Nearly two years ago, pre-Foursquare and Gowalla days, Shaquille O’Neal stood on a street corner and tweeted his exact whereabouts. We called it Twitter Tag. Nowadays we consider that type of geo-tagging cavemen-like, yet still very effective.
Today, your consumers and friends can become a local celebrity, “the mayor” of their hometown pub, grocer, or the Atlantic Ocean for that matter. They can even develop connections all over the map with just a mobile phone and a bar code.
Now that’s fancy. But, just because there’s a new abracadabra app in the store doesn’t mean you need to force it into your marketing strategy and “app drop” (the equivalent to name drop) at the latest and greatest social media conference. The technology needs to compliment your strategy in effort to meet your objectives. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still important to experiment and understand capabilities. Period.