Saturday morning sport can be the bane of a parent’s weekend. Getting up early, wrangling the sports gear and the kids only for a quick downpour to stop everything while you get onto the wet weather hotline.
Calling the wet weather line and waiting as the painstakingly slow voice goes through each sports team and ground is excruciating. Particularly if you drift off and miss it. It is even more excruciating for the poor assistant sports coordinator, who has to re-record the message every time new information comes to hand. Many students hovering under a cloud of detention for non-attendance listen two or three times, just to be sure.
Twitter is ready-made for real-time one-to-many communications such as this. An open platform, you don’t have to be a registered Twitter user to access the platform and read the posted content. And it’s easy to access on your phone with no agonising wait for your team or ground to come up. Cheaper too.
Twitter wet weather accounts, are already run by schools and sporting bodies to post updates on weather, results and venues of organised sport. So why aren’t they all there? Twitter has the ability of being able to search by hashtag, so you can link conversations by teams or venues to make it even easier.
We engage with social media on different platforms, for different purposes and to connect with different people. Instagram is used for sharing photos once shared over coffee. Twitter contains the opinion columns like we see in the dwindling newspapers. LinkedIn requests now replace the business card and Facebook is an interminable school reunion among other, more important, things.
It is undoubtable that social media has changed and reshaped peer-to-peer communications. It has simplified the one-to-many process and has allowed for the mass communication of messaging instantly, and by anyone within earshot of a WiFi hotspot. The leading businesses are finding new digital ways of providing services to their stakeholders that are convenient, effective and timely, and these applications are outgrowing their former confinements to marketing.
One-to-many communication isn’t new or radical; organisations frequently deploy this approach in crisis communications – but it still isn’t used in many useful contexts.
Social media is a part of our lives, it’s an extension of our public-selves, and that might be confronting.
But what isn’t confronting is that social media has the ability to replace even the most functional of communications, like wet weather numbers.
Enjoy your weekend, you’ve still got a few days to launch your new account.