Social networking channels have demonstrated again and again that they have very practical uses - both in the personal and business realms. It seems as though we pass some sort of milestone on a regular basis. Just when it seems like I’ve heard about all of the potential uses, there comes another one, quickly followed by another and another.
Our good friend and business partner, Patrick Sweeney provided another example recently about connecting the physical and online worlds, however the kinks still need to be ironed out. It’s a great idea to be able to share your Red Sox experience with your friends who aren’t in attendance, but at the 100th anniversary game, the check-in option and being able to upload photos to Facebook via smart phones weren’t working too well that day. Apparently there was a bandwidth bottleneck; too many people trying to do the same thing in the same place. Patrick asked us to imagine a more seamless experience. Excellent idea, though I’m thinking Yankee Stadium will have this type of innovative solution deployed long before Fenway figures it out, making the baseball experience in New York even better than it already is. Sorry Boston!
In another example, RFID Journal recently reported that LifeSynk Ltd. is launching an RFID solution that would link brick-and-mortar stores, consumer products and events to the online world via social media channels. By updating a Facebook status regarding a certain product, or checking in at a certain store, retailers can offer those individuals special promotions and discounts that are targeted to their preferences. For events, people can “like” a band or song on Facebook and receive a credit for those songs on iTunes, for example. LifeSynk reports that the benefit for retailers and event organizers is greater visibility via online social networks. We have seen similar implementations where the benefits go beyond increased visibility to being able to build and achieve brand loyalty, which translates into repeat sales. Now that’s success!
A very recent and impactful example of connecting the physical and online worlds made headlines when Facebook introduced a feature for people to register as organ donors and promote their choice on the profile pages. According to a BusinessWeek story, the same day the Facebook feature was publicized, 6,000 people had registered in 22 states. Normally, less than 400 people sign up in the 22 states combined.
Businesses can no longer ignore the power of social networks and the role that RFID can play. It’s about expanding reach and influence well beyond traditional boundaries. People are connecting on a more frequent and deeper level and RFID can play a very prominent role in turning those experiences into successes. The Internet of Things just got bigger.