In 2017, when you meet someone for the first time, it seems so natural to follow them on Instagram, send them a Twitter request or add them on Facebook and/or Snapchat hours, sometimes even minutes after an interaction.

Communication has escalated tremendously since the evolution of the online world.

In order to live a reality offline, one must develop a presence online, including organizations.

Developing a presence online means creating an identity. An identity which has connections to others.

In terms of businesses and organizations, many think having a presence online simply means having a website. Social media sites differ from websites because of the level of interaction between followers and organization users.

“Follow me” has a new connotation. 

Following someone or an organization on social media sites means witnessing a play-by-play of their life through a screen.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow for feedback options by commenting, liking, following back etc.

Social media makes for more personal connections between a user (organization or person) and their followers.

As Lovejoy and Saxton state, “These sites are free and have built-in interactivity. Any organization big or small can create a site and start building a network of friends and followers with whom they are in almost real-time contact.”

Recently on my feed, I’ve noticed how retail stores connect with their clients online.

Take for example The Store on Queen in Toronto.

I follow this account because I’m interested in their product selection.

From following their account on Instagram not only do I see their product base but I also have built a personal connection with the staff, without knowing who they are or ever actually going into the store to meet them.

Do I know the owners’ names? No.

I know that the blonde owner calls the other owner “hubby” and that knowledge was gathered strictly through their Instagram captions. From their Instagram posts I also feel like I know both their personalities.

The blonde is outspoken, has a very vibrant personality, whereas the other owner is a little more reserved.

Their Instagram account @thestoreonqueen in my opinion represents an organization that has a great social media presence online.

They connect with their followers on a daily basis. By constantly generating new content and users can interact with their organization and gain a sense of trust with their business.

Traditional business strategies still exist, like Lovejoy and Saxton say, “new media have certainly not replaced more traditional communication technologies in the workplace, the digital continues to crowd out the analogue.”

However, a social media presence online is necessary for people and organizations in order to obtain future growth.