Social media, mobile phones and broadband Internet access.

These are probably the three main developments in modern technology that have made a significant impact on the population of Trinidad and Tobago.

Whether the net effect has been positive or negative is debatable (and largely up to opinion), however one can not deny that together they have changed our society.

That is usually the effect of technology; we discover something we previously could not do or do any better and then we do.

This is not always the case however; corruption and greed usually resist any changes that won’t work in their beneficiaries favor. Less controversially, people tend to fear what is new or what they don’t quite understand yet.

Perhaps this is the reason so few business or government transactions can’t be completed electronically. There is some noticeable effort here and there but there is still so much more that could be done.

Interestingly, social media seems to have bypassed most hesitations, at least the popular networks. There are many businesses that own a Facebook page for example but not a website. They miss out on the opportunity to provide customers with a complete online experience. Initial discovery via the social network, to transaction initiation/completion via the website.

You can find a few state institutions fairly active on Twitter and Facebook but there are few things you can complete online besides getting a contact number.

What has been the appeal that resulted in so much confidence in social networking by both consumers and businesses? Is it the sheer numbers on these networks? After all, businesses tend to go wherever their market is. The ability to get a visual idea as to who utilizes/consumes what you make available may also play a factor.

User friendliness does not hurt either and perhaps most importantly the low financial cost may be the most significant aspect.

Regardless of what it is, there is a lot for any growth driven business to learn about what future consumer awareness, tastes and expectations may look like. Pay attention.