Social Media: The 5 Curves

The goal of advertising is to persuade consumers to buy or in service oriented businesses, hire. In social media the goal is to engage and build relationships. Is this advertising ourselves or our company to persuade people to befriend us?  With social media we engage with “friends” that share interests, “friends” that we share their information, and “friends” that are clients, potential clients, etc.  Isn’t that engagement a form of advertising? We expose to people that we are a fan of the same team, a consultant, an information source.  This enhances our personal brand and in turn ultimately is advertising ourselves so we can be a part of a group, get hired and be respected.

Thinking about how people get involved in social media and their level of involvement, I think of the Rogers Adoption Curve and how it relates to marketing in general as we adopt, incorporate and fit into social media.

Social Media: The 5 Curves:

1. Innovators = Gadget Guy/Gal.  They are the first ones to try anything new, the ones in line at midnight to get the latest product. They are on every social media site and search for more.  People trust them as they were first.

2. Early Adopter = The Engager.  They watched the innovators closely and then came on board.  Engagers share, talk and tend to be the opinion leaders.

3.  Early Majority = The Flip Flops. They have arrived but still not sure where they fit in and will abandon ship if enough people say to. They are easily persuaded as they try and grasp it all.

4. Late Majority = The Sharer.  They follow the rules and step in, watch and read others and share that information. Original content will come in time … as they think and ponder what will they say that people will care about.

5. Laggards = The See I Did It. Which is followed by “now leave me alone” and “what is all the hype.”  Their interaction level is low, profile not really touched but they do have one.

Social media does differ from traditional advertising but the fundamentals are the same.  We are not reinventing the wheel, we are making it bigger as advertising evolves. Social media is not necessarily new but to some very new.  LinkedIn lauched in 2002, Facebook 2004, Twitter 2006 and FriendFeed 2008 and there are so many in the works.  The adoption rate may change but the interaction rate will lag behind.

Where are you in the social media adoption curve?

photo credit: Vince Alogi