Where are you in the adoption of social media? Are you a believer? A non-believer? Have you integrated it into your business? Are you open to new ideas, new ways of doing business? Or do you throw up the hand and pretend as if your current methods are working?
Some business leaders are doing better than others as they struggle with the question of “do I or do I not take the time to figure out if social media is right for my business?” Are you being honest with where you as a person, business leader and as a company are with adoption of social media?
I've worked with a lot of different businesses, business leaders in varying niches and below is a quick snapshot of the different adoption personalities I see. Note, there are more than what is included in this list. However, it's intended to be a fun look at the adoption of social media and at minimum challenge you to open your mind to further exploring the topic and how online marketing and social media could benefit both you and your business.
Top 10 Social Media Adoption Personalities (plus 3 bonus consultant personalities)
1. Talk to the hand. These are folks who can't listen, won't listen. They believe their current methods are working. Could be true or false. The funny thing is when you ask them what their current methods are they don't want to or are unable to answer such a question.
3. Lookie Lous. These people wave in the wind. They don't know what to think or do, so they do nothing. They love free lunches with social media “gurus” and consultants so they can look and learn. However, they are too chicken to dive into social media and invest anything of worth. Most of them lack any real marketing or brand strategy so after taking their share of “free lunches” they know their chances of succeeding without help are slim to none.
3. Fadsters You may hear these folks say something similar to “social media is a fad, just like the internet. It will soon pass and everyone will be back to phone books and direct mail.” A look in the personal clothes closet of these peeps might show us a rack of bell bottoms and drawaer full of leg warmers. Their willingness to listen to reason is usually similar to the “Talk to the Hand” group and usually not open to new ways of doing business.
4. Sideliners. These are the folks sitting on the edge of social media. They may have a Facebook profile, LinkedIn profile and possibly even a Twitter account. Only issue it's not being used. They are willing to listen, won't milk their local agency or consultant for a free “pick your brain” lunch because they know enough to know the value of social media. However, they either lack the skills, funding, resources or motivation to get off the sidelines. They know there is opportunity but have chosen not to dive in yet.
5. “Don't Worry, I got it” clueless types. These are the folks who are usually self taught by clueless social media consultants, free clueless blogs and local free meetup groups or training. They have fallen into the hype that social media will save their business. They may even believe that all they really need is a Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn profile and a few hours spent each day chatting up a storm and the social media magic is going to rain ROI down on them. They don't want to hear your ideas or advice. They know how to Facebook and tweet so they got it covered. They justify their behavior and decisions by the countless “gurus” who are happy to help them believe such.
6. Yappin' Yappers. These people may get it or may be completely clueless. Usually they think they are rockin social media but yet still spend all their time chasing leads at offline networking meetings etc. Most of them have no idea how to build a sales funnel which is why they make themselves believe it's only about the conversation. What's even worse is if the “yapper” is a social media “guru” or consultant they have also lead their clients to believe such fud. You can easily take one look at my blog, websites & tweet streams to know I believe relationships and conversation are at the core of social media success. However, yappin' without a strategic and tactical plan will leave you with a lot of yapper friends but little in regard to business benefits.
7. “Rubber Band Jammers. These are the folks who are on one day, off the other. One day they think social media is the best thing since the Yellow Pages. The next they think social media is a fad, for the birds or nothing they want to invest in. Usually these are the business leaders who are all “gung ho” about social media until they learn they actually need to integrate it into their business. They fall as easy pray to the hype of social media “gurus” that “likes” and followers are all you need for success. For the agency and social media consultant this type of customer presents great risk. When dealing with these types of clients it's important to identify them up front. Do not offer them a discounted contract as you may never reap the positive return on investment. Their rubber band ways will leave you with wasted cycles of training, re-training, re-work and little chance of a solid case study.
8. Didn't work for my buddy so won't work for me. These folks believe everything they are told. They listen to the stories yet haven't done much research themselves. They watch as their clueless business leader friends have poorly implemented social media and failed so they figure they will do the same. They usually like free lunches and may even sit on the sidelines. They probably like to yap with the yappers but when it comes to putting real skin in the game of social media, they are far from such a commitment.
9. Social Media Clueless but Business Savvy. These folks are some of my favorite to work with. They don't know much about social media and are not afraid to admit it. Usually they have done enough research to know there is opportunity for their business with social media. However, they lack the skills, time and resources to successfully execute. They may often outsource the majority of work to agencies and consultants who have proven success and “get it”. They value the real relationships and desire to integrate social media into their business and possibly even personal life. Their business is not broken and and usually the reason they lack the time to execute social media is they are busy providing value to their clients and doing real business, not just pretending everything is fine. For the consultant or agency who knows how to implement social media into real business, understands ROI and business platforms these type of clients can be great. They expect return. However, they are also smart enough to know it's not going to happen overnight. Know your stuff, bring value, execute efficiently and you will probably have a long term wonderful client!
10. Livin' It. These are the folks who not only talk the talk but they also walk the walk. They know what ROI stands for. They have built successful online business platforms, not just copied the lingo from their competitors. They have taken the time to integrate social media into the DNA of their business. They have dealt with the skelotons that fell out of the closet as they did such. They are transparent as they need to be and value real relationships with business partners, clients and friends. They are usually thought leaders within their industry, niche and local market. Their competition probably follows them and is taking their lead when it comes to best practices, though they may be one year or more behind them. For the agency or consultant offering business or social media services there is much business to be had with these folks. Although they have adopted social media, they likely still have gaps in regard to proper support and resources. Agencies that can do more than talk the talk have real opportunity in helping those “livin' it” take it to the next level. These also are some of my favorite clients to work with.
Bonus: Top 3 Clueless Social Media “Guru” or Consultant Personalities
11. Free Bird Social Media Guru. This is the clueless consultant who stands up at networking meetings and states “come to me if you want FREEEEEE marketing, I'll teach you how.” Do I really need to say more? If this is you, you know it. If you know one of these or hear them at an event, run Forrest run! Enough said.
12. Rule Breaker Consultant. This is the consultant or “guru” who does not follow trends, norms or best practices when it comes to adoption of social media. They may teach classes, workshops and train clients on social media. However, since they have not themselves been able to become part of the social eco-system they obviously can't help their clients do the same. Therefore, they encourage their students and clients to not go with the flow, to not worry about fitting into the ecosystem. You may even hear them state “it's a new game, with us newbies on the block.” Yes, there is truth to that you need to fit into an ecosystem in a way that is natural for you. However, ignoring the ecosystem, tones of conversation, etiquette etc. is a recipe for disaster. Be careful of these consultants and look behind their Twitter curtain before you take every word they say and implement into your business.
13. The Lazy Way Social Media Consultant. This is the consultant who similar to the “rule breaker” is clueless on how to successfully implement social media. As a result they will usually fall to the quick and dirty ways of building community, obtaining Facebook fans, attracting Twitter followers and driving web traffic. They are usually supporters of quick fix online advertising and buying of fans. However, when asked they hard questions such as “how do you build a sales funnel” or “what do I do with the fans once they like my page” they not only don't have answers but haven't figured it out for themselves. They usually pay their rent by selling the clueless the quick fixes. Again, this is another reason to look behind the curtain of tips, tricks and results before implementing on your own turf!