Friday, March 25, 2011

Which of these 5 categories do you fall in?

When is the right time to begin leveraging the reach and visibility of social media sites in order to maximize the exposure to your business?
You mean, you haven't started yet?  Of course you have.  Wait.  You really haven't?  It's OK.  You are not too late.  By now you won't be the first company in your industry to get a Facebook Fan Page or that starts tweeting about your industry.  If you do a google or yahoo search on your industry you may very well find articles or blogs from a competitor (perhaps one you never knew existed).  If you go to YouTube or Flickr you might see videos or pictures about your industry.  Again, you very well may not be the first person in your industry to utilize social media.  But it's OK.

You see, this is a huge world we live in with millions of potential customers/consumers, or billions if you have designs of going global.  There is still plenty of time to plan, implement and track your online marketing or social media marketing efforts. 

In case you never heard of this, allow me to introduce you to what is called the Innovation Adoption Curve of Rogers.  It is a model that classifies adopters of innovations into various categories, based on the idea that certain individuals are inevitably more open to adaptation than others.  It is also referred to as Multi-Step Flow Theory or Diffusion of Innovations Theory.

It classifies people into 5 categories for when a anything new comes out i.e. a new product, idea, invention etc.  For the purpose of this blog, think in terms of the growing marketing phenomenon called Social Media Marketing.  The masses are made up of the following:
  1. Innovators 2.5%: Brave people, pulling the change.  Innovators are very important at communication
  2. Early Adopters 13.5%: Respectful people, opinion leaders, try out new ideas but in a careful way.
  3. Early Majority 34%: Thoughtful people, careful but accepting change more quickly than the average.
  4. Late Majority 34%: Skeptic people, will use new ideas or products only when the majority is using it.
  5. Laggards 16%: Traditional people, caring for the "old ways", are critical towards new ideas and will only accept it if the new idea has become mainstream for a while or even tradition. 
 Here's a chart for the visually required.

I have my opinions on where social media marketing is on this chart but it's only an opinion.  I don't know what industry you are in.  My opinion may be dead-on as a whole but not right for your industry. Here's a novel idea...research your industry.  Go to several search engines and see where you think social media marketing falls.  I would guess it is still in the innovators phase or early adopters phase.  Lucky you!

Like I said at the beginning of this blog, you're OK, there is still plenty of time.  The real question is, where do you want to fall on this chart?  Do you believe like the Laggards that they will continue with their traditional marketing efforts because this is a fad?  They will probably start when the television and Internet are one and the same.  Perhaps your in the early or late majority group and want to see others make a substantial jump in profits before you decide to try it.  If so, good luck - you're going to need it.

If you want to be an innovator in your industry or an early adopter you need to jump right in.  Let me clarify that when I say jump right in I mean you need to formulate a plan, figure out how you are going to track progress and then jump right in. 

If you need to know the who, what, when and how on jumping right in - simply leave a comment below.  That's as simple a start as possible.


This blog is posted by Eli Gonzalez, otherwise known as Eliezer Gonzalez, sometimes called Che Gonzalez, officeally known as Eliezer Che Gonzalez


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