Friday, November 5, 2010

Social Media Quicksand


Everyone is sinking in it. And it is only going to get worse. 
Social media and other associated tools, apps, tweets, fans, etc are all on the rise. The Tea Party's successful use to help their grassroots rise is a GREAT example.
@jaybaer has this great post about getting on board. The gist is: everyone doing it now is still learning but business needs to get on social media now. Why? Because once everyone is, you won't be so special anymore just because you were on Twitter in 2008.
Jay makes his case about being involved in social media and I think most people agree that folks need to get on social media. However, its seems like we already have winners and losers. 
This is a double edge sword
Everyday, there are little rewards for those ALREADY using it. This is about market analysis. While Jay works with Fortune 1000 companies, most small businesses are really playing catch up to what Jay is talking about. Mind you, there are a lot of folks just getting the trophy for showing up as he says, but the problem is: are customers REALLY jumping on board as fast?
I don't think so. The reality is something more akin to what Charlene Li wrote in Groundswell. Which is REALLY what we are in. 
Right now, companies and people are standing above a leaking cistern. The water is only making the bottoms of our shoes wet, but soon, it could be up to our ankles. 
Jay gives it 18 months, but the reality is NOW, which happens to be the name of his book, The NOW Revolution. Some of us are soaking wet, others are barely damp.

It really comes down to who your target is. If you don't have customers ripping you a new one on the review sites, it isn't hurting you. If you aren't offering coupons online because your market just isn't there yet, then you are probably ok.
It might have been better to talk about Gladwell's Tipping Point. That is what we are really concerned with when we talk social media adoption aren't we? 
I'll be curious to see what Jay's book says in more detail. The @jaybaer and@ambercadabra collaboration is coming out soon: http://nowrevolutionbook.com.
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Don't get me wrong, I'm gonna read the book (heck, I read the first chapter and think the cool new ways they are promoting via social media are great). But I think NOW was either a while back or a long way off.
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