Having worked and talked with a number of businesses in Malaysia, I find that there are 5 groups of people out there when it comes to taking on social media. Whether they are small business owners, marketing personnel from large corporations or even individuals, they all seem to fall into one of the groups below:
Group 1: The Fans
You know social media is the way forward. You embrace it no matter where they are or the situation that they’re in. You know your way in and out of social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. You are very active and you’re everywhere – perhaps the first to jump on that new social network recently launched – there is just no social media tool you will miss, as long there is “social media” labeled on it.
Group 2: The Skeptics
You feel that social media is a trend and it will soon fade away simply because conventional media still reigns. Perhaps you’ve tried this social media thingy and found that it does not work for you and does not see how it can for others, too. You may see it as a gimmick that marketing agencies are trying to sell and you just don’t see why would anyone want to follow your business on Twitter or check-in to your business on Foursquare. Social media is overrated.
Group 3: The Navigators
These are the people that know their way around social media. You know what are the best tools around, what works and what does not, what tools to use for a particular situation. You see the potential of social media and know how it can both benefit and fail your business depending how it is managed. You’ve all the knowledge and is constantly learning and you’re good in putting together strategies and plans to make it work for you.
Group 4: The Lurkers
Or perhaps also known as readers. You go around reading blog posts, tweets from specific #hashtags, following those at the top in the industry, always accumulating knowledge on your own. Yes, you may have your own social media accounts but they are just avenues for you to obtain information or maybe even to keep tabs on your competitors. You may also be feeling inadequate because others seem to be more knowledgeable / experienced than you.
Group 5: The Creators
Just the opposite of Lurkers – you create content and participate across social media platforms. You’ve that burning desire within you to keep sharing what you have, not afraid of what another may think of you. Chances are you already have a blog and is on Twitter or Facebook (at least) to get your words and thoughts out. You’re participating in chats, communities, groups and comments. You’re doing it as a way to express your thoughts and ideas.
Which Group Do You Fall Under?
So, how do you see yourself on social media? I say I’m a little bit of a creator + navigator (and fan :p) when it comes to social media, simply because I get excited when talking to people about it and even more so when the question pops “how can my business use social media?”.
Before Doing Anything, Know Yourself
Many times individuals and businesses fail on social media because they THOUGHT they should be what they aren’t. Unless you’re a master of disguise, the consumers can see through you right away. Understand that there is no right or wrong group to fall under.
However, if you’re only obsessed about content creation, don’t neglect lurking once in awhile. If you’re all about lurking, maybe you should put your knowledge together and be a navigator instead. Too much of a group can also be your downfall.