The 9 Stages to Social Media Acceptance

Hearing crickets in your social media plan?

Hearing crickets in your social media plan?

Trying out, using and accepting social media is not that easy- particularly when you are a bit old-school.  As more of a newcomer, I thought it would be helpful to give my take on the 9 stages you may encounter on your way to Social Media acceptance.

Stage 1: Denial

This is the stage where you have no idea why you need social media. You ask yourself WTF a “tweet” is or why you would want to be friends with your classmates from first grade? You tell yourself that you don’t have time to wipe your ass most days, so how would you possibly have time to take on another task?

Stage 2: Crickets

Through something resembling curiosity or good old peer pressure, you decide to venture into the social media landscape to see what the fuss is all about.  You set up your profile, read the FAQs files and then…nothing.  Not a damn thing happens.  You tweet and no one tweets back.  You can hear virtual crickets chirping.  Now you really wonder WTF all the fuss is about.

Stage 3: Dribbles

One day, you tweet and you find that have been retweeted!  You pick up a few “friends”.  Someone remembers working with you in the mailroom of some big corporation and accepts your Linked In invite.  You are elated and think maybe that there is something to this…

Stage 4: Momentum

Your consistency of action starts to pay off.  Your strong message starts to garner an audience.  You post a blog and get some comments from a real person, not just a spammer who thinks you need a penis enlargement (whether or not you have a penis).  This is where things really get fun- you are getting recognition, a boost to your ego and you finally begin to see the fruits of your labor.  You are making new best friends with people from all over the world faster than Charlie Sheen drives cars off of cliffs.

Stage 5: Obsession

Too much of a good thing turns bad.  You bring your iPhone or Blackberry to the bathroom when you go to take a piss to make sure you don’t miss something.  You have 25 different tools for Twitter.  You check your friends/followers/connection totals 115 times a day.  Overall, you are spending more time with people you met online in the last three weeks than your family and lifelong friends.

Stage 6: Overwhelmed

You become paralyzed from the sheer volume of information coming at you.  You are annoyed at the amount of time you have spent.  You start referring to your fans as sycophants, leeches or something worse.  This wasn’t what you signed up for.

Stage 7: Fuck It

You can’t handle it and you vow never to use social media again.  Your new best friends wonder what happened to you…for about 12 hours; then they go find other new best friends.

(Note: Stage seven rarely lasts more than a few days).

Stage 8: Regrouping

You know that you can’t quit this bitch, so you re-assess your strategy and cut back.  You think about why you are using social media, what your purpose and goals are, and what are truly the mission critical tools to accomplish them.  You go back to your old stomping grounds with a new sense of purpose.

Stage 9: Enlightenment and Acceptance

You finally realize that social media is just a tool and like anything else, needs to be used in moderation, with a purpose and in the most effective way possible.

About Carol Roth

Carol Roth is a business strategist and deal maker who has worked with hundreds of companies, ranging from a single entrepreneur with an idea to Fortune 500 businesses, on all aspects of business and financial strategy. Collectively, she has helped her clients raise over $1 billion dollars in capital, complete hundreds of millions of dollars in mergers and acquisitions, secure high profile licensing and partnership deals and more.

Carol is a frequent media contributor and she also blogs about issues affecting entrepreneurs and their businesses at CarolRoth.com. She is the author of The Entrepreneur Equation, a book about evaluating the realities, risks and rewards of business ownership, coming out Q1 2011. You can find her on Twitter @caroljsroth.

36 comments
Analejandra Leal
Analejandra Leal

What a paradox!!! The first step to accept it is to post it on FB??? jajaja I like your 9 steps, but I think that the Social Media are not bad for themselves. The problem comes when you forget about real world and start to "make" your life by your computer.

cnagle
cnagle

Twice. I'd rather not talk about it...

reedbotwright
reedbotwright

That was what I was going for! (BTW, I have a thing for redheads...)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Maybe you're doing the Spinal Tap version where it "goes to eleven."

Teresa Romain
Teresa Romain

Hey Sally! You navigate this world with so much presence, grace, authenticity and ease - maybe you can write a "how to" book or blog. I would love to read it/buy it - I'd learn a lot from you. It would DEFINITELY shorten my learning curve and relieve some overwhelm/anxiety. Not about the "technical" stuff.. but about the social/relationship/networking stuff that you're great at! Whaddya think? :-)

Teresa Romain
Teresa Romain

After reading the other comments, maybe I'm just in DENIAL that I made it through stage 7. Since my comment, I think I've regressed to Stage 6. HELP! :-)

reedbotwright
reedbotwright

I think I am at stage 5, but well on my way to stage 11! Great article.

R.A.Bailey
R.A.Bailey

i certainly don't consider myself in your league to presume to say "we." i certainly don't do what you do...you are the folks with talent! :) i consider myself merely a facilitator for that talent...doing the actual "e-administrative" crap that eats up so much of your time, time that is so much better spent doing what you do do best, time that feels wasted and possibly causes step 7. i see it all the time. great pages going un-updated, spirited threads with no moderation or acknowlegement of the participants, missed opportunities to post events, articles, etc. part of the reason i suggest a step 10 at all is because you guys, the talented ones, frankly shouldn't be bogged down in all that stuff...especially when you could use the time to make some real money with what web wranglers wish they had: talent. :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

I love shameless plugs. Funny - that's what *I* do for a living, too :)

R.A.Bailey
R.A.Bailey

let me add stage 10:you create a job and hire someone to wrangle your social media (regular posts and responses on fb, twitter, etc.). then you can actually have the time to do that for which your business was actually started.i see this all the time. a writer/designer/blogger/company trying to "keep up" with social media winds up not "keeping up" with it very well, especially the acknowledgement part (that's what really matters).so there you go...hire a media wrangler. did i mention i do that for a living?;)

kathyhokunson
kathyhokunson

Great post, and spot on. LMAO reading it, recognizing myself at each phase. I cycle round and round in 6-8 with stage 9 there in the back of my head screaming at me to come back. I settle back into stage 9 only to once again wander back to cycling through 6-8.

Heather
Heather

lmao! I love it! Thankfully I've made to the Stage 9 and beyond. Stage 7 can only last a few days because you're beyond Stage 5, but passing Stage 5 does not mean left it behind. lol

The Redhead
The Redhead

I think that's 6.5. It's definitely followed by the Stage 7 "fuck it."

b_moore
b_moore

What stage is playing Farmville for 8 hours straight?!?

Carol Roth
Carol Roth

The question is, have you ever dropped the phone in the toilet? Thankfully, I have yet to do that...

Carol Roth
Carol Roth

You and me both on the vacillation!

Carol Roth
Carol Roth

Just shout when you get to 7 (and know it is temporary!)

Jarrad Walter
Jarrad Walter

Thanks for the roadmap... I think I'm between Stage 5 and 6. So, I got that going for me.

lipdesign
lipdesign

Vacillating between 7 and 8 ... it's a vicious cycle then I become incontinent. or something like that.Brilliant and hilarious post. Thanks for making me laugh (and think).

Jesse Lunsford
Jesse Lunsford

This is hilarious! Both my wife and I went through these exact stages, denying them along the way while accusing each other. The funny thing is; we were both right. embarrassingly enough we actually had a disagreement, in the height of stage 5 over who had found the better Twitter app for their iPhone. How lame. Thankfully we have both progressed through stage 8 and are safely resting within stage 9. Great article.

The Redhead
The Redhead

On the floor. Laughing. Can't. Breathe.

Marjory M
Marjory M

This is so true. It made me laugh (especially the bathroom part)

TonyLazz
TonyLazz

think that about captures it.

Carol Roth
Carol Roth

Sounds like a prolonged stage 7 for sure. I wonder if there is a pill you can take for that??

Carol Roth
Carol Roth

Thanks Teresa (and thanks again to Erika for hosting the post). Glad that you made it through "7" without too much fallout!

Carol Roth
Carol Roth

I think I have cycled in and out of Stage 7 a few times now...

Carol Roth
Carol Roth

Ben,Please send out a tweet when you enter stage 7- would love to participate in some schadenfreude!

Carol Roth
Carol Roth

Thanks Sally- I like stage 10- it is like a bonus!

Tyler Adams
Tyler Adams

Nice post. I'd be curious to see a post like this for the different forms of social media as I would guess the stages vary with each. For instance with twitter, it'd be something like (for the average twitter user):Stage 1: Tweet, "I just got on here and have no idea what i'm doing...LOL HAHA Jk"Stage 2: Follow celebs, some friendsStage 3: Check your follower count obsessivelyStage 4: Send a tweet to Ashton KutcherStage 5: Check every 2 minutes to see if Ashton repliedStage 6: Realize that you can download Tweetdeck and it checks Ashton for you, automatically!Stage 7: Sadly realize that Ashton is never, ever going to reply to youStage 8: Stop using twitter, completely, forever.I've admittedly pretty much given up all social media. I don't use twitter anymore (yes, I know i'm posting this under my twitter handle. Don't ask me why). I check Facebook maybe once every couple of weeks. I wonder if i'm in a prolonged Stage 7 or that social media just isn't my thing...

Teresa Romain
Teresa Romain

Great post Carol! Thanks for the tweet @Sally_G!You pretty much nailed it for me... I went through the first 7 stages in record time and called Stage 7 something more "glamorous" or "justified"... but you pretty much nailed it. Now I'm in the regrouping stage... with a lot of learning curve still ahead of me.

The Redhead
The Redhead

It's the reason we continue to follow some folks: morbid curiosity!

The Redhead
The Redhead

I'm on the floor laughing. I think I live in Stage 7.

Corey Nagle
Corey Nagle

I'm with bencurnett on this one. It's like a trainwreck waiting to happen. WAY better than reality TV.

bencurnett
bencurnett

Pretty much covers it. I secretly relish watching folks begin Stage 7; it usually starts with a public manifesto about how everyone using social media is full of shit in some way, shape, or form. It's like a small, digital midlife crisis.Watch for mine. I'm in Stage 6 ;-)

Sally G.
Sally G.

Yep, this aptly captures the experience completely and efficiently. Personally, I am enduring a 10th step as well: the juxtaposition of terms, mixed messages and overall confusion one experiences if locked in too literally with no perspective in sight. (It's all about relationships, Follow me. There are no rules, Honour the etiquette. Etc.) Great post Carol, thank you!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Here is a great article that just may save your life: The 9 Stages of Social Media Acceptance […]

  2. […] The 9 Stages to Social Media Acceptance – Social Media made simple. For newcomers the tips listed in this post will be most beneficial. The step by step process of what to expect when entering the social media experience will turn you into a master tweeter in no time. […]

  3. […] guest bloggers who have appeared on Redhead Writing (the no-BS and beautiful Carol Roth and the Apple-addicted Doyle […]