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.