Thursday, 12 June 2008

Organisations need to take risks with social media, or they'll miss the boat

Social Media is “faddy”. facebook - described as an online phenomenon - is no longer cool in certain circles. Twitter is now one of the fastest growing social networking mediums. It’s a micro-blogging tool allowing you to communicate what you’re up to in 140 characters or less. What’s the point in that? I hear some of you ask, others will think it’s great. No doubt in the next few months something else will emerge and twitter will be uncool.
Due to this fast paced environment there is a need for organisations to be prepared to take risks and try these social networks out in order to take advantage of this “window of opportunity”. Some may work, 
some won’t...but you won’t know unless you have a go.
A “visionary” approach is required and the Technology Adoption curve can be applied to these emerging Internet social media sites. Once the chasm has appeared, (i.e. all the innovators and early adopters have moved on) the early and most attractive window of opportunity will have closed...and you could be seen as an “also ran”.

So those of you who asked "What’s the point of twitter?” are most probably post chasm and in the “majorities” one wants to be a laggard! If you overlay the Gartner Hype Cycle you can see the buzz declines before the chasm is reached.

The “Trough of Disillusionment” (fantastic should be somewhere on the moon, next to the sea of tranquility) coincides with the chasm. Therefore, to make the most of any online social medium it’s all down to timing and being prepared to take the risks and test them out.
So organisations need to have innovators on board in order to identify these up and coming networks and be prepared to take a punt with them. So timing is key, but the real trick lies in ensuring you target the right people for your business and engage them in a digital dialogue. You need to know who they are, where they spend their time online and how they behave..but that’s another story. 
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