What Social Media Adopter are You

by Blair Evan Ball on June 15, 2011

Silver Bullet

Social Media is unfortunately not the Silver Bullet people have come to hope for. However, it gets you down the road much quicker and hopefully ahead of your competition. Speed Rules…its the new normal in a Social Media Internet world. The problem today is that stability is no longer the norm. It is becoming more volatile, even as I am typing this blog. So how does one adapt? First, you must be honest with yourself and assess what type of adapter are you?

  • Early Adopters – Trying out new tools and technology, failing forward. No one escapes mistakes and it’s the one who forges ahead, learns from their mistakes and keeps on course making corrections along the way.
  • Mid Adopters – Those waiting to see how others are doing with the new tools and technology. They want to watch the pioneers with the arrows in their back. They wait, then take action, and hopefully catch up.
  • Late Adopters – Those who wait until almost everyone is in on the changes going on. They wait till all the lights are on green before moving ahead. Do you think that category will survive in a SPEED RULES world?
  • Never Adopters – Those who defiantly never change. Hoping that their world will stay the same as it has for all those years, stuck in the past.

Cowardly Lion

Some act like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz.

Some want to wait till all the lights are on green.

Lights on Green

Error#1 – Allowing for too much complacency.

You would think with the economy being in the tank for the past two years, alarm bells would be going off and motivating people to raise their game. Unfortunately we as human beings change when “THE PAIN BECOMES GREAT ENOUGH.”

Sometimes it’s just too late. Notice how fast things move today compared to just a couple of years ago? Shhhhh… Don’t tell anyone, but it’s going to get faster, change will accelerate, the weak will not survive. What’s your Strategy?

Leadership must create sufficient urgency at the beginning of this transformation as we move from a traditional marketing world to a Social Media Marketing World.


  • Too much past success.
  • Lack of visible crises.
  • Low Performance Standards.
  • Insufficient feedback from external constituencies.
  • Wait and see attitude.
  • Being in a reactive mode.

Error #2 – Underestimating the Power of Vision

None is more important than a sensible vision. Vision plays a key role in producing useful change by helping to…

  • Direct
  • Align
  • Inspire Actions

As a business leader, do you have a compelling vision that is shared with employees? Are they buying into your vision?

Error #3 – Permitting obstacles to block the New Vision

Fear is a powerful motivator, we either do things for FEAR OF LOSS or DESIRE FOR GAIN!

When ever smart and well intentioned people avoid confronting obstacles, they disempower employees and undermine adopting Social Media change.

Error #4 – No Strategy

Most jump into Social Media because it’s the flavor of the month. Not realizing that lack of Strategy is the #1 reason for failure in launching Social Media campaigns. They bounce from tools to platforms with inconsistency in execution.


  • New Strategies are not implemented well or not at all.
  • Synergies are out of alignment.
  • Sales and Revenues continue to be flat or down.
  • Moral is down, people are just putting in time.

So what’s the solution?

  1. Business leaders need to grasp and embrace the NEW NORMAL.
  2. Social Media is here to stay.
  3. The tools will change.
  5. Be firm about your goals and objectives.
  6. Be Flexible about the process.
  7. Lead by example.
  8. TRUST your people.
  9. Get out of their way.
  10. Give them a compelling vision.

What adopter are you, if your willing to confess?

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