Mike Woolcott isn’t the only one who finds the hype surrounding Web 2.0 off-putting. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-is-web-20
My spidey sense goes into overdrive when I read universally glowing endorsements of social media, as described in “Social Media Will Become a Single, Cohesive Experience Embedded In Our Activities and Technologies” http://readwrite.com/2009/12/10/10_ways_social_media_will_change_in_2010#awesm=~ouiiHXU1V4udNX.
Okay, I confess to being a social media greenhorn. This is my first blog. To date, my SM activities include a nominal presence on LinkedIn and Facebook. I appreciate that social media is transforming communications, and offers many opportunities. However, I think it is prudent to take a hard look at the target audience/market before jumping on the social media bandwagon.
Social media tools may not be appropriate for everyone. In some cases, a target market may be uncomfortable using them. Demographics play an important role in a customer’s acceptance of marketing via social media. Is your target market over 60 years old? Does technology threaten the profession they worked years to develop?
I had the opportunity to be involved in a start-up company that produces software for petroleum geologists, an ultra-conservative profession. The average age of decision makers was around 60. Many of them could be described as luddites: their ability to use and interest in learning new technology/software that would make their job faster, easier, and potentially earn more money, was negligible. Fear that their years of training could be replaced by a computer was at the heart of their non-consumption. Our start-up got close to the customer, developed user-friendly software, and produced a professional website with some social media widgets hoping to attract our target market. We socialized the product at trade events, symposiums, lectures, field trips…In the end, we were forced to concede that a few geologists liked our software, but a significant portion of the decision-makers preferred traditional pen and paper. Conclusion? It’s important to identify the risks and disadvantages of incorporating social media into an organization: https://bb.embanet.com/bbcswebdav/pid-479950-dt-content-rid-784883_1/courses/ALG-COM0011/COM0011/les2-3.htm
I look forward to expanding my SM consciousness.