The Six Stages of [P]interest

How to keep up with the accelerating proliferation of social channels

“We should all view this as a veritable Golden Age for marketers who possess even an iota of curiosity about how-to do their jobs better.” So says social media & PR aficionado Todd Defren. Fair enough. As marketers, we’ve virtually got the world at our fingertips – and 27 different ways to share it, and 729 ways to learn how to share it better.

We may be well into the “Marketing Golden Age,” as Todd puts it – but with knowledge comes power. And power can definitely be an intimidating, even overwhelming, thing. Every other month it seems there’s a new social platform we should be learning, using, and loving, in spite of our initial apprehension. Inevitably, we are drawn to the flame of the new hottest thing, and we realize that perhaps there’s something to it.

John Eckman, digital strategist here at ISITE Design, illustrated it best in his chart below: 

Stages of Social Media Adoption

As John and I discussed this amusing chain of events the other day, he pointed out its rapidly-increasing acceleration. 

Take Pinterest: sure it was around long before the mainstream picked up on it, but since it hit, the “Best of” and “How to” lists keep haven’t ceased. It seems like only a mere 3 or 4 months ago we were just figuring out what Pinterest was all about. Now the question on everyone’s hushed lips is “…Can I get sued for this?” as we ponder the copyright implications. This starkly contrasts the inception of Twitter, which saw a much slower adoption rate, and of course many others before and since. (If you’ve been keeping up with our blog you may have seen our musings on the other “new” guy in town, Google+, in our Search Corner posts.)

So what does it all mean? Are we racing to find the perfect balance, the “just-right” recipe for the ideal marketing mix? As much as I would love to believe that – as I’m sure we all would – we know deep down there is no ONE right answer. There will forever be a struggle to balance the old with the new, the mainstream with the niche. Any way you slice it, the key isn’t just exploring and understanding each new channel as a separate ingredient– it’s about figuring out the perfect balance that works for who you’re serving.       

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