Are Early adopters a menace to your Social Media Campaign?

Over the past few days I’ve been torn a little bit away from the comfort zone of  web development activities and have been thinking a lot about the Social media session at Open Coffee Sligo next thursday.

12 months ago at our  inaugural get together – we had a great talk from Johnny Beirne of on how to use online channels to forward your goals for sales, customer engagement and so on.

In my kick-off email on the social media discussion that  Denise Rushe & Aoife Porter will lead out on next week – I made some broad initial points on what the focus of the discussion might be;  I think this one –  ignore the punctuation stuff – was the most pertinent :

Any practical considerations that users of social media in the region – should be using? if i’m in retail – what should i be doing? if none of my competitors are using twitter – why should i? the whole “talking to your customers”, “knowing your customer” bit.

It’s far too easy, far too uncomplicated – to just think of Twitter or Facebook as suddenly either compensating for otherwise no-existent marketing, or Heaven forbid – replacing your existing methods.

Thinking further about possible avenues the discussion might take next thursday – I am going to  suggest that early adopters are easy to please (but there are not many of us)  – but really, you want to be aiming for the late adopters and in reality the laggards – for real volume.

So is this just a naive view from an early adopter? If I consider my purchasing/media consumption habits over the past few months – pretty much all of them have been motivated and directed by online recommendation of some sort or another. This has included:

  • Choice of hotel for a BarCamp in London (TripAdvisor – fair enough, nothing special there)
  • Choice of apartment for holidays (via Flickr photos)
  • Death of poor Gerry Ryan (Twitter)
  • What I drank at lunchtime last saturday  (from a Twitter update mentioning 20% off a frappuccino)
  • What I ate for dinner on Wednesday evening (heard it was half price fish n’chips day – also on Twitter)

Bit of a Twitter bias in all of this – but you can see how an early adopter/web worker thinks – how do “ordinary people” (there are a lot more of them) think?

How do we tinker with our online campaigns to fit with the customer rather than them fitting with us? And how do we make sure that after the initial influx of early adopters  – that we have the energy to maintain our direction and strength for the laggards?

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