Fashionably late adopters

Emerging media can no longer be considered a new phenomenon. Innovators and early adopters have been honing their craft across multiple social media channels for several years now, haring off in new directions and creating a sense of urgency to join in the race. But what about those businesses or organizations still hesitating on the sidelines?  Is it time for them to come out of their shells, stick their necks out and catch up? Or, have they already missed the boat?

As it turns out, late adopters actually enjoy some advantages to being fashionably late.

Typically, the industries that are still cautious about establishing a social media presence are the most conservative and risk averse. They are often faced with the added pressure of regulatory or compliance restrictions. Examples include, financial services, medical institutions, legal firms and not-for-profit associations, where brand messaging has historically been controlled by a handful of authorized and highly trained professionals.  While innovators are out in front, taking risks to gain competitive advantages, late adopters hang back waiting for credible evidence of proven processes to mitigate exposure and manage risk. In effect, claims Adam Egbert, companies on the cutting edge are the guinea pigs, adopting and proving new methods and technologies. Fortunately, latecomers can leverage the experience of those that have gone before.

By virtue of its public accessibility, social media strategies are easy to observe, evaluate and even imitate. While innovators and early adopters try everything new on for size, testing, integrating, measuring and running themselves ragged, late adopters can examine these enthusiastic efforts to judge what is worthwhile in the marketing mix, and how the puzzle fits together.  The latecomers have the benefit of watching what is trending, learning what works to engage an audience on YouTube, Facebook or Pinterest. Views, shares, followers, pins and likes are openly available and very revealing. The marketing industry itself is a valuable source of insight, with experts freely discussing best practices with empirical data to support their approval or dissent. Formal analysis by highly respected organizations such as Stanford, Harvard and MIT can also assist key decision makers with the transition to becoming a social business.

Late adopters who have expressed deep skepticism or risk aversion towards social media over a period of years, will have cultural adjustments to overcome when considering a change in the course of their traditional marketing strategy. While it can take a long time to reach internal consensus and approval to join in, once the decision is made, catch-up can be implemented relatively quickly, without the extended production schedules often associated with traditional media.

If control of the conversation remains a significant concern, it makes sense to ease into the world of emerging media. Lee Schneider recommends blogging as the perfect starting point. Content is controlled by the designated author/s, and reader comments can be moderated before posting. It is easy to accurately track audience engagement and the beginning of an online brand community can be established.

The writing is on the wall that social media is here to stay, and whether that’s a Facebook wall, a Pinterest board, a blog post, or all of the above, the good news is it’s never too late to join in and catch up.

3 thoughts on “Fashionably late adopters

  1. I am in the over 50 age demographic who loathe advertising on blogs and who think the two worst things that ever happened to the blogosphere were (1) advertising on blogs and the (2) internet marketing invasion. In a nutshell as soon as someone waved a buck, greed reared its ugly head and soon thereafter the kind of blogging I loved was dead.

    Blogging mutated.

    Unlike the vast and overwhelming number of blogging tips bloggers out there, I don’t blog for bucks. I pay to keep all ads off my blog. I don’t backlink to blogs that are being pimped out for profits. I don’t market anything on my blog; I provide my knowledge and opinions free of charge. Despite my very clearly written guest posting policy, I am harassed by marketers by email every day of the week attempting to get me to post guest posts aimed to promote businesses they represent, or proposing I run their advertising on my blog.

    My blogging predates social networking. My position that my blog is my baby and I can raise my baby the way I wish to raise it, without the self-imposed constraints many other bloggers have.

    Example: Everyone has a book in them and anyone who blogs is a publisher. print media publishers tell every author promoting book online they need to be head hunters and accumulate as many followers as possible on as many social networks as they can. The authors join Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus and start running around the hamster wheel promoting and trying to assist their growing number of followers/friends with their promotion too.

    It sucks but the truth is that social media platforms and auto-posting tools have resulted in all of us drowning in a sea of information, most of which is noise. Social media brought us more blog traffic little of which converts and reflects actual connections and relationships.

    Due to internet marketers invasion, social networking means there’s no time left to be social and build meaningful relationships around the deep exploration of topical material. Securing comments and backlinks is by far more difficult and it’s getting worse day by day. We bloggers are too busy rabbit hopping from here to there (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, etc.) and clicking like buttons to actually have the time to deeply consider what we are now skim reading and leave a meaningful comments. The free time we have is spent brooding over stats and how to get our number counts up. Our stress levels have soared like rockets into the stratosphere. The internet never sleeps so we are never caught up but are always running behind and that means satisfaction levels are descending among those who have blogged over the long-term.

  2. I agree with you regarding overt advertising on blogs. I find that off-putting also, and the site design never looks clean and aesthetically pleasing when cluttered with commercial content. My post was contemplating the kind of approach Tory Burch takes in her blog:,default,pg.html

    Tory blogs about her travels, upcoming photo shoots, tips on styling and fashion trends. Today, I noticed a post with a gorgeous photo of one of her signature purses, but the accompanying text isn’t overtly selling the bag, rather it’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove an ink stain from Italian leather. A much more palatable approach for the reader. I actually learned something, and it still made me want the purse in the picture!

  3. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance. I must say you’ve done a great job with this. Also, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Chrome. Exceptional Blog!

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