10 Things Winners And Losers Do When A New Social Network Appears

Pinterest is getting a of buzz lately. I finally wrote about it Saturday.

From my unscientific observations, I’ve noticed two basic camps: Those that are claiming it is going to be second only to Facebook and a critical platform for business. And those crapping on it as a waste of time and that you’ll likely go to jail for using it.

[if you don't know what I am talking about, then you are likely in neither camp]

To be frank, this phenomenon occurs when any new social network with some juice happens on the scene. It is becoming a tiresome process. But like our political system, that’s all we know, so it will likely stick around for a while.

This process, and how people react, annoys me. Why? Well, I am always tired of seeing people talk about something, instead of “doing” something about something. I’ve classified these into two camps myself: Winners. And Losers.

LOSERS

1. Losers complain that the new social network is going to take up too much time. “Oh, I don’t have enough time for Twitter and Facebook as it stands, how am I ever going to have time for something new?” My answer? You suck at time management, and need to learn how to use the platforms properly in the first place.

2. Losers complain about functionality. Oh, this pisses me off. First of all, most platforms are FREE. So, until they start charging, I’d stop with the incessant fussing. If you don’t like it, get off your lazy butt and create a social network that you think is perfect. Here is a hint: you can generally mold these platforms into tools designed to serve your purposes. You just aren’t trying.

3. Losers say “my target business audience can’t be found there, so it is NOT worth my time.” Kiss my grits. It is a new social network, so most EVERYONE isn’t exposed to it yet. This statement is code for two things: One, you are lazy. And two, you just don’t want to invest the time to find your audience. When users of a social network number in the millions? There are prospects to be found.

4. Use the platform to spam. Listen kiddo, a new social network is NOT a new platform for you to blast me with your content one-way. Social networks are, well, social. They are designed for conversation and interaction. I mean, every time, the same damn people. As soon as they join, I get hit with their same crap posted on EVERY OTHER network they are a part of.

5. Losers join every new network without giving it any thought. [Especially if, you know, they are a self-proclaimed social media guru.] They immediately join the new network, follow 1,200 people right away (of which they know 47 of them), and start mass bombing. They follow the same people, are followed by the same people, and do EXACTLY the same thing on all networks. [I mean, really, feeding your Twitter stream to LinkedIn. You have a head. Use it.] Losers then complain that social media isn’t driving revenue or meaningful traffic to their site.

WINNERS

1. Winners take a quick look at a new platform, dive in, and check it out. They experiment. They test. And they make a quick judgement about whether it will move the needle for their brand and their business. And, they do this without a lot of fanfare. If they seem to be talking about it, they are not. You see, what you are really seeing is them communicating with real people. This is called conversation. This is how most successful people build their business.

2. Winners use the tools as designed, perhaps make some helpful recommendations, but most importantly, they seek to read and learn how best to utilize the new platform. Losers go straight to their blog and bitch about it…

3. Winners find ways to integrate the new social network (if they deem it worthy) into their existing mix. They understand that each network is different, and serves different purposes, and find the right combination of message and strategy to exact benefit.

4. Winners understand it is a social network, and treat it that way. They see the networking value, not the BROADCASTING value.

5. And some winners decide the new network isn’t for them, and they quietly move on. But you don’t hear about it, because they are busy doing. Or, they are busy learning about yet another new tool that will be used to kick your business ass.

What are you?

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[join my network of intrepid business people. winners only please!]

[drawing by hugh macleod]

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