The 7 Stages of Social Media

If you are like many associations, you are somewhere in the 7 stages between love and grief with Social Media. 

Where are you?  If you are in the early or middle sections, perhaps this article can help accelerate your way through to the last 2 stages.


Here are the 7 Stages of Social Media...

1.  Wow - Cool
2.  Hooked
3. Jealous
4.  Mad
5.  Learn
6.  Compete
7.  Leverage

This is the stage where you really are amazed at how  many multimedia experience can be so alive, so vibrant and so engaging.  Wow-Cool is where you understand that your association and brand needs to be there in order to engage the discussions around your associations core competencies, topics while driving member and new member interaction.

Hooked is the phase when you have either a full time person or at least a full time responsibility of posting on social media.  This means that you have adopted various social media platforms as "strategic" and you are feeding the beast with content as much as you can.  Metrics for success now are likes, views and shares.  When this happens, it can be intoxicating.

Jealous is the phase you get into when you realize that the engagement on social media on your topics, your content and with your audience is higher than on your website. this a good thing even though I am getting lots of likes, views and shares?  I see that facebook, LinkedIn, Instragram and YouTube are making money and growing their footprint of "relevance" with members - but where does this leave my association and brand?

Mad is the stage that you get to when you start seeing how social media is using you and your data to:
- Retarget ads
- Use AI to filter and recommend next steps, next videos, next posts
- How the social platform learning about members and their needs is actually better than your association knows and serves these members
- How you feel perhaps a little "used" in that your own content is accelerating their revenue and relevance while diminishing your own

Learn is the phase when you finally say.....I have to do something about this!  What is it about social media that makes them so engaging, so intoxicating and such an every day use for members around your topics.  What can you learn from this?  What can you do to improve?  When you look at the common elements across the social media platforms, you will notice some common elements:
- Most engaging posts are multimedia.  Video, audio, pictures, are more engaging and not separate content structures.  Most associations  have separate publishers for each medium.
-  They are mobile and digital first
- They are FREE before anyone asks you to pay for anything.  I can try before I buy.

With my new knowledge, I can start to think about how I can compete and win!  What you might find is that:
- Your content is still better than the competition, but perhaps it is not being re-purposed from events into multimedia, digital first and micro-learning opportunities - but it can be!
-  You might understand that although anyone contributing adds volume  - it also makes your content more authentic. 
- You might understand that if you use video first, you can easily publish audio and text as by-products and design a content strategy based on bringing your very best event content to life - ALL YEAR LONG!
- You might open up portals for better member interaction, commenting and perhaps even publishing of content to allow for their ability to want to be part of the conversation.

When you hit Leverage, you will STOP publishing full content in social media.
You will START generating specific, "informative commercials" of content with click-back to your website This will stop leveraging social media for likes and shares, but rather this new strategy will create a source of future members and engagement on your brand, your micro learning and full learning opportunities
You will leverage the trend of video, audio and multimedia first, digital first and FREE first before anyone buys accreditation or signs up for membership or books their conference.
You will be creating a clear multimedia content model that makes it easy for people to find you, learn a little and then engage as members when you leverage social media correctly.  If you are not leveraging social media, then social media is leveraging you.  Over time, only one will win!

For more information on social media, visit our webinar short video by clicking here or on the button below. If you like what you see, download the entire webinar repurposed in video, audio and downloadable slides.


Association TV® is a division of WorkerBee.TV

Dan Stevens is president of WorkerBee.TV and is a sought after guest speaker on association trends. To book Dan at your next event, please contact John Heppenstall, Director of Marketing at John.Heppenstall@WorkerBee.TV.


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