Two weeks ago, I attended the Social Media Day event held at the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, CA. The event drew more than 300 people from diverse industries and with varying levels of social media experience.
The Orange County traffic gods must have been smiling upon me that day because I arrived early and found myself seated next to three women who were all part of a local professional networking group. All were experienced professional communicators eager to learn how to incorporate social media into their day-to-day business communications activities.
It didn’t take long for them to figure out what I do for a living and that’s when the question floodgates opened. They peppered me with questions about LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. We talked about blogs and online video. Energized by how passionate they were about their craft and their clients, I answered happily. Their flow of questions were temporarily interrupted by the event, yet resumed during the intermission. Heck, I didn’t even have a chance leave my chair before the next panelist session started!
We exchanged business cards; I went home; and they went to dinner to discuss the event. All three contacted me separately during the next week and it was through these little conversations that I heard about the dinner conversation.
One of women summarized the discussion in an email to me:
The panel consisted of “enthusiasts” and “experts.” More of the first, if you ask me…I think it’s those “enthusiasts” who give social media it’s bad rap or negative connotations.
Their assessment is one of the largest inhibitors to corporate social media adoption. If professional business owners feel that social media is tied more to “enthusiasts” than business “practitioners,” they’ll be slow to consider social media adoption.
Are you a social media enthusiast or a practitioner? Do you play/dabble with social media, or are you seeking better ways of communicating with your customers?
There really isn’t a right or wrong answer. Enthusiasts play. Practitioners work.
Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon