Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Winning Converts

I remember a time when many people felt that a web site was a business luxury and the internet was a fad. Ten years later it is only natural that the same people are afraid of the changes happening in the way the web works. Early adopters be patient, they just got comfortable with its permanence. Find comfort in the fact that Television, and Rock & Roll, and Hip Hop were also considered fads.

It is our job to be evangelists for the tools we believe in, and not be ashamed and hide our twitter use from the people who just have not come to understand its power for business communication and relationship development.

I have gone out to a number of groups evangelizing for Web 2.0. I have hit walls, had to answer touch question, and told the story at least 100 times. Although I have not yet converted all of the masses, I have had some success. I have even created a few new evangelists in the process. I proudly admit I am personally responsible for at least 10 new twitter addictions.

In my mission trips this I have learned:

Social Media use is a personal experience
I watch television. I watch to get news, and history shows, I like sit com’s and even a little reality TV. My 5 year old also watches TV. She likes cartoons, and kids shows. The media is the same, but our motivations are different. With social media you can show them how you use it, but they may not relate to that. In showing them how to use it, relate to them on topics that are interesting to them.

Get them to try the tools
As noted above, Social media is a personal experience; even the learning curve is different for every user. But you will never understand how it works for you unless you try it. Convince new users to sign up for something and try it for a few days.

Let the numbers tell the story
66 Million Facebook users don’t lie. 40% of them are over 35 years old. One of the great things about communicating on the web is that it is measurable. A simple Google search or a check of a sites advertiser solicitation pages will give you the justification you need to make your case about the power of new media tools.

Let your competitors tell the story
You need only to take a look at the Mayo Clinic Blogs or Facebook pages to see one example of how credible use of these tools is a present reality. Innovation is a platform of our core values, hiding from new technology is not very innovative.

You will know when the light begins to shine, because they will start to come to you as the expert with questions instead of avoiding you as the crazy social media radical (that you probably are).

Evangelists, Please comment with your tips or feedback. What has worked for you in converting your cohorts?


ddeleon said...

Amen, sister!

Well said. You hit it all on the head!

cancer_answer said...

Great post! One of the things I've heard from non-believers is that they think facebook and the like are "personals". I retort by saying almost everyone of my "friends" on these sites is some one I actually know in real life or have some reason other than romance to connect with.