Needs of a Social Media Junkie

This is a series where, I take up classical management principles and port them onto online and social media. There are a lot of references for this research and I would be quoting all of them here.

With a rut of social media companies mushrooming just about every corner of the world, its important to spend some time understanding the companies surroundings and the customer. In this post, we try to look at the needs of  a social media customer.

I guess just about everyone from every background would have heard about the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human needs. While it gives us a fundamental understanding about the mind of the consumer, a customer in the online world would tend to have a different need altogether.

Many social media campaigns fail mainly because not much thought has been put into strategy. Campaigns are short term; strategies last a life time. Lets get dirty with it.

The first stage involves the person getting used to all the social forums. He joins every network that he comes across. That is step one, acquaintance.

The Second Stage is when he begins to start listening, starts following people on twitter, facebook and other forums. Anyone whom he comes across is added. The thirst to know more, has just about kicked in.

Now is when he gets carried away with the people talking with each other and wants to be heard. He starts posting links, often retweeting. There is a lot of noise, but no conversation. But at this juncture, he truly realises what his interests are. It could be video sharing, twitter, facebook or even blogging.

Now is when he starts talking to people and engaging in meaningful conversations. When he comes across something nice, its often responded to the author. He starts wanting to be part of a group, joins groups on facebook, google and starts joining trends on twitter. This is the longest phase of the needs hierarchy; since it often involves making a social group.

Now is when people start looking at our friend as a subject matter expert. He is often quoted, RTed and has many followers. People listen to him with a lot of regard and in many ways can also influence discussions. This is the toughest spot to be in because there are always those who want to cannibalize into what he has built for himself. He must not let go, and continue with the conversations and engagements. He must also look for form new groups, often where he would be the master and owner.

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4 Responses to “Needs of a Social Media Junkie”

  1. Perfect! This is the official Vinni’s Hierarchy of a Social Junkie’s Needs :) My case was a bit different, though. I skipped the first two stages and directly started blogging without first lingering on social networks.

    P.S. Shouldn’t the first step in the hierarchy image be called “I think I know it all!”?

  2. vinni says:

    Oh crap, it should be called I think I know it all! Thanks for pointing it out.

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