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Social media adoption lifecycle for brands - Innovators/early adopters (Part 1)

September 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM


by Mikul Patel

Digital Marketing Consultant at Matraxis

For any marketers out there, the technology adoption lifecycle should be a familiar topic; a sociological model that aims to summarise how new ideas, technologies and innovations spread across different cultures. But cab the same logic be applied to the uptake of social network platforms for brands. You could also argue that the Gartner Hype Cycle applies as well...but that's something for another article!


With five different stages to the adoption lifecycle, this 3-part blog will look at some examples of social campaigns delivered by brands across a variety of social media platforms. This part will look at the innovators/early adopters. In the following weeks I will cover the early/late majority and laggards.


technology adoption lifecycle innovators early adatopers



Innovators/early adopters

To be in this stage, brands are expected to have a risk-orientated approach to testing new services. The main aim may not be to generate an immediate return on investment, through added sales, traffic to main website etc, but to gauge the level of response by consumers and understand what works and what doesn't.


Brands may want to quickly establish themselves as community leaders ahead of competitors and they can do this because the have the resources to create innovative campaigns on new social platforms.



Co-op claims first UK retailer use of Snapchat

With a high adoption rate amongst teenagers and young adults, the co-operative reacted quickly to the growing popularity of Snapchat, a temporary photo messaging application recently valued at $800m. A social campaign is currently running offering consumers an exclusive money-off code towards the purchase of a laptop.


co-operative snaptop snapchat


snaptop.co.uk, a micro-site cleverly playing on the words Snapchat and laptop, was setup as part of the campaign. Putting on my analytics hat, I would expect Co-op to measure visitors to the micro-site, possibly from email or other social media platforms, and any clickthroughs to download the app.



Vine competitions

Vine is yet another interesting upcoming platform, as i've previously covered when identifying how businesses can use Vine to create a social media advantage. Within days of launching earlier this year, brands reacted quickly to create quirky promotional clips.


confused.com pet vine competition 


Going beyond self-promotion, some brands took an early leap by creating competitions. In the lead up to 'Love your pet day' in February, Confused.com launched a competition to award £250 the most creative pet video using Vine. A bit basic but it shows the testing approach especially when you would expect the number of users on Vine to be low at that time.



Peugeot's 'Panama Puzzle' Pinterest competition

Pinterest launched in March 2010 but slow initial growth didnt see much in the way of brand use. Suddenly during late 2011 and early 2012, Pinterest became the latest hot topic and brands saw an opportunity to use it as another consumer engagement channel.


peugeot pinterest panama puzzle competition


Car manufacture Peugeot designed an innovative campaign that rewarded fans that completed a Pinterest puzzle, which cleverly make use of Pinterest's tile design. Followers had to visit the Peugeot Facebook page or website to find the missing images (good use of cross-promotion across social media platforms).


It was an interesting experiment by Peugeot when you consider that Pinterest user base is predominantly female.



Instagram brand partnerships

Ever since being bought by Facebook for a hefty billion dollars last year, Instagram has grown in popularity especially with added features including Instagram video. Introduced in late 2010, it didnt take long for brands to identify opportunities. One was The National Geographic which became Instagrams first big brand partner.


national geographic instagram partnership


At the time this looked to be an ideal partnerships drawing upon National Geographic's reputation and rich visual history of photography together with the photo effects that can be created with Instagram. That's not to say the partnership has been all plain sailing especially after Instagram's controversial terms of use change in 2012 which caused National Geographic to threaten boycotting Instagram.




So, as briefly highlighted in the examples above, innovators/early adopters have the ability to experiment with new platforms as soon as they are released. Where you would expect businesses to be focused in digital marketing, this does not always have to be the case; the co-operative's Snapchat campaign was actually their first digital campaign...so it's never too late to start getting creative!


Stay tuned for Part 2 of my review into the social media adoption lifecycle where I will be focusing on the early/late majority area and how business react to the success (or failures) of the first movers.

Tags: Social Media Instagram Pinterest Vine Technology Adoption Lifecycle Innovators Early Adopters Digital Campaigns Snapchat
Category: Social Media News

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