Brain Map To Success In Social Media (Pt.1)
What’s the Problem?
Social Media is a profoundly important innovation in the way the world does business. But with a few notable exceptions, it is not living up to its enormous potential. At least not so far.
So, what’s the problem?
The answers are all over the brain map.
By understanding the Brain Map, you can begin to understand the problems associated with Social Media.
Science has studied the dual nature of the brain for a very long time. Many problems with Social Media stem from the divergent thinking that emanates from either side.
Let’s consider a few examples of this divergent thinking, as exhibited by key players who may inhabit your business life:
- Some say Social Media is unproven, and that it’s just a fad that will eventually go the way of the hula-hoop in the late 1950’s.
- Others suggest that it’s the wrong approach pointed at the wrong audience — that Twitter followers, for example, are disengaged, disinterested, and that their numbers are disproportionate to their value.
- And still others insist that Social Media’s effect on profits is difficult to quantify, so its wide adoption has been slow.
- These disparaging ideas are held by folks who think with the left side of their brains.
As a Social Media devotee–someone charged with its successful execution–you have a diametrically opposite view.
- You are convinced that Social Media is here to stay.
- You are certain that Twitter, for example, is a valid tool for amassing a large, fully engaged and productive following that will materially enhance your business.
- You are working diligently to quantify your results, using available techniques, and you are constantly on the lookout for new and better approaches.
- Your ideas emanate predominantly from the right side of your brain.
Who is right?
Some of the best brains in marketing have wrapped themselves around this conundrum, but it’s just possible that they are missing the real problem — and with it, the real solution.
I have made an extensive study of this question over the last year — a study based upon real-world empirical evidence — and I believe I might have stumbled upon the answer.
In a word, the real problem with Social Media is: Left-Brainers.
Left-Brainers? Right-Brainers? What’s Going On Here?
The are two types of people in the world, by scientific definition: Those that are left-brain dominant and those that are right-brain dominant. I call them Left-Brainers and Right-Brainers.
Left-Brainers can be defined this way:
♦ They are analytical, logical, linear folks with a passion for results and a gnawing fear that none will materialize.
♦ They are facts and details-oriented.
♦ They tend to think in terms of the present and the past.
♦ When they begin to understand a new concept they talk in terms of comprehension.
♦ They speak in terms of knowing.
♦ If a new idea is working, they will acknowledge the success.
♦ And they like strategies that are safe and completely practical.
♦ They are conceptual, non-linear folks with a passion for possibilities and a persistent belief that good results will materialize.
♦ They often follow their feelings, (call them gut instincts), rather than logic.
♦ They are “big-picture” oriented and often follow their imaginations rather than facts.
♦ They tend to think in terms of the present and the future, instead of the past.
♦ They don’t comprehend a new concept, they “get it.”
♦ They speak in terms of believing.
♦ If a new idea is working, they will appreciate the success.
♦ They like strategies that are forward-thinking and cautiously optimistic.
♦ They are sometimes impetuous, but always committed and unafraid of risk.
What’s the Real Solution?
Now that we have defined the real problem, what is the real solution? I certainly do not profess to have all the answers, but here are a few suggestions:
♦ Left-Brainers detest uncertainty. They are extremely uncomfortable with uncertain results, even if they are willing to admit that the new idea has potential. You need to counteract this problem with constant, authoritative and demonstrable proof that your Social Media activities are on the right track. There is no such thing as too much information, as long as it is accurate, provable and non-combative. After all, effective and efficient Social Media will eventually fall to the bottom line, which benefits everyone in the Company.
♦ Left-Brainers can be team players. It may not always seem so, but even critics within your Company want to see successful results. If you pay attention to their analytical needs, and you position your results to conform to their bench-mark analytical requirements, everyone wins.
♦ Left-Brainers concentrate on the past, but can be moved toward the future. This is simply a matter of perspective. Left-Brainers have been taught throughout their professional lives to rely upon past experience, and the empirical data that flows from it. Admittedly, they can sometimes be rigid. Your job is to continue looking forward with cautious optimism, and to demonstrate at every reasonable opportunity that the past is not always controlling. Social Media in its current form is a product of the future — a true innovation in business — and as such requires a fresh perspective. Just keep nudging, and as profits begin to show up, even the staunchest Left-Brainers will move toward the middle.
♦ Left-Brainers can make an important contribution to your success. Even the strongest detractors can become advocates in time. Solicit the Left-Brainers’ suggestions, ideas and contributions. Once he is inside the tent with you, you will find his support invaluable.
♦ Left-Brainers can be malleable. Just because he has been determinedly analytical in the past, does not mean that he can’t be conceptual if he is drawn into the excitement Social Media can deliver. Get him involved in the process. Let him feel the exhilaration you feel when things come together. Right-brain enthusiasm can be infectious.
♦ Left-Brainers can learn to accept uncertainty. An important idea to share with Left-Brainers, is that most innovation is preceded by a period of uncertainty. Uncertainty can be good. It stimulates creativity, encourages exploration and entices people to action. Most important changes in business require a certain amount of risk-taking, and risk-takers tend to be leaders.
♦ Left-Brainers love to evaluate. It’s what they do best. Agree on benchmarks that you both feel are reasonable, and then studiously evaluate the situation as it evolves. Once he knows you are as concerned about tangible evidence as he is, you can forge a lasting partnership.
In Part 2 of this series, I will explore how you can apply these same Brain Map theories to your Social Media followers. You can solve their problems and meet their needs. As you do so, you will increase your Social Media opportunities. And in Part 3 we will tie it all together with examples of companies that are doing it right.
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