The Phases Of Adapting To Social Media Changes

A guest post by Henry Fitzgerald

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Twitter has changed its layout.

If I’ve learned anything at all from social media, it’s this: Every time Facebook changes anything, no matter how minute, people will complain.

While everyone champions the phrase, change is good, the moment it actually comes into contact with our News Feeds, we’re ready to revolt against the highest of all social media executives.

We feel violated, under-appreciated, wronged. For at least two days, the new features are all anyone will talk about. But soon enough, we forget all about it. And it’s like it never happened.

And now, with Twitter jumping on the bandwagon of changes — enough is enough.

It’s time to get over it.

We can’t do anything about the changes, but we can change the way we react. Check out this guideline of social media changes, and how you or your small business can navigate the unpredictable waters of the web without drowning in a Sea of Angry.

Phase 1: Anger and Complaints

This phase usually begins by Facebook adding a 3-centimeter tool bar to the bottom of the page. People will first post a status update asking if anyone else sees the same thing. With their suspicions confirmed, they will then begin complaining about how those 3-centimeters cut into their News Feed. They’ll say they don’t use those tools anyway. They will become angry.

This phase is useless. Your endless anger and complaining is only hurting you and the life of your laptop battery. While it’s difficult to avoid complaining, please realize that it in the end, it’s worth nothing. Scoff gently at those who spend three days griping about the toolbar, and move on.

Phase 2: The Boycott

This phase is also useless. After the toolbar fiasco, people will make claims that they have no intention of acting upon. Claims, for instance, like “I’m not getting back on Facebook until they move that stupid toolbar” or “I hate Facebook anyway. I’m deleting my page!”

The boycott phase is short, usually only a few hours. Don’t waste your time with making these vacuous promises, and proceed to phrase three.

Phase 3: Reluctant Acceptance

Here is a good place to start. When social media changes, just roll with it. Twitter’s changes are going to be huge. For some, the new layout has already been rolled out. Facebook’s new timeline feature is going to be huge too, rolling out at different times for everyone. If small changes set people off, imagining what this huge restructure will cause conjures up visions of riots or a Cyber World War. Some will post links about pressing the right buttons to get your page to revert to the old settings or how posting the comment on 16 friends’ walls and then restarting will bring it back. It’s not coming back. It’s not going to work. Just move forward.

Everyone will get to the acceptance phase sooner or later, so you may as well beat everyone to it. Making the new changes work for your small business will keep you ahead of the curve. While it can be tempting to sit around and wish for things to go back to normal, your time is better spent diving right into the changes.

Phase 4: “What Did It Used To Look Like?”

This phase is where we live in between changes. After griping for a few days, we soon come to realize we have no idea what the old layout used to look like. Do you remember what Facebook looked like last year? Or even last month? It changes so much that we can’t keep up.

Typically, these changes are done to make the experience easier, though it seems uncomfortable at first. Explore the updates and find ways to make it work for you. That is, before it changes again.

Henry Fitzgerald is a technology consultant based in Seattle. When not geeking out over the latest tech gadgets, he spends his time cooking, playing soccer, and sailing. Check out his tech blog here or follow him on twitter: @hfitzy34

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About Nikki

Author of many 30 Day Blogging Challenges, Nikki spends her time helping small businesses with Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing. With 17 years of experience, she hasn't yet found someone she couldn't help to get more business from their website.

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