One might get the impression that a vast majority of people are not able to think for themselves. Thus, the term, “Sheeple” can be defined as consumers that commonly follow the herd. The sheep leader, also known as, “the oldest female, or ewe” decides where the herd must go and at what time on any given day. Is the sheep herd truly unable to think or decide for themselves? Is this notion relative to consumer behavior? Likely not! Yes, consumers are motivated by the opinions, beliefs, and human pressure that surround them throughout the course of any given day. Consumers are people and people hunger and thirst to be loved and appreciated by family, friends, colleagues, and yes, even perfect strangers. I refer to this as the “fit-in effect.” People/consumers want to fit in in order to feel accepted by others. Even when it means poor choices with unfavorable outcomes for themselves, they blindly cross the line between what it is they need and want it is they want (to feel that false sense of completeness or that they have arrived).
From the perspective of an entrepreneur, we might consider attracting and influencing the oldest female sheep, or ewe (large group/tribal influencers). For example, we might set out to identify who leads and managers that human-filled Google+ Community that fits neatly into our target market sector. We might also go about leveraging the following of a predominant thought leader’s LinkedIn crowd to gain direct access to yet another target audience mass.
Monkey-See – Monkey-Do
I find it quite predictably entertaining (“laugh out loud” funny) when a notable thought leader posts something trite and trivial into his or her LinkedIn wall and almost immediately 200 Sheeple chime in with their not-so-clever response. It would be one thing if the respondents had a belly-to-belly, eye-to-eye relationship with the particular thought leader, but on a grand scale, only a tiny dusting actually do or ever will.
So why do they respond?
- To fit-in.
- To stroke their own ego (bloviate).
- To feel important.
- To act like as if they and the thought leader are bosom-buddies (name-droppers).
- Nothing else better to do (bored silly/time wasters).
- Play social net-worker because they have heard it’s the trendy thing to do.
- To argue for or against the original post or respondent assertions.
- To blow smoke (flatter, tail kiss).
- Act intelligent (show off/brag).
These bullets express just how “Sheeplism” gets its bad name! The good news is that seasoned entrepreneurial and marketing leaders socially post and respond with a clear and concise strategy. The “best of the best” strategists do social networking with both eyes widely opened. Their primary goal is not to fake it to make it, but rather to seek out social media opportunities that will be of significant benefit to others. In other words, they approach to serve “others before self.” Those who have figured out that social networking is about building and nurturing relationships first, are the ones who have rightfully earned the greatest amount of human capital; for consumers buy from who they know and who they trust. Therefore, “relationship enrichment” is paramount!
If you wish to be a “Sheeple,” you might just as well follow (herd) behind those leaders who will sustain-ably lead you to food, water, and rest; for success breeds success.
Be smart and be encouraged,