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Posts Tagged ‘Olivier Blanchard’

The Future Of Business – The Social Media Lie

Are you caught up in all the hype of what Social Media can do for you and your business? Have you already invested in Tweeting, and updating FaceBook or LinkedIn, only to be disappointed that the results weren’t as promised. Don’t feel too bad, it’s common, and it happens far more often than you think. It’s not much different than the get rich schemes when you think about it. It was the same back in 1994 when all the experts said you had to have a website or you would go out of business if you didn’t build one.

Today, there is something being taught that’s misleading, in my humble opinion anyway. I believe it to be untrue, a lie. When a Social Media Teacher, Expert or Guru makes the claim, “You can manage your social networks in 20 – 30 minutes a day”, they know not what the say. I know they are trying to appeal to the ” I don’t have time ” excuses, but I can assure you, it takes more than 20 to 30 minutes a day. I’m not saying it’s impossible, OK, I’m saying it’s impossible. I say it because I’ve tried, but the math just doesn’t work!

Social Networks have become so busy, so noisy, the bigger these networks get, the shorter the lifespan of your Update or Tweet gets. Of course you can Tweet & Update 5 – 10 times a day in 20 minutes, but you can’t actually manage your social media presence in just 20 – 30 minutes a day. There is so much more involved, let’s crunch some numbers, I’ll use myself as the example. This may seem overly simplified, but you’ll get what I mean : )

@owengreaves (my Twitter handle)

I follow 9,736

My Followers 20,052

My Tweets 56,635

There was a time back in 2008 when I was getting over 100 followers a day on Twitter, a lot has changed since then, that kind of activity is now considered rare. Unless you’re a rock star like Lady Gaga, a TV star like Ashton Kutcher, or one of the very early adopters that was launched to stardom as lovable and likable from the outset, like Gary Vaynerchuk. He is actually more amusing and entertaining : )

Most of these experts, guru’s and teachers make the statement that you can have an incredible social media presence by Tweeting & Updating just 5 – 10 times a day, and you can manage your social presence in 20 – 30 minutes a day. Maybe, but I doubt it.

If the average lifespan of a Tweet is 20 minutes, which it is today, 5 – 10 Tweets / Updates per day doesn’t give you much reach, almost none. In order to get a serious ROI, you would need to a higher frequency. Being active once every 20 minutes won’t build much, unless it’s entertaining, interesting, useful, and or helpful…but even then you’re reaching for a high profile or return on your activity. Many of these networks behave like Radio & TV today, you need high frequency, just flood the networks and the world will come to you. NOT!

If every person following me (20,052) was online at the same time I was, that would be awesome, but they aren’t…ever! That would imply, that all 20k of them are either in or close to the same time zone I’m in, they are all functioning in the same hours I am, give or take 3 hours either way. The next thing that would have to happen is, they all would have to be paying attention to all my Tweets & Updates within the 20 minute time frame, or lifespan of those messages. They’re not!

At a minimum, to be heard or seen every 20 minutes, you would have to Tweet or Update 3 times an hour. The math there is based on a 24 hour clock, so 3 x 24 = 72 Tweets / Updates per day. Even if we drop that back to an 8 hour work day, you would need to Tweet / Update 24 times per day…7 days per week, that’s the minimum right? Sure, you could do that in 20 – 30 minutes a day, if you automated your tweets / updates. But that’s not being present, you can’t have a social media presence and not be present. How could you respond in a timely manner?

Even if everyone were in the same time zone, everyone was online at exactly the same time I was, and they were watching my every Tweet & Update, they’re not. It’s not realistic or possible.

If I’m going to be honest with myself, those actually listening for me, would most likely be lower than 10%. Out of the 20k followers I have, if I’m seriously lucky, 2000 would be online when I am, and out of that 2000, how many do you think are listening, probably less than 200. Of those 200, how many would actually respond, or read, or do what I ask them to do? Probably 20, now those 20 I might consider to be true fans, if there is conversion of some sort, I would believe that, but what is conversion for you? Another question that needs to be answered.

My point is this, managing your social media presence is NOT how much time you spend Tweeting & Updating, that’s your activity. Managing your social media presence is much, much deeper, it’s monitoring your engagement, your interaction, tracking, and developing a strategy to ensure they keep doing what they are doing, engaging with you and your business. Learning where they are from, city & country, a complete makeup / profiles could be valuable for future business. There are monitoring companies that specialize in analyzing your social media data, measure campaigns, and so on, Radian 6 is popular, and it’s not as simple as 1 + 1, it’s complicated data. But that’s the oil you’re looking for, data is the new oil.

There is a huge misunderstanding on what managing your social media presence is, Tweeting / Updating is not managing. Managing implies you are studying the data, studying what your followers are doing, finding out what they want, spending countless hours in Twitter search looking for opportunities to find new potential clients / customers. You couldn’t possibly do all of that in 20 – 30 minutes a day, well maybe, if you outsourced that work, paid someone to meet with you to help you understand what the data means. But they are few and far between, anyone with credentials rarely work for free, and you do want someone who knows how to read the data.

You don’t plug your business into social media, you plug social media into your business, and that’s a whole different story. The best way to learn that is from Olivier Blanchard, the best way to learn how to measure the ROI in social media is from Olivier Blanchard. In fact, you should invest in his book called, “Social Media ROI – Managing & Measuring Social Media Efforts in your Organization“. He lays it all out for you, and I can promise you this, you’ll find out it takes longer than 20 – 30 minutes a day.

Like today, the future of business still won’t have any easy shortcuts, you must work to get the desired outcomes you’re looking for, that includes building a following, building a community of true fans. Kevin Kelly describes true fans as:

“A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.”

The only way to get true fans is through long hours of hard work, a plan, a strategy, and a full understanding of what being a social business means. Knowing what to look for, and what to do. Social Media is still at it’s infancy, and there are very few who grasp where all this is taking us.

So let’s get off all the hype, let’s filter this with the right lens, there are no shortcuts, and social media is more than just Updates & Tweets…it’s hard work.

I hope this made a little bit of sense? It probably appears like I’m ranting, I am a little, I’m hoping we will all work together to keep things in perspective and not try to take advantage of those who truly don’t understand. Social Media will play a large part of business in the future, more so in the next 5 – 10 years, but today it is still grossly misunderstood, because we’ve never done it like this before. These networks do play into the Open & Free Business Model, it’s how I run my business, and someday you will to.

Go and find your community, your true 1,000 fans, and serve them in such a way that they become loyal, loyalty has been missing for some time now, we now have a chance to recover the once loyal customer from our past.

So guard yourself from hype, the over promise, how easy it is, guard yourself from the social media lie.

 

The Future Of Business – “Everyone” Is Not Your Customer!

Far too often business owners state that everyone is their customer, it’s wrong, it’s just not true. Even if it were true, how could you possibly serve them all, and more importantly, what services & products would you know to provide everyone? Plus, what would marketers do if they couldn’t target market your products & services.

Typically, those business owners reveal their greatest weakness when making that claim. Firstly, they clearly do not understand business, secondly, they don’t have a business plan, and thirdly….they lack vision. I couldn’t speak more bluntly now could I, and I just gave you three reasons : )

If there is one thing I preach more than any other fact, business is and has changed, and you must change the way you think about business, and more importantly, how you think and see your business. Somehow we have to get away from thinking in terms of an exchange before payment, incorporate free into your business model, and how to be satisfied with less customers. That’s right….less!

Kevin Kelly wrote an amazing piece on 1,000 true fans, it’s really a tribe model in my head, but his theory is sound, and frankly is the future of business. His description of a fan is a thing of beauty, taken from the article on his blog:

“A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.”

Now you might have an idea where I’m going, but I doubt it, I’m hard to follow sometimes. The question to ask yourself is, do you have fans / customers as described by Kevin Kelly? If you do, it won’t be hard to tell, if you don’t, you are probably wondering how to get those fans, and where might they be. If you did a business plan without knowing this description, of your preferred customer (fan), you would still be one degree off true north. Your plan would be flawed, because it would be based on old industrial age thinking, it would be based on what you know, and what you were taught in school. But that’s another topic.

Let’s stick with Kevin’s idea of a 1,000 true fans. In Kelly’s model, every true fan spends $100 per year on you whatever you produce. That means you will generate $100,000, that’s a decent pile of dough isn’t it. So there is your equation, 1,000 true fans x $100 = $100,000!! So what’s the problem?

The problem is not the equation, the problem most of the time is you, you get in the way, you begin to think too much, you still don’t understand the why. My workshops, public speaking engagements, my blog, and my book, is all about why you should change the way you think about your business. Most business owners aren’t paying attention to the why, mostly because they are paying attention to the details of paying the bills, covering payroll, and making sure there is stock. So where will you find the time to see what’s really going on, what’s changing, and how to adopt what’s changing? The stock answer, and I hear it every day, ” I don’t have time”. If that’s true, you probably won’t be in business in the next 5 – 10 years, because the way business and the consumers are changing, you will be forgotten, out of site, and out of mind.

The digital platform we call the Internet, is a game changer for sure. The real game changer has nothing to do with you the business owner, it’s the way people have shifted their buying patterns, from what to how. More importantly, these people formerly known as consumers want more control of your offerings, they want to decide, and they’re already talking about your competition. Why? Because you aren’t thinking like the new consumer, and….you aren’t listening to what they want.

There are over 2.2 billion users on the Internet, and another 3 Billion coming in the next 5 years, I know there are 1,000 true fans for your niche, now do you have time to find your 1,000 true fans? If not, hire someone who can show you how, someone with the vision to see the patterns of a changing consumer(s). You already know someone….wink, wink ; – )

Olivier Blanchard has 5 basic rules on the value of a follower, a fan, and a like, in simple terms, it’s based on the amount of money they spend on your product or service in a given calendar year. The potential of a follower and fan, that is something entirely different, and that equation has yet to be determined in my humble opinion. I think we are very bad at determining the potential value of a follower, a like, or a fan…but know this, it’s not linear, it’s exponential.

If you only need 1,000 true fans, “Everyone”, is not your customer.

Click on this link for the complete story on Kevin Kelly’s idea of 1,000 True Fans

Also read Olivier Blanchard’s work on The 5 basic rules of calculating fan/like/follower value.

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10 People Who Get My Attention Everyday

10 people who get my attention everyday. Do you know how hard it is to make a list of just 10? There are many who get my attention, but these ten can stop me in my tracks. Now I talk often about attention, it can determine your success in business, who you give your time to. But the deeper question is, why do these individuals or companies get your attention. I find, as I look down my list, it’s because they make me think…not about what they are talking about, but how the topic applies to my business, maybe even my day-to-day life. But mostly, these individuals do a number of things, they affirm me, are extremely interesting, really make me stop and go Hmmmmmm, and the bonus, they seem to be very genuine people. I’ll qualify that with, I have only met 2 from this list face-to-face, my bucket list just got longer : )

These people can disrupt my day very easily, especially when they hail me on Twitter or write a blog post. You may already know these individuals, and maybe you don’t, but I think they are worth your time. These 10 people do have one thing in common, they see the world, and want to make that world a better place, no matter how abstract and disturbing it might be. I learn much from each of them, and I know you will to if you take the time to follow their work. More importantly, they are all much smarter than I, and deserve a tip of the hat for the work they do.

Gerd Leonhard – I tell the story of how I came across Gerd and his work, I thought long and hard, wondering if I was the only one that saw the world of business the way I do, until I found Gerd. He is much smarter than I, much more connected, and he is a machine when it comes to producing content. The thing that gets me, is his desire to share what he believes, he is a like-minded friend I hope to meet one day. – http://mediafuturist.com

Chris Brogan – I have chatted, was on one of his Kitchen Table Talk Online TV Show, promoted some of his posts, and he has done so of mine, but we have never met. I don’t always agree with Chris, but most of the time I do. I’m a fan of his because he is real, he is what he preaches, a human business. – http://chrisbrogan.com

Jim Connolly – This UK marketer is not only a cool character, he is smart. I’ve know Jim for 4 years now, and he gets better each and every blog post, thought provoking, and makes you think about how you are marketing. – http://jimsmarketingblog.com

Rick Rake – Now I’m biased with this person, why? Rick is a huge promoter of my work here where I live, he was the very 1st person to attend my workshops, and he gets it. Rick & his wife Kathleen come from the older generation, but practice a lot of the new ways of doing business online. I have come to love & appreciate both of them, and can’t thank them enough for all that they do for me and the business community we live in. – http://clickmediaworks.typepad.com/click_media_works_blog/

Seth Godin – I have to admit I feel pretty stupid after listening to him, but I’ll get over that : ) Seth keeps things simple in my head, he makes me think about the world as it really is, and he teaches me far more than I can put into action at any given time. I love his keynotes, and can’t get enough of the Linchpin & Poke The Box, because those two books show you how I feel and think, without the smarts. I fly at 50,000 feet most of the time, and then Seth will bring me back down to earth for a street level view. I thank you. – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

Brian Solis – He is much like Seth Godin to me, but different. I’m not even sure how to describe him, he just resonates with me from a business perspective. He is intelligent, and one of the best interviews I’ve ever known in this new digital world, asks some the smartest questions, and shares the answer equally as good. – http://www.briansolis.com/

Glen Hiemstra – I had the privilege of meeting Glen last year, he drove up to Vancouver for the World Futurist Society Conference I was speaking at, he attended my session. Probably wishes he could get that 90 minutes back : ) Glen does some very interesting work as a Futurist, I read his work and bookmark it regularly, he probably doesn’t know that, but he does now. Not only is he a smart man, he is so down to earth and a joy be around. I thank you Glen for being so gracious with me, and for taking the time to come my session. – http://www.futurist.com/

Olivier Blanchard – The Brand Builder – We go back a few years, but only online. Olivier has done something that no one else seems to have figured out yet, he knows how to derive an ROI out Social Media (Networks). He has gone so far as to write a book on the topic, to show you how simple and yet how hard it is to stay committed to the endeavour. Plus, he is damn funny! I cherish every opportunity to chat with Olivier, I learn so much, and I constantly challenge him on the value of a follower, a fan, and or a like. – http://thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com/

Ray Kurzweil – Probably the nuttiest person I pay attention to. I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way, or disrespectful way, he is amazing to listen to. He is very star warzy to me, and yet, scares the crap out of me at the same time. He sees technology embedded in humans, which shows him a world run by machines, but mostly to improve our ability, our way of life, and to create a healthy world. – http://www.kurzweilai.net/

Tom Peters – I have followed Tom’s work for many years, he wrote the famous book called, In Search Of Excellence, just in case you don’t know who he is. His work gets me on trouble all the time, because he talks about doing business better, shares stories and examples of businesses actually doing what he talks about. If you haven’t read any of his books, I challenge you to go out right now and do so. – http://www.tompeters.com/

An honourable mention:

John Morgan – He recently released his first book called, Brand Against The Machine, his work helps you look at how and what your up against in the marketing world. Again, keeping things simple, why? Because simple is hard enough. John has a special way of communicating his message, very direct, and very helpful. – http://johnmichaelmorgan.com/

So there’s my list, it was hard to narrow down, there are many more whom deserve to be on this list, but for the purposes of this post, I’m keeping it down to ten. Many of these people have written books, I highly recommend you read them, and better yet, follow their work here online.

I hope these individuals help you in better ways than they help me, I just wanted to share them with you, and give you some insight to who I pay attention to. After all, attention is the currency we are all trying to acquire.

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The Value Of A Fan, Like Or Follow

oliviersbookFor whatever reason we seem to need to assign a dollar value for anything and everything, maybe there isn’t one, but we just have to have one. I’m not going to layout the proper conditions or equation in this post, I’ll let you do you own research, but let’s spend some time getting it right.

Yesterday I talked about Barking At Shadows, where we put far too much stock in the number of fans, likes and followers. Those indicators make you feel good but are really a false sense of security, it just means someone came knocking, they probably didn’t do anything else. So we start asking the question, what’s the value of a follower, a fan and a like…what’s the ROI?

The question of Social Media ROI comes up all the time, and immediately everyone points to the number of followers, likes and fans, but that would be the wrong thing to do right? In my last post I said I would introduce you to someone far smarter than I, he knows this stuff, he lives it. You will love his directness, he calls it as he sees it, so be prepared to learn Social Media ROI with passion. My good friend and author, Olivier Blanchard understands Social Media ROI metrics, he has clear and definite thoughts on how to plug Social Media into your business as well. I am a little biased but I highly recommend you read his book called Social Media ROI, you will be amazed at what you don’t know. I was in an exchange with Olivier and friends on FaceBook the other day in reference to this Mashable story posted on Olivier’s FaceBook wall called, “4 Ways to Convert Facebook Fans Into Super Fans”.

Olivier said with the above link:

Actually, no. Don’t. Attract fans with ads? Create advocates with… contests? Seriously? Who writes this crap? I wonder what the folks at Brains on Fire think about this garbage.

Owen said:

The problem with the “FAN” & the “LIKE” or the “FOLLOWER”, there is no real accurate way of measuring its value, it’s similar to KLOUT trying to accurately measure ones influence. Individually they don’t matter, but the SUM of these inaccurate metrics is more important. The SUM leads to a perceived value, not a real value that can be manipulated. The “SUPER FAN” is one more attempt to bring value to a single digit, WOM is hard enough to measure, the total number of those WOM messages matters more than the single blabber mouth being a SUPER FAN. But what do I know, I’m Canadian.

Olivier responded with:

You know how they do it, right? The CPF (cost per fan) gets magically transformed into fan value:

Because the fan cost $4 to acquire, that fan’s value is now estimated at $4. So the media buyer’s ROI equation, based on media equivalency models, becomes a factor of average acquisition cost – actual acquisition cost. It works like this:

“The average (cost) value of a fan is $4. Our CPF is $2. We acquired 100,000 fans, for a total fan value of $400,000. Your acquisition cost was $200,000. We provided an ROI of 200% with this campaign.

Whether the agency’s fees were included in that $200,000 depends on the agency. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. That’s the scam.

I responded with:

Its all scam, whomever scams best…. wins.

The conversation ended there, but almost everyone tries to game the Social Media Fan, Like and or follower, its barking at shadows.

The ultimate place to be is for you (your business) to bring extreme value, powerful solutions, backed by qualified data, and that might actually include the shadows, but it’s the lessor of all the metrics to be watching.

There is much to learn, and much more to unlearn when it comes to the future of business, but you should start with Olivier’s book, then his blog, then my blog. I am more about a new of changing, Olivier wants you to be honest and realistic about what you measure, and he’ll get in your face if you or I start spewing a bad message. We’ve talked about this value before, over and over again, it keeps coming back to the table. All it means is, many still don’t understand what it is and where it should go.

The Fan, the Like & the follower do have a value, but let’s put that value in perspective, and most importantly, let’s put that value in the right place in the equation.

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Olivier Blanchard’s New Book – Social Media ROI

It finally arrived, Olivier Blanchard’s book called Social Media ROI, Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization. I am truly humbled and honored, I was not expecting to find my name in the book, thank you with all the appreciation I can muster.

I have never met Olivier, but I have had an online relationship with him for over 3 years, and I can tell you he knows what he is talking about. He is firm in his stand and he has always taken the time to try and explain why he takes the stand he does, a man on a mission, a man with Integrity, which you will read in his book.

Now, for some reason the world has missed a simple observation, Social Media (conversations)is not new, its just gone digital. What has been overlooked, is how to accurately translate these conversations into revenue, how these conversations become conversions, how they actually bring about a result worth measuring. No Olivier is not the only one to see that conversations can have a Return On Investment (ROI), he is however, the only one to date that can articulate it with clarity and passion. And now with this book, he is working with you side-by-side.

What caught my eye upon cracking the cover, is how Olivier walks you from beginning to end, from what a Social Media Program IS, what you need to think about, to what it should look like,and what you should get from such a program. It’s the first Social Media University TextBook in my humble opinion.

Right from the beginning you’ll read how to create a social company, all the way to analysis and reporting of your social media program.

This book is easy to read and yet it is serious heavy lifting at times, but if you take the time and follow Olivier’s thinking, the confusion simply goes away. If you do the work, you will have a solid foundation of how to not only leverage Social Media networks, you’ll know how to participate in them, how to plug Social Media into your business, how to listen, how to monitor. and as he says, ” Listening Before Talking”. You learn more from this book than sitting at your computer trying to figure it out. Olivier is your Social Media ROI Mentor, all for the price of a book.

One of my favorite chapters is, The Eleven Key Best Practices for Social Media Program Management.

I highly recommend reading this book many times, not just once, it is packed with so much, one reading would merely set you up to fail. You have in your hands a text book if you study it, you will increase your odds of success in all social networks. A MUST have on your book shelf. This book will protect you from those who consider themselves Social Media GURU’s, the so called Social Media Expert.

This book will play a huge role in my work, how I see the future of business, how this fits an open and free business model, and how an ROI can be achieved. I look forward to implementing many of the steps in this book, and you will too, it’s the best investment you’ll make for the future of your business.

Make sure you connect with Olivier on his blog and follow him on Twitter: @thebrandbuilder