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Posts Tagged ‘Social network’

The Future Of Business – The NEW Attention Shift

IMG_20140404_115743The modem was screeching, trying to make that handshake with another modem, if I could just connect to that modem, I could get the information I need. I had a book with pages of phone numbers for most of the BBS’s out on there in the world, they published books with theme as well. You could download drivers and programs, it was great fun, but it took forever on a 300 or 2400 Baud modem. The days of dialing into a BBS (Bulletin Board System) to get information are behind us, and when the Internet came along, most of these software packages built modules / add-on’s to connect a BBS to the NET. Eventually, that call into a BBS became an Internet connection at faster speeds of a modem, the world changed in one fleeting moment. You remember don’t you, when you had to send email via FidoNet, use a program to download a package of all your messages from the week before. That’s right, it used to take days, even weeks to get a response via email on a BBS. The more games, and or information you had available on your BBS, the more attention, the more visitors. There were almost no GURUS & EXPERTS, just people with some experience, and they were willing to help you for free, for the most part.

While the BBS world was quietly doing it’s thing, TV, Radio & Newspaper’s garnered almost all the attention, in some markets they still do. You didn’t hear about  GURUS & EXPERTS that much because those medium’s were closely guarded. Not open, not free. To advertise, to get the word out, the mainstream media was the most effective way. Until the Internet.

The Internet changed the game, suddenly the attention shifted, and then attention game had no rules, no watch dogs, it was wide open, it was free…..for now. Out of nowhere the GURUS & EXPERTS appeared, suddenly there were more authorities on everything than you could imagine. I’ve often said, everyone knows something about something, but no one knows everything about everything. The narcissists would argue that point.

Blogging became the mode of communication, you could write about anything, it is a writers dream, a painters favorite kind of canvas. Blogs had the attention until a bigger beast appeared, Social Networks, and the attention shifted once again. These Social Networks are shifting as I write, a new shift, they want you, all of us to Blog on their network, on their channel, because they want content. Why? They want to win the attention war. It matters not how you access the social networks, it only matters that your attention shifts.

I find it puzzling that many would rather blog on Social Networks than their own Blog. Giving away traffic to the Social Networks, when the Social Networks should be driving traffic to the Blog…..funny how it gets turned around.

Personally, I would rather be the owner a Blog, and use Social Networks as tools to drive customers, readers, viewers back to my home-base, my Blog. Most Social Networks and other mainstream media sites want you to make their site your home-base, they want to be your homepage when you open a browser, much like the Industrial Age of control. They want your attention, they want to control your attention, but so do you the Blogger.

If you give away viewers, readers, and buyers, and traffic….you lose. Big business wins again, they got you to shift your attention, and the attention of those that were paying attention to you. Giving away your followers eyeballs means they make the money, not you, defeating the purpose you ventured in to.

Guard your fans, protect your followers, they truly are valuable, to you, and most definitely to big business. Think about where you put your content, you and only you can control it. There is an attention shift taking place, no matter how easy it might seem, don’t be fooled into giving it to groups and organizations that want to take it from you. Build YOUR platform, your home-base, that’s the only way to survive this attention-getting war.

 

 

Social Networks Have Become Mainstream Channels

Social networks now behave like mainstream channels. I’ve spent several years on Social Networks, and have notice that they all have become mainstream. They’re no longer different from TV, Radio & Newspaper, all you have to do is watch all the yelling, telling, and fire hosing of ads and links to selling products and services. Many would claim that’s just what they’re all for, I’m not convinced.

We live in a connected economy, we no longer fall for mainstream tactics, because they don’t work well for connecting. The biggest reason it fails, we all have control over our most prized asset, our time. We don’t want anyone to waste it, or take advantage of it. So why is it still happening, two reason’s might be, it still brings results, or connecting costs too much, time & money. Or, they figured out what quality story telling is. Quality story telling always wins. The story telling looks and feels differently on each social network, because we don’t act the same way on all of them, we talk differently on FaceBook over Twitter. So the easy thing to do, just blast, just let the fire hose go full on, on all social networks. But the audience is not the same on all social networks, success with each of them requires you to do some research and looking at data, what’s really happening.

Remember when we were told, God gave you two ears and one mouth, use them proportionately. We have fallen to our old habits, we like to talk more than we listen. People today, want you to listen, they don’t want to you to talk so much they can’t get a word in edge wise, they want to take part. It’s not just TV, Radio and Newspaper that yells at you, all the social networks are doing the same thing. They’ve all become mainstream, and I’ll bet, you think nobody is paying attention to your activity on social networks.

The secret, the way to win, is quality story telling, but the way your subscribers, your readers, your visitors, and your customers want it, NOT the way you think it should be, and that’s the hard part. You already have what it takes to tell your story in a quality way, the world and those who are paying attention to you, want to hear your story. So tell it!

 

The Future Of Business – The Resume

Why are we still submitting resume’s? Why do we continue to use them? They’re not useful, not in the way they need to be, so why do we keep using a tool that doesn’t work very well? Most resume’s never see the light of day, in fact, the only time they get looked at, is if there is an immediate need. What’s the first thing you look at when you have a résumé put under your nose? Where they live? Their email address? Job / Work history? References?

That’s the most I’ll invest in reviewing a résumé, I tend to skim it, in fact, I rarely look at them. I would prefer you considered less time-consuming methods, give me a picture of who you think you are, and what others say you are. You can’t really do that in a résumé, because the résumé is skewed by the person submitting it.

The location or where a person lives may be important, if you need them in an office, and they live across the country, you either have to pay moving expenses, or find someone local. The email address, if its a Gmail, yahoo or any other kind of free service, that tends to be a negative, but not show stopper. I prefer to see applicants invest in owning their personal domain name, it shows commitment to me. Job / work history gives me some insight about whether they can do what I need done, it’s not that important because every job has a training cycle anyway. References are probably the most important part, but not the one’s the applicant sends me, I want objective views of a person. I don’t want to hear about how hard they work, I want insight as to what kind of person they are.

The résumé of the future will be and is, a more transparent view of the candidate.

If you must send me a resume, just email me your LinkedIn Profile, completed of course. And most importantly, you should have connected with me somewhere before, don’t just blindly send me your info without knowing if I’m looking, or knowing anything about what I do. Having said that, LinkedIn at least will give me some outside context, have they been recommended, when did those recommendations get posted, and by whom. Have the endorsements been tinkered with, most likely, it’s the easiest thing to game. After that, I’ll do my leg work, like skimming FaceBook, Google, and other Social Networks that may show character pro’s and con’s. I will invest my time in doing research online before I ever decide to interview someone face-to-face.

Personally, resume’s do not work well, there are some many ways for me to learn about a candidate, and more effective ways to get picked. I feel the same way about business cards, they too rarely get used, or produce the kind of results one hopes for. Even job banks are terrible, recruiting sites, and they’re digital failures in my humble opinion. The best way to solve this dilemma, once you’ve determined what work you want to do, figure out how to connect with the principle or HR person, and build a relationship be it online or off. Yes, it does take effort, but connecting with those who make the decisions, or influence the hiring, will get you closer to your desired result.

I may sound smug, even arrogant, if someone wants to know about me, I usually tell them to Google my name, that will direct them to my website, which is my personal domain name, and ton more about what I’ve been up to on and offline. The résumé isn’t dead, it’s different, it’s digital, and we must be creative about it, think differently, otherwise….you’ll be last at the food dish, and the last one rarely gets the gig.

The Future Of Business – We’ve All Got The Industrial Age Disease

We’ve All Got The Industrial Age Disease, it’s sad, but it’s true. Back when I was in high school, we were told, when you graduate, you MUST get a full time job. So we took a job at the mill, because it payed better than F. W. Woolworth. Today that’s changed, today people want full-time wages for part-time work. We were told to sit down and behave, to pay attention, and how to think… we made a mistake…we settled for something we new deep down within, wasn’t what we wanted. We did it because we were told to, we did it because we felt safe, we did it because we felt comfortable, and then it became our comfort zone, our sense of normal.

Unlike the Matrix, we believed in something that today is no longer true, we believed the Industrial Age System(s) would look after us to our last breath, just as we have in governmental systems. We justify our place in the world based on those systems, the factory model, the school system, they were designed to educate you in such a way that you would fit into that factory model. We went to school, we went to University, being taught how to fit in, not how to disrupt, not how to find a better way. But another way has been making itself known, and only time will tell if it’s a better way. This new way of business may be a replacement for the Industrial Age, it’s called the connection economy!

Seth Godin speaks of the Connection Economy in his book called, “The Icarus Deception”. Here is an excerpt from the heart of the connection economy:

“I don’t care how many friends you have on FaceBook or how many followers you have on Twitter. Those are not actual friends or truly followers. I care about how much people will miss you if you’re not back here again tomorrow.

Connection involves a complex swap of information, expectation, and culture. It involves opening ourselves to others, creating vulnerable moments that frighten us. It requires humanity and generosity, not the rearranging of digital bits.

The swap means that it’s no longer completely up to us; it’s a partnership, not an announcement. When we give up control over the outcome of our interactions, we allow others to connect with us and with one another.”

The biggest difference today, over the last century, we have access to more resources and information than we have time to consume. The Industrial Age forced us to memorize, to conform, to fit in, today we merely need to know where to get the information, we don’t have to memorize it. We no longer have to conform to an old system, we now have the freedom to learn and create new ways to accomplish what the Industrial System doesn’t want changed. Hence, we don’t have to fit in, we can now choose not to comply, we can do that which we were meant to do, we can stand out. We were meant to connect, to share, to make the world a better place.

This new economy feels weird, it feels scary, it feels unnerving, it’s not for the weak of heart, it does however give us a freedom we’ve not had in the past. It’s not perfect, and that’s a good thing, we finally have a cure for The Industrial Age Disease.

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.