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Twitter

The Future Of Business – Findability

I’m not going to beat around the bush here, I spend almost 90% of my time on Twitter, it’s where my research comes from, my business, and most of my relationships. Twitter is the service I use to expand, learn and teach what I do, FaceBook, has it’s place but I rarely spend much time there, why? I use TweetDeck , I feed multiple social networks this way, including FaceBook. Rumour has it TweetDeck is about to be purchased or already has been, by Twitter, that’s good news in my books. Twitter will be able to add so much to the experience of using their real-time service.

The secret sauce if you will, the secret tool is not that secret when trying to maximize Twitter, it’s the search in Twitter that brings the most value in terms of data. If you spend enough time listening in the Twitter search, you start to see trends, interests and needs, businesses don’t pay enough attention there in my humble opinion.

The #FutureOfBusiness hashtag is where I like to hang out, to see what others are saying and thinking about on this topic, we are headed to a day of the open & free business model. But what does that mean really. Does it mean everything is free and open, of course not, it is however, a strategy, a successful business model. So how do all these social networks fit into the equation?

Think about where you do business today, what is the business model you execute today, does it leverage social networks? And if it is, how did you determine which social network to invest your time and money in? I’m almost certain very little research went into that determination, you probably just sensed you should be on FaceBook because most of your friends and business associates said you should be there. When a business owner asks me if they should be on FaceBook or any other social network, I like to ask them why they think they should be there. Almost everytime it has nothing to do with a business case or sound data to backup that question, it is always an emotional reason, like the fear of loss. That’s not new, it’s as old as time that emotion, but it has as much power as worrying, and probably the same results worrying brings you.

So where do you spend your time and money in terms of social networks, and why? The Future Of Business is not social networks, it is however, social & mobile. Social Media is not new, the conversations you and I were having offline our entire life, has merely gone digital, they are now happening on the Internet. The difference, the world can now listen in and share your feelings, spread your conversation everywhere. Everything will create a stream everywhere.

With 3 billion people yet to hit the Internet, being found should be your primary concern, it’s going to get noisier than it is today, findability will determine the life of your business online. The best way to be found, create more content than you consume, then leverage every social network you can to help that cause.

So where do you do business, which social network do you use the most, what is the hardest part about being found for you, how do you get found? I would love to hear your thoughts on findability, not SEO.

Gary Vaynerchuk – The Thank You Economy

The month of March has been great for new books in my office, I love social business books, and I like this one, Gary has a special way of saying what’s on his mind and what he sees. CRUSH IT was just a sampling of what’s yet to come out of Gary, he describes his first book as his Keynote(s), and this second book is his consulting. This book is packed with example after example, be sure to pay attention while reading.

I finished the book today, I am full, this book has more to digest than CRUSH IT, more to think about, and it makes you look at your own business again and again. The book grabbed me right from the first paragraph, why, I’m older and remember small town thinking, maybe you do to. Everyone knew each other, everyone helped each other for the most part, and we watched out for each other. The neighborhood watch was invented back before Jesus walked the land. The first chapter has you reminiscing, Gary starts the book with, “Think back on the last time someone did something nice for you.”

That opening sentence really sets the tone for the rest of the book, I’m sure that’s no accident, he touches the nerve-endings that make you remember back to a better day. A couple paragraphs jumped out at me, ironically, near the end of the book, but I enjoyed the book from beginning to end.

Gary says, “the biggest disconnect for business leaders is in their understanding of how they should treat customers they meet face-to-face, and how they should treat the ones they meet through their computers, iPad, iPhone and what have you, there should be no difference.” He’s right of course, I’ve always said, Social Media is not new, it’s just gone digital, so your off-line conversations have merely moved to the Internet.

Later on he makes another interesting statement, “companies that soar in 2011 and beyond are those that will figure out a way to balance the short-term demands of what wall street or investors with the long-term demands of The Thank You Economy.” Think about that for a moment, maybe read it again.

I loved his few words on how fear blocks innovation:

“It’s becoming more unusual for a big consumer brand to really innovate and create a great product. Vitamin Water didn’t come from Coke; Pom didn’t come from Pepsi. Too many companies get stuck in the muck of their own fear and short-term concerns, which prohibits them from taking risks and following through on great, creative thinking. They’re too wrapped up in meetings and procedure and stock value, or worst of all, the politics of keeping their jobs, whereas smaller, scrappier companies are often still ruled by passion and have the freedom to experiment.” WOW! I couldn’t say this better!

On page 228 he lists the biggest mistakes companies make with social media, keep in mind this what most companies and individuals do in my humble opinion, here is Gary’s list:

1.) Using tactics instead of strategy

2.) Using it exclusively to put out fires

3.) Using it to brag

4.) Using it as press release

5.) Exclusively re-tweeting other people’s material rather than creating your own content

6.) Using it to push product

7.) Expecting immediate results

I’m not going to add much here, I can’t improve upon anything Gary shares in his book(s). As a futurist, I see much of what Gary claims, and some things he doesn’t, in the end we are shouting from the roof tops to pay attention to what’s going on in the world of business. Great book Gary, thanks for being who you are.

I hope you enjoy the book, if you don’t have it, you can buy The Thank You Economy right here.

Gary’s point is this, The Thank You Economy is about the life-time value of a customer, brands / businesses need to be human, period.

Tell me, did you like the book, and what was the best part for you?

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

The Top 3 Social Networks

In my last post I touched on our aging population and how the Baby Boomers creat a problem, but they also present endless opportunities. As we become more mobile and social, I thought it would be interesting to look at some data in regards to the social networks I use. The real question I am asking these days is, will these networks be around in the next 5 – 10 years? I think the social part will be embedded into everything mobile, Twitter is really a glorified version of IRC don’t you think, just more open and out there, not private or closed. Real-Time is probably the key to everything mobile.

Social

Social Media Networks are very popular, and they are growing at an exponential rate, the world is loving these networks, and that creates challenges for the business world. There are hundreds of social networks on the Internet, but the most popular ones we hear about most tend to be the three below. We have become a connected world, this trend is not going away. Here are the Top 3 Social Networks I use, Twitter is my Primary Network and that’s where you will find me 99% of the time.

FaceBook is the most used of these three, but I don’t spend much time there, it’s too cumbersome in my humble opinion. FaceBook does have incredible support and huge numbers compared to all the rest, check it out below.

FaceBook

– More than 550 million active users
– 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
– Average user has 130 friends
– People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
– There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
– Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
– Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
– More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
– More than 70 translations available on the site
– About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
– Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application
– More than 2.5 million developers and partners from more than 190 countries build with Facebook Platform
– People on Facebook install 20 million applications every day
– Every month, more than 250 million people engage with Facebook on external websites
– Since social plugins launched in April 2010, an average of 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook every day
– More than two million websites have integrated with Facebook
– There are more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
– People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
– There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products

Twitter

– 351 Employees
– 190 Million Registered Users
– 65 Million Tweets Per Day
– 800 Million Search Queries Per Day
– 80% of visitors are outside of Twitter.com

LinkedIn

– As of January 2011, LinkedIn has more than 90 million members in over 200 countries around the globe.
– A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of our members are outside the U.S.
– Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members.
– LinkedIn started off 2011 with about 1,000 full-time employees located around the globe.

What are your top 3 social networks?

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