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.
For 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.
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.
- Barking At Shadows (owengreaves.com)
- Which are the most important social media metrics? (Hint: they’re nothing to do with social media) (brendancooper.com)
- Be careful what you ask for, you might just measure it (briansolis.com)
The conversation of Ubiquity makes the early adopters and experts cringe, it means quantity over quality. By that I mean, Social Media allows everyone to participate, be all things to everyone, build a niche, create a following and then brand. Part of the problem is Social Media attracts poor quality and mediocrity, not too mention the Spammers and unethical Internet Marketers. It will water down everything and make it harder to be found or heard because of all the noise.
Frankly, mediocrity is what we’ve had under the control model, big business, traditional marketing and so on. Social Media’s mass ubiquity model changes the control model, the control model deals with people formerly known as consumers. Today we all do things to get traction, to get attention and be heard. That traction is the result of engagement, exposure and attention. Whatever is good comes to the top. The key is to find the point of attention, being different and unique, that is not going to change.
It’s true the biggest challenge is the noise and staying on top of trends. Finding the point of attention helps solve that problem, there’s more to it of course but it’s a start. Filtering content these days is becoming more important than creating it, there is much to be done here, tools that make it easier and faster to filter content will help the best of the best rise to the top. One of the useful tools to rising to the top is being tagged & RT’d to be heard. RTs & Tags will play a huge role in identifying quality content and quality people.
So what does Mass Ubiquity mean? How does the cream rise to the top? It’s simple really, it’s based on Merit. I’m generalizing here but the masses will put you on Lists, RT your work, Tag you and Like you for the work you’ve done. These features will help you rise to the top. Measuring these indicators will be another interesting equation, but we have great people out there like Olivier Blanchard to make sure we focus on the right metrics.
RTs & Tags, these WOM (Word Of Mouth) tools and terms are becoming the secret sauce of Social Media Rock Star’s & Trust Agent’s we know today. But in the end, quality is good and crap is not. The RTs, Tags, Likes and Lists will work towards that end, manage your brand, do the right things and you will live long and prosper here on the Internet. Social Capital will be as important as real money. Why? Because we are in an extreme reputation economy, word of mouth matters more today than it ever has.
RTs & Tags – Will They Help You Rise To The Top?
What do you think?