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!
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.
You’ve heard the saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. It even sounds weird when you say it out loud. But the truth is, that statement is true, no matter how much we try, we always default to what we know. It comes down to one of the “Gravities” of Human Behavior, we just can’t help ourselves.
Maybe you’ve said this before, I don’t ever want to be just like my Mother, or my Father, depending on what gender you happen to be. I’ve said it, and no matter how hard I try, people always tell me I’m just like my Father, that is those who knew my Father. I even find myself saying the same things he said, it’s so annoying! Yep, my kids get that benefit. My Father never used the Internet, not once, he couldn’t spell the word when he was alive. But he knew how to reach people, he knew how to contact them, and he knew how to get their blood to boil, all without the Internet. In his day, the phone, a letter, and he got in your face, those were his tools, his mode of communicating. I wonder how he would do with FaceBook and all the other Social Networks, probably tick a lot of people off with his style. But he probably would use one tool, one that will remain the staple of the Internet, and business, from today to eternity.
I’m not talking about websites and blogs, I’m talking about E-Mail. The Future of Business will continue to rely on E-Mail, it will remain one of the more effective ways to communicate. Although I expect email won’t improve much, it will stay just like it is, it would be nice if we could hear and discern tone of voice, determine body language, but we will continue to use it regardless of it’s flaws. There are other tools that can fill those needs, but email will be the simplest form, and the fastest way to get a message out.
Email systems like Aweber, MailChimp and the like will always have a place on the Internet, and in your business, we won’t be able to function without it. No matter how advanced mobile gets, Social Media, and VOIP systems, we will always default to Email, because we know it, and we trust it more than FaceBook.
No matter how much we try to use the latest technology, we always fall back on Email messaging, it’s our default way of writing a letter these days. Business owners, Internet Marketers, and Bloggers all find ways to capture your email address, why? To send you an email, to send you a new offer, keep you informed, and promote products and services. Collecting Email addresses is big business, and that’s why it will be here till long after I’m gone, it’s the tool of the future, it will continue to be a revenue generator. As long Email list make money, email will survive, it will be the way to get inside your world.
Don’t believe me? Try doing business without email, for just one day. Try not using it for any length of time, you’ll find yourself struggling to communicate, text messaging, Twitter & FaceBook won’t be private enough for you, and you will always default to email as the solution.
Knowing that Email isn’t going away, all business owners should find ways to leverage the communication tool, otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table.
- The Future Of Business – The Missing Link (owengreaves.com)
- 9 Ways to Improve the Impact of Your Email – The Works (chrisbrogan.com)
- The Future Of Business – Will Ad Networks Replace Radio, Television & Newspapers? (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Flick The Switch! (owengreaves.com)
Recently I was speaking to a group of 35 business owners / entrepreneurs, I asked how many of them had a Blog, the answer was staggering. Only 4 had Blogs, it actually caused my knees to buckle, they chuckled, but there was no other way to describe that I was shocked. The weird thing was, they were hoping to learn more about Social Media! To me Social Media would second or 3rd on my list of things to learn or take care of, a website might be a portal, but a Blog is far better for developing a community around your business.
I rarely teach how to use Social Media, I show you how I use it, there is a difference. Social Networks can no longer be ignored, that’s where the people are, and they want to learn more about you. If you don’t have a place to send them to after you have started building a relationship with them on Twitter and FaceBook, you may have found the missing link.
You need a home base, that should be your Blog, your Blog should be a connector to your business, a vehicle to increase your conversion rates, a GPS for your business if you will. You could just have a Blog for your business, there’s good flexibility that way, WordPress makes your life easy from that perspective.
This Blog is dedicated to teaching you a new to think about business, how business is changing, how you should adopt the many new ways of talking to your customers, and so much more. If you’re not reading this Blog as a resource to help you, you’re probably going to find out to late, the tidal wave will have wiped you out. There is a huge tidal wave of change, a tidal wave of new consumers coming, don’t wait, start learning now.
Of the many things I help you with, check my Work With Me Page.
It could very well be, the missing link you’re looking for in your business, is not Social Media, it’s making sure you have a Blog!
If you need a Blog, you need WordPress, you need web-hosting, make one stop for all three, Billyhost.com
The more things change, the more they stay the same. We’ve all heard it before, and we’ve all said it, and yet we expect different results. That’s the definition of insanity right? Doing the same things over & over again expecting different results. We know it’s true, we tell people this all the time, and yet we don’t change our habits, worse yet, we don’t change our thinking.
If technology is changing the world, and changing the way we move products & services, why do we practice the same connecting exercises? Why do we still hold on to old ways of thinking? We hold networking events, we hand out business cards, we shake hands, eat lunch and then never really stay connected. Many attend networking events because they truly believe this is the way to build a business. For small tiny businesses and MLM’s, this will be the normal way of building business, the rest of us have to start paying attention to the way business really is, and how it’s changing.
The problem is business, it’s you. Most of us claim we like change, but when the metal meets the meat, we’re not totally honest with ourselves and those around us. It’s easy to spot, you say it, and then 5 years later, nothing changed. You might be thinking, Owen sure is being hard on me, you’d be right. This blog and my work is about you, to help you see business differently, to make you think, and most of all, help you change how you view business, how you think about your business. Clearly, I’m failing on a massive scale, I apologize for that, I’ll keep trying harder to find ways to reach the very depths of your hearts and brains.
If the problem wasn’t you, things would be different, right? The innovators would never innovate the same thing twice, you would never practice the same bad business practices twice, it would all be different. You’ll notice I didn’t say better.
I challenge you to sift through this blog, read much of the content, and then….make notes on how you see your business, I’ll bet it’s different. I’ll bet you find yourself a little uncomfortable, and wanting to stay in the comfort zone you’re in, that would be a mistake in my humble opinion. You should embrace the change, you should be excited about the future of business and how it will be different than the way you were taught. The problem will always be you, you can never point the finger at someone else.
If you keep using old networking practices, you will continue to reap the same results, and you will notice, you will be shaking the same hands at every networking event. Change your scene, move up a level, start networking with people you don’t know….better yet, start networking with people that have money. If you have to network, doesn’t it make sense to be with people with money, people with influence, people who don’t think or do the same thing twice. This alone will scare the daylights out of most of you, but I challenge you to try it, just once. You might feel energized by it.
You don’t have to be the problem, it’s better if you get out of the way, your business will thrive if you step out of it’s path.
The good news is, you have the power, you can get out of your businesses way, you can meet new people, people with money, people who see opportunity. The very people that fired you, are the very people you can make money from. It’s a matter of perspective, it’s changing the way you see and do business. Sounds uncomfortable doesn’t it, it’s not personal, it just feels that way, it’s business, get out of the way and build a business that makes the world a better place. You have the power, you just have to decide to do it.
The more you analyze your fear, the more you discover you are the problem….shed the fear, and stop being the problem.
By the way, I’m no different than you, I have to do the same things, I’m not so special that I don’t have to constantly change, at 55 it get’s harder and harder, but I must change, or my work and business will be forgotten : )