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Posts Tagged ‘Trust’

The Social Currency

How many times have you said, someone once said, but I can’t remember who. Then it becomes, as I’ve always said….once you claim it to be yours, the thing that someone once said, became research. The truth is, we should always give credit to whomever said the thing you decided to rip and make your own, integrity then becomes the word damaged if you don’t.

If you plan on building a brand, a business, or a reputation, you will need the sacred social currency, trust. Without trust, you’ll find it almost impossible to acquire true fans, which means the tribe won’t follow you. So always name the person, give the credit to its rightful owner, if it’s you, then you can say, as I’ve always said, and I’ll have to say, as someone once said if I don’t know who you are. Become known, share your wisdom, and protect yourself from being the someone who once said.

The social currency is trust, but you’ll only get it through transparency and giving credit to those who deserve it, the fastest way to lose it, keep taking credit for something you didn’t say or do.

The Future Of Business – It Will Get Harder & Harder To Get Attention & Build Trust

The Future Of Business – It Will Get Harder & Harder To Get Attention & Trust. I chat with many who say it’s hard to get attention online for their business. There are many ways to skin the cat, you could spend lots of money trying to do online what you’ve always done offline, but that seldom works. The online world is a unique beast, people don’t want to be sold, they don’t want to be yelled at in Social Networks, but they do want things on their own terms. And that is one of the many challenges business owners are facing everyday, but why don’t business owners understand, because it’s still confusing.

The two biggest reasons it will get harder to get attention & trust, it’s sheer numbers really. The first issue is the noise, I mean the volume of it, and you’re in there somewhere trying to be heard. Let’s look at the noise problem, there are currently 2.2 Billion people on the Internet, almost a Billion on FaceBook, and factor in all the other Social Networks. Each network has an approach on how monetize or generate revenue, and some have models for business owners, you know, FaceBook Pages, Google Plus Pages for business and so on. But 2.2 Billion people are producing a crap load of content (noise), and it’s a tidal wave of information, a giant global wall of noise, it’s already hard to be heard right? The second issue is….Well, there’s still another 3 Billion people coming online, and our tools have not progressed at the rate they need to, so we can all filter the noise effectively.

It is perceived, the larger the following you have online, the easier it is to be heard, and supposedly you are trusted at a higher rate. If we used the Industrial Age way of thinking, that would be true, but it’s not!

Consumers online are much more in control of you and your business than in any other time in history of doing commerce. It takes nanosecond for them to find out how ethical you and your business is, and if it isn’t ethical, you will probably never get heard again. Bad service, bad communication, and bad treatment of customers, are all on hypersensitive mode today.

It is perceived, that if you were an early adopter of any technology, you will be heard and seen as a leader, that too is not true. You may be for a short period of time, but eventually your output of content will be your voice, and if the masses don’t like your voice, you will be ignored. If your product or service does not deliver what it supposed to do, you will be ignored.

What does all this mean? It’s going to get harder and harder to get attention and build trust. The world is getting fussier, more sensitive, and has what some would call hyper sensitive BS protectors on. And that filter will work at a high rate.

So what’s the answer, probably far too many for you to adopt I suspect. Products & Services from this day forward have to be compelling, solve problems, deliver what it claims, and do so at an almost perfect rate. I can’t imagine what that means to be completely honest, a perfect delivery rate, a product or service that never fails, it gives me a headache thinking about it. Oh and BTW, I have the same problem you have, are you hearing me? I didn’t think so, too many people out there disrupting my disruption.

In the end, do the best work you can, deliver the best solutions you can, and be the best person you can…treat you customers the best you can, and above all, support them better than anyone else can. At least then you might have a chance to be heard, and your might be able to build trust through your efforts. You won’t be able to take a day off from these problems, they will be in your face everyday.

Deliver solid customer service and create a buzz, build a tribe, and your tribe will help you rise above the noise, and then maybe, you will have built trust.

The Future Of Business? It will get harder & harder to get attention & trust. Do think it’s getting easier, or harder?

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Attention Bloggers & Marketers

The Internets future is of great interest to me, I study some of the worlds smartest technology people because they see things differently than the rest of us. The Futurists are an interesting lot, they even cause me to chuckle now and then, but we need them because it forces us to look outside the box. I share and talk about the possibilities technology can bring, I care very much how it impacts society and our economy’s, plus I love looking into the future.

So I ask you Bloggers & Marketer’s, have you stopped to consider what and how the new economy is going to work, what it might look like, and how it will impact how you Blog and Market? Do you know what the New Economy is? There is and will be a New Economy, it will be The Data Economy, the New Content Economy. We will connect data to data, line to line, not web-page to web-page, this economy will set the table for a revolutionary way of doing business on the Internet. Google is ensuring this will happen, everything will be mobile and on the cloud.

We are entering a time where Command & Control will become Coordinate & Cultivate, where domination is out – and Collaboration is in. Where the current economic egoism no longer works, because now we are all connected, it breeds mediocrity. Mediocrity is what we have / had under the control model. We need to build an Ecosystem, where we freely, openly share & collaborate, with the right blend of sharing rather than piracy. Collaboration is and will be required to build in this new economy.

An entirely new way of thinking comes from being connected, Trust is the Key, Trust is the new currency. This trust will be developed over time, it will make or break organizations and indivduals with large followings and high levels of influence, but this trust won’t come easy. Advertising in the connected world has to be radically different, otherwise it will keep declining. We can no longer market on the Internet by yelling. Marketing needs to hit the RESET button and figure out how to function in the new economy.

Content today is copied, you download a PDF, an MP3 and what have you, it’s a copy. The Internet is a giant copy machine, if you disconnect the copy function, you disconnect the listening function. The fight to keep control of copies is a losing battle on this network, but how do we get the money from a network that can copy everything for free? We need to sell things that can’t be copied, the conversation is the sell. We need to sell things around the content, the packaging, the experience. Money is moving from the selling of copies, to selling the experience. After all, your Brand will be judged by that experience, if it’s bad, you will be out of business sooner than later. You can see the landscape is changing, the end of control is taking shape everywhere.

Social Media is a very human driven practice, it can’t be done with a single person, it just doesn’t scale well that way. Gary Vaynerchuk has shown us how hard it is to keep up and stay on top of all that is data, he won’t be able to sustain the demand on his time and become ineffective.

It’s important to state that Social Media is not about technology, it’s about a culture change, a paradigm shift, we have to get better at believing in the impossible.

We need to think about how we Blog & Market, re-write the books on how it’s done, because what we are doing is a diminishing return. What kind of experience do people have when they come to your Blog, and what kind of emotions are engaged when they see and hear your marketing messages? The power is now in the hands of the people formerly known as consumers, how will you engage them?

You’ve heard this message before a million times, you probably preached it over and over, but the real question is, are you one of the change agents helping shape this new economy? Have you studied what’s to come, do you know and see the indicators? The New Economy views content first as a service, then an experience – and only then (maybe) a product.

I know my voice gets lost in the noise, that’s OK. I know the Internet is a big place, and a very large network that dissects, crosses over and loops back, and some how we are supposed to find what we are looking for. Companies like Google are trying to filter the content and help us all get exactly what we want. But that my friends, is whole nother story. Filtering and curation are the keys to the next phase, and eventually we’ll find ourselves dealing with smart noise.

Are you paying attention, what do you see?

What Is Social Media To You?

I’m certain this isn’t the first time this title has been used for a Blog Post. One of the most confusing things to most business owners and those not technically savvy is, what exactly is Social Media and how will it help me. Social Media in my humble opinion is seriously misunderstood by most. You can tell by how it’s being used for the most part, you can see the traditional marketers doing their typical advertising outbound push. Hell, even some so called Social Media experts are doing the same thing.

The definition of Social Media taken from the Wiki site:

Social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers.

I’m probably going to do a bad job at sharing this but I’m going to give you some things to think about, a list if you will. Let’s take a peek:

1.) Social Media is a very human driven practice.

2.) Social Media can’t be done or driven by a single person.

3.) Social Media is not about technology

4.) Social Media is about sharing

5.) Social Media is a mechanism in which you are tagged

6.) Social Media is about ubiquity

7.) Social Media is a tool for listening

8.) Social Media is not about pushing your product

9.) Social Media is what e-mail used to be

10.) Social Media is not a channel

11.) Social Media can help build trust

12.) Social Media deepens relationships

13.) Social Media is real-time expression

14.) Social Media is not new, it’s just different

This list could go on and on, I would love to hear from and add to this list.

What is Social Media to you?

Is Headquarters Listening?

listeningDo you work for an organization that has multiple locations and or field staff, and do whatever HQ (the mother ship) tells you to do because that’s the way it is. You have to use their system, which tools to use, and they never ever ask you what you really need to get the job done right. If they do, nothing happens normally and the frustration continues. Are you continually fighting to be heard and have given up because HQ doesn’t seem to be listening?

There has always been a disconnect in most organizations with this kind of structure, mostly because they are out of sight and out of mind. It’s a long distance relationship, these relationships break down quickly and create a lack of trust for the reason’s I mentioned earlier. The key to solving this breakdown takes effort from all parties involved, but in the end, someone from Headquarters must take the time to truly care and put forward solutions for everyone not just HQ. Lip service is a short-term time buyer, but you will lose trust with remote locations and field staff if you don’t deliver, once again you will be part of the problem not the solution. CIO’s & I.T. Leaders must go to the distance, go to the remote offices and take inventory of the desired needs and the requested functionality. Sit down and truly listen so you can get a more accurate picture, this action alone can build trust just because you made the effort to invest in those that feel they’re not being heard.

This is an opportunity, not an opportunity to buy time, get votes or support, but to deliver or you are done. You are fighting politics, which means you must get the popular vote or life gets interesting.To do get the popular vote you must be a person of your word, that’s it! I didn’t say it was going to be easy, it’s the nature of people you are up against. Authoritative attitudes no longer have a place, organizations now are WOM (Word Of Mouth) driven and as you know, it can kill you just as fast as it helps you. As we get more and more connected Headquarters can no longer turn a blind I or just give lip service. Today’s Social Media Networks feed into instant gratification, we have made communication instant, meaning you don’t have the luxury of time anymore. Kill or be killed.

Businesses have a LifeStream and this stream is the tool of choice for the masses to share, to collaborate and make decisions. Beware the LifeStream, be aware that “we the people” are turning the tables, the power is no longer in the hierarchy of organizations…it’s at the ground level. The flattening is happening at a rapid pace all over the world, the Internet is the game changer and the people are not only watching, they are listening, and then they are acting. With this new found power, organizations must become more transparent, deliver on promises, and more importantly, treat staff¬† the same as a valued customer.

So how do you get there, how do you make the shift? Each organization will figure it out in the traditional way before they get it right in a social way, they will deal with the squeaky wheel first before they sit down with the people and truly listen. I would recommend that CEO’s & Presidents instruct their CIO’s to go to the basement and find out what’s NOT working and what IS working, then present the findings to the Executives & Board if necessary. Don’t think in terms of a project or an ERP implementation, think of it as a way of getting your house in order, is the family happy and do they have what they need to ensure your success. The best way to do that is to go to them and ask, otherwise you will hear about it on Twitter, FaceBook and the like, the beginning of the end if your not careful.

The old lesson of STOP, LOOK & LISTEN comes to mind when dealing with your constituents throughout the organization, then add the word DELIVER when you have done the first three.