(Above Graphic: Sean’s suggests that word of mouth will travel through networks at different speeds, and with different accuracy depending on the network. He lists many attributes that will impact the speed of sharing)
Sean O’Driscoll, who did a fantastic job, who has extensive experience managing the Microsoft MVP program has struck out on his own and has launched his own consulting shop Community Group Therapy.
To be an effective community professional, you need to walk the talk and use the tools
Google is not a search engine, it’s a reputation tracker
Sean scored high on search engine results for Microsoft Support after a bad story was on Digg.com
Admits there are many buzzwords, yet many forget to look at the bigger picture
Rather than focusing on the Techcrunch/Scoble “Shiny Diamond” to develop a social media strategy
The 5 P’s of Social Media: People, Places, Process, Platform, Patterns
Process is potentially the most important P –but often overlooked
There are more smarter people about your product outside of your company
It’s good and horrible news that it’s easy to publish. Many fractures due to lack of strategy.
Google is the enemy of brand loyalty, if I can find the answer to a question not on your corporate property
Most advocates and influencers are not
helping to help a brand, they are helping other users.
“Pay it forward” a good model and metaphor how a community works
Impacts to busienss: Customer Service and Support, Sales and Marketing, Innovation and Product Development
You can’t own the message and the audience is going to change it on their own
Word of Mouth has been a key driver why people buy what they buy, now with access to information through social tools greatly impacts this
Engagement is about brand inclusion, making sure people have their voiced involved
We’ve all seen ugly babies but never had one. We’ve strong attraction to our own products. Uses a MS open source as a case study
Beta is not early enough to get your community involved
If you want raving fans, get affinity, talks about Harley Davidson
Influencer Framework in Web 1.0: Envision and develop, test and release, and sell and support
Suggests that social aspect of employees were only in sell and support aspect, not other areas
Sean had an executive champion, Steve Ballmer
Social graph: as a business strategy we should think about it as
For some reason, webex auto-showed webcams (powerbook users?) which was a potential major hazard for those who did not know they were being streamed at their desk. This needs to be fixed, could be a major embarrassment for folks.
Also the chat room in the webex client was very active, I saw Kevin Marks, Marita, Pistachio and others chiming away. The organizer said this chat room was the one of the most active they’ve ever seen. Twitter was a big recruiter.
There are several graphics that I could not effectively blog to text, I’ll link to the slides if they are published.
When I live blog webinars or conferences (even doing screen grabs), not only does it help everyone else, but it helps me to get smarter. Writing really helps to cement knowledge to actionable work.
What’s a tag cloud? It’s a collection of terms or keywords found in content or vernacular. It looks like he’s using IBM’s many eyes software to compile the cloud, which shows the heavier weighted or frequent terms in larger font. The cloud is comprised of words that aren’t necessarily in my wordpress categories, so it appears to be crawling and analyzing text.
I’m starting a new series, called Social Media Frequently Asked Questions. It’s a collection of the top asked questions I hear over and over. I’m putting them here on my blog is a great place to help everyone quickly get educated, convince their boss, or be able to help their clients get over these hurdles, pass them around.
Social Media FAQ #3: How Do I Measure ROI?
This question often creeps up at the end of a webinar or presentation that I give. While we often sing the goodness of social media tools, (and challenges) a web strategist will have to return to the workplace, and demonstrate to their management the value of any program –especially if it’s new.
Is it possible?
In 2005-2006 we debated if this was actually possible, the argument against the ROI of blogging was as difficult as measuring humans. In fact, until we can measure the impact of a conversation between an employee and a prospect at a coffee shop, it was difficult to measure social media. For me, that all changed when Charlene posted the ROI of GM’s Fastlane blog (this was long before I even thought about working with her).
What are you trying to accomplish?
Measuring “new” media isn’t as different as measuring “old” media, the trick is to figure out what your goal is first, is it to spread a message among a community? Is it to reduce support costs? Is it to learn from your community? In each of these cases you’ll have to then assign the right attributes to measure against.
New attributes for new tools
Next, you’ll need to realize that this new media actually has some new attributes (the limited page view attribute is no longer sufficient in this dimensional world), and there are some new attributes to think about (read the white paper I co-authored with Matt Toll of Dow Jones), such as authority, interaction, velocity, attention, sentiment, and actions. You’ll notice I left out the elusive engagement word, it’s used differently by everyone in the industry that it still hasn’t taken hold.
Lastly, you’ll benchmark your programs based upon your goals and those attributes, and you’ll come to some specifics. I’m actually leaving many, many steps out, but those are the high level tasks. You’ll likely need an expert, new tools, and probably a vendor (see my full list), doing it manually is very tedious.
The job of a Marketer is to connect products with customers.
While it’s often native for marketers to know their products, they often fail at truly understanding their customers. Today, customers are much more than just recipients of messages, they create their own messages, share with their peers, and in some cases, are working very hard to keep marketers out of the picture.
In business school, I learned about understanding your customer, we learned about the concepts of Demographics (people’s lifestyles, habits, population movements, spending, age, social grade, employment). The goal was to create a model to understand who these people were, where they live, and what they do.
We also learned that beyond understanding the who, we needed to understand the why, therefore understanding the psyhcographics (lifestyles and behaviors, what interests them, what they hold valuable and how they behave) became of importance.
I first learned of Technographics from Steve Rubel’s blog, he was reviewing a report from colleague Charlene Li, who describes it as “Social Technographics is consumer data that looks at how consumers approach social technologies – not just the adoption of individual technologies”. It’s important that before a company use a social media tool, they understand which tools their customers are using. Update: Julie Katz of Forrester has left a comment showing how the scope of Technographics is used beyond Social Media, and also see a brief history on Wikipedia
Sure, some of the really savvy marketers out there already know your audience, you’re involved in conversations with them all the time, or at one point you were a customer, but for many, that’s not enough.
How about me? How well do I know my community on this blog? Judging by the analytics, I know I have a lot of readers in North American and then in UK. I can tell who some of the readers are by the comments that they leave, but that’s only a small amount. When I announced that I’ll add anyone who ads me back in Facebook, I ended up really getting to know my community, it really brought a depth that I didn’t have before.
Some of you are saying, “that’s a lot of marketing mumbo jumbo”, but if you can’t define who your customers are, then how can you possible connect your products to people who you don’t know.
Edward Sussman, the President of Mansueto Digital and built the new FastCompany.com has responded to my analysis. He’s done a great job addressing the many points I made, and has responded both on my blog and on his site, where I cross posted.
He’s shared some numbers of growth including activity: “We are approaching 1,000 reader posts a day about business topics raised by our journalists” and member involvement: “Members have set up more than 500 blogs about business.”
I’m going to continue to watch Fast Company as a media company who is embracing the social computing aspect of the future and I encourage you to also watch.
Thank you Ed for being so forthcoming, I will watch with great interest.
I advise some of the top brands in the world about how to use social media tools to connect with customers. While many are getting it right, many will get it wrong –with great embarrassment to their brand, and personal careers.
I’ve told several executives that the most important –yet most difficult –conversations they can have are the following:
The 3 Impossible Conversations for Corporations
#1: Asking for Feedback
It’s so hard for companies to ask for feedback. Take a look around, how many ‘corporate’ blogs ask for raw, unfiltered product feedback. It’s scary for a few reasons: 1) Most companies want to talk about how great they are, not expose themselves to weaknesses. 2) Most companies don’t have the appetite to listen to the feedback, then do anything with it. 3) Most companies don’t know how to respond to the feedback, they don’t want to promise it will happen, nor acknowledge a weakness.
#2: Saying positive things about your competitors
Customers aren’t stupid. In fact, they know who your competition is, and they talk about amongst each other. Yet, for some reason, this is very, very difficult for companies to swallow. There’s some unwritten law that companies shouldn’t talk about their competition (unless you’re criticizing them), it’s welded deeply into nearly every corporate culture. The thing is, customers and prospects talk about your competition, and they will often be analyzing you, and them, and not everything said will be negatives. Companies that recognize that their worthy competition has some strengths have the hardest time admitting it in public –yet those that do, become more relevant, trusted, and authentic than ever before.
#3: Admitting you were wrong
Corporations should always show their happiest face to the market –at least that’s what corporate communications team tells us. Yet in reality, no company, (none, nil, zilch) are perfect. Why pretend to be the absolute best in everything that you do when the rest of the market (including those who are buying and deciding on services) know better. Companies have a hard time admitting they’re wrong, instead, choose to spin, redirect, or ignore what most are saying.
Sure these conversations are difficult to have, but they are the same conversations your customer are having with your prospects –so why the veil? Here’s a few ways to think about these challenging conversations because in reality, these aren’t that “impossible”.
It really isn’t that hard to ask for feedback, say nice things about the competition, or to admit your wrong. #1 will come even if you don’t try, that’s life. #2 Will happen at every conference, online chatroom, or social network in your industry. And hey, #3, well if you’ve ever been married, you should already be an expert at admitting you’re wrong. Being married to the most wonderful person in the world is the same as loving your customers. So learn how to say “Sorry honey, will you please forgive me?” I do, just about every day.
Etsy created this “electronic press release” to show how hand made products are created, shared, sold, and discussed on their community site.
All of the products are hand made and are unique, unlike the mass produced commercial products are sold. Think back a few years, this wasn’t possible, hand made items would be generally limited in distribution to local stores, craft shows, or maybe some type of catalog.
How is Esty different? While Craigslist is more impersonal, Etsy focuses on building community, relationships and even online events (like a virtual craft show). Ebay, which certainly has similar features, doesn’t cater to only these unique handmade items.
Now, the web provides access for anyone to share unique items, and benefit from a global storefront. Expect more of smaller, individual, and customized goods to be created, traded, and sold due to the web.
With the success of the Twitterbowl experiment (read the premise or view results) a few weeks ago, the Twitter community is self-organizing to make TV a participatory sport.
How? Those on Twitter can comment, discuss, praise or criticize the stars, their outfits, and their self-important speeches. It’s pretty easy to do, on twitter you can type in Twitter Comment the phrase “#aa08″
Fedora and Data Portability Logos, too similar for comfort. (image via Techcrunch)
Turning over the logo creation to your community
For a few years now, we’ve been saying that the brand is really owned by your customers, not your MarCom brand police team. Today, we’re seeing this actually play out in a very interesting twist.
The Data Portability Workgroup launches
The Data Portability group is a workgroup focused on building industry-wide standards for information to safely and freely pass from one site to another –all at the control of an individual user. Yes, I know we’re all sick of seeing yet another working group with little or no results, but this group appears to be making progress, I’m reviewing their status reports, and will probably be briefed by Chris at major milestones.
Logo infringement a cause for redesign
Recently, they launched and announced themselves, including the easy to remember figure 8/infinity sign. Apparently, this was too similar to the logo of Fedora, While copyright infringement is never a fun thing, what’s interesting is that the DataPortability group is crowd sourcing their logo design to the community.
The community designs, votes, and is rewarded
There are hundreds of dollar worth of prizes, ad exposure on Techcrunch and CenterNetworks, and iPhone and other goodies, read the full guidelines on Chris’s site.
The logos will be submitted on spec to the team and a ‘representative election’ will occur:
“The co-founders of the DataPortability project, along with the steering group, will make a short list. We will then provide a web-based voting system for the community to make the final choice.”
Letting go to gain more
This is really an interesting way to let the community create, decide, and take ownership over your own brand and logo. Let’s see how this turns up. To add to the reward, I’ll point to the winning designer, granting even additional exposure. Great job Chris and team, turning a potential lawsuit into a community involving event, I look forward to seeing the results.
Seems like everything is picking up, there are more conferences, workshops, and webinars appearing at –the space is booming. Everyone has questions about social networks, and there’s a lot of interest around widgets and the promise of OpenSocial.
Here’s where you can find me in the month of March