Friday, September 2, 2011

Just Be You!

     How often do you ask a friend or loved one's opinion before you make a decision?  Most of us do it quite frequently.  There seems to be something comforting in hearing another human offer guidance.  Contrary to popular belief, we don't all use (shock!) the internet to help us make choices!
     Let's look at some of the salient points from a recent article by Blaise James and Jim Asplund in the Gallup Management Journal.  (for the full article, go here: utm_source=google&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_term=Social-Media-Three-Big-Myths#2
     Here are three myths about social networking that can also be applied to business social media.

     Myth the First:  Social media initiatives drive customer loyalty and acquisition.
     Fact:                   Engagement with a brand drives social engagement.
     According to the Gallup research, brand-sponsored social media initiatives have little impact on customer's decision making.   Take a look at this chart from Gallup.


     Myth the Second:  Social Networking is an online-only phenomenon.
     Fact:                       Social networking predominately happens off-line.
    How is this possible, you ask?  You have to understand two definitions.  First, social networking is the act of engaging a social network.  Second, social media is a medium through which people network.  Notice I said "a medium" and not "the medium."  That's right, folks.  For as much as we love our digital new age, we still like those face-to-face meetings!  It does you no good to continually get the word out through business social media if your customers can't eventually interact with humans, and better still, face to face.  Why do you think trade shows are still so popular?  This trickles all the way down to you just taking a stack of materials with you and showing up at a retirement home.  Same idea.  The media is NOT the message.

     Myth the Third:  All social networkers are the same.
     Fact:                     People use social networks in different ways and for different reasons.
     Using mass tactics to hit your target audience is like using a shotgun to try and hit a bullseye cleanly from 50 feet away.  Mass tactics make the supposition that all social networkers on the receiving end are all pretty much the same, and they are not.  Gallup says its research shows that social networkers all have differing reasons on how and why they use their networks.  Here's the takeaway:  they aren't going to change their reasons, so it's up to you to make the changes that will bring them around to your organization.
     It's really simple - Be customer driven.  Be brand driven.  Be aware of your audience.
     Just be you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

You Have to Work to Succeed!

     Here's today's "Luanne" strip by Greg Evans.  The story line so far has been that Knute talked Crystal into submitting a music video to a contest site, using his video and her poem.  Knute banged their entry out in two minutes using his cell phone, and it was rejected by the committee even faster.  Hence his dismay in today's strip that "What's the world come to if you have to work to succeed?"
     Indeed, what has the world come to if you have to work to succeed?
     This blog is about business social media, so this won't be a diatribe about work ethic.  Instead, let's talk about work smart ethic.
     We'd all like to finish our chores in about two minutes, wouldn't we?  But that's just not possible.  The fact that we all connect on social and business social media instantaneously doesn't mean that our job of making that connection should happen at the same speed.  If you're in charge of your firm's business social media, or if you are doing it on your own, you need to take the time to make it right.  You need to take the time to think about the message you are about to send.  Take the time to think about the audience you are trying to reach.  Take the time to think about the action you want your audience to engage in for you.  Take the time to craft your message and check it for accuracy, for proper spelling, proper grammar, proper punctuation.
     The term "instant message" isn't meant to be used in connection with business social media!
     You have to work to succeed!

Monday, August 29, 2011

This Train Has Left the Station


     A new study shows that the number of internet users who also hit social media networking sites is continuing to grow.
     Here's the part that should make your eyeballs jump if you're out there using business social media to get your message across:  the only two things more popular than social media among Web users are search engines and email.
     The survey, by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, says social networking site use has doubled in the past three years.  The numbers jumped from about 29% in 2008 to 65% this year; back in the dark ages of 2005, social media usage was at 5% of adults.
     Making it more interesting, this is the first time that over half of adults surveyed have said they use social networking.
     And who are all of these people?  Well, about 89% of women from the age of 18 - 29 who are online use social media sites.  Of that number, 69% say they usually log onto a social media site every day.
    Men are still lagging behind.  Only 60% of all men say they use social networking, compared to 69% of women on the internet.
     What does it all mean?  It means this: 
     The business social media train has moved out of the station - but you've still got time to get on board!