Social Media is an incredible way to build your brand online.
With tens of platforms, millions of people active and ready to connect, you have an opportunity.
As someone that has spent 10,000+ hours across social media platforms in recent years, I feel well positioned to give you some guidance based on some mistakes I’ve made. You probably all know which one I spent most time on, and it was truly mind expanding; it was life changing, and felt like world connected for the first time at a higher level – group video calls do that.
It also took a huge investment of time, so let me (hopefully) help you address a few of the ways you can get the most out of Social Media. Putting it simply, burnout is not worth it and I was on the edge of that until March last year.
Before we get to the tips, let’s explore the role of language in our lives…(you’ll see where I am going):
“The world is made of language.”
Ever since Jason Silva picked up the gauntlet of cultural transformation from Terence McKenna, we see the emergence of engagement in one main understanding:
The world is not ‘out there’, it exists as a perceptual construct. And language matters.
As the culture changes, so does language.
I remember as a kid we used to call it ‘Sun tan lotion’ which then became ‘sun block’ a few years later. The sun didn’t change as much as we do – our understanding of health alters our perceptions and our use of language.
Which leads us on to…
Addicting vs. Addictive
Since arriving in the US I am hearing this word more ‘addicting’, as in e.g. ‘Milk chocolate ‘Reeses pieces’ can be an addicting…’
(we don’t use this word as much in the UK)
Addictive is an adjective, and
Addicting is said to be an adjective, but actually I would suggest it is not.
You can be addicted and you wouldn’t even know.
If you search Google for ‘meaning addicting’ it hasn’t as yet enabled the result as a separate word:
As such, I am not sure this Google Search result cuts the mustard, so to speak. To me, having failed to learn 7 languages in my lifetime (kind of proud of that, in a very strange way), it looks suspiciously like a verb structure, and likely to stem from the present continuous form of the verb ‘to addict’ i.e. it is addicting.
And this site (Grammar Girl) seems to have dived into this linguistic rabbit hole too, saying “The American Heritage Dictionary lists [addicting] it as a transitive verb.”
Why does this matter?
Well, I would suggest that by making the word a verb it changes how we process the information. Making it continuous ‘-ing’, like ‘He/she/it is walking/talking/singing’ means that there is an active, ongoing process involved, not a passive descriptive state (an adjective), like it is ‘blue’ or it is ‘fast’. (and adjective being a describing word, but I know you know that – love you Elmo).
Ok, back in the room.
Saying something is addictive is a bit like saying ‘fire is hot’. Sure, but so what? Saying ‘Social Media is addicting’, however, shifts us from this somewhat passive on/off, ‘this is the nature of it’ into a position where it possesses an ongoing power i.e. it continues to have the power of addicting you. But just like fire, it doesn’t have to burn, even though it has the capacity to do so.
These are the global stats for social:
And these are for social media addiction:
Saying it is addictive almost makes it, well ‘it’s fault’. Saying it is addicting means there is a relationship you, as a unique individual, has with whatever you are doing.
Fire can be used to cook food, keep your warm, melt metal for machinery (all technology), or it could burn you out. (see what I did there?) The question is this: what are you trying to achieve through your online activity? Then approach social in way that serves you best. Know this: you either consume or your produce. If you are not producing content, then you are consuming. What you really want to be doing is creating quality connections (for business), with the content being the conversation around which those relationships are built.
With all that ‘set up’ in mind, here are the tips:
(And please know, I’m still working on this whole area, and am far from perfect myself.)
1. Switch off your Social Media notifications on your cell phone. It was my good friend Chris Brogan from Owner.Media that nudged me on this one. Very pleased he did. Put simply, stop push notifications and you do Social much more on your terms. Notifications are digital dopamine. And maybe you need to wean yourself off a little…
2. Close your social media tabs on your browser when you are doing other work. Know this: your attention can only be on one thing at a time. If it on ‘that’ it is not on ‘this’. Keep focused and you will get much more done, and enjoy Social Media on your own terms.
3. Go and buy yourself an alarm clock. Like this:
Why? That will stop you turning your phone on at night to see the time. No more will you be all like ‘Oh, I’ll just click a few buttons whilst I am at it.’ No. And it doesn’t tick. Life changer.
4. Buy a book to write your to-do list in (i.e. know your outcomes) This is like a rope tied around your waist when you go online. You can ask yourself, ‘What was I meant to be doing?’, looking at the list in front of you, instead of being pulled any-which-way by the content that is pulling for your attention.
5. Know that your behaviour is what continues the ongoing pattern i.e. you continue to behave in a way which keep re-addicting yourself. If you think that you need ‘more followers’ to be ‘ok’, then you will spend your time chasing that goal.
The follower count, and the engagement though plus ones, likes, emoticons etc, are just metrics within a channel – and ultimately for businesses you need to be brutal as to what is working, or not.
It is not digital (on/off), even though it is (obviously) in the digital domain. Ok, that could be a linguistic rabbit hole, so let me run with…
6. Pick a carrot, and stick with it. (I’m a writer, don’t you know…)
If you are on social for business then pick one or two main platforms for your attention. (at least if you want to slow down a little..)
And you can nibble, you don’t have to spend hours on any one platform, consuming. The complexity you will be experience by posting across seven sites, with seven groups of followers, with seven different cultures…you get the picture.
7. Run these experiments Do you ‘think of Social’ when you are not on it? I mean, do you find that thoughts are pulling you back. Are you walking down the street thinking of all the funny Facebook updates you could make? Or, how you could construct the perfect Snapchat story? And maybe you have the urge to open an app and click a button or two? Any addicting behaviour requires effort to sustain itself, and it starts with those persistent thoughts. Test 1 Want to know whether you have a ‘habit’? Well, sit for one hour, or just ‘do stuff for a day’ and notice how many times your mind was pulled toward social. But resist it. Go cold turkey, and then you will get a sense where it is ‘at’ for you. And yes, posting photos counts. Test 2 Take one day off from Social, and notice how many times you are ‘tempted’ back. Test 3 Now imagine months with no posting, no snapping, no liking… Could you live without it? (I pretty much stopped for months last year, and trust me, the world didn’t end. Good people were still there when I returned.)
8. Stop. Clicking. Buttons. I write articles, so I click a lot of buttons most days (like 10,000+) but even when I don’t I reckon I click 3000+ buttons every day. And a lot are relating to social. How often do you check your notifications? Even when they are not showing any new message? (just to check)
9. Email counts too. I started on Social Media back in 1998, but then it was friends on email lists (I used to share jokes with people I’d met on my 3 years living overseas). Email is often more on your terms, but it can still be addicting as you feel you are missing out, or waiting until ‘something’ happens. Here are some tips for taming your inbox.
10. Be present in your body
Until we get those snazzy contact lenses to wear, and fully connect our neo-cortex to the Cloud to gain an extra few RAM, I think we can learn to put our phones away and simply ‘be here now.’
It may well help restore more presence in the real world, and give you better quality time on social when you are ‘there’.
Social Media has become a lifestyle for many people, and it is still early days as to how it will pay off for some.
What I do know is this…
Social Media has opened the doors of the world, and we are all connecting.
The main thing to do is treat it as a tool that helps you connect with the right people for you.
Then you can tell your story, and build your business.
This is one of the reasons I am obsessed with notifications across platforms, and devices.
Every time someone sees your brand you are reinforcing a relationship with them. And in that moment you are either influencing them to engage (e.g. click to enter into a newly uploaded YouTube video) or not.
And when you can piece together your approach to branding across all platforms, telling a story with every post, then you will begin to increase the number of potential touch points.
Until today (Tuesday 27th, or ‘dark Tuesday as it shall now be known…), you would potentially see a face for someone you follow who +1’d an app in the Play Store. But this seems to have disappeared…
Add in the whole concept of ‘reviews’ (which are still showing faces in Play, and for Local of course) and you are adding a Social movement which is sharing the love (or not) of you business with the world.
Martin: Hello everybody. I’m joined today by a chip-eating Bryan Kramer. We can hear them in the background. You can just carry on. It’s lunchtime. We’re both in CA. We’re almost stretching distance here.
And Bryan has got a fantastic book, Shareology! Which is out and doing understandably well in Amazon. It’s got a beautiful cover. Love the cover. And I read it last week. Really enjoyed it.
I said to Bryan before we got started, it’s got a corporate feel to it. You’ll see what I mean. It’s got a depth and it will take social in a slightly different way for some people. And I like that.
Always a chance to see people’s world view and their perspectives when they write. And a great opportunity in this hangout. So welcome Bryan. Good to see you.
I feel I know you already. We’ve never hung out.
Bryan: I know. Isn’t that crazy about social media?
Martin: I know. So we’ve got Persicope going on. So if I look over that once in a while. Bryan’s coming on the main screen.
So let’s start. I’ll tell you what I thought. I will zip through, almost chapter by chapter. But tell me the back story. Let’s give a little bit of the back story to Shareology.
Bryan: Yeah, so the book was really written with the idea that as we’ve grown up, we have not really learned how to share in school other than maybe in kindergarten. So one of the things that I think is really more of a skill that we learn, rather than taught classroom-style way, sharing in Shareology was written to help fulfill the art and the science of sharing, because it is both.
It’s not one without the other. So I did 250+ interviews with people of all walks of life – executives, social media, linguists, psychologists, sociologists, PhDs, great executives, CEOs, large companies and small companies.
And really it was all done with the idea that everyone, especially right now with the era of social and the sharing economy, the collaborative economy, whatever you want to call it. I call it the human economy. It’s necessary, important for us to all learn, how, when, why, where to share.
So that’s the premise of the book. And the book is broken down into two parts: Share and Ology. The art and the science. And you can skip around if you are more interested in the art or the science. You can skip to one or the other.
That’s pretty much the idea behind it.
Martin: Let’s start and look at the sharing economy. Let’s explore a little bit more, because we were talking social a minute ago. What do you see, and particularly from your interviews? What do you think the current wave is with this?
What are the current feels? Are people resisting this, or are people getting swept up into it?
Bryan: I think it’s been well received. I’m going to find out the book numbers here today. So I’m not exactly sure what they are yet.
But #Shareology has reached over 300M imprints. And it’s continued to, if you go on Facebook and look up #Shareology, I’m getting about 10-15 book selfies a day.
Bryan: Thank you for that. So I think everybody has been very excited by it. And I know there’s been a lot of books on social media. This book is not just about social. This is about the evolution of sharing.
And it’s the before-during but it’s also the future. So it’s present to future. I have a future part in terms of where I think sharing is going.
It’s changed over the years. And it also incorporates the physical-digital room like Uber and Airbnb and how we share our physical things. How we order things that are app services that are sharing a co-created economy.
So there’s a lot of different aspects to sharing. And I tried to cover a lot of that throughout the book.
Martin: Cool. Let’s have a look at – I’m zipping through the chapters. Contextual Shape Shifting. Can you say a little bit about that?
Bryan: So Contextual Shape Shifting is the digital to physical world. That’s where eventually we’ll be able to share and literally shape things together.
Like for instance, there’s a way right now where you can actually imagine a big ball of clay. And you start to shape that clay into something, into a square, a figure, a statue of something, whatever.
Now that shape shift, that clay is actually little micro balls that allow you to actually physically shape something like a statue or a shape of some kind. Now imagine that is connected to your computer and you are connected to somebody in Sweden or Australia or wherever, anywhere in the world.
And you create the shape. And then that person on the other end sees exactly that shape and they can actually help you to create this thing. So you’re both working in the physical world across the internet to physically shape something. That will be huge.
I mean, we’ve seen a lot of it coming up with Oculus Rift and 3D. Now Facebook just bought another company that allows you to pull your friends in front of you and you can see it through the 3D glasses, the Oculus Rift. You can see your hands. And your hands can actually interact with what’s inside the space that you’re seeing.
So now physical to digital world is right there in front of you. You’re helping to control things with your own hands. So this kind of thing I think is going to start to take off, not in the far future. In the near future. Like just the next year or two.
Martin: Yeah. Have you tried Oculus Rift or one of the headsets?
Bryan: Yeah. It made me really dizzy. At the time that I did it, the development of the space or the animation is really key to the UX, the user experience. And it can make you really dizzy if they don’t design it right and it’s not high definition.
So I think it’s come along. I think by the time we all start to see it they’ll have those bugs worked out.
Martin: Worth keeping an eye on. This is a little headset for the mini thing. And that’s, great apps. Anyway, I’m slightly obsessed by VR stuff.
Good. So coming back – this is what I got from the book. What you were just talking out with the clay, I mean, it’s metaphoric as well, isn’t it? But you’ve also got, the technology is changing how you connect and changing what you can do.
And you can’t always imagine what’s going to happen next. But this is what I was saying about the wave – we’re in it. We’re part of it. And the more connected you are, the more the network’s there, which I know we’ll start talking about, the more you get the opportunity to do things, whatever that looks like.
Which brings me to the Human Business Movement because you’ve been talking about human to human, H2H for quite a while.
Martin: There was no question there Bryan. You’re pausing, like, is he going to ask a question? No. This is your realm.
Bryan: Yeah, so H2H, I wrote that almost 2 years ago now. And it was a really vital part of what I think led up to Shareology because first you need to understand the human factors involved in sharing and why we’re here to connect. And then I think the evolution to that is how do you connect, and that’s the sharing aspect.
So it really is evolved over the last few years since I wrote Human to Human. And I think still very relevant. I’m not sure that the term will go out of style any time soon. For H2H, it still carries true, because there are so many. People that are trying to automate systems, their email, their responses, and so forth.
At the end of the day, I’m not sure that’s winning. I don’t think it’s carrying as much weight as a relationship does. When we think back to door-to-door salesmen and how much effort and work it took for them to do that. I’m not sure there’s a way around that other than really putting in the hard work.
There are systems in place. I’m not against email marketing or demand gen, anything that’s automated. What I am really trying to focus in on there is how do you get a little bit more personalized, a little bit more customer-centric. So personalized meaning don’t just blast your list out to 100K people and call it a day.
Some of the fundamentals of marketing, which marketers already know, but a lot of people still don’t do, and we get all these emails all the time. And we get spammed all the time, which is ridiculous. And they could easily segment us into smaller groups and have messages that really resonate with us. And feed us content that really matters.
We don’t want to unsubscribe all the time. But that’s only the first part of it. The relationship opens and closes the process. It’s the reason that you don’t leave a brand. When you have a relationship with a brand, you don’t want to leave that brand.
And if a real human knows you by name, now you’re even more screwed. Because now they know you, and you know they know you. So building a relationship goes miles. But if you take it the opposite approach, they don’t pay attention, they don’t know you, then you can be a brand shifter. And most people are.
Most people are able to shift brands at a moment’s notice. Whether it’s a car that you have to trade in or a phone. It could be a computer, anything sitting around you. We have 100s of brands sitting around us on our desk and in our cars between home and work. We can shift in a moment’s notice.
And this is a real fickle time for brands to start building relationships so that it really does make it harder to leave because they have paid attention. They do care about it.
Martin: And how do you be delightful in that situation?
Bryan: Delight comes in lots of different flavors. You have to be delightful, first of all, in a way that’s not creepy. Creepy can go in a couple of wrong ways. And I think that’s where we’re going to have to watch ourselves, especially as personalization gets huge in the next few years.
But being delightful, especially being unexpectedly delightful, can be in a couple of ways. I describe one situation in the book. It’s a story about my college job that I had as a pizza driver. I was trying to make tips. It was in a college town. It was hard for me to make tips, because college students don’t tip that much for pizza or for anything.
So I heard what they said. They said they were really thirsty. I never had soda or anything on me, because they didn’t order it. But I was at the grocery store one day, and I saw 2-liters on sale for $0.50 for 2, so $0.25 / apiece.
I bought the whole pallet and put it in the back of my Chevy blue old Blazer. And with a medium or large, I delivered a 2-liter. And I would hand it to them. Half the time, they were stoned, because it was college. So they were really excited when I said, here you go, and I handed them a 2-liter.
And they said, oh my God! I’m so thirsty! I’m so glad that you brought this. I didn’t think I ordered that. And I said, nope. You didn’t. That’s on me. It’s for free. And where I was getting no tips before, now I was getting $5 and $10 in tips.
And at the end of the night, I’d make several $100. And it was all because I was delivered unexpected delight for something that they needed. I was listening to what they needed and that helped.
A month later I was called into the office and told I had to stop doing that because the other drivers weren’t taking 2-liters, and they were getting calls that they weren’t getting the 2-liters. And I argued that they should start doing it as a promotion.
But anyway, the point is that we have to deliver unexpected value to our customers. And it has to be done in a way where you just feel like there’s something special. It can be like my Ted Rubin says, a smile, or a thank you. Or it could be something that helps them to feel good about their purchase or a personal note. Thank you’s go a long way.
There are so many ways to do it; it doesn’t have to be a 2-liter. But it could be something that really makes somebody’s day.
Martin: Let’s talk a little bit about listening.
Bryan: Listening is probably the first and most important thing I think everyone should do in life, in our day to day work, and especially online. People ask me where to begin and what to do. They’re just building their profiles and they don’t know what to do.
And I think it’s important that everyone does a little bit of research first and just explores through listening what people are talking about. We had a very big, one of the top culinary schools as a client that was in NY and they’ve got locations around the world. And they hired us to do some social media content.
So we came in and the first thing we did was we listened. We went online and we listened to what everybody was saying. We put in the keyword term, I want to become a chef. And it was really interesting because we got over 25K comments a day just for that one phrase.
Then it became time to whittle that down and find the needles in the haystack for people who were serious. That’s where social listening software comes into play, where you can see the serious vs the non-serious. Everybody wants to be a chef at some point, but who really wants to go to school for it.
So then we can whittle that down to just those and offer up helpful content or directly say, we can help you. But social listening allows you to find them. And that’s something you would have never been able to do before.
So listening is probably the mother of all skills, and the mother of all skills online as well.
Martin: I’ve got to say to everyone on Periscope, there is so much in the book. It’s got 220 pages. Just little tasters of bits. But it gives you an idea. It’s great to get a perspective of your personal story.
Influences, Bryan? Where are things with influences these days? I’ve been so fortunate, largely due to Mike Stelzner and Social Media Examiner and connecting with people. The space for me has changed, because it’s about adding value, one conversation at a time, listening and learning from you guys that are so much more established in this space than I am.
It’s like, it’s not so much that they’re influencers. They’re just people that are further along or better at certain things. There are teachers and mentors. And Chris Brogan has been an amazing mentor.
How do you see influencers in the space now? You personally? And we can come to the more corporate, because of the value of spreading information and things.
Bryan: I believe that everybody is an influencer on something. We all have influence, whether it’s online or offline, doesn’t matter.
Everybody has something that they’re passionate about, whether they know it or not. If you strike up a conversation with somebody on something that they are passionate about, which I believe everybody has one thing that they know really well, more than anything else – at least one, maybe more.
Then they will start talking about it, and you can probably get more than your fair share of information from that person. And what makes them unique is the fact that they are so excited or passionate or went to school or however they built up their knowledge about it, that you can obviously see that they’re interested.
And that makes them an influencer because you would trust them. You know that they know a lot about that product. So it’s really important that in today’s social era you start identifying who in your business is an influencer or could influence. Because they could be more powerful than anything else you do.
There’s a great book by my friend Sam Fiorella called Influencer Marketing. And I quoted him in the book and did an interview with him. It’s a great book to pick up. There’s a lot of stuff out there on influencer marketing, but that’s the best one.
One of the things that we’re able to do is with influencers, you’re able to build relationships with these people, and you’re able to show them maybe more behind the scenes than you could do with the masses.
And at that point, once you’ve given them enough information, a couple of things can take place. One, maybe they share it with everyone else. Maybe they write blogs or share it on social media. Maybe they just simply share it with their friends, which is phenomenal unto itself.
Like we were talking about before. When people share things that you trust, they’re going to sell it. And then the other thing is if something happens, you also have started to build a community of people who feel like a VIP of your company. So they might be able to help you in any given time, when something might happen. They can come to your rescue, without asking, because they know the answer.
Maybe they start to support your product or service simply because they care. And all of these ways go miles once you start to hear an influencer talk about a product or service. It’s way better than a brand.
It’s why PR debatably did well. Some people think it didn’t. But I think PR does well. And this is another extension of, or I should say an integration of PR and social media, where you’re integrating this great collaboration. And you can see the results.
I mean, there are metrics for it that you can put down. It can be more – some people call them egometrics. But you can see impressions that people are creating online, or blogs, or direct clicks and links and stuff like that. So there’s a lot there.
Martin: Super. What is your favorite social platform? Do you have one?
Martin: Like one of your children, exactly.
Bryan: Right now I would probably have to say Facebook would be the most favorite. Quick follow up. My personal favorite on the non-business side is Instagram. And then my business favorite on the non-personal side is Twitter.
LinkedIn is probably last on the list. I do enjoy LI though. I do use LI. I just find a little bit more engagement and value on Facebook.
Martin: There are a lot of conversations. There’s what I say, “you lot.” You know who I mean, which is great. And there’s a huge amount of engagement on everybody’s content. Which is you or Ruben or Mike Stelzner and so on.
And it’s a very social place, isn’t it? Facebook.
Bryan: Yeah, it really is.
Martin: So, next. Let’s have a quick look – there’s so much here! Brands on sharing. What did you learn? Because you interviewed people around this, I believe. What was the brands on sharing?
Bryan: Yeah, Jay Curley, that’s a good one. He is the head of social for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. And he gave me an interview around that they’re just not an ice cream company. They’re more than that.
They’re community-driven. It’s interesting because they drive value back to the entire supply chain. So the dairy farms that supply the milk to make the ice creams, they go feature and support those dairy farms. So it’s not just taking and buying them from a vendor.
They also see them as an inclusive community. So they wanted to take that idea and go further with it on social media. So they do a really good job there.
They reach out to each of the different communities and asked them to share something that was euphoric to them. And to take a picture of it on Instagram. And they had people showing with #EuphoricMoments. And then they took the community’s photos, with their permission, and turned them into ads – billboards, and so forth.
And really showed those moments. But they showed them locally. So they ran the billboard in the same town of the person who shared that photo. So they were proud because they saw their photo up on the billboard. So it was very local, community-focused, and it went back to their whole ideal of building community and helping people to celebrate their local nature.
So I think it was a cool campaign. I also think it’s something anyone can do. It’s got something any community, any size company could also do that.
Martin: Right. Now, talking about community, there are two people. Mari Smith, Mike Stelzner. In the last section, let’s talk about Mike first. Because that’s where I got brought into – I say you lot – I feel part of it now.
He built a community around Social Media Examiner. When did you get involved in connections there? Has that been going on for a long time?
Bryan: I think two years now. And it was right around when my book H2H came out. He reached out to me and said that he was really impressed with the book and wanted to – he asked me to speak at Social Media World based upon what he had read.
And from there, we struck up a friendship and have since been on his podcast twice and spoken at his event twice. And yeah, it’s a really cool community. He’s just a great guy and done such a great job.
Martin: What tips does he have in the book on the future of social platforms? You’re not going to remember now. I know what it’s like when people ask you those questions.
There is a future to social platforms and it’s community. Let’s go for that.
Bryan: Yeah. That’s like on page 72, line 3.
Martin: Yeah-yeah-yeah. The editor wrote that word. Cool.
Bryan: No, the crux of what he talks about and what I think he’s really good at is how he manages his community. And he does a really good job of managing his community. But he also talks through the process of – I think he has like 300K email subscribers and pretty high numbers on his social media as well.
I would be surprised if it’s not in the 1Ms. And he’s creating two new pieces of content a day. Quality content. And he’s got a team that helps to share that out and a process for how that gets shared out.
So he walks through that entire process in the book. And I think he talks about then, as things shift, where he sees that going. But everybody by the book to see what that is.
Martin: And there’s a huge amount of people from Jay Baer, I think is fantastic. You mentioned Mari Smith. So what does Mari say? And then we’ve got Nathan, I know Frank, Eddie Aston. You mentioned about Sam Fiorella earlier.
This book, there’s a lot in it, everybody. Let’s just touch on Mari Smith before we wrap up. She’s talking about the future of brand shareability.
Bryan: She’s dynamic as you know. And she really gave a great interview for the book. As you know, she’s a very dedicated person to Facebook. And known for Facebook.
So she talks about where things are at and where she thinks things are going. And there is, and she was very honest about the brand pages and how hard it is to get traction on those pages right now and what brands can do.
And she runs through some concepts and ideas of what that is and talks about how to get things seen and some examples on that.
So she gets really practical, which is what I really enjoyed about her interview.
Martin: Awesome! Last couple of minutes, what would you like to leave people with, Bryan?
Bryan: You know, I think the one thing I would say is if you’re either looking at where to start, looking at what you to listen in on, or you’re far enough long and you really just want to figure out your metrics, keep one thing in mind. That everyone really wants to connect.
Everyone is in this world and in business and online and purchasing not only to get a product or a service but also to connect with other people. And I think if you keep that in mind across no matter what, the measurements and the analytics really show one thing. But at the end of the day, does it show what a relationship means, and that into itself – when you start to focus into the relationships and the connections you’ve made. And start to show all the many layers and circles that you have, followers, all of that.
That boils down to the hard core relationships that you’ve built. And there’s nothing more powerful.
Martin: Beautiful! Thank you, Bryan Kramer.
Everybody watching on Periscope or Google Live, the link for Amazon for Shareology will be on the event thread. I would ask you when you buy it to review. Stay in touch with Bryan @BryanKramer. And follow him on Facebook.
If you’re watching this after, then the link is going to be on the website. So go to the book and buy it there. Remember to review it. It really helps. And also, if you’re watching it on YouTube, then the link is in the description. So please do click to buy.
Thank you so much, Bryan. I can see in the comments, people have really enjoyed you. You have given another perspective on what it is to be sharing. And really appreciate connecting.
Bryan: Thank you so much. Really appreciate it. Cheers!
You know when receive a new request to ‘add someone to your network’ or a a friend request?
The role of trust
There are two main aspects at play here – the numbers of people in common, and the people you have in common (if you were to add them in).
In essence, if you see lots of friendly faces, people you trust, as mutual friends, you are probably far more likely to add people in.
I realized the power of the trust signal this gives when someone has already been accepted by a large part of your network.
There will be a figure as well – 10 creating a certain level of trust, and 100 creating another. It will all depend, but the response is determinable based on the circumstances of that individual.
If you already know the person, and have your ‘mind made up’ that you do or don’t want to have them as part of their network – and if you don’t, then they will be rejected.
It is in all other circumstances that the a) profile picture, b) their name (e.g. could be a family member), and c) the ‘mutual friends’ aspect, that will tend to determine the responses people get to the approach.
Building your network.
If you want to build the best network, you will want to start making friends.
And the existing mutual friends is just a scan away, seeing who you have in common and whether you trust their judgement.
Then you confirm, or don’t.
Having ‘good friends’, or people who say ‘you are in’ (i.e. accept you), will determine therefore whether your approaches will be accepted, or not.
On Facebook, for instance, you can see the influence here in terms of numbers of people who are already ‘mutual friends’.
Then we have the same principle on Linkedin:
And as I say, the ‘who’ is in common really matters.
A similar principle applies on Facebook and G+ too – but there is more of an asymmetry where people may e.g. circle you, but culturally there is view that you shouldn’t have to circle back unless you really relate to them/their content.
(note: with Google+ Collections being a strong focus now, following content not people is also changing things.)
Have you opted into my newsletter yet? Cool things coming your way every Saturday.
Or my best advice, based on Seth Godin/Permission Marketing is to ask people to opt into receive notifications i.e. you build up a mini-list. Basic instructions here.
Linkedin – you will notify your network when you publish a new post on Pulse, and people have to opt out not to receive them anymore.
But…there are 3 different types of notifications on this platform, and technically the updates don’t ‘hit your inbox’
Whether or not ‘it works’ i.e. that the notifications a) get someone’s attention, and b) move them to action e.g. reading the content, is a different step in the process and also needs measuring.
Your notification layer (on a mobile) is the like the in-box used to be in the late 90’s. Back then it was all email. No apps. Nothing but email. (I don’t crazy, huh, kids?)
Mobile is a whole world and if you are serious about business you will need to look at ‘apps’ as this way you can push notifications to the user directly. If you are really serious, speak with dialectinc.com
Even if you are not looking at paying for your own app, you will find notifications on a mobile get your attention as a user.
And there is a distinct difference between different social platforms e.g. with Periscope you will receive notice when anyone you are following ‘goes live’ – and that may well be a lot of people, filling up your screen; compare this to e.g. Google+ which is a lot more mellow ‘on the push’.
An overview on the topic:
I’ve been testing out the new way of requested an opt in to collections on Google+, and then asking people to tell me if they have – hence making it easier to track engagement vs. using e.g. opt in circles. (see below)
The results are not 100% certain as yet, but I would suggest that right now you should keep building up the opt in lists using circles, but know that Collections are centre stage so may well need more attention moving forward.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been receiving demos for a load of awesome reviews type software, as I am learning the ins and outs of this space.
I asked Reputation loop whether they would like to guest blog for the community, and here it is!
Great customer service:
Great customer service is often a must-have for consumers and businesses alike. Customers demand top-quality customer service and businesses want to attract and retain those customers.
Beyond retention, improving customer service and making a true commitment to enhancing the customer experience you has added bonuses. I’m in the business of five-star reviews and creating positive online reputations so let’s talk about how happy customers ARE going to leave reviews and spread the word, and prospective customers ARE going to listen.
Why Customer Service and Online Reviews Matter
When consumers are searching for the best place to spend their money, their buying decisions are heavily influenced by the experiences of previous customers. With online reviews having such a big impact, it is important that a business who wants to have a competitive edge do their best to please the customer, every time. That commitment is how you create a company culture where high quality customer is the norm.
Every Ford dealership in your town can sell you a brand new F150, and there isn’t going to be a huge difference in pricing. But which one makes it a no hassle, enjoyable experience? You and everyone else can find the answers to everything they want to know about a company or product in seconds online. In many buying decisions customer service is the differentiator, and the speed and ease of access to other customer’s experiences is why buyer research is so detailed and influential today.
Looking at the emotional side of buying, customers want to feel good about the money they spend. Are your online reviews and reputation giving the warm and fuzzies to prospective customers?
A Zendesk survey found that 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service. So a better question is: Is your customer service scaring away customers? They need to.
That same Zendesk survey showed 40% of customers began purchasing from a competitor because of the competitor’s reputation for great customer service. If there are other options in your market, with better reviews and less complaints, you are at risk of losing customers daily. That is why improving customer service needs to be an area of concentration when building and nurturing your online reputation.
Improve Customer Service for 5-Star Online Reviews
What is your company’s commitments in the area of customer service? In today’s highly competitive market you need to exceed your industry’s standards of quality of service. Customers have high expectations when spending their money, and it goes far beyond a simple service or product in exchange for payment. They want fast delivery, competitive pricing and exceptional customer service.
Of the three, the most remarked upon in reviews is customer service because a review is just a recount of their experience with your business. How they “felt” about your business will be less about the product bought and more closely tied to the interaction with your company, the buying process and how the product or service improved their life.
Think about horrible reviews you have read. There had to be a truly negative emotional reaction tied to that experience to make a person go through the trouble of writing and posting such a passionate warning to others to avoid a business. Rarely is a negative review a simple “Product didn’t work” statement. More than likely you will find a lengthy explanation on how the business failed to fix a problem or make things right. Low one- and two-star reviews are usually a direct reflection of poor customer service.
The brighter side of customer service is that great customer service can trigger an equally as passionate positive emotional response in customers that inspires them to share their exceptional experience with others online. When you have high standards of customer service, customers are happier and getting those crucial five-star reviews are easier and more rewarding.
Consistently high ratings not only sets you at the top of review site listings, the highest rated businesses are now a major feature of first-page search engine results for local searches which translates into increases in online exposure, as well as customer trust.
4 Areas of Improvement for Better Customer Service and Better Reviews
Control Customer Touch Points. A touch point is every opportunity a customer has to see or hear about your business. These include things like reviews, marketing, ads, logos, and branding, as well as every person online or in-person a customer interacts with throughout their buyer journey. Insist on clear and consistent messaging, be passionate and concise on where you add value for the customer, and ensure that promises are being kept. Fewer and fewer human interaction are happening, so customer service needs to be the shining star of your customer touch points.
Website User Experience. People visit your website for very specific reasons. Dig into your website analytics and get a good idea of your buyer’s journey on your website. Whether it is for buying or directions, photos or instructions – pick out the top reasons for your website traffic and make it easy for your visitors to be able to find that information or perform that task.
It’s also now crucial that your website be optimized for mobile! According to a Federal Reserve survey 69% of shoppers who used their phone to comparison shop in a retail store changed where they purchased a product as a result. Your customers are using their smartphones to research decisions, don’t make them go look somewhere else.
Prioritize Customer Service for You and Employees. Have a clear company-wide standard for customer service and ensure that your employees are aware of the high priority company leaders place on providing the highest levels of customer service. Employees will perform better when expectations are clear and stellar customer service is noticeably a part of the company culture and your commitment to your customers.
By the Book – A saying you will recognize is, “Do it by the book.” Having written standards and expectations eliminates the grey area that separates a customer service issue from a customer service problem. You don’t need a full-length book (or even a whole handbook) to convey the standards and expectations of your company’s customer service. But written somewhere, and supplied to or readily available to your employees should be a document that touches on expectations in regards to face-to-face interactions, phone and email etiquette, and include company customer service commitments and timelines (such as email response within 1 hour). It should also provide branding and marketing resources such as logos, taglines, and messaging your employees should be using to create a consistent experience for customers.
How to Get Better Reviews that Drive Customers to You
When you start from a foundation of a good product and great customer service, getting positive reviews is not hard. But it’s also not automatic. There are a few things you can do to make sure that great reviews keep coming in and posting online where prospective customers are looking for them.
Make Review Management Part of Your Marketing Plan. Make it a priority, budget for it, and you will be rewarded with an improved reputation, more customers and increased revenue. If you don’t have the budget to purchase systematic or automated review management service then set aside some time each week to monitor reviews being left on high traffic sites. Make immediate improvements in areas of your customer service that are reflecting negatively online to increase your chances of getting positive reviews in the future.
AUTOMATE the Whole Process. Imagine how many reviews you would receive if you asked every single customer for feedback on their experience. There are services like Reputation Loop (affiliate link) that automate the review management process of gathering feedback and getting reviews posted online. With Reputation Loop’s intelligent routing, customer feedback that is less than stellar is sent back to the business for special handling, and positive reviews are forwarded to review sites for direct posting. Those five-star and four-star reviews are posted to your social media profiles, and the webpages that impact your business most.
Ask for The Review. When you provide great customer service, there is no reason to shy away from asking customers for a review. When you let them know that you value their opinion and what they have to say will directly influence how you conduct business, they are happy to repay you for your great customer service by sharing their experience with others.
Make it Super Easy to Post a Review. After the customer has paid you for a service or product, make leaving a review a fast and easy process. Smooth the way by being listed in major directories and on high traffic review sites that matter in your industry, and providing customers with direct links to your business profiles on those sites so they are never more than a couple of clicks from submitting a complete review.
Customer service has a huge impact on your company’s reviews, revenue and customer lifetime value. Studies have shown that nearly 90% of consumers have been influenced by an online customer service review when making a buying decision. If something is important to 9 out of 10 buyers in your consumer population, it needs to be very important to you too. You can’t force someone to buy from your company, but with a reputation for great customer service and positive reviews on customer experience you have a powerful influence over who they trust with their purchase.
Two and a half years ago I began building my personal blog in relation to Google+ marketing; then from September 2013, I focused all of my attention on building Plus Your Business. For both sites I’ve created content, had great guest bloggers, and shared content via my profile and the PYB page. Everything achieved has been due to the support and engagement of the Google+ community; the social visits have largely come from this source within the first month, and then the engagement with that content has signaled to search that “hey maybe other people who like to see this too!” and it then shows up for a) personalized results (inc. G+ posts), and b) incognito too.
This post is shows you the facts, the results, the evidence that the way we work with clients and train people in the Academy really does work. We are building a number of client case studies which will also be released by early 2015 as well.
How Social SEO using Google+ ‘works’
There is a load more information available on the PYB website, but here are a few keys to the process:
Create content that deserves to re-surface
Do your best to make that content ‘ever green’
Build relationships on Google+ with people who are already authorities on the subjects for which you want to rank
Build a community of people around you who regularly share your content ‘around this subject’
Look to have a considerable number of pieces of content produced and distributed prior to the more challenging terms/phrases for which you wish to rank
Look to use opt-in ‘niche circles’, and be prepared to run community driven campaigns which will amplify your content
Re-amplify when the content becomes ‘stuck’ in Search and doesn’t seem to move
This is the approach we have consistently taken, and as you will see, the results can be outstanding.
The ‘pretty’ graphs are sketches, i.e. not to scale – but the numbers reflect the posts to which they relate.
We have called the first month ‘Social’ and named the entire life of a post ‘Social and Search’: the reality is that, often, we have achieved a first page, incognito result within a few days, meaning that the first month’s stats may well include ‘Search’ too. Also, when content is re-shared on Google+ after this initial month, the stats are blurred as there is a Social element there too.In addition, the ‘spikes’ you see in the screenshots are reamplification of orginal posts.
All of that being said, however, you will have a good idea of what we have achieved by putting the Google+ community first, and how Search and Social can work hand in hand.
What to see how quickly this post made it into Search?
Yep, personalized and incognito results – Number 1 after 2 days.
(Which is why I say I am generalizing that Social is the first month – it can be very quick indeed for some terms, and personalized search even more so.)
To begin, this graph is for my blog, and here is an overview of total visitors for the past 12 months:
Next, let’s take a look at the total number of Page Views for the site:
Total Number of pageview: 504,707
Average time on page: 00:05:23 mins
Ok, so now let’s move onto the Plus Your Business website, which launched early September 2013.
And here is an overview of activity for the past 12 months, starting with total number of visitors:
And next you can see total Page Views:
Total Number of visits: 306,826
Average time on page: 00:02:54 mins
Ok, so that is the website overview. Let’s next move into taking a look at individual posts on the sites…
I know what you are thinking…that is not quite so impressive! But hold on, look at the dates…this only launched in July 2014, and we are able to targeting a value nice phrase that is converting attention into leads. Search for ‘Google Plus Marketing’ in an incognito window and you’ll see it is rockin’ Search results.
And yes, on this one too – 9,000 Social turns into 110,000 Social and Search combined!
Social = 8.2% Search = 91.8%
Google really has changed over the past few years, especially as the default setting is now personalized/private results. Social really matters. And by Social I am really talking about Google+
You may like to think about it this way, after the ‘news’ i.e. the first wave of activity in Social, it will often be down to Google Search to sustain the visitor volumes to your website.
The key though is this: think about building community around your content. This will enable them to amplify it, and signal to Search your content should be seen by more people.
When it is new, people say “read all about it!” (i.e. engage with it) which turns into a piece of content becoming ‘authoritative’ in Search. Then people pop to the library, i.e. Search, and access the content, even if they did not see/engage with it themselves in Social.
Google+ enables publishers, bloggers and content creators to level the playing field in terms of ‘size’ of business – now it is about being unique, and producing high quality which enables people to feel we are answering the questions, solving their problems, in the best way for them. So, does Google+ tilt the ‘Search’ field toward you? Yes it does.
Friends+Me will help you to save a lot of time dealing with social media. Keep reading!
Every small and mid-sized business owner know that social media presence is a necessity these days. Time does not grow on trees and helpful tool can come in handy. That’s where Friends+Me as a cross-promotion service comes to play.
You can spend all day long on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and so on but it will not matter next day because people tend to forget really fast so the only strategy viable in a long term is consistency and focus. You have to publish new content on a regular basis to multiple social networks and that can be extremely time consuming.
I’ve prepared 8 tips that will help you to start with Friends+Me and to focus on Google+ and on creation and reshare of a great content.
1. Publish once and let Friends+Me assist you with the rest
Google+ is a great source of a high quality content, you should take advantage of that and reshare to your Google+ profile or your client’s Google+ page. Friends+Me promotes all new posts to other social networks for you.
Just GET STARTED with our free plan.
2. Improve your SEO while having fun with people on Google+
You may think that SEO is dead and social media is all that matters these days. You would be right because publishing on Google+ is the best SEO technique there is.
Social media matters these days more than ever. So the best strategy is to customize message for every single social network to get the most out of it BUT what if you don’t have the resources needed for such a massive task?
With Friends+Me and Google+ you’ll get the power of social media marketing, FOCUS and SEO almost for free.
Oh, and I cannot forget to mention Google+ Authorship, which will help Google search engine to help your potential customers to find you. Amazing feature!
3. How to control reposts destination
There are basically two ways Friends+Me handle reposts of new Google+ posts.
Friends+Me reposts all your new publicly published Google+ posts to accounts assigned to the default destination accounts group unless your post contains one or more control hashtags. In that case, reposts are published only to accounts assigned to control hashtags used within your post message.
Short version is that Friends+Me reposts to accounts assigned to control hashtags found in Google+ post otherwise to default destination accounts.
Friends+Me – Account Routing
Repost to a default destination accounts
See the left column Default destination accounts on the screenshot.
Friends+Me skip all posts that contain #ns, #noshare or #plusonly hashtag. It is possible to create your own “noshare” hashtags.
Hashtags controlled reposts
See the right column Control hashtag groups on the screenshot.
There is a predefined group of control hashtags and you can create your own custom control hashtag with destination accounts of your choosing.
4. Schedule reposts to other social networks
Repost scheduling feature allows you to predefine times at which you’d like Friends+Me to publish new reposts to your destination social accounts (Twitter, Facebook, …).
That’s a great feature because by specifying times at which the biggest number of your followers is online on other networks you’ll be able to increase overall engagement and the count of actions such as favorite, like, retweet and so on.
All you have to do is to go to detail of your destination accounts and enable repost scheduling feature. The best post times, which you can of course customize to your needs, are used for every type of social network.
Friends+Me – Account Scheduling
HOT TIP !
Do you need some time to be able to fix mistypes that may appear in your newly published Google+ posts before they are reposted to your other social accounts?
Enable delayed repost scheduling for your destination accounts (Twitter, Facebook, …). Once you enable this feature Friends+Me will delay publishing of new reposts to other social accounts for a specified amount of time which you may use to fix any mistypes or just to update your Google+ post message.
Friends+Me – Delayed Account Scheduling
5. Schedule posts for your Google+ pages
There are times when you’re kissed by a muse and create more than just one great post. What you should do once you have one or more posts prepared is to schedule those posts to be published automatically at times you pick so you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Post scheduling is also great for times you decide to finally go on vacation because you deserve a really long one 🙂
Friends+Me allows you to schedule posts for Google+ pages. Every post published this way is reposted to other social accounts in case the routing is configured properly.
All you have to take care of is to pick the right time and Friends+Me will do the rest for you.
Friends Me – Account Publish
6. Invite team members to help you manage your social accounts
Everybody needs a helping hand from time to time. You can invite your co-workers and friends to help you manage your accounts and publish great content.
To invite a team member you’ll have to visit your Friends+Me profile.
Friends+Me – Profile
There select the Team menu.
Friends Me – Team Members
You can pick one of two roles for your new team member.
A team member with role Profile Manager can manage your entire Friends+Me profile as the owner does. For example, to connect/disconnect social accounts, change configurations, subscribe to a premium plan, invite other team members and so on.
Team member with role Account Manager is able to manage only selected subset of accounts. For example, they will be able to schedule or publish new posts, update account’s link shortener, update repost schedules and so on.
All you’ll have to do to invite a team member is to input your team member’s email address, pick a role and Friends+Me will send your new team member an email invitation.
7. Master your Google+ post title not just for Twitter reposts
You should use a proper format for your Google+ posts, the most important thing is to use title, because Friends+Me will use only the title for Twitter reposts in case your post contains more than one line.
Martin: Hi, this is Martin Shervington. Today I’m going to be chatting with a fellow who I met at Social Media Marketing World, by the name of Mark Schaefer.
I contacted Mark recently and many thanks to Rae Heldt for hooking us up. I said I would like to do an interview with him. And originally I was going to talk about Google Plus, because everyone knows I talk a lot about Google Plus.
He came back and he said well, we’ve got an updated version of my book which is Mark’s Book, which is the Tao of Twitter. And why don’t we focus on that instead of talking about Google Plus. And at a moment I thought but I’m ready to talk about Google Plus.
Then I realized and probably people don’t know this yet, what’s been happening for me over the last two and a half years is that beyond Twitter, and I’ve been going on Twitter and a great fellow called Martin Holmes runs the distribution. He sends the stuff out to me on Twitter to see, and that is what he does. And I say please can you make sure that this content is tweeted and this person because I want to build the relationships, oh, that’s retweeted.
I then go over and I interact. So it’s always me that’s interacting. I’m the one that’s starring the comments we then call them the tweets. I am engaged in that way. I have found a huge advantage to building relationships by using Twitter alongside Google Plus.
So this why – and I’ve been reading the book, went on Twitter and it is undoubtedly the best book on Twitter. I’ve read a few. This is awesome. But the reason why it’s awesome and I’ve been speaking to Mark just before I went live, you ease in there and it’s about relationships. It’s not just firing in tick tack, tick tack, because it’s strictly too much and particularly if you are starting it’s too much.
Sometimes we are looking for these little nuggets and they are in there. There’s a load of things in that. But it’s Mark’s story about how he’s utilized this to build relationships and we all can as well. So, on that note, welcome Mark Schaefer. How are you doing?
Mark: I am so delighted to be with you today.
Martin: It’s good. It’s been a while since we are in Social Media Marketing World. But it’s great to have you in. I know people are very excited because then they know I love Google Plus. And yet, Twitter is still happening. It’s still there. It’s still a big part of social media. It’s still a big part of people’s lives. It’s still a big part and a way for people to build relationships.
So let’s just kick off, just give us a little bit of your background first Mark. And then we are going to run through some questions and run through the book and give people some tips maybe along the way.
Mark: Sure. Well, I’ve been in Marketing in various capacities for about 30 years. I’ve done just about everything you can think of from B-to-B, B-to-C, big companies, small companies, startups. I teach at Rutgers University in the New York City area. And I consult and I blog and I’ve written a few books.
Martin: Well, that’s good. Let’s just make sure people know where to find you first, what is your website?
Mark: Well, my website is businessesgrow.com. It’s the best place to find everything about me. I think here Martin nobody could spell Schaefer. Even when you spell it out for them, they can’t spell Schaefer. It’s so complicated.
So I went with businessesgrow.com that seems to help people a little bit more. On that website you can find everything about me. You can find my blogs, my podcasts, and lots of free resources to help people with their marketing. And of course you can find links to my books there as well.
Martin: Great. Let’s now look at one of those books. So the first edition of the Tao of Twitter came out at 2011?
Mark: Well, yeah officially I self-published the book first. It’s an interesting story because I was starting to teach at the university and when I got to Twitter a lot of my students were confused or they would forget. And so I created this little handbook because I was tired on spending so much time on Twitter. And after class one of the students said you know this handbook is worth the price of the whole class. I thought ha-ha.
So I was to talking to some publishers and they rejected the book because they said it was too short. They said we want a 240-page book so we can reach our price points. I said I’m not going to write a 240-page book about Twitter. So, I self-published and without any real marketing or advertising support that became the bestselling book on Twitter.
Then McGraw-Hill was interested in it because they saw that I was right. And then the book was relaunched in 2012. And that was officially the first edition. But actually I had self-published one first.
And now a new edition is shipping this week, all new for2014. About 75% of it is new content. It’s been updated with a lot more meat, a lot more beef around advertising and some of the commercial opportunities with Twitter. But I still think it retains the heart of the book that you so nicely described.
Martin: Great. That’s kind and that’s wonderful. So we’ll go into maybe some of the new stuff in a little while. But let’s talk about the three things that you differentiated in Tao.
Well, actually let’s begin differently Mark because this is what it’s really about. The book’s about relationships. Is that right, if we have to sum it up? And this is the theme for so many of us. It’s already our heads past is that Twitter is a way to build relationships. It’s a way to find out what people are talking about.
I remember Thomas Power, don’t you know Thomas Power? He is a great guy. And he stood up one time in a networking meeting and he said people say to him, why do you want to know somebody’s – what they are eating for breakfast? And he said, you may want to know if they are having breakfast with your competitor or they having breakfast with somebody important.
Mark: I love that.
Martin: And he said that. But you used some great examples of how you built relationships and what they have done for you and that person, because that’s what relationships is. How it is a two-way thing. And it’s not just about broadcasting information.
So let’s ease in to the three things, Targeted Connections, Meaningful Content, and Authentic Helpfulness.
Mark: Yes, that’s right.
Martin: And go for that.
Mark: Well, there are so many different ways to use Twitter for businesses. It’s commonly used for customer service for example. It can be a great learning tool. Some marketers believe that Twitter might be the greatest marketing research tool for insight and to real time conversations ever created. So there are lots of different ways to use it.
But as you say the thing that is overlooked is if you are a business that can benefit from networking, at a conference, at a trade show, at a chamber of commerce meeting, then you can benefit by Twitter. So as you mentioned I really struggled for 6 months to figure Twitter out. I hated it. I thought it was the stupidest thing that I have ever seen.
So as I mentioned in the book I had this ah-ah moment where the story goes I was bored and saw the hash tag, new name for the Swine Flu. And I typed it and I clicked on it and people were saying all these new names like Anthrax, and the Apocalypse. And it was hilarious. But what donned on me was that I was watching a real time global brain-storming session. And it was very profound because I thought this couldn’t have happened just a few years ago.
Then I started to understand this wasn’t about advertising, it wasn’t about broadcasting, and this is about connecting with people all over the world who can help us help solve our problems. People, who love us, maybe even people who hate us. And so it was an epiphany. And I think that this is what most people miss that at the heart of Twitter it is still about those relationships.
There is a path, as you say there are these three foundational elements. Content is the catalyst that makes things happen. You can’t get noticed without some sort of background content, something that’s useful, interesting and relevant in your tweets.
The other thing is these Targeted Connections. And what a lot of people miss on Twitter is I think they just wait for something to happen. Twitter is this incredible opportunity to go and find and build your own community of people who might be interested in you.
And the thing that’s different as on Facebook, Twitter, even Google Plus to some respect to build those relationships you follow someone, they follow you back. On Twitter that’s not the case. You can find someone and they don’t have to follow you back. You can see what they are doing. You can still read their tweets and look for opportunities to connect and comment and retweet them and build those relationships even if they are resistant at first.
The third part as you mentioned is Authentic Helpfulness. And I think the word authentic is important because you can’t fake it, that’s amazing. I read this statistics Martin that the millennials are the least trusting generation ever. They are managing their relationships over text messages on Facebook and 140 characters on Twitter. And they have become very keen at sniffing out the fakes.
So people are not going to be attracted to you by your ads or your press releases, but they will run to you if you offer some ability to help them in some way, to help them understand, to help them make money, have a happier life, have a healthier life. That’s what people are looking for today and that’s what we need to deliver in all of our social media platforms.
Martin: Oh, awesome. Let’s dive into how you find your tribe. Should you find your tribe? Because we were talking about this and then we paused off air because let’s have this conversation on air.
I’m a big fan of Seth Godin. And he’s had an influence on my since the early 2000. Chris Berg has had a big influence on me in the more recent years. And with Twitter is that a central thing that people should look at and look at building a community around?
Mark: Yes, and I’ll tell you why. First let me give you a high-level my view of the importance of tribes and roll into the Twitter aspect of this. And this is where we stopped the conversation before we went live because I have so much passion about this.
I love the examples that you have here around Godin and Chris and the energy and the passion they put into developing their tribes. And you can see that pay off.
We are in a world of intense information density, of intense competition. I’ve been in marketing for 30 years. I think we are in the most difficult era for marketing ever. I think social media has made it more difficult, not easier.
Because when we think about it Martin, 15, 20 years ago, well say 20 years ago we had in the UK or the US we had 3 or 4 network television stations, with BBC-1, BBC-2, NBC, ABC, CBS. We had a couple of daily newspapers in our town, maybe a couple of radio stations that was more or less the limit of our marketing options.
Today everyone can publish. The noise is overwhelming. The challenge to break though is you have to execute well on so many levels. But I think the heart of this is we also have this historical important opportunity to build a tribe. A tribe that is truly loyal to us. I think that loyalty Martin trumps everything. It trumps content. It trumps back-leaks. It trumps SEO, advertising and press releases. If we can build loyalty then it doesn’t matter about this density. We have won their hearts and minds. They are going to follow us. They are going to buy from us. And that’s why building a tribe is so important.
Now with Twitter’s role in this I personally think that Twitter is the fastest and most effective way to build a tribe because there are so many utilities out there to help us find people with some disposition to love us, okay.
So even let’s say for you, you want to find people who have some love or passion for Google Plus, we can find that in so many different ways and in so many different communities on Twitter, even in real time search. We can find Twitter lists of people who are interested in Google Plus.
So in Chapter 5 of the Tao Twitter Book there are 25 different ideas of how to use Twitter to find your tribe. Let’s say you had that same challenge for your blog, you wanted to build a blog audience, how do you find those people that are interested in you?
I think the fastest way to build a blog audience is to build a Twitter audience. Because if you can find them on Twitter and they love you and you connect to them on Twitter, you start salting in you know links to blog posts and there is ah-ah, pretty sure I like this person, why wouldn’t I like their blog, ah-ah, I’m going to subscribe. So I think it’s really an important tool to building a tribe.
Martin: That’s great. And I picked up on that, I mean with the list. Because when I found out there were lists, I would then go to people. I pick Patrick’s list and go and see who the people were that I would relate to and that could relate to me and then start to have those people in the zone.
Let’s briefly look at the relationships between Google Plus and Twitter. Do you think that the audience is the same? Right now is it becoming blurred? Do you think that there is very much a different crew that’s over on Twitter still? Are they going to come to Google Plus?
Here’s the question, is it worth investing the time in building that tribe or is the same tribe that just have another anchor?
Mark: That’s a very interesting question. For many years Twitter had a bimodal distribution. And it’s changing dramatically just in the last 18 months. It had this bimodal distribution basically of young professionals and urban youth. These were the heavy users of Twitter. Now it’s going more mainstream, it’s going global.
In some countries in Asia, Twitter is used as text messaging. In some countries like Japan, Twitter is bigger than Facebook. Twitter had their company’s earnings announcement yesterday, it showed very strong growth. So I think it is still a very viable channel and a growing channel in where it’s been used and how it’s been used.
As far as the overlap in Google Plus I think that’s a really interesting question. I haven’t really looked at those demographics very carefully. But certainly I think there are so many tools to find people on Twitter.
If Google Plus is the area where you are really keeping your great content, your great connections, if that’s where you are publishing, then Twitter I could see as a place to create those weak links that you can drive to Google Plus to create the stronger links. That’s the real role of Twitter I think. It opens doors, Twitter opens doors.
And by the way I don’t want to go on too long here and dominate the conversation but I think this is an important point. People have way too many expectations about what they can actually do on Twitter because the relationships on Twitter and many social media platforms are weak links that simply introduce you to someone. But then you have to work to build that relationship just like me and you.
We connected on Twitter or maybe Google Plus. I figured okay we kind of have some similarities, I’m interested in you, and then we met face to face. Oh, that was great, we hit it off. And from that point on you don’t know where it’s going to go.
Now we are helping each other. We are creating content together today. Before our broadcast today I said how can I help you with your business, you never know where these things will go. So Twitter just opens the door. You have to work to build those relationships just like in the offline world.
Martin: Oh, that’s great. I’m glad that you did say that. Let me dive on to the thread and let’s pick up some questions. Okay, let’s have a look. Sunny, I thank you for your question here. I can’t use common tracker folks because I’m doing it via live events. Anyway, so that was that. Sunny, here we go, this is a point that you made Mark in the book about journalists being on Twitter…
Mark: Martin, if you can hear me, I somehow buzzed out.
Martin: That was server error, we are back. I think the line, it didn’t like my question. It’s Google talking about Twitter you see. They are like, hold on a minute Shervington, why talk about Twitter for, we took you off air. Come on, I talked about Google as well. I got that kind of ratio. Anyway you never know. They brought me back.
Okay, Journalist, this is an interesting thing because this is something we talk about in reaching and getting our message out into a wider world, into a more mainstream way. I don’t think it’s that easy to do that on Google Plus. On Twitter is there a way to do that that’s appropriate culturally?
Mark: It is the number 1 way to connect with journalists, no question about it. Let me give you an example. In fact there is a blog post on my blog that was about one month ago that talked about a charity effort. They did a run from Tennessee to New York City. They wrote press releases, they made phone calls to every TV station and every newspaper and radio station. All along the way they got no response.
Then as they started their journey they connected to these people on Twitter. They did a search, like I said Twitter is the easiest way to find these people. Journalists, they are stressed too. Their staff’s have been cut, their time is at a premium and they are always looking for the new idea and the new angle.
So they were able to tweet these journalists. We are going to be in your town. This is what we are doing. Here’s a link to our program. They got responses on Twitter from every single city they went to. They ended up on Good Morning America, the number 1 morning television show 100% through Twitter.
The best journalists, even the best on-air-personalities are all over Twitter looking for ideas, looking for leads, looking for stories. I would say I’m approached by a journalist at least 2 or 3 times a month who find me through Twitter. They are looking for a lead on a certain angle on a certain topic and they are finding that through Twitter.
Martin: Okay. Alright, next question, do you think numbers matter? And this just goes back to people and they haven’t got – and you talked about the magic 200. And once you get over that and then it starts to become a little more fun. I think people on Google Plus could relate to that.
Do you think that if you just saw something that you can get the attention of people look and go, hold on a second, you only got 205 followers, maybe you are not going to be the authority, they could be an authority in science or art or anything else?
Mark: Numbers matter in a way. And it depends on what your goal is. So if I’m a scientist or I’m an artist and I want to connect with people that I admire, let’s say there’s a wonderful artist in New York or London, to me it’s just thrilling to connect with an artist or a musician or a professional athlete and just see what are they doing, what are they experiencing.
I follow the drummer from the Black Key’s. And he’ll put pictures of the places where they are setting up to do their concerts and stuff. That’s a wonderful insight. I want to emphasize that Twitter is great if you just want to have fun.
The reason I point out this magic number of 200 because if you are following less than 200 it can get boring. It can kind of be quiet. So I encourage people to at least try to get that 200 number to keep it interesting, to keep it moving. Beyond that it really depends on your business, my business, your business.
We have almost really limitless opportunities to teach, to connect, to do consulting all over the world, okay. We could be connected to tens of thousands of people. And for you and I that’s important because it’s like the numbers in sales. We need to connect to a lot of people before they become a meaningful connection. We need to have a lot of meaningful connections before it turns into a sales lead. We need to have a lot of sales leads before it turns into a conversion, into a sale.
So for you and I and for people who are trying to network on a large scale, it is important to grow that audience as long as it’s a relevant audience. You and I don’t want to connect to a bakery in Singapore, you know probably not anyway. We do want business professionals who want to learn more about social media and these platforms.
If you are a bakery in Singapore, you want to connect to people within 5 miles or maybe 6 kilometers of where your business is and that maybe 500 people. If they are the right 500 people then your business is going to be fine.
Martin: Good. And just to say if you are watching this and you have business in Singapore then I probably need the followers still because I’m a bit late. So just hit the follow button. You never know because you are watching this.
Mark: You never know.
Martin: If I get even 5% on Google Plus it’s building the relationships of the people that matter the most to you. And hoping that they turn around and go, do you know what, I kind of like your stuff. Can we do – well how can we probably – because you are talking about this from a collaboration point of view which is very similar to how I like to go about Google Plus. It’s about what you can do with people.
When you’re connected, that’s just a start. This is just the beginning. It’s like you said how can you help. So what can we do, who can I connect you with. What matters here is the flow of information and how the energy then moves in.
I love that fact that you’ve actually opened my eyes. I’ve known for a while and I have been putting more attention on to it and people have seen this. But I know that I haven’t – how do you make plural for dive-I always feel like…I haven’t dived in enough to the same level that I have with Google Plus.
But partly I’ll tell you one of the things is Mark you can’t edit tweets. So actually now and this is going to come back to the Tao awareness, once you put a ad you actually – sorry well the Tao Twitter will bring enough awareness – you actually got to make really good decisions about what you are tweeting, isn’t it? You got to get it right because there is not edit function which is interesting, which I think philosophically we are going to dive into Tao and see.
Philosophically what you are talking about is relationships but also there’s awareness. And some of the people are very fast on their comments on the tweets that are going on. And I think there’s a slight different culture to Google Plus because of that. But it’s also vibrant. The stream is very quick. And doesn’t mean all the stuff is good but it’s really fast and happening.
Mark: And you bring up a really good point because of all the platforms people get into most trouble on Twitter.
Martin: Yeah, I see that.
Mark: In the United States there are reports every day of people getting fired over something they did on Twitter. I think that all the social media platforms can hamper different personalities. And sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s bad.
I got a great advice one time from an executive at General Electric and he said, you have to remember that when you are on social media, no matter how casual the conversation, it’s still a conversation about you and your brand.
So I think you do need to be real time. You do need to be honest and human. But you also do need to be careful and you need to use your head about what you are doing.
Martin: Great. On that note, I must say thank you Mark. It’s a brilliant book. If you haven’t read it yet, then get the updated edition. It’s going to be coming out right now. Go to Amazon and you can have the link. Yeah this is also going to be embedded on the website and there’s a transcript of this with Mark’s advice and this is going to be linked back to Amazon where you can buy the book there as well.
Mark, thank you so much. I knew we should we talk about Twitter, not just be folks on Google Plus. And I appreciate you opening my mind because it’s fairly straight forward. We just got to listen and we got to do and be open to building those relationships on wherever we find the people to connect with. That’s great.
Mark: Thank you very much for having me, it’s been a pleasure.
Martin: Super. See you soon and see everybody else as soon as well who’s been watching, thank you all. Take care.