- The more we age, the more opportunities we find to become jaded.
- When start ups grow into big companies, they can lose a je ne c’est quoi in the transition.
- When events become so big and crowded, there’s a tendency to become overwhelmed, to stick with the one we came with.
- When communities get really big, they feel less like a community and more like a city, losing their small town feel.
- When a city’s population doubles and triples, the city can feel cold or outgrow it’s infrastructure.
- When a social networking platform becomes so big it is being referred to as a monopoly, the attraction may eventually disappear.
Certainly not a universal law, but if history is anything to go by, I think we may find that small becomes the new big – that smaller velvet rope networks gain in popularity and our attraction to yesterday’s brands may evolve into a love affair for tomorrow’s.
by the way – if you are wondering what I’m on about… check this out: It’s a Facebook world after all…
Well? Am I missing the boat… if you have any thoughts or ideas, please, share.
Although the fundamentals are the same, the way social technology manifests depends on where your efforts are focused.
For the business – create the right message in the right places that generates the pull that delivers the talent, investors and attention that you need to move the needle. Think: Recruitment. Investors. Media.
Inside the business – facilitate a culture of change that reduces overhead costs, increases employee retention rates and makes business more efficient. Think: Management. Employees. Operations.
Outside the business – consistently deliver relevant moments of truth that make your customers not only fall in love with you, but tell their communities about you. Think: Existing Customers. New Customers.
Roping in Social Technology at the point of purchase can work although I am a fan of leveraging social technology holistically. Taking advantage of its benefits and efficiencies from start to finish. My experience has been that this typically makes for far better and more consistent moments of truth for your customer and by default, your shareholders.
In layman’s terms: facebook is no longer in the business of connecting people. They are in the business of connecting people to places, objects and services. The ramification of which could be significant. What’s happening?
In April, Facebook announced several major initiatives that will see Facebook weave it self into and across the web. Facebook’ has a host of social plug ins for you to use within your website that marries your site with Facebook enabling your visitors to see who in their network of friends:
1. is a member of this site too
2. likes the content
3. is tweeting commenting or being active on it right here, right now.
4. is recommended as a pretty cool person to know
All with the intention of further personalizing your web experience and perhaps taking your likes and lumping them into common categories. The evolution from connecting people to connecting people’s worlds has been talked about for several years. It is inevitable and a natural progression, only I didn’t expect it would come to be through an attempted monopoly.
If Facebook offers:
1. Live streaming of updates and activity – what does that mean for twitter?
2. Integration between recruitment sites and your network on facebook – what does that mean for linkedin?
3. geo- location services and apps where you can check in – what does that mean for foursquare?
This makes me wonder: what do facebook users think of facebook – I mean really?
1. Do we really care what all 350 of our friends are liking, doing, and commenting on?
2. When we like something – do we like it because we like it, or are we doing it to support a friend? in a moment of weakness? Do we return to that page we liked? do we engage it?
3. Is being part of a country sized network all it’s cracked up to be? Perhaps.
4. Why are we there? How many people do we really engage with on FB? How many of our friends are purely profile candy?
Then I wonder… what’s the opportunity here? Is it more niche networks? We already have 10 million of those. Is it to further build on what Facebook is already doing? Developers, although conflicted, may agree. Does the company or brand zero in on Facebook only? What about advertising being noise? being intrusive? being unwanted? How do they best use this new world of Facebook effectively?
We could very well see a replay of Beacon. Or we could see this continue for the next 12 months and evolve into Facebook schools, Facebook airlines, Facebook auctions and whatever else it mops up.
It will be interesting to not only monitor, but evolve with. More to come on this later.
photo credit: http://roughwriter.yc.edu
I’ve managed to book a flight to London Heathrow via Chicago April 29th but have been advised that this may need to be rescheduled should things continue as they are. So nothing new there.
My additional 9 days will probably be spent bouncing between friends and hotels! HAH! I’m just grateful I won’t be sleeping on the floor of Lester B. Pearson ;)
One thing that’s evident in situations like these is how resourceful people can be… not to mention how useful social technology is.
Volcanoes and Social Technology:
- Twitter has a variety of hashtags to organize related conversations and tweets pertaining to the volcanic ash fiasco: #AshTag, #GetMeHome, #RoadSharing – you’ll have to try search.twitter.com yourself.. twitter has been acting up non stop for me ;(
- Sites such as roadsharing.com are being used to find creative options to get back and forth.
- Tod (at) TodBrilliant (dot) com has created a Facebook page offering a survival guide for stranded travelers – smart!
- And Denise Balkissoon from the Toronto Star has been using social to secure interviews with people stranded as a result of said fiasco.
Alas, there is not much one can do but sit tight or… perhaps explore a route via Tangiers Morocco (Canadians do not require a visa) where you can get a boat to Gibralta Spain and then continue your journey by train, bus or taxi. Or vice versa.
It’s not the one size fits all solution. Social Media can’t fix your lousy product, your bad network that consistently drops my calls, nor can it fix the absolutely wretched customer service your company insists on spewing out.
You should know that I am currently breaking my 24hr rule. The rule that says, “when made upset, I must not open my gob about it for 24hrs. If after 24hrs I feel so inclined, then so be it.”
When a business takes money in exchange for a product or service, there is a perceived value for the exchange. If the balance is off, the model breaks down. When a company takes money in exchange for a mediocre product and appalling customer service… the customer has a decision to make:
1. Return everything and go somewhere else (provided the business accomodates that sort of service),
2. Put up and shut up (confiding in ten different friends later that day over dinner about the horrible experience)
3. Go social on that company’s brand.
Assuming it really is far more cost effective to keep a customer than find a new one, why are we so hell bent on throwing money after bad money on marketing and BOGO promotions to get new customers when our existing customers would return, bring friends and go up in value if we’d just get a few home basics right. Eg. Give them a little love.
- Hire people who actually like people.
- Incent your team to meet customer service targets.
- Use an infrastructure conducive to meeting the needs of your customers – Eg. a phone tree 8 layers deep is not conducive to keeping customers happy.
- I’d even settle for someone who can smile and remain borderline pleasant at “hello” (this applies to London England… the standard would be much, much higher in North America)
Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the most obvious is the last to be seen.
I’ve been processing this post for several days now. I wasn’t quite sure what I was on about. I knew I was seeing a lot of unnecessary errors and bandwagons headed for a crash but I wasn’t quite sure how to articulate it. I think I just figured it out.
The social space is becoming overcrowded and far too noisy with good intentioned but severely misled individuals and brands. The result? A whole lot of noise. For most this isn’t a big deal, simply unfollow or look elsewhere. I have that tendency to slow down, lend a hand or an opportunity for some banter to see how to improve the situation – when I feel so inclined.
What’s the core underlying problem?
- Zero strategy. If you have no online consumer research or market understanding to identify a key insight from to then build a strategy… you are just making noise. And by default, developing a strategy usually means you need some solid understanding of marketing basics.
- Complete disregard for the future. Sometimes you have to start with your Exit Strategy. Or at least start from where you want to be a year from now, sometimes it makes sense to look four years out. Knowing the end result allows you to work backwards effectively calculating where you start.
- Perception that SoMe is a FB profile or a series of tweets. It’s anything but that. (deep sigh) The get rick quick mentality needs to go. It doesn’t work for diets, money or in this space either. Facebook Fan Page with x number of fans is not an objective without a clearly defined purpose and reason.