Published on May 13, 2014
In 1997 when I joined Seth Godin at Yoyodyne, people were calling the Internet… New Media. But there was nothing really new. It was simply traditional media in a new wrapper… nothing new at all.
This post is right on point and makes a perfect case for Return on Relationship (#RonR) enhancing ROI. See below for the screen shot of a coincidental engagement I had with United Airlines right before I saw this post from John.
Originally posted at Ignite Social Media
“Create smiles… they are the currency of conversations.” #RonR – Ted Rubin
When I tweet a brand, like a growing number of consumers, I expect them to respond, especially if I have a question or a problem. For many, Twitter has become the customer service contact of choice. Even when I don’t have an inquiry, it’s nice to know the brand is there in a humanistic sort of way. Like I know@AmericanAir is there for me, even when i’m not asking for anything:
I’ve been thinking a lot about Twitter recently, both my personal use of it and for the brand I work on @sbarro. For the last year I’ve been on a Twitter deep-dive and I’d say I’m an intermediate with ~900 followers.
I wanted to write this blog to help other executives realize the opportunities that I have found in Twitter, for themselves and for their brands. If you know anyone who can benefit from Twitter please feel free to forward.
BUSINESSES should stop tweeting so much and shut up and listen to what their followers are saying about their brands on social media, according to Ted Rubin, Chief Marketing Officer of social media company Collective Bias.
And he would know. Of all the CMOs in the world, Ted has the most Twitter followers.
Most people are “lurkers” in social media. They are consuming your content but not responding. You are still building a relationship with these people, and they “do” participate… it is just vicariously via those who do engage and interact.
There are many lurkers, searchers and readers who may never interact, or even post, but still have a great deal of value.
Analysts love metrics. Specifically, metrics that can be easily selected, tracked and added, which when aggregated provide the raw data resources to create benchmarks and predict how the audience may behave in the future. To analysts – at first anyway – Social Media seemed God-sent because it allowed direct access to that audience and provided immediate and unfiltered feedback. No longer did we have to run costly focus groups with representative samplings and impose those findings on the whole. We now have access to the entire community and the ability to solicit feedback from the entire group.
So why is measuring Social Media still such a debate?
We’ve all seen the statistics on the growing number of people that continue to flock to social channels to share their experiences and opinions. According to a JC Williams Study, 91% of those surveyed indicated that customer content is their primary decision criteria. In a similar study, Marketing Sherpa reports 87% trust a friend’s recommendation over a critic’s review. We all know this; what we don’t know is how to effectively quantify its value to the business.
Marketers have begun to map how Social Media influences the sales cycle, yet it’s that influence that business executives and marketers struggle with. Blogs, Social Networks, Mobile Check Ins, Product Reviews, etc. all have an impact on the sales cycle. It’s been estimated that 1 word-of-mouth conversation has the impact of 200 TV ads but there’s an evolving threat to the purchase decision beyond simple social commentary. We are now beginning to understand the importance of the nature of the engagement that consumers have with each other, the product and the brand’s employees. These relationships directly (those your customers are engaged in) and indirectly (those that are being observed by others) form an impression that has more influence over the sales cycle than user-generated content.
Influence: The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
Digital influence is a controversial topic. At the heart of the matter is this idea of influence and it raises questions and doubts as to whether or not the ability to cause effect or change behavior is truly measurable. Regardless of the answer, we are introduced to a new reality of social networking, an era where our actions and words in Facebook, Twitter et al. are used for and against us.
One day we awoke to find a number attached to our digital persona. And in this new awakening is a fascinating new twist in social media, the association between scores and avatars and the new digital socioeconomic factors that are introduced. We are now ranked and what was once a peer-to-peer network is now tiered, creating a social hierarchy where a score defines your place within it.
We didn’t opt in, we can’t opt out, but we can shape it.
Welcome to the EGOsystem.
Let’s face it… customers don’t become influencers in order to champion brands out of the goodness of their hearts, or because of a brilliantly-designed logo or a couple coupons they can download from the internet.
Customers become influencers because something about their experience with a brand influenced them first… and they want to continue that experience.
Influencers don’t want to be told what to do or what to buy, they want to have an experience so amazing that they are compelled to share it with their networks. It can be a product that proves to be everything it was advertised to be PLUS MORE, or impeccable and genuinely friendly customer service, or any other experience that was so out of the ordinary that it influenced the customer to form a solid opinion about the experience and then take action to encourage others toward that same experience.
Thank you for the discussion on Mack Collier’s blog and on Twitter regarding my Klout posts. I’m grateful and humbled so many joined in the conversation. Also greatly encouraged so many were totally offended by the four keys to increasing your Klout score. As you’ve discovered by now, I was not all suggesting you actually game Klout to increase your score. Instead, I was, hopefully, illustrating the absurdity of having a goal of increasing any artificial measure of influence.
Intuitively, it seems we all know no two-digit metric, or even a more elaborate metric like Twitalyzer, can truly measure influence. Too many factors go into defining, discerning, and describing influence. For instance, consider the influence of George W. Bush today, now compare that to his influence on September 12, 2001. Influence, in that case, was significantly affected by environmental conditions. So it is with you and I. (Even though Justin Bieber has a perfect Klout score of 100, I still have more influence on my 8, 10, and 13 year old children than he does! My Klout score is nowhere near his.)
As JC Penny showed us last week, any ranking system can be gamed, even one as disciplined and well funded as Google. So it is with Klout. There are specific strategies you can pursue to get a higher Klout score. If that’s your objective, no doubt you’ll succeed. You’ll find in my post four keys to increase your Klout score.
Many people recognized the humor and absurdity of my four keys. I’m glad. If you’ve heard me speak, read my blog, or engaged with me online, you know I cherish Zig Ziglar’s oft-quoted axiom, “You can have everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.” You’ve probably also heard me state and defend against all challenges the admonition, “Follow back every person who follows you on Twitter.” Even though that suggestion STILL ruffles some people’s feathers, I still advocate accepting another human being’s out-stretched hand.
Which brings us back to the real issue of increasing one’s influence. Is that a worthwhile goal? I wonder if influence, like corporate profits, is a by-product of rendering valuable service to others. Render enough valuable service to others, and you’ll have all the influence you need.
Even if increasing one’s influence is a worthwhile goal, it can’t be successfully pursued without attending to, acknowledging, and affirming other human beings around you.
Instead of increasing our Klout scores, we’d garner more clout by rendering more, more valuable service, to more people. When we’re doing that, we won’t need a third-party rating system to let us know we’ve succeed. (Just ask Warren Buffett, one of the most influential people in the world of business, who just happens to have a Klout score 1/3rd the ranking of Justin Bieber. Who would YOU rather spend a day with?)