Archive for the ‘attention span’ tag
Editor’s note: Jack Krawczyk is Senior Product Marketing Manager at StumbleUpon, the discovery platform. Jack was a founding member of Google+ and tweets about stuff @JackK.
No buzzwords are more prominent in today’s Silicon Valley lexicon than social and mobile. They’re so big that they have their own love-child buzzword, SoLoMo (social-local-mobile, the nerd equivalent of Brangelina). Sadly for buzzwordians: mobile is not really social, in the consumption context anyway. Building for mobile requires us to dig deeper into the role it fills in our life.
When we gather around a movie, TV or even use a desktop, we are carving out time and personally allocating our focus. Mobile does not get the same luxury. Mobile fills the gap of 2 minutes when your date leaves the dinner table; it fills the gap when we have brief moments of downtime.
As we have personalized our media, we have decreased the number of people viewing it together. The fewer people who consume media together spend less time with it. This turns mobile into a less physically social experience, and more into a quick transaction optimized for better connection with others.
Build for Bursts – The New Mobile Way
The unique nature of mobile requires us to develop for bursts in usage, rather than sustained usage as we have built for in other media. Because mobile users have a 1-to-1 relationship with their device, it primarily serves as a gap filler. Developing your mobile application should be rooted in that concept.
In the past two years, mobile has grown from zero to nearly 25% of all usage of StumbleUpon. As we’ve built the product we’ve learned some key lessons on how to get the best out of the most personal of devices:
1) Build only 1-2 core use cases; build them really really well
Mobile products have to be designed for the quick hit. The average mobile app session is about one minute long. The attention span of your user is already inherently limited, so why bog down their usage time with making a decision for which use case to execute?
Secondary use cases should be treated as power user features. Take a look at Facebook, for example. There are only two things you can do when you log into your mobile FB app: read your friends’ posts or make your own update. Think of all the other prominent navigation you see on desktop: messages, events, (gasp) groups, all in the main home screen. On mobile: they’re not a main quick hit, so they’re made secondary.
2) Personal benefit is the key to social connection
If you provide the right personal consumption experience, your users will reward you with social connectivity (i.e., sharing with their friends). We use services like Path, Foursquare, and Twitter as a means for expressing our thoughts and locations, but they are valuable because people read them. Consuming the content becomes the ultimate use case with a personal flair.
Providing personalization goes beyond just highlighting and recommending personally relevant content, it also includes presenting it in a quickly digestible format. At StumbleUpon, there are two core factors that dictate our user retention: quality of content recommendations and latency for providing those recommendations.
One major disadvantage mobile experiences against desktop is that 3G/4G connections are relatively slow as molasses. This manifests itself often in retention efforts when building for iOS and Android audiences. Instead of making the core focus of StumbleUpon’s mobile development to be in content recommendations, building latency improvements takes top billing on mobile for its retention impact.
Latency improvements make that quick hit even quicker for our users, which drives to more usage. More usage means more connection with personally relevant content. Those content connections drive 65% of our users to share out to social platforms.
3) Ads are a waste of time, build native monetization
The largest rumor floating around the SoLoMo space has been that there is a monstrous untapped opportunity for mobile advertising. Don’t waste your time in your development efforts by figuring out how to install mobile ad networks: they’re antithetical to your user experience.
When someone is using an app for an average of 71 seconds, the last thing on their mind is going to be whether they want to buy the latest detergent that’s hit the market. Many developers have realized that and placed a price on downloading their app. This strategy often best serves non-media based apps, though if you are going to be building a media-based app with a “free” price tag, go down the native route.
Native monetization consists of connecting advertisers (or distributors) with your users through the main use case of your product. Social apps have built this into their DNA. On Facebook you consume posts, and from that yield sponsored stories. On Twitter you consume tweets, and from that yield promoted tweets. On StumbleUpon you consume web pages, and from that yield sponsored stumbles.
While it becomes difficult to scale your media business until you reach a sizable audience, native monetization units are critical to maintaining the integrity of your user experience while balancing true value for advertisers and distributors. For this reason, if you’re building media-based apps, building your userbase first is critical before natively monetizing; slapping in ads is a short term solution that stunts your organic user growth.
Testing the Limits
We are all still very early on this frontier of mobile development. Prior to mobile phones fitting in your pocket, we never had a device that stayed with us at all times of the day (and by our bedside at night). The opportunity to uncover new companies is motivating. The entire development community will continue to learn from new developments, but one thing is for sure: we’ll consume them for ourselves, most likely on the go.
Jenna Wortham discovers that throwing herself into the fastest currents of a liquid web is where she feels most stable and centered. Contrary to conventional wisdom, moving your distractable self into a torrent of distractions may be the background white noise we have more than learned to live with: now, it nurtures us.
When Internet Distractions Make Us More Efficient – Jenna Wortham via NYTimes.com
[…] sometimes I’ve found that losing myself in the Web can be invigorating. Instead of needing to turn off the noise of the Web, I often use it to calm my nerves so I can finish my work.
It seems that instead of fracturing my focus and splintering my attention span, digital distractions have become a part of my work flow, part of the process, along with organizing notes and creating an outline for each article I write. Perhaps it’s possible to master the demands on my attention by figuring out a way to juggle the multitude of apps and services that beg to be looked at, clicked on and answered.
If my brain is learning how to cope with distractions, is it possible that others are, too?
Of course, the consensus among scientists and researchers is that trying to juggle many tasks fractures our thinking and degrades the quality of each action. But understanding the plasticity of the brain, or its ability to adapt and reorganize its pathways, is still in its early stages.
Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies the impact of interruption on performance and memory, says it’s possible that our brains are adapting to handle the many inputs of digital stimulation. He and his research team are using interactive video games to observe how the brain adapts to multiple tasks that increase in difficulty over time.
“We can train ourselves to get better,” he said. “We’re studying the plasticity of the brain so we can understand how abilities can improve.”
It may be that the brain — or some brains — can handle certain levels of multitasking and not others, he said. Surfing the Web and talking on the phone may not place the same demand on available cognitive resources as, say, cruising down the highway and sending a text message. It’s an area of research that scientists and psychologists are just starting to explore, he said.
“We’re pushing the brain to master switching between tasks,” he said. “But if abilities can actually improve, the question is, by how much?”
Wortham and Gazzaley don’t explictly mention the work of Watson and Strayer on supertaskers — people who really suffer no degradation of performance when doing two difficults tasks at the same time. It is not some statistic fluke, either.
But the naysayers will continue prattling about the impossibility of multitasking, that it is dehumanizing, and degrades our thinking, and even makes us less connected to other people. This is ideologically motivated, just like the scare tactics about comic books leading to crime, or video games inspiring violence, or rock-and-roll making teenagers promiscuous.
Most important is the fact that the human mind is plastic: we can learn new skills, and that changes our thinking. Trained musicians, for example, use more parts of the brain than non-musicians when listening to music.
And we know that mastery is different from learning. It takes a long time before our first efforts at playing the piano or studying karate are rewarded. It might be that Jenna Wortham has been living in the stream long enough that she has developed new cognitive skills that both help her do her work and make her feel more centered, at the same time.
The success of everything you do in marketing — all of your planning, your automation, your copywriting — hinges on one moment …
Also known as the call-to-action.
In today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, we’ll share five common call-to-action errors we’ve discovered in our research, with an example experiment result for each one.
These errors were taken from, and you can learn much more in, the video replay of our “Minor Changes, Major Lifts: How headline and call-to-action optimization increased conversion 45%” Web clinic, written by Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS, and Paul Cheney, Editorial Analyst, MECLABS.
“Behind every call-to-action there is a perceived cost for taking that action,” Dr. McGlaughlin said. “By either reducing the perceived cost or increasing the perceived value in the button copy, we can generally observe an improved response.”
(Please note: Some samples have been anonymized to protect Research Partner identity.)
Error #1: A call-to-action without implied value
The result: 201% increase in conversions
The value to the customer for taking the requested action in the form on the left is … a sales call?
However, the value for taking action in the form on the right is free access to search a business and consumer database.
Which has more value to you?
Error #2: A call-to-action among several others
The result: 357% increase in monthly clients
The main call-to-action for the page on the left is … somewhere there.
The main call-to-action for the page on the right is “Get Your Free Consultation.”
The modern customer is extremely impatient, and has an attention span that can barely get through 140 characters before moving on to the next thing. Don’t allow unsupervised thinking. Make it clear how you’d like the customer to act.
Error #3: Evenly weighted calls-to-action
The result: 64% increase in conversion
Sure, this isn’t quite as bad as error #2, but again, don’t allow unsupervised thinking. Make it clear what you’d like the potential customer to do.
Error #4: A call-to-action “above the fold”
The result: 20% increase in conversion
I’m sure you’ve heard it before. The call-to-action must be above the fold. This is a so-called “best practice” that we highly recommend you test on your own pages.
If you just rotely put the call-to-action above the fold, you may be making “the ask” before your potential customer sees the value in why they should act. Or, sometimes, before they even know what you’re asking.
A long, ugly page with a call-to-action “buried” below the fold can outperform this so-called “best practice.”
Error #5: A call-to-action that asks for too much
The result: 81% increase in clickthrough
Much like error #4, you have to understand the customer’s thought sequence. Asking for too much too soon can seriously hurt conversion.
Most of our attention is stretched across a bunch of ideas at once and it’s increasingly difficult to stop and pay attention to the world around us. However, our attention span is limited and many of us undervalue its importance. More »
Each year, we go through the same process, don’t we?
We start the year with a topic, a theme, something that carries us through the Spring. Some of you find the topic interesting, and hire me. Others find the topic interesting, and implement the ideas. Still others find the topic of interest, and continue to subscribe. Finally, there are those who don’t like the topic, and unsubscribe, citing “too many updates”!
Then we get to Memorial Day.
From late May to early September, attention is diverted. Some might think content is to blame, but I beg to differ. No, I think our attention span dwindles, in part, because of the weather.
For the seventh consecutive year, you’ll be part of a time-honored tradition, called “a decrease in content frequency“.
Starting next week, posts will be published for public consumption on Monday morning, Tuesday morning, and Thursday morning. As always, when topics dictate, supplemental posts will be published.
Spent some time feelin’ inferior
standing in front of my mirror.
Combed my hair in a thousand ways
but I came out looking just the same.
For some of you, that feeling Sir Rod sang about is the same one that venture capitalists can cause you to feel. The name “venture capitalist” alone can send shivers down one’s spine, conjuring images of well-dressed men poring over company statistics and shooting holes in your vision.
Our company, EquipRent.com, has pitched to these guys many times this past year to raise capital. As we became more comfortable with pitching, what used to be an intimidating interview scenario slowly turned into a conversation, and we have learned a lot more about the scary men behind the table in the process.
The first thing we noticed was how short of an attention span these guys had. After five minutes of talking, three of them were already looking at their phones. They really didn’t care much for the story of how our company was founded, who a typical customer was, or even the pages of statistics that clearly showed why we were a great investment opportunity. Over time, we learned to keep our pitch concise, relevant, and full of engaging imagery … and pictures.
After much fine-tuning, it dawned on us that Rod was on to something: the best way to tell your story is through a picture. We creatively put together a colorful investment infographic, or “InvestFoGraphic,” on a handout. This completely complied with our goal of keeping our pitch concise, relevant, and exciting. Check out our capital-raising infographic.
The previous handout that we had given them (a typical 1-page executive summary) was heavy on words explaining in great detail what our company did and how successful we had been. Our new handout was riddled with bold and exciting claims about our company and our industry. The underlying theory behind using the infographic was to hook them first, and then be ready to talk business once they were paying attention.
One of the most necessary considerations when pitching a venture capitalist firm is to view the pitch from their point of view. What makes a great investment? What specific qualities do investors look for in a presentation?
We found that investors love disruptions and hate distractions. They love getting first dibs at untapped potential in huge markets. So, we focused our pitch from this angle. Instead of our old tagline “leading market service for equipment rentals,” which was an accurate description of our company, we decided to go with “disrupting the $28B market for construction equipment rental.”
The infographic we handed out contained VC-friendly buzzwords like “scalable model” and “fast, profitable growth.” Each of these claims was accompanied by a picture, since pictures are much more likely to stick in someone’s head than a paragraph of big words. Long, wordy paragraphs are distractions. There is a time and place to get down to the nitty-gritty and go over the numbers, but that is is not in your first encounter with a potential investor.
The reaction to our new infographic one-pager was very positive. “I liked it…I can quickly see what is different about this company than reading a typical one-page executive summary,” one investor said.
“I have never seen anyone use an infographic for investor purposes before, other than to distinguish market trends,” another one said.
“It sets you apart…it’s like a cool and different resume,” said another one.
The exciting news is that we are now in final discussions with several investor groups to close our first round (series A) funding. We know the infographic wasn’t the main reason for getting to this final phase, but we do know that differentiating yourself makes you more memorable and shows investors you and your company plan on being different.
Remember the advice that the great Mr. Stewart gave years ago:
Every picture tells a story, don’t it!
Roberto Guerrieri is the chief executive of EquipRent.com. This is his fourth startup. Previously he was the founder and chief marketing officer of Incentive Logic, a loyalty platform for online market research panels. He has also worked for early-stage companies in mobile marketing, lead generation, and in consumer marketing for Apple and Hewlett-Packard.
Image: Album cover for Rod Stewart’s “Every Picture Tells a Story”
Filed under: Entrepreneur
In today’s competitive world, many businesses and companies employ new tactics to garner more customers to their website or web portal. Therefore, it becomes imperative for writers to be proficient and experienced when it comes to positioning and phrasing the right keywords. This is because SEO content writing looks for content relevance, significance and target audience group.
By following some basic knowledge you will be able to stand out in the search engines and enable you to get the required consumer traffic.
When your writing has quality in its content, readers will come back again and maybe even encourage others to do so. SEO searches out those writers whose contents are well written in an interesting and unique way. It also looks for updated content which will stay for at least a month and links which point the searcher to other parts of the site.
Right content with brevity is very important
Content reaches out to so many people and therefore, it is of strategic importance irrespective of the subject matter. By thinking out of the box and looking at a wider picture can help you to expand your thought process, rather than weighing only for the benefits of SEO. If your content is good you can connect to a bigger audience by being recognized as a credible business writer.
These benefits are not limited only to the SEO domain but poised for being recognized by many people. However, you need to understand that writing long contents which resemble a dissertation will put people off. Since people do not have the time to read lengthy content their attention span will not last. Therefore, express yourself in a concise manner without missing out on any key details which are important.
Appropriate keyword phrases which are placed strategically
Whether you write for someone or your own website, start by using the most strategic keyword phrases by looking at the theme and keywords which relates to it. With a large array of keyword phrases you will be able to write well and make it possible for your article to be easily picked up by others. The key word phrase has to be catchy and instantaneously appealing to the readers.
You must compete in order to make your keyword appear more than once. If you are using the right keyword, it might show up in the first 90 characters of the article and that should be good news for you. Even if this means that your article may appear mundane, repetitive and boring it will help you to achieve the desired goal.
If you try to candy floss your article then it could be taken very lightly by others and will not benefit you. Therefore, you need to be very strategic in the way you make your article to stand out in an appealing way.
Use captivating headings in a structured manner with hierarchical tags
By making the title of your article as the first and lasting impression can really ace the domain for you. Your title has to captivate the reader’s interest for which, it really needs to stand out in a distinctive way. By using titles which are captivating and inspiring you can attract readers and retain them. Just go ahead and grab the attention of the reader like in a newspaper heading.
Try to sensationalize without overdoing it. Structure your content in a professional way so Google and SEO can easily detect your article. By plugging in the right tags according to the requirement you will be able to put your most compelling ideas first on the hierarchical list.
The ideal keyword without piling up
The ideal word limit for copy content and articles should not exceed 300 to 1000 words or can be shorter for blog posts. The number of keywords you have used will determine the length of your article. In this case, you need to use a keyword after every 50 to 100 words of your article.
However, trying to stuff as many keywords as possible in your article can make it look very unprofessional and will not make a good impression. Try to create a natural flow of keywords which are spread out evenly in your article for the best result. You can even go a step further by adding a keyword in your biographical information as it can make your presence felt.
Hyperlink your text and stick to the topic
Try to add a hyperlink somewhere in the middle of your text as people tend to follow a link which is within the text. While so, add some other external sites which might need to be mentioned and this will give your readers an idea of how sound your relationship is with those others.
This is a way of promoting each other and can only benefit both partners in the long run. However, remember to stick to the topic and do not digress from the point. A little bit of personal touch is alright to keep the reader’s interest but you must not confuse business writing with personal writing.
Finally, choose relevant images which can captivate the attention of the readers. As long as these come from the common search tools without copyright problems, you can use images which relate to your content. Above all, keep your content original and new without copy pasting from elsewhere.
About the author: Alia Haley is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology, health and parenting. Beside this she is fond of games and gadgets. These days she is busy in writing articles on most expensive in the world and small bedroom decorating ideas.
I’m also available for blog startup, content writing and consultation services.
Visit my other blog, Highly Favored for Christian inspiration and church newsletter tips.
Become a Better Blogger
I recently had the privilege of presenting at the GDOL Digital Talkfest in Istanbul. The focus of the event was very much in line with my current work. GDOL tracks the new generation of consumers who do everything online and the impact they now have on popular culture, society and ultimately business. I refer to this generation as Generation-C.
Prior to my trip, I met with Capital Magazine for an in-depth interview. They asked some very important questions, questions that you may be pondering now. Not only did I answer them, I over answered them. I did so to help provide clarity and guidance for those seeking substance and not fluff, or as my colleague at Altimeter Group Charlene Li likes to say, “meaningless platitudes.”
Here’s the full interview, unabridged…Sit back. Buckle in. Let’s go for a ride.
1-What is the formula of success in social media?
There is a great myth that a winning formula exists for success in social media. If we can introduce the right viral content we can get more views or friends. If we can maintain a rhythmic editorial calendar we can spark conversations that create a social effect. If we can develop the most amazing app, we can rise to the top of our customer’s attention span! And, my personal favorite, if we get our company in social networks, we can build better relationships with our customers.
Perhaps businesses should ask another question…what do successful customer relationships and experiences look like in social media?
The formula for success in social media begins with first defining what success is and how it will be measured. This is one of the most important steps in any social media strategy, yet it is the first step that many businesses miss. The truth is that there is no formula for success. It requires something special for each strategy and it’s dependent on the people you’re trying to reach, their expectations, your business objectives and how this engagement ties specifically to your organization (sales, marketing, service, products, etc.)
To help, there are 5 Ways to develop a strategic social media presence
1. Listen, Search, Walk a “Daily in the Life” of…
2. Define Your Online Brand: What do you want people to see and appreciate?
3. Develop a Social Media Strategy: Make your presence matter and tie it back to key business objectives
4. Build and Invest in Your Community: Participate and earn affinity to become a trusted resource
5. Learn: Repeat steps 1-5 over time to stay relevant as technology and behavior evolves
2- Which companies are successful in social media in your opinion? And why?
I pay attention to any company that pays attention to their customers and stakeholders to inform social media and social business strategies. Social media is more than marketing, but it’s hard to tell when the industry celebrates campaigns, not business transformation. Real success is about developing new business models around a different type of customer and this is the point that makes finding a series of success stories difficult.
I can share an long list of companies that run amazingly clever and creative campaigns in social networks such as Nike, Red Bull or Old Spice. I can point to businesses that understand the importance of rapid customer service in social networks such as Comcast and AT&T. I can applaud advanced customer loyalty programs that employ gamification, social graph data, and connected experiences across Facebook, web sites and mobile phones such as American Express. But for the purposes of this article, I want to celebrate the companies that are looking at how social media requires a complete transformation of the business from the inside out. It is companies such as ARAMARK, Dell, and Tyco that realize that the culture of the organization, the vision of the company, the brand itself, must adapt to earn relevance among a new generation of connected customers and employees.
The headline literally translates to “Follow Generation C!”
3-Where do you think companies are mistaken in their social media applications? What should be taken into consideration to not make mistakes in social media?
I believe that most businesses are actually anti-social in their social media approaches today. Anti-social is defined as anything that goes against the norms of a society and certainly Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and every social network out there created more than just engaging platforms, each host a unique culture thus becoming a unique digital society.
Many businesses are still broadcasting. Even though they’re active in some of the biggest networks and building notable communities within each, they really are taking old school marketing techniques and dressing them up in new “social” disguises. Customers are only intrigued now because all of this is so new. But, we’re already starting to see the beginning of great unlike and unfollow movements where customers are opting out of brand engagement because there is no value in keeping the connection. In fact, not only is there no value, customers can’t run away fast enough. Remember, they joined social networks to get away from the spam that plagued their inboxes or traditional mailboxes. And, they’re starting to realize this…
A majority of social media efforts are already siloed in the marketing department. As such, businesses are placing an inordinate investment in campaigns and not necessarily in orchestrated efforts to improve customer service, experiences or sentiment across multiple fronts. The new consumer journey is not relegated to a traditional funnel. The customer journey is now dynamic and it introduces new touchpoints that social and mobile media can now reach—and it’s constant. It’s what we put into these channels, it’s how we listen, how we learn, and how we adapt to meet or exceed customer needs and expectations that defines how customers make decisions for or against us. It also defines the role customers play in shaping and steering the decisions of other customers.
The Dynamic Customer Journey
4- Before, there was neither Facebook nor Twitter in our lives. What could be the most important social media channels in the future?
I think we need to take a step back and figure out the need to ask and answer this question. I receive questions now about what social strategy should look like for Pinterest, Highlight, and every other new network that generates buzz. The reality is that you only need to be in the networks where you can earn a notable return based on the concentration of your customers, prospects and stakeholders.
Now that’s not to say that new networks aren’t important. Your social media strategy will of course evolve. Networks or their value will shift. It’s critical that you embrace innovation as part of the culture of your organization. The goal is to have a process and a supporting system for recognizing opportunities and piloting them as they arise. The trick is to understand the difference between emerging and disruptive technology to only focus on those that will deliver and not distract.
5-Many companies publish social media guidelines for their employees. And among them there are companies, even media companies, that ban the individual use of social media. Why do some prefer to ban it?
Most companies have a history of undervaluing new technology as it relates to employee productivity. For example, over the years, the telephone, PC, email, the Web, cell phones, were all at one point either banned or significantly restricted. Social media is just the new kid on the block. As in every technology that’s come before it, studies show that providing access actually increases productivity rather than hinders it.
Social media guidelines and policies serve as a good start. People can benefit from a formal set of guardrails and do’s and don’ts to frame engagement, what to say and what not to say, and also how to use these tools to do their job better. The key is for leadership to define how to use these tools to improve customer and employee experiences and relationships. That takes a vision for doing so and thus sets the stage for a new era of engaged and connected businesses…but it starts with a new vision.
6-How can social media activity increase the revenues and profitability of a company?
I’m a firm believer that everything begins with the end in mind. This means that if increasing revenues and profitability is important to your social media strategy, then it should be designed into the program. However, attempts to sell directly in social media is not without its risks. It requires a delicate balance of value, exclusivity, and relevance. No one wants to be sold. But, people are willing to engage with businesses in transactional relationships if there are benefits in doing so.
To activate social commerce requires that you define an experience around the transaction where the outcome is of course the sale, but the journey is in its own way engaging and fulfilling. Here you must define a click path from a social network to a destination that facilitates a transaction but is also in alignment with the expectations of a social consumer. Too often, businesses take the customer experience for granted, without intention, because it’s easier to group all digital consumers together. However, with a social consumer, they’ve made it clear that they do not prefer to go to websites. Yet, studying many social media initiatives, businesses tend to not provide a “click to action” where consumers are provided with an experiential click path toward a desirable outcome. And when they do provide a click path, it leads to a static or undesirable landing page that’s not optimized for social or mobile. It’s time to think of the connected customer as a different breed of customer. And nothing in your arsenal today, not even social networks, will have an impact with them unless you can design a complete end-to-end experience that captivates and guides them to a mutually beneficial result.
7- What is the future of social media? Do you think it will pull ahead of classical media?
Social media has given birth to a different type of customer, the connected customer or otherwise what I refer to as Generation-C where “C” represents “connected.” Gen-C is not bound by age. They’re not defined by income or education. They live the digital lifestyle and traverse across all demographics. These consumers do not surf the web like other customers. They don’t learn nor make decisions like that of their traditional counterparts. They live and breathe in social networks and rely on smartphones or tablets as their windows to the world. And, when you compare the size of the market for traditional consumers vs. Generation C, only one of the two segments is growing while the other is shrinking over time.
If you had to invest in the future of your business to earn attention and ultimately relevance, the greatest ROI is tied to the connected customer. So, you ask, what is the future of social media. Right now it’s about a balance between reaching the traditional and the connected consumer. And, that balance right now is different for every company. Traditional customers still find value in classical media. However, social or connected customers want a more engaged, enriching, and efficient relationship. You must design for both and monitor the performance of each for optimization and also insights. Eventually, new media will become the new classical media with something new arising that will eventually disrupt it.
8- What kind of a social media strategy should be designed in different social channels? Why does a certain strategy work in Twitter’ but doesn’t work in Facebook?
I like to think of Facebook as the web site for the social web and Twitter as the pulse of the business. Facebook serves the role of a dedicated presence with a hosted community that offers a digital archive of the company’s activity in one central repository. The timeline within a brand page is there for those who appreciate going back in time or to provide customers with greater context. Facebook allows for richer, more interactive experiences hosted within the confines of a branded and captive environment. The more interaction you can spur, Likes, Shares, comments, app installations, etc., the more your business can benefit from the social effect.
Twitter is a bit more fleeting in design, but no less valuable as it serves as a your window to real-time relevance. It’s just different as it boasts a unique culture and also requires a divergent set of rules of engagement. Its brilliance lies in the ability to listen to conversations involving your business or your industry in general to translate that activity into intelligence and ultimately actionable insights.
This is why I often say that social media is about social science and not technology. We must first study customer behavior in each network to get an idea of what they’re saying, what they expect, how they communicate and connect, and why. At a minimum however, we can assume three basic roles for connected customers in Twitter, Facebook and perhaps even Google+. The roles typically span 1) Marketing, 2) Sales, and 3) Service. How you execute these strategies within each network is different though.
What’s common across the board is that your business requires an infrastructure that can support each initiative within the respective network. Meaning, that you must design inputs, outputs and supporting systems and processes that connect people within the organization to customers on the outside to efficiently deliver solutions, experiences, and mutually beneficial outcomes. To do this however, takes more than technology, workflow and guidelines. It starts with reexamining the view of the customer and a vision of what the ideal customer experience and relationship looks like in these new networks.
Finally, only a culture of true customer-centricity will allow the business to connect with customers in a meaningful way and in turn, earn support and loyalty as a result.
Please consider ordering The End of Business as Usual today…
I’m always amused when someone proudly describes what they are or do by using the term, “serial entrepreneur.” The more technology companies I encounter, the more founders and C-level folks waive that banner as if it’s some sort of badge of honor.
I suppose if you’ve created and sold a number of companies for lots of money, being a serial entrepreneur is a good thing. But most people who use the term (at least to me) have only started several companies. They’ve never sold them.
What they’re really saying by “serial entrepreneur” is one or more of the following:
- None of my ideas have worked
- I can’t raise money
- I have no attention span
- My passion is about getting lucky and making a wad of money
A friend of mine calls himself a serial entrepreneur. He helped build one company as a young man and made a meager profit as a vested employee. He then started his own company, spent 10 years building it and sold it for low seven-figures. He’s now on his second company that he started with only himself and his former business partner as an investor. They’ve been at it six years now. He’s in his 50s.
When someone that age and with that history tells me he’s a serial entrepreneur, he’s saying:
- I know how to build a company
- I know how to sell a company
- I’m focused on my business
- My passion is about building something of value
It’s a different spin and it’s not subtle.
If you’re calling yourself a serial entrepreneur and you have as many companies or ideas as you have zits, you’re not impressing anyone. In fact, you may be hurting your chances of making headway toward becoming a real one.
Food for thought. Yours are welcome in the comments.
The first thing that popped into my mind as I interviewed Suzy Bureau about her Columbus Ohio Startup project called The ManCard was “This is all wrong. We should be shooting skeets, or tearing out drywall or fly fishing — anything but sitting in a coffee shop drinking lattes.” Despite the emasculating surroundings our conversation continued as the ebullient Ms. Bureau described the app she and her compadres built and submitted in a single weekend.
A product of StartupWeekend here in the viable Sili-Corn Valley of Columbus Ohio, the team of 5 developers, designers and marketers conceived, built and submitted the app in a span of 54 hours. They just issued an update to this 4-week-old app today.
How does this app work? You submit a picture of yourself or of your friends doing something “manly” and the greater community of people with the app vote on the masculinity of that photo. Simple enough.
I have to say, there are some pretty hilarious, over-the-top (and borderline inappropriate/NSFW) submissions. But this is known territory for apps containing user generated content. They do have a system for flagging questionable content which is wise. I still probably wouldn’t download the app to your “corporate issued” iPhone. However, the picture of the guy shaving his beard with a machete was “safe” enough and was tops in my book.
I’ve seen a few other “ManCard-esque” websites and ecosystems out there, but none with a mobile app nor with a total solution quite this…elegant (is that the right word)? Clearly, a lot of UX work went into this effort.
In terms of being a startup, is this concept scalable or actually viable as a real business model? I’m not sure but it has been my experience that men have an enormous capacity and lengthy attention span for acts of immaturity.
This talent we men posses makes me wonder if there is real “influence currency” here? Are there potential suitors in bigger brands like Dos Equis, Old Spice or Redbull who could turn these acts of jackassery into brand conversions? We’ll see because the team is busy drumming up sponsorships. Their first contest — a bracket-style virility competition called “March Man-ness” — was sponsored by the appropriately aligned energy drink Cajones Energy Shots.
Maybe an even better model would be a lottery? Or better yet, what if they took their “March Man-ness” bracket contest to another level and let people pay a buck or two to compete for a pool of cash. Certainly taking home a little Doh-Re-Mi could accentuate any red-blooded man’s bravado accumulated by capturing daring acts of idiocy on film?
Speaking of film, perhaps a video sharing section could make the competition even more intense (and more liable from a legal standpoint).
The iOS app is available at iTunes.