Archive for the ‘enthusiasm’ tag
When NASA’s Curiosity Rover hit the ground on Mars, it was minutes before we knew its fate (see infographic below). It takes some time for light and data to travel the 35 million miles between Earth and Mars. And yet we sat glued to the streamcast of dozens of people sitting at desks at Mission Control – hanging on every disembodied word from the flight controller – effectively living moments that had already happened.
Meanwhile, across the twitterstream, the @MarsCuriosity account was brimming with enthusiasm and pithy one-liners. One of my favourites is below.
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012
It makes me wonder … why can’t brands adopt social media with such passion and interest? Why can’t they embrace an attitude that engages their audiences?
But it’s not just Twitter that NASA has mastered. They have open sourced their imagery and data – allowing anyone to design their own NASA-focused infographics (aka the social media expert’s tool of choice). After you have created your own infographic, you can then upload it to be shared with the NASA audience – giving you more than just a touch of space nerd celebrity.
At a guess, NASA have followed this path for a strategic reason – to drive a powerful emotional connection with a global, passionate and technically-literate audience. And at some point – around budget time – that audience will be called upon to help sway the thinking of penny-pinching politicians.
And if NASA – can orchestrate this type of sophisticated global engagement program – why can’t brands?
Yesterday, Twitter launched its Twitter Political Index to track enthusiasm for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the run-up to the November US Presidential election.
The Twitter Political Index is a daily measurement that evaluates the sentiment of Twitter users feelings about the candidates based on an estimated two million Twitter mentions of the candidates in a given week relative to more than 400 million tweets sent about other topics each day.
This is a great example of Crowdsourcing, which involves taking a task usually performed by one or a few people (in this case doing political research) and distributing among a crowd of people—outsourcing it to a crowd—via online social networks.
Tapping the crowd to learn about buyers (and voters)
I'll be particularly interested to see how the Twitter Political Index changes when one or the other candidate has a success (a great speech for example) or a public gaffe. And it will be fascinating to learn on election day if global Twitter users are a good proxy for the American electorate.
The techniques used by the Twitter Political Index are available to companies using products like those from Radian6 to gauge the sentiment around products and companies. It is a fascinating way for marketers and PR pros to mine a huge amount of data.
For more information on the Twitter Political Index, USA Today has a good analysis Twitter index tracks sentiment on Obama, Romney.
McClure gave one of the first talks at Montreal’s International Startup Festival today and cut through the crowd’s sleepiness by encouraging people to be hated rather than inspire no reaction at all.
“Hate is better than indifference,” McClure said. “They care enough to tell you they don’t like you. If they don’t care, they will give you nothing to work with and you can’t pivot or whatever. You can’t make a brand around indifference.”
To illustrate being memorable, McClure used one of his favorite tactics — flipping off the crowd — and having people in the crowd flip each other off. He also threw his arms around crazily and asked a woman from the front row to “Hulk-ify” with him.
“Don’t be afraid to be hated,” McClure said. “A bunch of geeks here have had experience with shame or hate, but you have to find your passion and find what gives you power.”
McClure said we are in an “Italian renaissance” for geeks and have entered into a new era of design and social innovation. He noted that it’s never been cheaper or easier to launch a startup and that monetization for web startups “still sucks in a lot of place, but it’s getting better.”
Besides demonstrating how to get a reaction from consumers, McClure’s other big point to the audience? Take some insane risks with companies you have a deep passion for.
“If you start from a place with nothing, you should take risks,” McClure said. “I encourage you to find something you’re passionate about. Because you are most likely not going to succeed, I want you to have good time failing.”
It’s been a bleak call, thus far.
We just heard on RIM’s Q1 2013 earnings call that the Waterloo-based company only shipped 7.8 million smartphones this quarter, which is down 30 percent from 11.1 million units shipped last quarter.
Though the BlackBerry Bold continues to be a strong product, fierce competition from both Android vendors and the staggering iPhone 4S numbers only took the company further into its hole of despair.
In related news, BlackBerry PlayBook sales are down almost 50 percent, with just 260,000 units shipped.
There is a reason the word “pervasive” is often used right alongside social media. For many of us, the social channels we use to connect with others for personal or professional reasons are a big part of every day. But how much is too much? How do we know that we might be taking our enthusiasm for social media too far? Here’s my slightly exaggerated (but mostly true) list of ten signs that you might just have an unhealthy relationship with social media in your life:
- You receive an audible alert on your phone anytime anything happens. When your mobile device chimes, beeps or chirps anytime someone follows, retweets, shares or comments on something – you are actively sabotaging your own ability to concentrate on anything.
- Your business card says “guru” and you are NOT speaking about spirituality to large groups in India. I know what you’re thinking, but I didn’t write this one because I’m Indian …
- You use social media terms as verbs. If you have ever said out loud, “I need to instagram that,” then this point is about you. The moment you start using social media terms to replace verbs, it’s the beginning of the end.
- You believe there is nothing wrong with spllng wrds without vwls. Sure, there’s a 140 character limit, but it doesn’t mean we need to commit “grammar gaffes” or unlearn everything we know about spelling, does it?
- You answer questions with “you should read my blog post about that.” That’s like when someone asks you what a word means and you tell them to look it up. Unless you’re a high school English teacher, just answer the damn question.
- You check your Klout score, um, ever. I don’t think I really need an explanation for this one.
- You are a “mayor” of anything. We all love recognition, but I think deep down if you are disciplined enough to always check into a particular location and do everything that’s required to be a “mayor” on Foursquare … you already know you have a problem.
- You use the “like” button to make a statement. You don’t always have to send flowers, but your friend just had their first baby … the least you could do is take 3 seconds and write “congratulations” into a comment.
- You use social media as a justification for being unreasonable. Yes, there are people who demand a hotel upgrade or a discount because of their blog readership or Klout score. You know who you are.
- You freaked out for 70 minutes while Twitter went down. Yesterday when Twitter went down, how much of an impact did it have on your life?
If you see yourself in any of these signs above, the antidote is pretty simple … switch off. Leave the phone off and close the laptop – go outside, talk to your kids and just find a moment to enjoy human interaction. After you go and tweet this blog post to all your folllowers, of course.
You enjoy going to outdoor concerts, sporting events, and other festivals but the no outside alcohol policy mixed with $8 drinks quickly dries up your enthusiasm. If you don’t feel like following the rules you can always build a hidden compartment into a cooler and sneak your booze into the event. More »
Lynda McNutt Foster Delivers with Her Weekly Launch List
Lynda overflows with brains, enthusiasm, creativity, and fun.
So, I wasn’t surprised to find her new weekly newsletter unique in its approach to its recipients. The ‘Launch List’ is a quick read that delivers much-needed Monday morning inspiration. Although it reflects Linda’s positive personality, it’s not all about her. It’s all about her customers, colleagues, and friends.
For example, the headline of her April 30 newsletter was Will you make time for the people part of profits this week? The content focused on improving high-level relationships and began:
A high level connection is one that empowers you and the other person. Fast is slow with people and slow is fast in building empowering relationships. (Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). Are you trying to be too efficient with people? Try some of these techniques this week to build stronger connections with the people that matter most and who will help you reap profits professionally and personally.
Lynda then offered quick tips for optimizing relations with your team, your clients, your family, and yourself. She also included a cool link to a TED talk by Sherry Turkle that deals with how we make connections through technology.
Each of her newsletters is a quick read. But, I’ve found that she often forces me to think about things that I could and should be doing better. That then leads me and, I’m sure, dozens and dozens of her readers back to one of the things that Lynda does for a living. She teaches leadership and business skills. In the April 30 newsletter, she does mention a workshop that she’s doing with the appropriate link. But, that comes naturally and at the end of all the great content. Moreover, in many of her newsletters, there is absolutely no self promotion whatsoever.
6 Lessons We Can Learn from Lynda’s Launch List
- Make sure that your communications with your customers and prospects are all about them–and not all about you.
- Develop content that that is so engaging and enjoyable that it becomes must reading whenever it arrives.
- Find a way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills–in Lynda’s case it tends to be about leadership–through the quality of the content that you are delivering.
- Don’t be afraid to include meaningful links to other thought-provoking content that reinforces what you yourself are providing.
- Make your content easy and fun to read. Lynda writes in short paragraphs with colorful highlights that emphasize important points and just the right amount of graphic images that support her topic.
- Let your content reflect your personality. The Launch List certainly reflects Lynda’s and makes it obvious that she is the kind of person we would surely want to do business with.
I was impressed with Lynda before her new newsletter began to arrive. Now, I’m blown away and newly inspired to improve my own communications.
Brands are great at selling product but sometimes fall short when telling stories that go beyond “advertorial” content. So when a brand aligns with a talent to help tell an authentic story, I get excited.
Talent passions must align with brand values
Brands can find talent and build meaningful content partnerships. Devin Graham, aka Devin Super Tramp, is a great example of a talented filmmaker who naturally encompasses the value of brands like GoPro, The North Face, and Red Bull with his infectious enthusiasm for outdoor adventure, great music, and high-end video.
About Vooray: “We LIVE to enjoy every minute of life. We RIDE, run, swim, work, jump, surf, bike and whatever else, because we love when our hearts beat just a little faster. We PLAY because you can’t take yourself too seriously after you work so hard to get there. Life is too short not to have fun every second.”
Show, don’t tell, your value
Our own Drew Davis had an opportunity to speak with Devin recently. Devin indicated that the relationship with Vooray happened very authentically through a friendship, and most of his brand relationships begin in the same manner. A brand sends product to sample and possibly to be included in a video. In order for it to even be considered for inclusion, Devin has to “believe 100% in the product.” Devin oftentimes even offers to create his first video for a small sponsorship fee that mostly covers travel so that the brand can fully realize how valuable his videos can be.
Selling product does not mean selling out
“I have to believe 100% in the product.” —Devin Graham
Devin is proud to align with the brands he works with and is thrilled when it leads to sales.
Because the relationship is authentic and the story is real, he is not trying to pretend the video is not a promotional tool for a product. For example, Go-Scope sent him their product to try in a video and reported back to him, the day after the video was posted on YouTube, that Devin “put Go-Scope on the map” and they “tripled sales in 1 day.” Selling is not selling out.
Making the most of the relationship
With over 275K YouTube subscribers and over 51MM video views, it is no surprise that Devin is already aligned with brands like clothing company Vooray. However, the integration is almost too seamless. I never know if a DST video is for Vooray or if a Vooray video posted was shot by DST. As a brand and as a talent, make sure the value of the partnership goes beyond the content being created. The value is in aligning your unique values in a way that exposes each of you to the other’s audience, authentically, no matter who ultimately paid for the content to be created.
How can the right talent help you tell your story? When the brand and the talent encompass the same philosophies and make compelling content it should not only increase awareness for the brand but increase sales, too. No matter whether brands hire talent and create a relationship over time or curate content that fits their brand values, it is important to make sure that there is an authentic alignment of values and stories that both want to share.
Watch the Go-Scope in action
If you were one of the naysayers who thought that there wouldn’t be a very strong consumer appetite for the newest twist on the already very popular iPad, it may be time to think again. Apple’s top executives said today that just a few weeks after the new iPad’s formal launch, the response to the company’s latest iteration on the tablet has been incredibly strong — and it’s making an impact from a financial perspective.
Considering that Apple significantly dropped the starting price of the iPad 2 to $399 at the same time that it debuted the newest version of the iPad which ranges in price from $499 to $899, investors were obviously curious about how sales stacked up between the old and new devices. A full breakdown of the iPad Q2 sales generation-by-generation was not disclosed, but on its Q2 earnings call with investors and analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer spoke with enthusiasm about the new iPad’s adoption.
“We’re just learning about the elasticity of demand and the $399 price point is doing well, but I have to tell you the new iPad is on fire and we’re selling them as fast as we can make them,” CFO Peter Oppenheimer said, a sentiment that Tim Cook echoed verbatim later on in the call. This latest release, which saw three million devices sold in its first weekend alone, was Apple’s fastest iPad rollout ever, he said.
The Retina Really Does Sell
In the end, it turns out that a good deal of people out there were willing to pay a significant premium for an iPad with the very latest in super souped up features. “Customers are loving the new iPad with its stunning retina display,” Oppenheimer said.
The CFO was also quick to point out that this is really just the beginning for the device, which made its debut just a month ago in mid-March. “The new iPad was supply constrained last quarter for the full [first] three weeks or so that it was shipping and it actually is still constrained, so mix of new iPad to the iPad 2 is not certain yet.”
64 Million iPads Sold In 2 Years
Apple CEO Tim Cook also expanded a bit on how well the iPad has sold in general, and said he was very bullish about the device’s potential to continue to grow for years to come. “[iPad] applications are so easy to make very meaningful for someone, and there is such an abundance of those,” Cook said during the Q&A portion of the call. “As the ecosystem gets better and better and as we continue to double down on making great products I think that the limit here is nowhere in sight.”
Worldwide, Apple’s lifetime iPad sales across all generations have now topped 67 million, Cook said. “To put that into context it took us 24 years to sell that many Macs, five years for that many iPods, and 3 years for iphones. And we were extremely happy with the trajectory on all those products. I think the iPad, it’s a profound product, the breadth of it is incredible, the appeal of it is universal. I could not be happier with being in the market.”