I really agree with Ted Rubin that being real is more effective & potent than being perfect.
Here’s one reason why I agree with Ted:
Within a large corporation, there are often moments when chaos and fear collide to create real mis-understandings. The chaos results from so many initiatives happening at once. The fear results from a very simple reality – people hanging on to their jobs. When a very large corporation enters social networks for the first time, it is usually via several silos, and even separate regions. This can produce chaos, this can produce fear. And those who enter this chaos and fear, and attempt to coalesce the efforts of the corporation in social networks…well, the only hope for such people is to embody the authentic, the real, the humble, the calm and balanced. This effort in social networks is not about a military strike or the creation of a ruling robot…it is about how we as a brand will form a relationship with our customer.
A DEFINITION: “A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.” ~Kevin Kelly, The Technium
“In the entertainment area, there are members of the hardcore fan base.
The equivalent of the guys who will camp outside of an Apple store to get the new iPhone.
On the innovation curve, these are the fanatics.
The more interesting group is the one immediately to the right of the fanatics.
The ones who move you across the chasm and into the mainstream world of the “early majority”
These are the ones who need to be identified.
Because these are the real influencers.
Fanatics are important in the entertainment world.
Is this equally so for other industries?
The fanatics are important …. but the “visionaries” are crucial.” ~Peter Economides, FelixBNI
“For example, let’s say you launch a Facebook campaign to get 1,000 “likes” for your brand page. You make your goal of 1,000, but what’s to say those people will attend your event or even visit the page at a later date? You have to offer them something of value in order to create a social consumer. That social consumer might then provide feedback on the event and even influence peers to attend. Figure out what your audience wants, and give it to them — over and over. You have to give them a reason to both connect and come back.”~Brian Solis, Altimeter Group
A PROCESS: A THOUSAND TRUE FANS as derived VIA KEY INFLUENCERS
1. TWITTER SET-UP AND BRANDING: Set up a non-branded Twitter account for market research purposes related to specific customers (ie. – Tourism, Hotel, Restaurants, Art, Fashion). Value: This will be our “window” into the Interest Graph.
2. KEY INFLUENCER IDENTIFICATION & FOLLOW: Identify 1000 Key Influencers using Listorious (http://www.listorious.com) AND Research.ly (http://research.ly). Follow these 1000 influencers in the non-branded Twitter account. Value: Know the Social Influencers related to your vertical market, customers and competitors. Connect to them for realization of sales goals, event opportunities and growing awareness in regions/communities you may not have penetrated. Grow the network around the customer for the purposes of connection, sales and marketing.
3. CSV FROM TWITTER (with 3rd Party Tool): Download a CSV from Twitter (with a 3rd Party Twitter Export tool like Export.ly – http://export.ly).
4. CSV TO FLIPTOP (or other tool): Upload CSV of Twitter account to Fliptop or another tool to discover influencers’ locations ACROSS The World Wide Mind (http://www.theworldwidemind.com). Value: (a) I get to see where my influencers are in other social properties AND (b) I get to hear and see what they are messaging about.
5. FOLLOW THE INFLUENCERS IN FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN AND OTHER SOCIAL PROPERTIES: We will translate our findings into actual friends in the social networks and begin the process of connecting with these friends. Value: Influential friends in the Social Graph that we have discovered via the Interest Graph.
6. TWEET CREATION/COPYWRITING: Turn entire corporate site, blogposts and other collateral into tweets. The goal here is to get around 150 tweets for scheduled posting. Also, derive and mash-up content BASED UPON current and trending conversations WITHIN The World Wide Mind. Value: Influencers who follow you will become aware of what you offer and interact with you on this. Note: for a non-branded research account, we can copy-write industry and niche-related tweets.
7. TWEET SCHEDULING: Schedule these tweets in Social Oomph – (http://www.socialoomph.com). Value: This will be pre-scheduled so you do not have to keep tweeting (the tweeting will be automatic).
8. KEY INFLUENCER CONTENT SUMMATION: Summarize what the 30-50 top influencers are saying in the Twitter accounts. This would be “culled” from their latest 100 tweets. Value: This is a very powerful option, that will give branding teams insight into what top influencers are talking about.
9. KEY INFLUENCER ENGAGEMENT: Engage and nurture relationship with Key Influencers. Results sought: (a) Getting the Key Influencer to follow you back (b) Getting the Key Influencer to re-tweet, share or post a message originating from you (c) forming a business partnership with the Key Influencer for mutual benefit and the benefit of the customer (customer-centric business).
Over the last week I have worked in Los Angeles with a variety of individuals and entities. The experience has been fascinating AND revealing.
One of the first observations I have is that most entities interacting for the first time with social media marketing truly struggle with the concept that relationship architecture and network analysis MUST be preliminary steps. And this is done using LISTENING tools like Radian6, Buzzmetrics, Trackur, Compete, JIVE and the like. The concept of listening to OTHERS as an INTEGRAL aspect of formulating marketing plans and models lies outside the conventional creative bent. Most of the super-creatives I have run into this last week are hell-bent on THEIR own vision, which is fabulous of course. AND it has been my job to be the listener and translator of what their prospective audiences say each day about their material.
LESSON #1: Transitioning creatives to customer-centric marketing/sales tactics IS JUST AS CHALLENGING as doing so with brand managers, marketing managers AND general managers at major corporations. BUT once both types of individual and entity see lists of top bloggers, top tweeters, top FB groups and top forums in which their audience resides AND the volume of their potential market…ONLY THEN do they wake up to the amazing POSSIBILITY that social architecture and relationship analysis provides. Again, employing strategists trained in LISTENING TOOLS is vital to customer-centric vs. product-centric business. (ie.- A single Key Influencer who tweets to 1.5 million of their prospects OR a FB group of 850,000 entirely populated with their kind of tribe members OR a blogger who over 2 million read every day. Those are NOT numbers to turn away from).