Social Media? – It means the world to me!

When I was asked recently  “What does Social Media mean to you?” I answered off the top of my head and instantly – It Means the World to Me! I always try now to answer in Twitter speak concise and engaging….

This may sound trite and perhaps sarcastic – but I mean it!

Social Media means the world on so many fronts. For a start Access to the World geographically and demographically.  This week on LinkedIn I hit 10 million plus in my Three Degrees.

What does this mean – If I get an important message to my 800 plus direct connects and they each do the same and their connections followup as well…  That message will hit 10 million worldwide in an instant for zero cost to me.

If only I had something that important to say!!

But it also means the world in terms of access to your world – business and /or social.

It means unprecedented access to people you don’t know. People who may be interested in what you have to say.

But don’t take my word for it

“Technology is shifting Power away from the editors, the publishers, the establishment and the media elite.  Now its the People who are in Control.”               Rupert Murdoch

It doesn’t matter if your “world” is around the corner or around the world you can access it now without relying on the heritage media.

It’s not just about access to broadcast a message though … its more about reaching people who are listening and ready to engage.

So define your audience and craft your messages specifically for them and then let people listen …  but they will only listen if your message interests them. And if they listen it doesn’t matter where in the world they are … they will find you!!

But you must also listen before jumping in.

When I deliver Sales training I explain the most important skill in sales is the art of listening by telling people to look in the mirror and see if they know why…

Well you do have two ears and only one mouth…God must have been telling you something…. is my answer!!

But there is much more to making sales using digital media – Social Media is a key part … but only a part.  You need to surround and support it with Listening Web Pages (more about that later), Search Engine Marketing, Social CRM, AdWords etc etc.

But your the world can find you if you are prepared to listen rather than shout.

Advertisements

Even on Sunday – Harvey is listening

For the past couple of weeks Harvey Norman have been advertising Flip SD Video cams for $78 or $88. As the one I have has a cracked screen I decided to buy one.  So I took trips to two stores over the past two weeks  … but alas neither store had any in stock… despite being in the store at 9 am on the day the catalogue appeared.

So today I turned to Twitter to see if they were listening. In my Social Media presentations I quote the COO of Harvey Norman from a recent interview where he says he has a small team who listen to Social Media to ensure customer alignment so i was very pleased to have a reason to test them out.

As you will see my Tweet was reTweeted and very quickly picked up by The Manager for Social Media who apologised for the delay in getting back to me….even though he responded within an hour or so on Sunday evening!!

He followed through on email to get further details and has assured me I will hear from my nominated store tomorrow once they have one in stock for me.

So I am pleased to know they are listening … and outside of normal hours … and they are effective in responding and dealing with the problem.

In my next presentation I will go from quote to personal case study.

Twitter is changing service for the better …. just a pity there are so few that have embraced it  yet in Adelaide!!

Social Media – It’s a lot like cycling

Cycling

With Lance Armstrong and the Tour Down Under the centre of everybody’s attention in Adelaide, I thought I should write about a passion of mine – cycling!!

On some of my regular, long, sometimes enjoyable – sometimes painful rides lately I have been thinking about the similarities between cycling and Social Media. This has helped put the value of Social Media into perspective for many fellow cyclists.

Every Tuesday evening I ride with a group of 50 or so men and women ranging in age from 17 to 70 from Scuzzi Cafe in North Adelaide.  They are a disparate group that have one think in common – cycling – so we come to together and build a Community with a common purpose. Isn’t that what Social Media can do too??!!

In fact a few are now “LinkedIn” with me and exploring business opportunities as a result of finding out more about each others professions from LinkedIn.

During the ride, we, like all cycling groups (even the Pros in the Tour Down Under), provide support and advice for each other to help get the maximum value from the ride and ensure a safe and enjoyable ride … even though we are secretly competing against each other!!

The advice comes in the form of simple hand signals or short sharp phrases that warn of upcoming hazards (eg. glass on the road, a parked car ahead that those behind can’t see) or advice that it’s safe to cross an intersection.  A wave of the hand signals glass on the road, a shout of “car back” warns the group a car is coming from behind on a narrow road, a hand behind the back signals a parked car or a stop sign … while a shout of “clear” lets those following know it’s safe to cross the intersection … and there are many more to cover every situation.

So it’s a bit like Twitter with it’s short, sharp and highly effective communication that passes rapidly to those that are interested.

During the ride everyone takes their turns at the front to make the pace and block others from the wind … it is up to 30% easier riding closely behind another.  In a peloton the outside line rides a few kms faster than the inside line so that someone constantly moves to the front while someone on the inside drops back.  It’s another unwritten rule and courtesy that all participants know and respect – a bit like the self regulation that is core to Social Media.

So we build a community for a common purpose … we help and support each other  (even competitors) with valuable information and we communicate directly and effectively.  Now that is exactly what Social Media allows us to do too … isnt it??

If you watch the Tour Down Under or any Pro or Amateur Race you will see plenty of evidence of all of the above too.

Finally when we get back from our ride the Cafe recognises the value of our loyalty and provides hefty discounts to all cyclists to make sure we keep coming back.  Not only do the discounts apply after the ride … but any cyclists going to that cafe at any time will pay only $2 for a coffee.

So there you have it … Community, Communication, Loyalty, Listening and Rewards – all key elements of Social Media and cycling.

Perhaps that connection was evident when Lance Armstrong “tweeted” that he was riding last Saturday morning at 9am along the beautiful Adelaide beaches and invited all and sundry to join him – more than 7,000 turned up on their trusty treddlies – all shapes and sizes – most in their lusty lycra!!