My favorite topic!
My favorite topic!
A concept I learned many years ago, which has helped me understand the psychology of Internet users and my clients, is known as the 90-9-1 theory of Participation Inequality. Studied and reported first and most by Will Hill and Jakob Nielsen. This theory states that, on the Internet, 90% of users are lurkers, producing almost no content, 9% of users are producing and contributing from time to time, and 1% of users are very active and produce most of the online contributions.
Why is this theory so intriguing to me? I would go to networking events, coffee shops, cocktail parties, and interact with people and time and time again I heard “Meghann, I just read your blog or watched your video or read your post on Facebook, etc. and I loved what you had to say.” And inevitably, looking at said blog posts, videos, other content, I noticed those people didn’t comment, share the content, or even “like” it! I was really befuddled by this because I am a flagrant commenter, interactor, sharer, and liker of other people’s stuff. I was having a conversation with a friend one day and he told me about this theory and it all clicked. A vast majority of people are lurkers.
What does this mean for my business and for my clients? I keep putting out quality content. Even if it seems like people aren’t reading, watching or listening, I keep creating. I use new tactics to draw comments and shares out of my followers. I niche in more to my tribe and laser-focus my content to them. After all, there are an estimated 7 billion internet users out there. Am I going to be reach all of them? No! Nor do I want to; I want to reach the members of my tribe with the content I produce.
My tribe is women industry leaders and their teams who want to transform their marketing and catapult their business into the spotlight. Industry leaders are subject matter experts. They have a lot to say about their area of expertise. And for the most part, they are able to express their expert content well in one of three forms on their website: blog (written content with visual aids), vlog (videos), or plog (podcasts). And because their website is the hub of all of their marketing, and there is so much value in producing regular content for their tribe (and an unending supply of content ideas), I encourage my clients to strive to be part of the 1%.
What’s the general formula for becoming part of the 1% you ask?
What will you get for being part of the 1%? Great SEO, a loyal tribe of raving fans who shares your viral content regularly, a positive reputation that precedes you and leaves you little need for introduction anywhere, more clients/customers than you know what to do with. Sound good? I think so!!
Here’s an incredible case study of an industry leader, Marcus Sheridan, who has proven this theory to be true. And to prove that this can be done by any leader in any industry, he’s the perfect example – he sells fiberglass pools.
Are you a leader? Do you have what it takes to be part of the 1%?
Whether you are just starting out in business or you’ve owned a company for years, you know that connections and authentic relationships are everything. And if you are a newbie entrepreneur, chances are you’ll spend a good amount of time your first couple of years running around town having way too many coffee meetings, resulting in repetitive caffeine crashes.
Why not save yourself some time, and some gas, by meeting new people online? I have met more quality business connections through online networking and have spent a fraction of the time that it takes to go to in-person events. This simple formula for networking success can be applied online and offline.
1. Form authentic, meaningful connections with members of your tribe. Your tribe is made up of the people you want to serve through leadership as a subject matter expert. They are your customers, prospects, referral partners, friends, supporters, and raving fans. Getting clear on the shared characteristics, habits, interests, and desires of your tribe is key when connecting with them. Figure out who they are, then ask your friends to introduce you to them at networking events. Similarly, ask your well-connected friends online to connect you (personally) with the people who fit the description of your tribe.
When you begin your new online relationship with a member of your tribe, make sure to personalize it as much as possible. Make note of the information they have on their profile and engage them in conversation. Send them a “new friend video” that is a non-soliciting introduction to who you are and what you’re up to in the world.
2. Figure out what’s most important to them by asking questions that help you get to know them authentically. Get more value out of networking by asking questions of those you meet like, “What do you do for fun? What is your favorite non-profit or cause you believe in? What’s an endeavor you’re working on right now in case I or someone in my network can help you?”
Ask those same questions of your new online connections. Show them they’re not just another friend on Facebook or connection on LinkedIn.
3. Perform systematic follow up. Don’t let networking connections go by the wayside; create a spreadsheet or use your CRM system to keep track of follow up. I suggest friending them on Facebook, connecting with them on LinkedIn, or, if you aren’t able to find them in either of those places, send them an email and ask if they would like to connect somewhere online.
When it’s a new friend you met online, following up is even more important. Put them in a new friends list on Facebook, create a spreadsheet of follow up sequence, and reach out to them on a personal level several times before you even begin talking about business.
4. Provide value in every interaction. In your follow up phone calls, meetings, and communication on social sites, help others as much as possible. Connect them with valuable resources, email them links to blog posts you’ve written that could assist them with a current project, comment, like, and share their content on social networks, and engage them whenever you can.
One last point to acknowledge. If you can approach it online and offline with the attitude of turning the people you meet into clients, you may be sorely disappointed. However, if you can go about it all with the attitude of getting connected to more people in your tribe who can be advocates of you and your brand, it opens you up to possibilities of endless referrals, and raving fans. Looking at networking as finding the golden geese will assist you way more than trying to find golden eggs everywhere you go.
What says you? Where have you found your golden geese?
If you’re reading this blog post it’s probably because the image that goes along with it grabbed your attention. If not, you are now looking for the image within this blog post and you’re going to read it. Perhaps you came to this blog post from Pinterest, or maybe from Facebook or Twitter or an RSS. In any case, it worked, because you’re here.
Do you know why it worked?
I know my tribe. I know exactly to whom I am writing. When I write my blog posts or create videos, I visualize my tribe, I open up to the infinite energy that surrounds me, and I let the energy flow through that speaks directly to them as I write.
I have figured out that my tribe thinks visually. They love images and if they love the content on or with that image, they will click them, and go to the source of the content. I have trained myself to think visually and can pick images and words that will speak directly to them and will educate, entertain, and/or engage them.
Marketing my business has become far more fun now that I understand and apply this concept. Understand who your tribe is, find out how they like to be communicated to, and deliver your messages in their language and in the way they like to receive it.
I bring up Pinterest in the image illustrating this blog because it is the fastest growing social media site and drives more traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google Plus, and YouTube combined. There are many more women on Pinterest than men, by far. Women go on Pinterest to swap recipes, create virtual vision boards and wish lists, pin things that inspire them, and, they follow posts that intrigue them to their website of origination.
Once you’ve delineated your tribe and have determined whether or not they spend a good amount of their online time on Pinterest, and that they are drawn toward images, you can begin to get creative and think of ways to convey your expertise through images. These images should be housed on your blog and should contain at least a couple of paragraphs of keyword-rich content expanding upon the subject your image addresses. Then, the image should be pinned from your blog on one or more of your boards which you’ve titled creatively. I recommend you maximize other means of getting these images out to your tribe, such as email, Facebook, Twitter, QR code, etc.
Have you thought of some images you could create while reading this blog? Jot them down! Keep a list of topics you’d like to cover and start taking photos with your smart phone to build a stash of backgrounds or use royalty free photo sites to find photos from others.
And tell me, what business or personal development book is on your nightstand right now?
How do you, as the content producer for your company, create compelling content for your social media sites?
Make your content engaging and appealing to your target market. Simple.
A recent article in Fast Company, called the Art of Dialogue said “brands ought to start acting less like things and more like people, and they should engage traditional humans, their consumers, in dialogue.” After all, people don’t want to talk with a black and red icon representing your brand, they want to talk to someone representing it. “Consumers don’t want to have a relationship with just this cold logo.” So how do you make your brand more personal?
Give your brand a personality that matches your company culture.
Sit down with your creative team (whomever that may be; if you’re an entrepreneur, find someone like me, and some other marketing strategists and do a round table session) and figure out what are the elements (traits) that make up your brand. What do you stand for? How do you want to be recognized in the marketplace? What makes you stand out from your competition? What are the words you use to describe the characteristics of your brand? Are you funny like Southwest Airlines? Are you serious like Allstate? Are you lovey and cuddly like Charmin?
Make the lists, elaborate on them, and then take these traits, elements of recognition, and characteristics, and get creative with them. Weave them throughout your marketing. Tell the story of your business in new and interesting ways that get your tribe (target market) involved and entrenched in the story.
In your social media, make sure you use these creative elements to do (what I call) the three most important E’s in social media marketing: Educate, Entertain, and Engage.
Below are a couple examples of how to combine all three E’s:
“People love bacon. Sooo much. Every time I post anything about bacon, it usually gets really good engagement,” quoted the Fast Company article. This person, who is a social media coordinator for Denny’s, found a topic their audience liked through trial and error. She uses pictures of bacon to inform her audience of Denny’s specials, and to entertain them with humorous stats about American’s obsession with bacon.
Sometimes this is necessary in order to see what your tribe “likes” and comments on. Other times, you just know your tribe like it when you speak about certain topics. How do you know? Your clients, prospects, and loyal followers ask you questions about certain subjects all the time. The questions they ask you provide you with golden nuggets to take, and transform into value-add content on your blog and social sites, to enforce your subject matter expertise.
Here’s an example, applied to a solo entrepreneur so you can see that anyone can do this, not just Denny’s. You’re an esthetician. You want to talk about the importance of the brush and the sponge for everything. Applying makeup, applying masks, washing your face, whatever. Your primary clientele is young professional women, and they have communicated to you the difficulties they have adequately cleansing their faces, applying foundation, etc.
So do you just keep telling them over and over with words the various things they need to do with said brushes and sponges? No! You show them visually. Please, take some time to laugh at my amazing cartooning skills:
I have given some personality to this pretend esthetician’s brand, and it took me 15 minutes from start to finish to draw it, add captions, and put it up. If this caricature representation of your brand and subject matter is going to be something that you can repeat throughout your content, I would hire a cartoonist to do a much better job. They could make the cartoon representatives of your brand versatile – with different expressions, outfits, props, whatever – so that you can use these cartoons on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, on printed postcards, calendars, you name it. Get creative!
There are, of course, countless other ideas of how to make your brand engaging, entertaining, and educational. I will share more in future blog posts.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts. What ideas do you have?
In response to the articles that have been posted in recent days regarding Instagram’s claim to sell the rights to their users’ photos (see article here,) And, as with anything you learn via viral flurry, it’s a good idea to check your facts. Here is a good article about the legal ease and the true meaning of Instagram’s new policies. I decided it would be helpful to share an overview of other mobile apps for fun photo editing; it’s always good to consider other alternatives. Some of them have direct Facebook and Twitter integration, some don’t. Some are paid apps, some are free.
This is just a quick list of apps that you can use to make your photos more eye-catching for your online tribe. I recommend trying a few, finding the one with the interface and effects you like, and using it. If you have others you enjoy, please comment below!
*Click this link: http://www.stationcaster.com/player_skinned.php?s=96&c=2241&f=467601
Susan Roberts, ActionCOACH Denver & Meghann Conter, the Mistress of Media – Owner and Founder of Your Social Source speak about marketing mediums for businesses, specifically focusing on the beginnings of a social media strategy
What did you learn that you didn’t know before listening to this?
Is there someone you can share this with whom this would help?
Check Your Status Update Inline Audience Selector!!
I have had numerous clients call me lately frustrated because people are not commenting on their Facebook updates (when they have in the past.)
Here’s what to do!
Go to create a status update either from Home or your Timeline and look at the inline audience selector (Shown above with the globe and “Public”) and make sure Public is indeed selected. (In most cases, you’ve written a status update in the past to a specific list audience and the inline audience selector has remained on that list.)
I receive multitudes of friend requests from people who have profiles with no information filled in whatsoever or those that are on “lock down,” and from which I had received no personal introduction message. It just makes me wonder – why?
Would this person walk up to me at a networking event or in a social setting and simply stand in front of me with a blank stare and a mute mouth? Yeah, I don’t think so.
Why would it be any different online?
This is SOCIAL networking.
When someone does something like this, it helps me understand my clients’ frustrations. Many of them voice their concerns – “I’m getting all of these friend requests and I don’t know why. It seems I have nothing in common with them. They gave me no reason to act upon their request.”
I feel your pain!! So rather than dwell on the problem, I’m here to provide a solution.
It’s easy. It takes a few short steps.
1. Adopt a business casual strategy for online social networking – if you are in business for yourself or if you are using social media as a form of networking, this is essential!
2. Set your privacy settings to reflect the above strategy – make sure that people can see the basics about you so that they can decide whether or not to network with you online. (see diagram below)
3. Treat each person you request as a friend as the unique individual they are – send personalized friend requests!
4. Thank them for accepting your request – when people accept, acknowledge them and tell them more about you!
What are other ways you suggest building effective relationships online?
Often times people ask me what the Mistress of Social Media of Your Social Source does. Here it is, nitty gritty style.
Feel free to send me an email: MConter@YourSocialSource.com or call: 720-938-6244
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