Author and analyst Brian Solis was in Orange County yesterday, speaking about The End of Business As Usual, how the consumer marketplace is changing, and how you can adapt the way you work to lead in this new marketplace.
Let me just get this out-of-the-way: Brian Solis is indeed much taller online. It’s fair to say that he is not tall. Which is perfectly fine, although it really would have been helpful in the large ballroom where he spoke if he were on a stage. Seriously.
What he lacks is physical stature he more than makes up for with his message and his passionate delivery. Solis is a life-long student, and social media has been his passion. He dove into a deep research of sentiment analysis–what he calls the interest graph–on Starbucks just because it was interesting. And as it turns out, it was (and is).
An Experiment in Crowd-sourced Note-Taking
During Solis’ talk, I monitored the back channel on Twitter. I tweeted key points and notes, and pulled out a few of the choice tweets from others in the audience to create the following overview.
The Consumer Market is Not One Audience
Deborah Anne Gibbs – @deborah_gibbs
Types of consumers: 1 traditional, 2 digital, 3 connected (#mobile + #socialmedia) #OC @briansolis
Too many companies using social media “channels” (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ et. al.) consider it a means of reaching The Audience. The fallacy is that there is no single audience. There are multiple demographics. Different kinds of consumers. If you’re trying to get people to buy a product, you have at least three kinds of consumers: The Traditional, The Digital, and–most recently–The Connected. Each group has different needs and expectations. Don’t treat them as one, or you’ll put off at least two and maybe all of them.
Social Media is Not a Digital Broadcast Medium
Jenny Corsey, APR – @jcorsey
Reach the people that will help you reach your customer. Speak to and through people to share your message. @briansolis #LinkedOC #OC
It wasn’t long ago that speakers would ask the audience to turn off their cell phones and put away their computers. To be “fiddling” with a cell phone was considered rude to the speaker. Of course, today savvy speakers know that if you can reach the connectors, you have people who will willingly spread your message.
Don’t Be Medium-alistic
Matthew Gallizzi – @mgallizzi
Why should people follow you? What value do you bring? #foodforthought #linkedoc #oc
Digital LA – @DigitalLA
Don’t be Medium’-alistic – designing for the technology medium instead of the purpose and human need #OC
Don’t design to the medium. Think about the people you want to connect with. What do they want from you? What can you offer that will make their interaction with you — whatever the channel — a positive and mutually beneficial experience?
Brandon Skaar – @BrandonSkaar
@briansolis Chief Experience Officer the new CEO #oc
There were a few great examples Brian shared of companies that are innovating and creating new experiences for the connected consumer:
- BetterWorks leverages game mechanics to provide perks and rewards for employees — a very clever model that progressive HR groups should be looking closely at.
- GiantNerd is a sports and outdoor equipment retailer that rewards it’s customers for helping other customers. In the process, they’ve created rabid fans and turned customers into a peer support network that outshines traditional customer support.
- ShopKick is an iPhone app that uses geo-location to let you earn rewards from local retailers that you would use anyway. And it’s approaching the sort of frictionless participation model touted by Mark Zuckerberg at F8.
If there was but one key take-away from Brian’s talk, it was to start with the end in mind.
What do you want to accomplish?
The key message Solis made is that most companies (and probably a lot of people) are not asking–and answering–the right question when down to the WHY they are using social media.
Andrea Memenas – @AndreaMemenas
“Presence is not a strategy.” – @briansolis #oc
Prior to the launch of Google+ business pages, a big company called Solis to ask when they were going live.
“Why do you care?”
“Because, we need to be ready and have a strategy for Google+ and create a page.”
“Why do you need that?”
“Because all our competitors will be there.”
“So? Why do YOU need to be on Google+? Why are you there? More importantly, why are your customers there, and how do they want to interact with you there? What can you do to make them smile?”
Having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or whatever rolls down the interweb tomorrow is not enough.
Mitch Devine – @DevineLines
“What is the Meaning of Like?” via @briansolis #oc http://t.co/nsc6m5dv
And collecting friends, likes, +1s or any of the other new social verbs should not be your objective.
Consider Facebook Analytics. They are not, in spite of what Facebook might lead you to believe, a measure of success. Facebook analytics can only measure activity (and only those activities that Facebook values). Facebook can tell you how many “likes” you received, and comments, and other metrics of activity. But none of this captures value or even tells you if what you are doing online is driving success.
Kris Carter – @CarterKris
Social analytics – what is the real end result you are seeking? Measure that instead. FB engagement can= absolutely nothing @briansolis #OC
Ellen Henderson – @ellenlynn
Although the crowd isn’t always wise, there is wisdom in whatever it is you find. You learn more anytime you study people. @briansolis #oc
eperry – @eperry
What are you designing for and what do you want people to walk away with? @briansolis #linkedOC #OC
The question to ask when thinking about any form or channel for social media is this: What is it you want to achieve? When you’ve sorted out your strategy, then you can look at the market, the different kinds of consumers, the various channels and develop a strategy that incorporates everything to help you reach those goals.
Are You a Change Agent?
Emily Crume – @EmilyQuestions
Are you a Change Agent? It takes courage + it takes vision says @briansolis #oc @LinkedOC
Renée Barrett – @AAARenee
“Do your employees have a #vision & #mission? If not, don’t put them in charge of #Social #Media?” #OC #SM #Enthusiasm
You’ve done your homework. You’ve thought long and hard about your strategic business goals and devised a strategy to connect and communicate with your customer using a range of social and other means. You have asked your customer what they need and want, and are prepared to deliver. Who do you have in the driver’s seat?
Today, you need to be a change agent, willing to take risks, and even willing to quit if the company isn’t willing to make the right changes. That takes balls.
I really enjoyed Brian’s talk, and look forward to reading his new book this weekend. He’s a terrific speaker, and refreshingly hype-free — a rare treat in social media circles. If you get a chance to hear him speak, go!
The event was organized by Bryan Elliott, of Linked Orange County. He does a great job of getting some excellent speakers to Orange County on a monthly basis. If you haven’t joined the group (it’s free), check it out.
This post was curated by Dashter, a wonderful tool for curating tweets within WordPress.
Oh, and as for the “taller online” bit, that was Solis’ own self-deprecating humor.