Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Social Media Head Fake

Last night I gave a class on what I would call version 0.4 of my theories from Guagua Pública.  It was a real honor to work once again with Francisco Santana, Founder of ASOPYMES.  In my opinion, he is a great friend to all small and medium sized businesses in Puerto Rico.  If you need someone to help you save money in your business, he's the man to talk to.

The session was entitled "Como Generar Nuevo Ingresos Usando Twitter" (How to generate new revenues using Twitter).  Per request of the audience, my class was in Spanish.  I hope to give a newer version of this speech soon, but in English.  But hey, give the people what they want! Right?

Speaking of giving an audience what they want, if you haven't watched the "Last Lecture" you should stop everything and do it. You can thank me later.

For me, one of the things about his lecture that has always stuck with me, was the head fake. Anyone familiar with sports knows what the head fake is.  It's where you you get an opponent to guess what you are going to due by looking at your eyes and head.  Of course once they've done that, it's too late. A talented athlete will show you what they are going to do next with their eyes and head, but make their body do something else.

Randy makes reference to the head fake near the end of the lecture, I quote:
"But did you figure out the head fake? It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you."
If you'll remember from the beginning of the lecture he explicitly tells the audience that this is NOT about his family. That's the real head fake. For who has the courage to give such an inspiring speech thinking about the family he would soon leave behind. He adds
"Have you figured out the second head fake? The talk’s not for you, it’s for my kids."
Social Media Head Fake 

For those of you who attended my class last night, have you figured out what my head fake was? Sure while I think I connected with people by focusing on generating revenue, I also introduced them to the complexity of computing, social media being just one of it's multidimensional components. While everything I said was right on target, I was really pleading to everyone to recognize that focusing your business strategy around informatica (computers and automation) is the only way to truly generate revenues today. The business environment has become too complex to approach any other way. The standard solution of throwing people at a problem isn't an option, when you don't even understand the problem!

Update: I found a copy of the transcript of the "Last Lecture", just in case you need it. Did you catch that the video on YouTube has closed captioning? How freaking awesome is that?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Social Media, Revenue Growth, and Silver Bullets

You probably know that if you want to use the Internet to market your company, then you've got to use social media.  How could you not? It's pounded in to our heads in almost every media that we consume.  It's hard to miss the inclusion of social media in our favorite television shows, our favorite radio stations, the movies we watch, the magazines and newspapers we read.  Are you beginning to see how social media has slowly penetrated nearly every aspect of our lives?

What if you could approach social media with a plan to make money from the Internet?  Wouldn't it be amazing if you knew what to do after getting your company on the Internet and involved with social networks?  Surely, there must be something more to social networks?  There has to be a simpler way to use them to grow your company's revenue.

As you are thinking about how you're currently using social media, then let me share with you a little secret about social networks and Internet Marketing.  Simply, social media is not a silver bullet. Marketing on the Internet is not a single step process.  It takes much more than simply setting up a website, a Facebook Page, and  a Twitter account.  It takes a consistent strategy that you stick to day after day. Sure we all WANT to believe that marketing on the Internet is something you do once, then forget about it. Of course, as anyone who has spent any money on Internet Marketing and NOT reaped it's benefits will tell you, it just doesn't work that way.

After you have read this blog post, you will feel like you want to learn more about social media. You might even say to yourself, "I want to use the Internet more effectively to market my company, but there has to be an easier way to do it." Next Wednesday, I'd like an opportunity to share with you, what I think is a simpler way to think about Internet Marketing. I'd like to invite you to a FREE seminar that I'll be giving in association with ASOPYMES. The seminar will focus on social media marketing, and provide a Twitter marketing model that will increment your company's revenues.

By the way, have you ever wondered where the expression "something is not a silver bullet" came from? The silver bullet myth comes from the legends of werewolves. According to werewolf mythology, the only way to kill a werewolf is with a silver bullet. Over time, the mythology of the silver bullet grew to the point that people started to believe that there were solutions to other problems as simple as a silver bullet. The theory went, with a silver bullet your problems are eliminated in one swift action. And that would be true, if your problem was a werewolf. While the Internet and social networks are pretty scary, they are most definitely not werewolves. So if you're interested in improving your return on investment in Internet Marketing, then I'd recommend you join me next Wednesday as I take the fear out of Social Media.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Infinity, Culture Convergence, and Revenue

Contemplating mankinds ability to understand infinity, or even very large numbers, the complexity of today's IT needs approaches the inifinite. Every company HAS to committ to big data to provide the cirtical metrics to drive success. Once you begin to measure and manage around metrics, you instanly become a a big data company. Very few people on earth can understand the complexity of a state-of-art data center providing support for massive amounts of data extraction, collection, and management.

So if we can accept that very few people can grok the inifinite, the rest of us reach our limits. This point may be different for everyone, but after that point we must rely on our fath that what's beyond our understanding is consistent with our beliefs. However, we must confess that beyond that point, we really have no proof that those beliefs are true.

Culture Convergence

The complexity of other aspects of our businesses are also reaching the inifinite. They are: lead generation, marketing, and sales. For me, there is no way to disprove that ultimate culture convergence will produce a problem so complex, that we will not be able to understand it. At the very minimum, once again, probably only a handful of people on earth willbe able to wrap their minds around media convergence with social media. 

I don't believe anyone can tell me what the implications of all of our main cultural channels growing into one glopy mesh of media. Nor can they provide any proof that this convergent point is any more real than a quasar in the outer reaches of space.

Metcalfe's Law

Early on in the creation of what we now call the Internet, The inventor of Ethernet, Bob Metcalfe observed: "the usefulness of a network increases at at an accelerating rate as you add each new person to it." 

Typically most industry experts believe Metcalfe's Law works in favor of the owner of the network, but I believe that this is a narrow view. It misses out on the fact, that we each now "own" our social network. So it follows, that if our social network becomes more useful with each person we add, then every company must strive to have as big a network as possible. this is something I've been trying to accentuate recently. 

Now I can't prove that Metcalfe's law applies to social networks, partly becuase I think our understanding of social networks is very narrow and. What I can say is that Metcalfe's law has been proven to fit in nearly every case of a highly successful network. 

How do I increase revenues with socila media

If I could summarize the grand challenge of social media marketing, it would be: "Will using social media increase my company's revenues?" Frankly there is very little evidence that this is true. And come to think of it, if I had that evidence, it might be something I don't want to share too widely.If you know what I mean. ;-)

All I can really answer is that based on my understanding of convergence culture and social media, it has to! I don't have the proof, yet; but we'll get there soon. What I do know is that some of the main ways to generate more revenue follow from these strategieis:

  1. Advertising
  2. New products, services, pricing, or packaging
  3. Acquire customers from competition
  4. Increase production
  5. Cust costs.

I think an exploration of how social media can increase revenues must assess how social media helps in each of these five strategies.