Merlin U Ward talks about how G+ can become intriguing to even the most common user. An expansion on “Shit or get off the pot, G+“
Archive: July 2011
A love letter to G+:
The puppy love phase is over and I’m beginning to wonder where we’re going with all this. It was fun discovering all the new things about you and meeting your friends, but I need more than just “something new”. I want to feel the excitement I had when we first met. You know, that tingling feeling you got every time I posted something on your stream? I feel like our love is starting to fade…
If we’re going to make our relationship work I need to know that you’re going to be around for a while. I need to know that you care about me and want to support me. Most of all I want those sweet nothings. They may not seem like much, but they keep things exciting and keep me coming back. I want you to want me to come back. Where are the frivilous points for checking in with you or getting +1′s? I want to know how well connected I am with you and how much progress I’ve made. Give me a sign, a progress bar, or something!
You have the potential to be the greatest thing in my life. You have Places, Streams, Alerts, Calendars, Picasa, Huddles, Hangouts, Documents and those sexy Circles. I was so excited to see how you put them all together and really make them work together. But I just feel like you’re not as excited as I am. You certainly don’t show it. I want you to show me how excited you are and be excited to have me come back.
Right now, I’m just not sure if I want to see you when I wake up every morning. I miss the chase and the games we played; discovering new things together. Those were the moments I really enjoyed.
I’m not breaking up with you Google+, but some things need to change. I need to know you’re committed to me. I want to know we have a future together. It’s time to shit or get off the pot, otherwise I’m going to spend more time with my exes, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. At least they put out.
Merlin U Ward
Too soon? … Never too soon.
“Before you can sell a service, a product or an insight to the naive,
you need to sell them on being professional.” – Seth Godin
The quote comes from Seth’s recent blog post “Naive or professional?“, where he explains the difference between a naive business person and a professional business person. Essentially the naive person is content with the way things are and when a problem occurs, blames an outside source for the diversion. The professional doesn’t let problems slip by. They analyzes them, try to understand them, and build fail safes to ensure they don’t happen again. The quote is interesting because it relates to building expectation AND good business habits.
Building your customer expectations of your product or service from the first engagement is important. Equally important is building the expectation of their involvement in the fulfillment process. This is fairly easy to do and can be chalked up to three steps.
Identifying the Problem
A few years ago, I consulted a company that sold a product on a B2B basis. The sales team was making their sales quota but the sales that were won the company had trouble retaining – about 50% of sold clients were “troublemakers”.
I analyzed the sales process; the before and after sale, the materials, the sales scripts and sat in on sales meetings. Turns out that the sales people weren’t “overselling”, which is what I expected to find, but what they weren’t doing was selling the experience. The product involved a specific amount of “homework” to be done by the customer to ensure the highest quality product and timely delivery. The issue was the sales team never mentioned or emphasized this part of fulfillment. So when it came down to the customer doing the work they needed to make the service work, they weren’t ready or willing.
Corrections and Fail Safes
We changed the sales script and developed very detailed points on what was expected of the customer when we began working with them. We also built in a touch point in the customer relations process to remind them of their “homework” and offer assistance (this only added about 30 minutes to total customer time). The result? Retention increased to 80%. Sale percentages weren’t affected.
As a professional, it is important that you constantly reevaluate your business processes. As a professional, it is also your job to ensure that your customers are ready to be professionals as well. They need to understand that they have a stake in the product or service you’re delivering and they have to be ready to learn and adjust as they engage with your company – this can be a fun process! There is no “be all, end all” solution to your customers’ problems. In a world of instant gratifications, it is your duty as a business owner to build the correct expectations of your product and of your customers.
On June 23rd a social experiment had begun. What started as a simple personal goal to try to manipulate the internet turned into a grand experiment that garnered more friendships, support and advocacy than ever imagined. Although the goal was not achieved, there were great results to be drawn from the 10 day stint. The experiment continues on and until Klout recognized @MerlinUWard as influential on “#futzing”, there will be those hardcore #futzing advocates that will continue to fill the twitterverse and other networks with #futzing content!
Click on the image to the right to see the expanded #Futzing Infograph!
Special thanks to:
Do you know how your social media engagement is affecting the people you engage with? You may be aware of your social “score”, but do you know what effect that score is having when you tweet, comment, like or otherwise engage with your audience online?
Cheryl Marquez (@CherylMarquez) started a new social experiment last week to answer “How to trash your Klout Score.” She’s disconnected her Facebook and LinkedIn from Klout and plans to not tweet from @CherylMarquez for 10 days to see how much her score drops. (I’m taking bets on the how low it will go, by the way!). I truly appreciate these kinds of social experiments because they allow us to learn the in’s and out’s of the social metric tools and systematically define their best uses and practices. One of the best parts of experimenting is discovering the adverse affects. The best experiments have one single control variable, but sometimes we forget how our actions can effect the environment around us.
In my #futzing experiment, there were noticeable trends that took place on days with specific “turning point events”. The most obvious result was a 7+ jump in my Klout Score. Cheryl’s experiment started July 7th. Looking at my Klout stats I found that on July 8th, my reach dropped 47 points. This is the exact time frame when Cheryl and I stopped tweet back and forth on tech, business and #wordwithfriends. Although Cheryl’s Klout score hasn’t dropped since the experiment started (in fact it when up 0.01 points), her inactivity has had adverse effects on the people she interacts with – apparently Cheryl’s engagement is 6% of my reach!
Your engagement online affects the people around you! Receiving engagement from high Klout scorers, tweets to @ mentions ratios and comment’s affects on reach are all part of the push and pull of your online presence. I suggest playing with a few of these tools that I’ve been #futzing around with to see how your social engagement affect the people you interact with.
Google+ (G+) just opened their invites again. If you’re like most people you entered the community thinking “Now What?”. You’ll realize soon that most of the features are a mishmash of Twitter and Facebook, with the sprinkle of unique Google engineering. So, here’s a nice feature outline to get you started.
A few rules:
1. Do not talk about G+
2. Do not talk about G+
3. Invite as many as your friends as possible
4. Tell your friends to invite as many friends as possible.
If you’ve explored G+ a little, you’ll notice that most people are talking G+, its viability, what it will be used for, is it better than Facebook, etc. I urge you to change the conversation. The only way the G+ community stays relavent in the overall market of social networks, especially in comparison to Facebook, is if people start to use it as a social network. Drumming on about what’s it for or if it will stick is not going to make it interesting. Here are few things I suggest you explore first:
1. Upload Pictures
2. Upload Videos
3. Share personal stories and interests
4. Post content you care about from the interwebs
5. Tag your friends in posts (type “+” and their name)
If you have an Android phone I suggest getting the G+ App for it. It’s an incredible app for a first version. Only draw backs are that it doesn’t seem to play video from posts and you can’t tag people. Otherwise the user experience is as good if not better than the browser version of G+.
Enjoy and Engage!