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Posts Tagged ‘trust’

Trust is probably the most rare thing to win, in the battle of competition, where all offers seem similar and mainstream. And while there is crisis, increasing the need for security, truth and transparency, trust becomes an unavoidable fact and skill. But above all, the derivated effects on business are out of limits, when you know how mesure and class them into smart groups. Because, the more trust you give/put, the more you are opened to loyalty, and then addict to brand and consumption.

Bearing in mind these groups, means having dedicated actions, plans and tone to address and hold several kinds of relations, customized to reality of relation. Let’s have a look at these groups/segments and the fine tuning to get the best of them.

It’s interesting to capture all the intelligence and trust you can find on social networks. And the resources you can leverage to nurture the « social effect » until the snowball. Check at the profile you can pretend within the 4 frequent types of digital implements: leaders, pioneers, scholars or novices. Each of them has a level of maturity , in engagement, knowledge and practicing of social media. We know now how social media can leverage trust and foster all efforts done by traditional promotion. The more you facilitate and offer a whole environment of engaging with your customers, the more you’ll get a builded trust with communication and Q/A from all the community, whatever the group of participant you are in. And this, while we saw very different behaviors in the segments therefore, and the consequences on revenue, loyalty and trust. If we could resume in one main thinking is : « seed, nurture and enlight the social energy in your communities, they’ll give you back lots of engaged trust ». Personaly, I do agree and foster this behavior, and moreover it’s very enjoyable to work and exchange like that…Feeling and hold the happiness level in business, may drive you to a kind of bliss and lead the brand to another values’ environment.

1) Hazard and Doubt: it always starts with this…Do you, personnaly give anyone, from the beginning, trust? It’s quite rare to bring such trust, despite spend more time and experiences, with any brand. And the rule is on for business and ability to give more money. The best action you can lend to these “beginners”: meet them and know, at first sight, what they’re looking for…

2) Triers: OK, you triggered the first reaction and you maybe heard a few details about the brand or products and just want to try. It makes you a perfect segment to have a first exception experience, to go further. The next goal is not probably spend more, but first become a fan, to hold the relation and discover the next surprise. Triers deserve the best first promotion or sample, kind of you’ll never forget. It’s not a question of “a lot” but more a question of “the whaou effect”.

3) Price hunters: ready for any promotion, they seem to be real transparent with no particularly awareness for the brand but the price. They can spend an average part, according to the proportion of rebate, and are attracted by “shots”, deals anytime that “worths” it. Now you know that language can be “figures” and promotions for that kind of segment, becaude they focus their attention to consume “rebates” of the brand, anyshape they may be. So the question is right now to stay aside, feeding them with prices but tempting a subtile charling approach of storytelling around the prices’ universe. Unfortunately, Price and rebate is not a long term debate and can’t be the only message, valuating the brand. That segment can be shifted toward “pay-to-see” ones, who are more curious and can be lead to another story, deeper and less price-driven.

4) Hot shooters: the ultime and extremism verse of price hunters, they have only one advantage, in “build-measure-learn” process inspired from the lean management: speed. They trigger any promotion and jump on any opportunity to make a deal. Even if they don’t need sometimes, just to have impression to close a good deal and play the leader role. “I control and have an extreme footprint on the brand because I make it perform efforts and deals for me. But we all know there’s so many “fake deals” and the complete energy that brands are able to invest in, is just sometimes incredible…

5) Pay-to-See: They are very discret, don’t make any noise but stare at the brand like a curious thing, ready to try something, but don’t know what and how. They need some teaching steps that allow them to enter in relation, smartly and with “try-and-buy” process. Build some “games” or contest which give them an opportunity to start an interactive relation, with no mandatory transaction. They will decide if they enter themselves in a “payment” posture, to taste the stickability or trustiness of the brand, or simplier test an offer they identified. Choose the trigger and catch the attention may be the two keys to get into relation for them…

6) Fan: let’s say you lived on an island and never heard about “fan” or “like” fever…and can’t imagine which kind of profile we have? And of course it’s where tha value and potential is with the rationnal evolution from “Fan” to “Come backer” to “Ambassador”. The tipping point and snowball effet are not obvious to trigger and scale but is worthy enough to pay attention since the beginning. Play, engage, make them participate in any “transactional”, while they stare at the “smart” brand and are supposed to be the next first adopters. They are fans, they like the brand, but probably didn’t find any opportunity to buy. And some will stay, remaining as true “ambassadors” without consuming. Yes, it’s possible, valuable and true. Check at it!

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7) Come backers: some buy, some buy again. They are. They tried and probably are satisfied, and do it again. They start a returning relation, want to see more, consume moreover. Ok, that’s fine, you found some engaged customers to build on. Don’t miss yourself or be wrong with the message, they want your products, your relation but don’t want to be disappointed. They come from the early stages, fan or already consumer of the brand, they are not novice and probably “in the know” of the story, range or uses of the brand environment. Maybe they’re part themselves of a buyers’ environment, that guided them there. Whatever their reasons, you can rely on their relation. They did, and did it again. Not by random or foolish choice. They choose to remind you and buy your essence again. Reward them and meet their uses with your next features.

8) Ambassadors: that’s it, you are in and here we are. You achieved a performer level, having transformed mainstream customers to ambassadors. Ones that you can count on, anytime because they’re gonna be your next salesperson and your best defender. They can trigger their own advise for people who are not clients yet, convince some to jump and discover your brand and products. They are your best PR’s, arms and mouth, to spread the word about who you are, what you do and what are your values. This incredible force was far ignored before social web and has now power like never. But you know which efforts you did to bring such energy to that point of achievement. This is the ultimate step for trust, before fanatics, who could be, in a way, obsessed and dangerous. Shortly, never lose an ambassador, it could be really weaknessing your salespitch and your footprint to the community.

9) Roadies: they work hard to follow your ventures, but don’t have much revenues. They want to be at your side, in desperate long run, at all your events, doing or not, some evidences of loyalty. They like your brand, products, but for other people than their own consumption. They could be considered as “triers” in the term, but prefer be “angels”, worrying about your brand reputation and the future ongoing for you. They are “silent agent” who can give voice if they consider you in danger or being corrupted or attacked, by default. Your best “friends”, with probably less direct impact on your revenur, but keeping care of your “body”: local bodyguards, in a way…

10) Safe and Care/Admirers: the next kind is probably the most invisible, but exists. But this fact doesn’t mean that you must not stare at them, as interesting elements of your audience. They surround you, never took time or just a lift, to signal their friendship to you, but think of your brand as “cool, smart, trustable and reliable”. They have no reason to get into relation, because of lack of time, money or opportunity to get in. But they care, in an invisible “touch”. What can you consider and learn from them? The single fact that, your whole communication can sometimes risk them to be disappointed, without knowing it, so be careful for that segment too, who could wake up and give voice in the future. Voice or money, triggered by an event you can’t plan before. Just like clouds, they are energy who supports you and collaborate to your reputation, like silent witness. They deserve to be considered, like any other target, their way: “enjoy the beauty, the traction and the footprint of your brand”.

“With trust, you can raise mountains”, because you erase the last barriers to the core: the real conversation, emptied of politics, cosmetics and fakery between an environment (brand, company, organisation, people, products) and an individual. That’s where start great stories, and build a sustainable relation. That’s where we see, that relation is not only a matter of money, but lots of other things to consider, that probably in the end, grow tour business. Up to you to see and deal with it.

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The global revolution about social platforms, from uses to communication changes is rising far and far, dealing with reputation,

techs inputs, buzz and new handlings. Citizens, politics, economics through all sectors have been troubled with the hidden movement no one guessed.

Surfing with fear, doubts but also huge opportunities, the subjects dealt with several conferences all around the world. And we can see how information now flows in a few seconds on the planet, information shaped sometimes with “leaks”, keeping us alive about democracy, transparency but bearing in mind, dangers around: fake, hoax, unverified…the best and the worst indeed, as we face the impacts of e-democracy, shouted by so many citizens in the Arab spring, but fooled when buzzing a false rumor about French notation.

Today, “passive consumption” is out of fashion: we need trust, advice, experience. Sharing, comments and branding reputation. We’ll never be the same again, because “technology changes expectations”. It shapes itself, our deepest desires and the way we express them.

Everybody can now give advice, exploring the core of marketing outside companies, but collaborating and shaping the next product taste.

We need expression. To be heard, consulted, another status than “a number in an anonymous society”. Social media is as the term “a media” and markets are conversations now (Cluetrain Manifesto, 1999).

Considering these obvious situations, I was wondering what could be just next, to take the best of this whole revolution, and leave the rest, keeping barriers to “control” somewhat (is this possible, in the spirit of “WWW”?). We can’t stay in a passive state, where “canaries in coalmines” are the only indicators to draw the future…

So, what’s next: bright development or mistrust and go back to old behaviors?

Let’s stare at some important shifts that took place, these past years…:

  • More transparency, democracy and ability to participate in debates, reactions and sharing
  • More leisure, plays, networking, but much wasted time
  • More interactivity between all parts: brands, citizens, consumers, politics, communities, education, corporate, government…
  • Important changes, I think in a longer term, even physiological behavior: physical writing training, memory loss, information access…
  • Huge pollution in information with a real fence in journalist jobs and the way we consume information but also how we report it

First hypothesis: if we believe in a huge development and growth of social tools, we may spend some attention to keys to do it. Keys which still now, are unachieved but are core to get the essence of the global phenomena. We could talk about:

  • Organize and optimize content, curation and filtering to value information on social platforms
  • Raise professional platforms as references to build « social enterprise » as a global project
  • Build schools, education and knowhow, as a real job and sustainable competence in the future
  • Create official “label” to guarantee content verification and reliance
  • Promote new organization of collaborative working in companies

But in fact, writing this means to me an attempt to more “classical” and normalization of WWW, that is a real touchy subject, where is such freedom, in the initial goals of the internet. And then, the question: is it really possible to “norm”, “control”, the social web?

Until now, I don’t’ really think so. But I think more clear resources and building recipes would improve the game.

We face today high titles like « the end of the internet » or « the end of social », but need to decrypt what could be the next steps with it. A PoSo (Post Social) status, at this point could mean:

  • A next wave with social opportunities
  • A rich and growing professional market for “social” (from now, I’m still doubtful)
  • The new social platform: Apps/Internet (fall of browsing and PC)
  • And an evolved form of “socializing”, more organized, valuable and targeted (fall of gaming, entertainment and wasting time on Facebook so long)

Guidelines, education, strong beliefs and resources to guide the whole topic might be the points to bear in mind for this new wave. In a single quote “consolidate social media tactics to put it into a operational guideline, into the actual ecosocial system”.

Second hypothesis: fed up with too much information, the mistrust feedback could generate a threat that must be studied. All efforts could be wasted, in a two crowded environment. The fact comes with the significant figures where we see the incredible traffic and noise generated by the audience. We would have a reverse revolution where people would start to doubt, stop sharing and participating: an incredible danger for social enhancement…

  • Recovering and taking back to old schemas
  • Increasing costs in communication: old media/traditional ones
  • Mistrust in sourcing information
  • Changes in tech: network, availability, service levels, privacy enforcement…
  • No more credit to online reputation

We can have a real risk, a total burnout for social platforms, with the increase of too much information, links, nodes, RT,…noise. The recent wave for curation (scoop-it, Pearltrees…) leads a path to more standardization of content. But in the same way, how do we measure and value the real impact and relevance of so much information? How do we handle secret, confidential R&D, ideas in a whole opened world for social and collaborative exchanges? Which value considered, as information is free, for everyone and anytime? How long will we trust social signals: real big pictures or sparkling fashion?

We’re now seeing the great dangers of going back to old methods, even if new uses are coming: social tv for example has still to be invented, not in tech but for which features?

We must keep the several joys and opportunities of social media, because they are in their complete shape, all the components for a better world: community, respect, collaborative building, sharing and keeping balanced relations. In a word, far beyond simple pleasure and entertainment: Links.

Why links are the future is because there’s with social media one world, only one world, and in this point of view, no need to argue and prove about origins, culture or personal goals: only one language to hold welfare in networks, as a guarantee of sustainable world.

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As I progress in the discovering of social platforms, I meet a whole group of evidences and assumptions, drawing a kind of “best practices” or “most encountered”. And it shapes as the long way of spending time to build something strong and sustainable. I tried to underline the long tail to truth and trust, that magnify the social network pleasure. and compared players as “assets”, who valued, time, participation and relevance to build global community value.

On my way, I borrowed some elements to BCG, and famous matrix for companies’ portfolio, to make a similar research between players, engagement and value (even if I don’t really like the term for a free global chain of collaboration). We can find some common facts with “influencers”, in the way participation seems to be quite in relation with popularity and influence, as soon as there is relevance in sharing and talk. Don’t forget before act, listen is the first key to understanding the global noise…

I found 3T as key concept to build and walk into social engagement: Time that goes, Trust which raise as you are relevant and reliable, and Truth. But where does start truth? And when does it trigger, in the global involvement? Who is responsible of truth, and what gives us total control on it?

Everyone involved in such process has one day, crossed through this concepts of starting blind, taking direction in the dark forest of web links, RSS and informations. And Everyone may be recognized now in a complete profile or way. But one thing I know for sure: the most famous one is probably the quietest, spending time to “time”, and taking it to mesure each part of encountering and thinking. You can go fast and touch the stars, but also crash you down. Building trust needs time, and giving credit to “your” truth too.

As you can stare, there’s probably a long tail too for relations…those who can count on. Social media means at start, discovering, listening and staring lots of noise, events, posts and information. Some you can hate, some you can like. But anyway this is not the most important thing to bear in mind. What we can stand is that at this step, lots of people don’t go on and vanish. On 10 people, there’s probably 3 who continue their quest and maybe only 1 who can stay in a long term investment…That means lots of dead end and “lost” time…I used quotes as I don’t really think it, because any path can learn you something, that can be used one day.

Leaving the first step needs humility, in starting the conversation: finding relevant topic, adding ideas that raise the debate and giving al for nothing. World of exchange, without any “return on investment” mindset, that’s the long story of growing influence. Influence you sometimes wait for a long time and like a boomerang, comes back to your ears: your first “friend”. The one who comment and found attention to your thoughts.

First dead end: blacklist, bulshit and boring people. You met them, and wish they leave, kind of forrest gump 2.0, lots of troubled guys who pollute the sheer timeline of conversation. Yes, it’s an entertainment too, but spamming for fun (eg as fun is sometimes too individual…and may be misunderstood) spread some fog about the collaborative efficiency. I won’t speak about blacklisted (spammer, followers hunters, robots?, rude people or “no limit” behaviors). Stop. They stopped themselves, killed, suicided.

But you may prefer the royal way, gearing up your condition, finding your vocation and spending time enough to have a rocket path to heaven: if you work in PR or decide to use blogs and communities for your own carrier, you can become a star…A-list influencers get there quickly, but this needs a lot of investments:

  • be relevant “best shot at best time” and learn how to improve it
  • find the good viral spots: you have to show they are right to trust you
  • be “liked”, guess like the famous FB button
  • always listen and reward your audience: many thanks, RT or spreading the news…for nothing of course
  • share, share and share: “dare web square for share”; don’t miss an opportinity to be useful and help someone in request or trouble…

I could (you can comment too) add bunches of others things you should do…but there’s one that you must not miss: be yourself. there’s nothing more boring that discovering a hidden (bad) face/side, having been faked…some taste of bitterness that never goes out. But that’s life, you might be exposed to.

I would like now make a short trip, next to “social capital”, that helps you to swim easily in these oceans. I’ve been whispered and somekind, blowed with a new wind of “socialization”. Carried with the new “whuffie effect” book from Miss Rogue (called Tara Hunt in real life, from Canada), blogging at horspigcow(dot)com. No, not with animals, but with her verse of social capital, kind of never ending asset we can grow with. Another way to discover the power of human relations, growing inside that can move mountains in fact, if we train it and know how to get the best with it. Still there, no particular rule but be perfectly straight, honest and right with your audience, never trying to exploit it without agreement and rewards in someways. Is this the new asset, if we can really talk about “assets”? I would say yes while it’s a long time run, and asks lots of time to see the sparkle of enlightment…And that’s why lots of fellows give up before…Don’t confuse “speed of reaction” of web interactions with be too in the hurry…

And then comes the real path…poetic, chaotic and progressive, it drives you step after step to different horizons and levels that give you piece of experience: experience is a fuel that addicts you to more and reveals sometimes a hidden face of your personality (tip: second lives in gameplays…). This way is set with several encounters, informations and aggregations that build your own circle of influence, your “X-ray” footprint in network walks. A fairy tale? Maybe. A tale? Sure if you decide to be a storyteller too, giving others the best, with nothing to give but enthusiasm, kindness and experience. It took time to build web network infrastructures, standards and wires. It takes time to play with it, even if speed and our ability to zap is increasing, digesting more for more is crap. Time to get Trust, Time to tell the Truth. and Time to enjoy being in a tremendous network, spreading thoughts and opinions. For real, for fun and for mankind.

 

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