As we head to the polls today, we all have our individual reasons why we are choosing a candidate. It could be his stance on foreign policy. It might be his plan on how to manage through the financial crisis. It quite possibly could be his proposal for healthcare or tax reform….
Our votes are very likely influenced by his political campaign too. Yesterday, Jeremiah Owyang, one of the top social media gurus and someone I follow very closely to keep “in the know”, wrote a blog titled Snapshot of Presidential Candidate Social Networking Stats: November 3, 2008. Some of the statistics that he shared blew me away. I knew that Obama had done a better job with social media and leveraging the votes of the younger generation, but wow!
1. Facebook supporters - Obama has 2,379,102 - McCain has 620,359
2. Myspace friends – Obama has 833,161 - McCain has 217,811
3. Youtube videos – Obama videos have been viewed 18,413,110 - McCain’s videos have been viewed 2,032,993.
4. Twitter – Obama has 112,474 followers - McCain has 4,603
I encourage you to check out the above link to Jeremiah’s blog for additional information that for me, and many of my peers in the social media space, were eye opening.
Each and every day there is more data available that validates that:
1) social media is having a real impact on our personal and professional lives
2) we cannot ignore the power, influence, and reach the younger generation has
3) social media is not a fad
Remember, every vote counts. See you at the polls.
Last week, one of our members posted a question in a commonground discussion thread asking for insights from members concerning the environmental impact pharmaceuticals and personal care products can have if they are disposed of via the toilet or sink.
This question seemed like a great question for me to broadcast to my followers on twitter, many of whom are either in the environmental and property due diligence arena, or, are just passionate about helping improve the environment. So, I thought I would try to help the member out by broadcasting the following message:
"does anyone have any knowledge about the environmental impact of flushing expired medicine down the hopper? http://tinyurl.com/brsyop 11:45 AM Feb 6th from web
Shortly after 12:00 PM, a former colleague of mine responded with a suggestion to check out Earth911.com to look for additional data on the topic.
The outreach via twitter helped our commonground member receive a very valuable suggestion from someone who was more than willing to help and share knowledge. And, each receives value. The member with the question is happy because she received some feedback, and the member submitting the suggestion is happier because she could be helpful. Who does not want to be helpful? Lets face it, it makes us feel good about ourselves to help others.
Why do I blog about this? This is a great example of how social netowrking provides real value and connectivity. Would they ever have connected otherwise? Probably not. In the past, how did we find this information? We asked colleagues, we asked friends, we searched online, we visited the library, etc. Today, our social networks are enabling us to find answers and solve problems faster, thus improving our knowledge, productivity, and efficiency.
Every day we hear more bad news. From friends and family members being laid off to revenue projections falling apart, we all know the forecast for property due diligence professionals is not looking good for 2009. With all the negativity, it is really hard to stay focused on the positive day in and day out. Honestly, I wake up everyday in the hope someone has launched a new media outlet that only communicates good news. I would subscribe in a second!
Recently, I have read a number of articles on the topic of recession proofing your business. Below, I have included the three points that I think are the most relevant for everyone in our industry,
1) Invest in training - When business is good, no one has time for training. That is not an excuse when business is bad. I encourage you to read the Harvard Business Publishing Article titled Enhance Your Managers' Skills During a Downturn. This applies to employees too, not just managers.
Clearly, how companies and people do business changes daily. We need to innovate. We cannot continue to use the same old methods and technologies. elearning courses, web seminars, onsite training, and virtual conferences are all inexpensive ways to make positive changes and prepare for when the tide turns. Therefore, there are many budget friendly ways to accomplish this.
2) Work on your social profiles - If business is slow, there is no reason why we all cannot spend more time working on building our company, product, and personal brand in the "social" sphere. Start by reading Chris Brogan's blog Post titled 25 Ways Social Media Prepares You for the Downturn.
As I have said many times in previous posts, most social media channels cost nothing other than sweat equity. In my opinion, being found online and word of mouth marketing are the keys to the future success of any company and individual. Even if we just do some of these things Chris mentions, I am confident we all will realize some significant value when we look in the rearview mirror.
3) Focus on cementing your customer and partner relationships - People want to do business with people that truly care about their success. We need to show them we truly care about their business by our actions and make sure those actions are not just viewed as going through the motions. Check in frequently, wish them happy holidays, send them a handwritten note, and forward them helpful articles and links.
If we are true partners in their success, they will be less likely to jump ship for a competitor offering lower prices.
As we move into a period of time that will arguably get worse before it gets better, we need to surround ourselves with people that are positive. No one wants to hang around with "Debbie Downer". She will not help your business.
I look forward to any other tips you think should be considered and comments about the above ones.
On Super Bowl Sunday, I am about as excited as my kids are on Halloween.
One reason is because it is fully understood that I am going to watch at least 90% of a football game no matter who is playing. The second is, I love to watch all the commercials. I am completely entrigued to know if the company who spent $3M for a 30 second slot during the game got a quantifiable return on investment.
This year, user generated advertising made a huge leap. The Doritos ad, which was created by a couple of unemployed brothers as part of a contest by Frito Lay, was recognized as the top commercial during Super Bowl by the USA Today. It is a significant achievement as the ad was not created by some boutique ad agency in downtown New York City, it was created for next to nothing by Doritos customers. By creating a contest, Frito Lay was able to leverage the collective creativity of the masses to create a commercial versus relying on just the top creative folks that out there working on many campaigns at once.
Imagine what some of these top creative thinkers were thinking today about being beat out on the worlds biggest stage by a few amateurs? I can only imagine.
As we in the environmental and property due diligence market think about how to stretch our limited budgets, there are a few very basic social lessons that can be learned here.
1) Even in a down economy, people like, sorry, I mean love to laugh
2) Youtube and other social sites make it very valuable and easy to leverage the masses to create and share content
3) You might be pleasantly surprised how many of your customers might be willing to participate in campaigns on your behalf if you ask and they might create something beyond your wildest expectations.
You might not have 100M viewers seeing your ads during the big game, but I suspect visitors to your web site who see real content about your services from real customers who are happy with your services wiill be influenced in a very positive way. And those customers can often communicate your message in more creative and effective ways than some of the biggest ad agencies money can buy.
Are you leveraging user generated content? Would love to hear how you are. I look forward to reading your comments while I munch on a bag of Doritos.