February 07, 2007

How you are better than Yahoo!

. . . and just about every other big company.  So give your self a hand!  CLAP, CLAP, CLAP, . . .  OK enough now.  But it is well deserved.  You are better than Yahoo because you get it.  As a blogger or reader you participate.  My boy Cord Silverstein put up a tight post talking about how Yahoo didn't respond to his suggestions on improving their mail beta.  They asked for suggestions yet didn't respond.  It kinda reminds me of those old-school suggestion boxes with the little key lock on em.  Remember?  Now, I ain't here to rip on Yahoo.  They actually responded to the post in comments. However; too late, damage done!  This is not a new thing.  The big boys can learn from ya'll.  With all of the resources they have, you would think they get with the program and participate in the discussions.  As my boy Andy Sernovitz says, Jump In and join the conversation.  This is how you work WOM to the max.   I just can't wrap my head around it.  Why they, or any company, can't participate and Jump In, Yahoo especially, mmm.  I guess this is what goes down when you have a market cap of 39 billion. 

Listen, my point is rather simple and straight forward.  It seems to always take the establishment a little longer to get with the program and this one is no different.  You bloggers, your beautiful people! I know most of you have jobs, families, life stuff to contend with YET, ya never fail with the love you give to other bloggers. Ya'll participate, ya'll jump in!

Wouldn't it be nice if the people that take our money would get that.  If you're gonna ask our opinion, acknowledge it.  If ya gonna make a change, ask what we think.  If ya don't like something were doing, let us know politely (see the lactivist ), don't be a bully.  There is no better way and there has never been a better time to get closer to your customers; so do it. 

There is a prize in that there box!  Yahoo!

February 05, 2007

A little love from Andy Sernovitz

Check it ya’ll something slammin happened to us a little while back.  I have debated on whether or not to share the 411 for fear of looking too self-serving.  Then I thought to myself, I got a microphone, I need to use it for myself once in a while. 

So check it out, we got “sweeeeeeet” props from the Andy Sernovitz, Author of Word of Mouth Marketing and former Founder and CEO of WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association).  He thinks we “get it” when it comes to WOM. 

We want to thank Andy for his kind words, for commenting on the blog, and for givin us a little “Shout out” on his blog.  Much kind love to ya Andy.  Ya made me feel all tingly inside.

If ya wanna get more out of the conversations people are having about you, READ Andy’s book!  It’s good. 

Antman Posts that reference Andy’s book:

  1. Get Viral and Grow
  2. If it were easy
  3. Jump In

January 14, 2007

Jump In!

Ok, for those of you who have been wondering about the rest of the 5 T's, I have not forgotten we have 3 T's to go.  We have already addressed the first two, Topics and Talkers so now boys and girls we are gonna talk about number 4, Taking Part.  So, your mission my friend, should you accept it is to participate in the conversation. 

People are talking about you, your blog, your company, your products everyday.   They are saying good and saying bad.  It is, what it is.  You can't control it.  Your job, find the conversations and jump in.  You or your company need to commit time everyday to find where the conversations are happening and join in.   They are happening in blogs, chat rooms, message boards, social networking sites, ETC.  You need to find em, cre8 a process to help you quickly search and identify conversations about you.  They are out there.

Once you find the conversation, run with it.  Get involved, jump in.  How, interact. "Reply and Respond"  make yourself available to your customers, readers and supporters.  Respond to comments, return emails, participate in forums, wherever you can, participate.  Don't be afraid to talk to the masses either.  Cisco, did a great job on their General Councils post regarding their "spat" with Apple.  Notice how effective this approach can be, it brings the human element to difficult situation.   Now, don't we all know that this is what it is all about, the human element.  ( Thanks K Henney for turning me on to the Cisco post)

How else do ya get involved in your word of mouth conversation; say THANK YOU!  We have talked about this more than once.   Give thanks to those who say nice things about you.  Let them know you appreciate their supportive words.  Ya want more?  Fix problems, you ain't perfect, you've got faults, you are gonna make mistakes.  So  fix em.  There is a reason they are complaining in public, so respond.  Imagine the grill (that would be a smile) of a person who is complaining publicly when they get a response from you offering help to resolve it.  I think you get the message. The 4th T, Taking Part gets you good mileage if you are committed to it. 

Finally, there are a couple of rules, now you know I don't like rules, BUT I love these kinda rules.  The first; no SELLING, there will be plenty of times to do that later.  Stay focused on the conversation.  The next, follow the rules.  There are always unwritten rules, whether it is the blogosphere, or a bulletin.  There are rules, don't be pushy, don't be off topic, be respectful and play nice.  Last but not least, announce yourself, let everyone know who you are.  Don't be sneaky, say hey I am the guy you are complaining about or hey, I am the guy you have been talking about.  Don't be stupid, if you are, frontin, people will know it.  Keep it real, don't be a poser, say who you are.  Shoot, If your as good as you think are you should want to tell em who you are. 

So now go get em, jump in, and play in the pool.  The water is great!

UPDATE: Thanks to Andy Sernovitz Author of Word of Mouth Marketing who just visited and commented on "Get Viral and Grow"  Andy, I try to keep it real, thanks for your comments.   


 

January 02, 2007

Get em buzzin about you!

If you want to get em buzzing about you, you gotta know who is talking.  Talker's are the buzz!  Oooh, I can hear them now.  The noise is deafening.  Now the question is, are they talking about you?  If not, ya got get em.  Remember the 5 T's of WOMM (word of mouth marketing?)  Talkers is the first on the list.  I think this means they're pretty important. 

To get em talking, you gotta know why they talk.  According to Dave Balter, Author of Grapevine, The New Art of Word-of-Mouth Marketing people talk for 6 reasons:  Imagedb

  1. Helping and Educating - People like to know they are  helping out.  It makes them  feel good  to know they are  helping people make good decisions, by providing insight or information that others don't have. 
  2. Providing Knowledge - Some people like to show off, they like to let people know that they have the inside scoop, or that they are experts in a particular field or space.  They derive some of their worth through sharing of information
  3. Finding Common Ground - Sharing of information, word-of-mouth, is often used to find common ground.  It's an easy and efficient way to for new people to connect. 
  4. Validating Our Own Opinion - At times people bring up a topic in order to solicit feedback or to fish for validating opinions and information.  We want to see or check if we missed anything
  5. Pride - People talk because they are proud to be apart of something,  a particular brand, or community.  They see themselves as an extension of that brand or community and it makes them feel special.  You gotta know that high ranking Digg users talk about Digg, Harley users will talk more about Harley's more than others and Myspace Useres are gonna talk about MySpace etc.  It makes them feel special, to be associated with the product.
  6. Sharing - When a product makes someone FEEL good, bad, angry, mystified they naturally want to talk about.  Another words, when people have an emotional reaction to something, THEY TALK ABOUT IT!

Now that you know why they talk, how are you going to get them talking?  More importantly, how are you doing it now?  Do you know who your "talkers" are?  Do you know why you have them?  Do you know why they talk.  Which one of the 6 does your product, service, blog, or site imbue on your talkers? 

Once you know who they are and why they talk, you gotta take care of them.  Say thank you, thank em publicly, then personally and thank em some more.  Make em feel special, because they are.  Provide them with something special, that you don't do for everyone.  Do something special just for them.  We all love to feel like we are the bomb and the big daddy!  Give em something to talk about, and if you can, give it to them first (being first always make me feel special). 

The key to buzz is your talkers.  Everyone has them, the key is getting them to get more (talkers) for you.  Now go get em, and get em talkin!  Oooh, the buzz is already getting louder, it's even more deafening. 

In the spirit of taking my own advice, I want to thank some of my biggest talkers.  We are on a mission and couldn't do it without your support and "deafening buzz" 

The Antman gives PROPS to all of y'all.

FeedtheBull 

Unfathomed psyche

SizzleMash

SOHO Cheerleader

Casey at Celebrating Holidays

cctech at crystal coast tech

Doug and Sage Haughey


December 18, 2006

The Ultimate Question

Is your business, blog, product, band, site, service or whatever headed for better days?  Is it growing and  will it continue to grow OR is it stagnate or, worse yet, shrinking?   Well, there is a sure way to find out. (----------Long Pause for Effect -------------)  It is (-------shorter pause for a little more effect----) Net Promoter!  What is Net Promoter?  Net promoter is a customer satisfaction discipline created by Fred Reichheld of Harvard University. Book_cover The premise is simple, will people tell others about you or won't they?  According to Fred, you can find out with just one question, "The Ultimate Question" Would you recommend us (you can replace us with my blog, my site, my service, my album or what ever) to a friend?  This simple question is at the heart of separating detractors from promoters.  Once this can be accomplished you start to get a pretty good picture of what people think of you.  Detractors and Promoters, seems pretty simple to me.  I want promoters, and don't want detractors.  Promoters are so excited and enthusiastic about you that not only do the want more of what you offer, they also tell their friends.  They become your "talkers".   Detractors are people who feel so poorly about you that not only do they move away from you they warn their friends to stay away.  I guess they are "talkers" too, but these are "talkers" I could do with out.  What I love most about Net  Promoter is there is actually a quantifiable way for you to measure this.  It is a slick, and easy formula.  I can figure it out, so I know it is easy. 
Snapshot_20061218_203959_1
Here it is
:

  1. Ask the Ultimate Question; "Would you refer us to a friend?"  Provide a scale of 0-10
  2. Separate your answers into 3 segments: the 0-6's (detractors), the 7-8's, (passives) and the 9 and 10's (promoters). 
  3. Get rid of the passives (7-8's)
  4. Subtract the % of Detractors from the % of Promoters and voila! You have your NPS (Net Promoter Score)

How cool is this?  A quantifiable way to measure WOM! (word of mouth)  The higher your score, the better your WOM!  The lower, well, I guess you can figure it out. 

Ya know, when you think about it is rather pretty simple.  We influence people every day. Kknowing this; the question then becomes how are we influencing them, positively or negatively and how much effort are we putting into the positive process?   Playing in the middle doesn't work here.  Patting ourselves on the back for getting 7's and 8's, doesn't work in this game, it's about getting to the fringe and finding, or should I say creating, those 9's and 10's.  Promoters are everything, so go make em!

Let's hear it for the Promoters and I'm not talking Don King!!!!

December 14, 2006

If it were easy . . .

So after yesterdays post I recieved feedback that the 5 T's are difficult.   Now, I had to think about that for a second and doggonit they were right!  WOM and cre8ing buzz is difficult, and the 5 T's aren't easy.  Shucks!  But that is the good news.  Not everyone can do it, and therefore if you learn to, you will have a nice competitive advantage.  That is a good thing. 

Let me see if I can shed some light or help a little.  Let's start with #2, why because I think that is the most important.  It is the meat!  How much time do you spend asking yourself, what would get people talking?  Now, listen to this next piece it is important.  Ask it from their perspective not yours.  All too often, I am guilty at times as well, we think that what gets US jazzed gets everyone jazzed.  Not so fast my friend!  Spend more time asking, how does my target think, what is important to them?  Think about why they would be interested in your topic.  Technologists take note, you can be the biggest offenders.  I have read too many blogs, or been to too many sites where you techies are throwing around more technical mumbo jumbo and clouding a great story of a great product.  Use your topic to create a connection an emotional response.  Apple gets it.  They know why the average joe buy computers, and their new ads are based on good TOPICS underscoring just that.   It is hard, no doubt. 

What is that saying?  If it were easy everybody would be doing it.  The're trying, but boy is there room for improvement.  Go get em tiger!

Oh yea, I will hit 1, 3, 4 and 5 in upcoming blogs, I gotta keep you coming back.

December 13, 2006

Get "Viral" and grow!

We talk about the importance of being seen, getting exposure, and being in the spotlight . . . cre8ing buzz.  Buzz or exposure is power!  The more people that know of you, and more importantly are talking about you, the greater your power.  Power then becomes access, money, influence and more. 

Knowing this; what are you doing to get more of it (exposure)?  Let us help you.  Andy Sernovitz has a good little book on WOMM (word of mouth marketing)  called; surprise, surprise . . .Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking  Womm_book

In it he talks about the 5 T's:

  1. Talkers - Find people who will talk about you
  2. Topics - Give people, especially your talkers a reason to talk
  3. Tools - Make it easy for them to spread the message faster and farther
  4. Taking Part - Join the conversation, get involved
  5. Tracking -Measure what they (people) are telling you.

cre8ing buzz is a strategy, one you have to focus on and execute to.  Ask yourself; how deliberate are you in finding people to talk about you or better yet recognizing who is already talking about you.  You've got fans, find em!  How much time do you spend identifying topics that are exciting, interesting, grabbing?   How deep do you dig to figure that out?   How easy do you make it for people to spread the word; your word?  What tools are you providing to accelerate their evangelism?  How active are you in the discussion?  You need to get involved, and know the pulse of your following.  Yup, it is a following.  Recognize it, bask in it, be involved in it.  Finally, track it. Know where they are going and what is important to them.  Look for trends, be responsive to the signals.  Get the data, it is your best friend.

Getting people talking is the best form of marketing you can ever have, because it is based on trust.  We trust people we know, even if it is a simple acquaintance.  I adopted a philosophy a few years ago.  If I hear something, word of mouth, 3 times, I check into it, buy it, go there (a restaurant), see it (a movie)etc.  Get to me 3 times you got my money and my attention. 

Can "YOU" get to me 3 times? 




November 28, 2006

WOM!

What is WOM?  It is word of mouth.  Every time you talk about a product, a book, an experience or a person; it's word of mouth. Every time you, a friend or family member opens their mouth. . . voila it's word of mouth!!!

Although it is not new, WOMM (word of mouth marketing) has attained a new level of prominence.  Why, cre8Buzz.com that's why.  OK, that is what we like to believe.  The truth is the Internet has changed everything. Blogs, emails, and social networking sites now give everyone a voice and an audience. The ability to manage, influence, listen and respond to the people that you come in contact with is critical.  Chris Anderson, author of "The Long Tail" says the Internet has now given the ability of obscure things to be seen and get attention.  It is an exciting time, a time that will allow those who want exposure, a level of exposure that has never been more attainable. 

WOM is the future.  If you want exposure, WOM better be your weapon of choice.  To get more information on WOM and how to use it for you or your business check out these sites.   We're building the engine, you will need to learn to use it. 

Good sites on WOM and WOMM:

www.sethgodin.typepad.com

www.neilsonbuzzmetrics.com

www.womma.org

http://buzzbuilder.typepad.com/


November 22, 2006

Word of Mouth gone wrong?

Google just broke the $500 mark.  It's market cap exceeds 150 billion, that makes it the most valuable company in Silicon Valley, bigger than Yahoo, and Apple. Google has the 23rd largest market-capitalization in the world.  Google trades at 57X PROJECTED 2007 earnings.   This is expensive!

According to Standard & Poor analyst Scott Kessler people just don't care how expensive it is. "A lot of people feel not only that they will lose out, but they will feel and look stupid" 

My question, is this word of mouth gone wrong?  Can word of mouth go too far?  Can the need to go with the masses and not be percieved as wrong have a negative effect?  It looks, to me, like there is some tipping point here.  A place where the natural check and balance of word of mouth becomes lost in some emotional storm.  If so, what is it, how can you anticipate it and when is it negative as opposed to positive?

I don't know, the answer. 

What I do know is that Ididn't buy Google at $100 because I thought it was too expensive for another .com.  Clearly, I don't know anything.