- Markets are Conversations as found in the Cluetrain Manifesto. More than ever those conversations take place online, customer are actively engaging with each other within the social ecosystem relevant to their passion, expertise or cause they fight for.
- Business are relationships. 80% of businesses are generated through referrals. Its well known that the true value of a sales person is its network of relations. And it goes beyond sales!
Top social media experts says the same thing here (and they’ve been saying it for many years now):
Bottom line, conversations and relationships are the keystones of social media.
I don’t know about you but cold calling and email out of nowhere are now just spam.
Here’s what an engineer put quite bluntly in his LinkedIn profile:
“I don’t know how to be more explicit about this—RECRUITERS: never contact me. Calling is a giant “fuck you” to me and email is a waste of your time. I don’t read your emails. If you’re not a recruiter and want to hire me, try convincing someone I know to talk to me about you. That’s the only way I’ll listen”
So what’s going on here?
Well, it’s easier to find people, social give people access to others that would never have been accessible. We’re all out there with profiles about who we are, content about our interests and tastes. Most of the time there’s a way to contact us and bang is the spam.
Case in point, here’s what I received today:
First of all I’d like to introduce myself. My name is (hidden) and I am the Chief Business Officer at (hidden). I have found your profile on LinkedIn and, given your role, thought that it might be a good idea to contact you and offer some services that could be of interest to you or your company”
While polite, this message doesn’t provide any reason for me to take action -> Ignored.
Today, if you’re in sales/biz dev and more, It’s key to try and establish a relationship prior to contact. It isn’t without challenges.
So it goes that way:
If you find me, contact me and I don’t know you -> Ignored
If you find me, contact me with something relevant to some content I published -> Remembered and perhaps we start a relationship
If you find me, convince someone I know to talk to me -> Gold because the someone I trust is telling me to talk to you.
Say, your company sells database administration or video conferencing software
1) Have you sales people listen to the conversations from your prospects. Their conversations is your market. Chances a lot will be on database administration, giving you a chance to engage.
2) Understand the nature of the relationship between you and them. Business is relationships. Find someone who knows you that know them.
How to know if professionals in a field are influencers?
Here at eCairn we map the social web and constantly run experiments to increase our understanding of the social media. Recently we did an experiment in a ‘trendy’ career in the tech world, Data Scientist.
Our goal was to find out if professionals in the data science field often engage in influential conversations thru most common social media channels. AKA Twitter, blogs and facebook. This test in others words tries to solve the following hypotheses*:
H0: a techy guy into Data Scientist (job tittle/profession) will most likely be influential in the Data Science (DS) ecosystem.
H1: being into Data Science doesn’t make you a Data Science influencer
*The study takes into consideration a set of individuals actively generating content in social media for the past 6 months, and that had mention stuff related to data science as well.
In eCairn we have half a million influencers grouped into 1 thousand groups of interests called tribes. Data Science, in which the experiment was done, is one of the tribes.
The DS tribe has 1365 influencers broken down as follows:
After careful analysis we concluded that groups 1 and 2 above had a strong connection, therefore we regroup them as one.
The network map (below) shows on the on hand that the professionals with a Data Scientist job tittle [group 1] and those that perform Data Science tasks [group 2] within their companies often engage between them. On the other hand that, that influencers from other fields/specialties closely related to DS [group 3], such as Business Intelligence, Statistics, Machine Learning, Mathematics, Data and Big Data do engage with the first two groups, but in a lesser way.
Blue: represents groups 1 and 2.
Yellow: represent 3
The red area highlights how some influencer overlap with DS professionals.
In conclusion, we ruled out the null hypothesis for this example and proved there is segregation among DS experts with its influencers. Rather there are more peer to peer conversations.
Here is a close up look into each of the group 3 influencers:
The least overlap is present in the statistics and Math influencers.
This is a sample of the top expressions used by the data science influencers out of 90k conversations:
Most of you have probably already read the very interesting “leaked” audit about the New York Times. If not, I strongly recommend you do: Innovation Report.
One of the findings in this study is that there are many publishers that actually grow audiences re-purposing New York Times content, without the New York Times benefiting from it.
This was intriguing and we decided to investigate, using our database of publishers/bloggers/influencers (name them the way you prefer).
So we built 4 topics that we ran against our organized database of 600,000 bloggers, looking at everything they published over the last 6 months.
Our topics are defined as follows:
- NYT Either is a mention of either the New York Times or a reference to a nytimes url.
- NYT Both is an article where both the New York Times (as a brand) and the nytimes as a url are present (the good guys).
- NYT Url is an article with a reference to a nytimes url but no mention of the New York Times as a brand.
- NYT Name is an article where the brand is mentioned (New York Times), but without any link to the newspaper => these are the views that the New York Times is missing.
And here are the results. [Note that NYT Either should be the sum of the three others, which is almost the case – my topic definition is clearly not 100% perfect... but close.]
So, what we see is that 37% of mentions (59,687) of the New York Times don’t have a link to the newspaper. Pretty significant.
Looking a little deeper, we can highlight the vertical/tribes where the New York Times is mentioned the most:
No real surprise: Economy, Politics, Books are the tribes with the highest volume of mentions.
Now when we look at where (in which tribe) people use the name (New York Times), without references to urls, we get the following chart:
If we compare and get a percentage of “use of the name without url”, we get the following graph:
Read this as follows: “amongst the Literatura Brazil publishers, only 3% of the people mentioning “New York Times” also include a link to the Newspaper”.
We clearly see that book as a category and language (two brazilian tribes in the top5)are the top problems for link back.
For book, this is related to “New York Times bestselling” expression. Here is a quick look at the expressions mentioned the most with New York Times in the Book tribe:
So maybe build a bio database for NYT Bestselling authors and make it easy and useful for publishers to link back?
As for the foreign references, maybe provide a short version in local language for the main foreign market like Spanish and Portuguese. After all, the NYT is advocating learning languages (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/01/29/is-learning-a-language-other-than-english-worthwhile/more-foreign-languages-means-more-opportunities – see, I put a link back!). Just in the US, Spanish would be a good addition and as a global reference, it may be worth it to have local language versions.
Diving into another mainstream category where the gap is significant, we looked at the “Journalism” tribe and spotted the good guys – don’t want to get into trouble exposing the journalists that steal from the NYT ;-).
Here is the list of journalists with “high reach” that link back to the NYT:
First number is the frequency of link back, second the influence withing the Journalism community, third is a reach indicator.