Whether it’s congressmen Twittering during presidential speeches, parents connecting with high school flames on Facebook or empty-nesters planning group outings on grown-up sites such as Eons.com, Baby Boomers are speeding up the Web’s ongoing metamorphosis from limitless void to global watering hole. Read the USA today article.
Mention Twitter and you’ll hear a number of different reactions. Out in the mainstream business world a lot of people have heard about Twitter. Most of them don’t know what it is or understand the business implications. Often, I hear people say “why do I care what someone had for breakfast”, because they believe that’s all that Twitter is about. And while that may be how things got started…telling friends and family what you were up to at that moment…it has evolved considerably.
Twitter has exploded in size (up 10x during 2008 alone). Co-founder Evan Williams talks about how Twitter came to be and some of the unexpected surprises that have led to where Twitter is today.
Even if you don’t get it now – you need to pay attention!
If you would have told me last fall that I would now be the proud owner of an Apple iPhone 3G, I probably would have laughed. From the commercials I saw, it certainly looked like a cool, whiz bang phone, but my Windows Palm Pilot was working just fine thank you. Then, I didn’t see the need to take time to exit out of my existing phone contract and spend extra bucks just to buy another “phone”.
Isn’t funny how we often don’t know we need something until we finally have it?
AT&T did some fairly brilliant marketing just before Christmas and that led to a note one day from my boyfriend that said…”If you were to get an iPhone, would you want it in black or white?” Naturally, I was intrigued. It seems that AT&T was offering existing current customers an offer to add a line and purchase the phone at some ridiculously low price (seriously, under $100) if the deal was done by Christmas. Figuring I had nothing to lose – I could always return within the allotted time and go back to my other phone – I gave it a whirl. Within minutes of having it in my hot little hands, I was hooked.
Now that I’ve really had some time to play, here are the top 5 reasons I can’t live without my iPhone:
1. Email that is instant on. The Palm was a bit of a pain when it came to downloading email. I had to take the time to log in, download mail and then try to read it on a screen so small as to make it painful to try and read anything. I love that I can quickly check on messages in the morning without having to ramp up my laptop, the bigger screen makes reading messages pretty easy, and I admit that it’s nice to be able to check mail during the day if I feel so inclined.
2. Shazam. I’m a fan of movies and music. It wasn’t unusual for me to get excited about a movie soundtrack, promise myself that I would search it out on the internet so I could buy it, but then forget all about it later after the movie ended. Truth is, my attention span can be pretty short sometimes:) Shazam takes this into consideration, because this funky little app gives you immediate gratification. Here’s how it works. When you hear music that you like you simply hold the phone up the speakers so Shazam can “listen” and capture a clip that it then uses to find the music on iTunes. Once found, you can immediately download the music to your iPod application. Sure, it costs $.99 but who cares? Instant gratification is worth the price of admission.
3. Twitterrific and Twitter Trend. These both have to do with Twitter, which is why I chose to combine them. I love that I don’t have to go to my computer to “log into” Twitter. Twitterrific lets me keep up with the stream of tweets at my leisure. I can easily see what people are talking about, read cool articles, watch video’s or roll my eyes when I see yet another MLM email from someone who doesn’t get it. For a quick read on the top trends, I turn to Twitter Trend. In a few seconds flat, I can zero in on the hottest topics in Twitter Land.
4. Phone Flix. Until yesterday – seriously! – I pretty much never updated my NetFlix account. My super cool boyfriend basically set it up and managed it for me, because I was just too lazy to stay on top of it. Plus, I knew he’d do it for me anyway so… Anywho, during the Atlanta snowstorm yesterday as we were hanging out, I decided to give the Phone Flix app a try. It was SO easy! I didn’t even have to log in…I’m guessing Mark set that up for me too:). I was in my account in seconds and had fun moving movies around in my queue and scheduling new ones to arrive.
5. Dog Whistle. I love my dogs, Shorty & Murphy, but darn it…they have an uncanny ability to know just when I’m jumping on the telephone for an important call. They can be quiet as little meeces all day long until that very second when I dial my call. Enter Dog Whistle from AugWare. After tuning to the right frequency – the one that catches the attention of your dogs – this nifty little app emits a whistle every time the dogs bark. Now don’t get me wrong…there are many times I WANT them to bark but NOT when I need to be on the phone.
Well, there you have it. Barb’s 5 reasons why my 3G and me will never be apart.
We are living in an age of what many innovation experts are calling “disruption”. What a perfect word to describe what’s happening at this very moment.
This much needed disruption is shaking us out of our comfort zones forcing us to fundamentally re-think what we know about business – or thought we did. Similar to when we moved from an agrarian society to an industrial one, we are faced with a transition unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, some people and businesses are going to struggle with this disruption more than others.
Business owners and sales people must consider how this disruption changes the way they approach the sales process and devise strategies for addressing it. How you get attention with your potential customers when they are so overwhelmed with choices will all start with creating “value” in a virtual world with people you may never actually meet. Creating online relationships that will lead to closing sales is going to require that 3 things happen:
- You have a plan and a purpose for what you are doing.
- You choose the right tool(s) to support your sales goals.
- You LEARN and USE the tools consistently day in and day out.
As you begin to join in on group and online community discussions like you’ll find on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, you will have to understand that you don’t “sell” while joining in on the conversation. Instead of talking about what you or your product does; you will be demonstrating your expertise and industry knowledge as you share your tips, advice, information and helpful hints with others without expecting anything in return.
How sales people will uncover opportunities, research trends, keep on top of their competition and network completely changes the way the game is played. And they must also be realistic in their expectations, because social media is not a “quick fix” nor does it bring you sales overnight. Like great offline selling, it takes time to build the relationships that lead to closing business.
While you won’t get rich overnight as you embark down the social media path, you can’t afford not to get started right now. The train has already left the station, so you need to get moving to catch up!
What do you use to build your network? Linked In, Plaxo? – once you have your profile, how are you using it?
What about Facebook, Twitter – using them? What things have you done that have successfully attracted clients?
What’s your blog strategy? Do you know why a blog is important?
Love to hear how you are using social media to attract more clients and sell more often!
Good discussion which will give you information about current media tools. His book is all about outsmarting, outmanaging, and outmarketing your competition.