This is a longish post – and I hope you stay with me till the end. I think it will be worth your time.
A few days ago, I talked about making your social media world unique and memorable.
We keep hearing the same advice – jargon from almost all quarters, when it comes to making an impression and/or impact online – and in social media:
- Know your audience (demographics, segmentation, preferences et. al.)
- Research your niche (SEO, SERP, dollar spend, tastes et.al.)
- Understand your competition (and differentiate) – and play the price, quality and/or volume game
Unfortunately, one key aspect all this good advice forgets is that being online (either to connect, market or sell) also needs a bunch of other attributes to be successful in the true sense of the word:
- What experiences are you building and delivering?
- Are you building an ecosystem that can prosper and flourish?
- Does your social media strategy think about ubiquitoids?
I’ve said this before, and am saying it again today:
Every interaction that you have – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn – or any where else in your social word – even offline presents a window of opportunity for you to be unique. To make a distinct impression. To be memorable.
The social web, with all it’s noise and clutter, needs clarity of thoughts and purity of actions.
The thought clarity comes by have a good social media strategy in place to cover our backs. And by good, I don’t mean a rocket-science strategy. All is needed is a common-sense strategy, something that resonates with our own credos and what we stand for.
The purity of actions comes from our intentions. Are we in for gimmicks? Or are we in for the long haul – building connections and relationships by being empathic, authentic and downright honest?
Once we’ve got the thoughts and actions lined up in row, experiences start to evolve. We don’t even need to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the crowd. The separation happens – almost automatically and by magic.
The big picture for any enterprise should be to offer an experience that far exceeds the cash value – and then customers turn into raving fans – and happily pay. The exchange of currency, then, no longer remains in the world of trickery. It transcends into a separate world of its own – and leads to a connected buyer-seller relationship where true synergy happens.
Do you want a one-time buy-sell relationship in your social world? Or do you want a trusted create-value-together relationship that lasts for decades?
You probably get the point – to succeed in social media, you need to build and deliver an experience. Everything else you see and hear is crap and irrelevant.
That brings me into the ecosystem part of the equation. Scott Gould had an interesting post on his blog yesterday, Ecosystems: Riding on Them, and Creating Them. His post is an essential read in the larger context of this conversation, but I did want to pick up the comment that Chris Brogan made on the post:
Ecosystems is one of my 3 words for 2010. My words are my guiding goals and principles and areas that need work all wrapped into one thing. In my case, I wanted “ecosystem” to remind me that things don’t exist in a vacuum, and that the more I work my projects to be part of an ecosystem, the better the overall experience goes.
An ecosystem is a natural evolution of experiences. The more experiences you can build and deliver, the sooner your ecosystem will come to life. I’m not referring to an ecosystem as a closed system where once your social networks come in, it essentially becomes a funnel that goes the up sell, cross sell, down sell our out sell route. A successful ecosystem is symbiotic – it allows for synergy. It also allows everyone in that ecosystem to grow – thrive – and succeed. Any transactions that result in exchange of wealth are just a side effect, that everyone just assumes is fair.
Let me give you an example. Take Darren Rowse – and the ProBlogger website. I’d call that an ecosystem in it’s own right. Darren builds and delivers experiences every day. And each of these experiences has culminated in an ecosystem. Does Darren make money from the website? Sure, he does. But so do the others who come over and use his advice. Every one wins, every one grows – and all the exchange of wealth is just assumed and fair.
That’s the second point you need to remember – to succeed in social media, you need to create your own ecosystem(s). Not a closed one that just knows the language of money – but an open ecosystem that transcends the mundane.
So what the heck are ubiquitoids? I googled for this term, and didn’t see it anything like it before. So I’m safely going to say that I’ve officially “coined” this term for social media usage. In a nutshell, ubiquitoids are concepts that become an inseparable part of your lifestyle.
The simplest example I can think of is a pen/pencil and paper. Could be simple – or as elaborate as a planner or a Moleskine. But once we’ve adopted – and customized it to our needs, it pretty much becomes a part and parcel of our lives.
Same thing applies to smart devices. Could be iPhone, could be Androids. They tend to become part of our lifestyles – not from an elitist perspective – but more from a utilitarian point of view. Almost everything that we need, or can think of, can be done using these devices.
The third example if Amazon Kindle. No, not just the Kindle device – but also Kindle for PC, Kindle For Mac, Kindle For iPhone and a zillion other incarnations that will come over time. Buy a book once, and read it everywhere – or anywhere. You’re probably saying that the content is still paid – like buying books. True – but point is, we would have bought the book anyways. Kindle makes it ubiquitous.
That gets me back to the third point. You’ve created experiences in your social web. You’ve also built out ecosystems that blend them. Now, create ubiquitoids, that enables your audience to make you a part of their lifestyle. Not from a pay per word perspective, but from a friend-philosopher-guide perspective. That to me, is the epitome of social media success.
What say? I’d love to hear your thoughts about social media experiences, ecosystems and ubiquitoids.
Is this the natural course you would allow your social media strategy and efforts to take? Let’s have a heart to heart discussion!
(Image Credit: leafy http://www.flickr.com/photos/leafy/)