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Archive for April, 2010

The Language of Liking – Facebook Pages

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

ilikeThere’s been a major change on Facebook this week. Well actually it’s quite minor but the shift it represents is quite major.

If you’re not aware then brands and personalities can set up something called a page on Facebook and then people can become ‘fans’ by simply clicking a button to confirm they are a fan. The action is simple but what is the behaviour behind the action when someone says ‘yes I’m a fan’?

Become a fan of

Behaviour of becoming a fan
Are you a fan of something or someone? How long did it take you to become a fan? How much do you have to like something to become a fan of it? On a scale how far up it do you need to be to really really like it so much you’re willing to say ‘yes I’m a fan’?

Becoming a fan requires you to decide how much you like something not the fact you simply like it.

You see becoming a fan of something takes time. It requires you to decide how much you like something not the fact you simply like it. Generally speaking it’s not an overnight thing that happens much like ‘falling in love’. You know when you’re a fan but what are you up till that point? You’re wither a fan or a nothing, you’re in or you’re out!

The problem is it puts up an unseen barrier to people making a connection with the things they feel they have a connection to but are not willing to call themselves a fan. In this world of connections and ownership we all like to belong to something and connect with it and own it so a barrier to doing this is bad.

The barriers are up! So what’s changed?
This week Facebook have changed the word ‘fan‘ to ‘like‘ and this changes everything. No longer does someone have to wait to decide if they are a fan or not they simply need to say ‘hey yeah I like this’. They might of only seen, tried, tasted, visited or whatever once and they can say they like it. This is a very subtle change but a genius one!

It’s so much easier for someone to say they like something than to say they are a fan of it. There’s no real scale any more, you either like it or you don’t, it needs a much lower trip over level for someone to know if they like it or not and be willing to click that button and digitally say ‘I like’.

How is this good for page owners?
People, in a word! You see the name of the game for page owners is to get people to commit and connect to them so that they can interact with them and ultimately build there brand profile much more easily.

Being a fan was a barrier and with people only needing to process whether they like something or not we should see many many more people acknowledging their likes and so brands have a bigger connected audience.

What are your thoughts on this? We love to interact with our readers so please leave a comment.

Have you got any social equity?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

socialmediasWhat is social equity and and why do I need it?

Well Social Equity (closely linked to brand equity) covers many different things but in this article it’s the value of your online reputation as dictated by your followers, readers and fans etc. That is to say do people like you, trust you and generally think you have credibility?

This value of your equity ie your worth increases or decreases based on the on-line engagement between yourself and others on various social media outlets. It’s not very tangible but it’s evident quickly if you have positive or negative social equity and ultimately this moves to the off-line world, maybe in the form of a business transaction.

How do I work out my equity value?

If you look at the diagram below you can easily see how different aspects of engagement determine your equity value.

social equity scale

Now there’s no definitive scale or points system and there’s no website to sign up to to get your equity value score although I no doubt someone will try! This diagram is theoretical at best but I know that when people know, like and trust you then things happen. My suggestion is that everyone starts at 0 if you’re unknown and it’s up to you which way you travel, up or down the scale.

How do I travel up the scale?

You will be part of a community that is your followers, fans, readers and those that come across you. You maybe part of multiple communities which is where it gets a little complicated so I’ll come back to that later. Within your community you have to build trust and credibility – kudos is the name of the game.

This is done in a number of ways and if you’re already actively involved in social media you’ll of read a number of articles saying how you need to be real, authentic, transparent, trustworthy, engaging, helpful etc (if you haven’t read anything then you need to be all those).

Also if you want to be seen as the guru in your chosen field then you also need to be seen as knowledgeable, the person who should be asked and of course you must respond to and answer those questions that are posed to you.

Is it a numbers game? If I have lots of readers or followers I’m doing good right?
Well not necessarily. There’s no real direct correlation between your social equity and the number of followers or readers. For example you might have a 1000 readers of your blog but they might not trust you.

How will I go down the scale?
Posting one way salesy marketing messages about your business is a good start. Not responding to any comments, tweets or messages aimed at you. Posting inconsistently, infrequently and without any substance will also send it plummeting. And of course as in life if you’re being a general douche bag that wont help.

Can I survive an equity fall out?
A tricky one. It really depends on what happened but people are people and some will forgive and some wont. Most people like to hear the word sorry as it’s the hardest word to say. That out of the way you must then rebuild what you’ve lost or indeed never had following the advice in this article.

We love to engage with our readers so please do leave a comment.

What am I (or we) passionate about?

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

defaultimgI’m not a fan of self help books and I say that as someone who has read many in the past but as a rarity I picked up a copy of Gary Vaynerchuck’s ‘Crush It’ a while back and started to read it the other night. After only a few pages I realised that passion was at the heart of matter when it came to running and developing a successful business. Without passion the whole thing was dead in the water.

PASSION: a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music.

I thought it would be a good idea to be open with my passions about our business, it’s what has driven me to this point and what will continue to drive me onwards as well as shaping the business (both to this point and onwards). My hope is that those reading can understand more about us as a business and me as a business owner.. Too much transparency some might say, no problem but we’re not a closed door company. Knowing us is as important, if not more so than knowing what we do.

These are in no particular order and my passions are our passions:

I’m passionate about giving callers, prospects and clients the best possible service I can. My whole career, in one respect or another, has been customer service orientated. I hate it when I myself receive bad service and do wonder how some companies keep (perhaps they don’t) long term clients. We’re not superheroes at Creospace, we get it wrong sometimes but we’ll take ownership and put it right and I think that sets us apart from many of our competitors.

I’m passionate about delivering solutions to clients that are beneficial. The reason I started Creospace over 7 years ago is because I saw web design outfits delivering websites for the sake of it, earning a fast buck as they say. They actually do more harm than good. Every line of code we write is with the needs and success of our clients in mind. They are parting with money that they’ve worked hard to raise and they entrust it with us to deliver the solution that they need.

I’m passionate about giving great advice. Not all who I meet become our clients but all are entitled to informed and accurate advice. We spend ages learning the latest techniques, code, practices, standards, trends, fashions, methods (a passion in itself) the list is endless but we have to be on top of it all in order to be able to advise people with accuracy and truth. We get calls where people have been referred to us just for advice, a 5 minute phone call to point someone in the right direction isn’t an interruption, it’s a) the fruit of many years hard work and b) a privilege!

I’m passionate about people. Yes people are what it’s all about. We talk to, email, tweet, interact on-line and of course meet face to face with people. We form relationships and interact with people every day. I love meeting people and listening to them getting to know their stories. Learning how we can help them and knowing when we can’t of course.

I’m passionate about ridding the profession of bad work. I know it’s an ideal but it drives me mad when I see bad design, shoddy code, terrible and ineffective workmanship. Some in this profession are without doubt preying on the uneducated, paying lip service to those who know no different. We surround ourselves with peers who are passionate about the same subject and we have healthy mutual respect for each other and they share the same values as us.

I’m passionate about working with great people. I know we can’t be great at everything but for the most effective results you need a combination of services to work together. I can’t have our brand damaged by hiring bad people or recomending our clients take advice from other companies that wont deliver the same high standards that we do ourself ( I’m 110% confident we work with such people).

I’m passionate about our brand and all it stands for. The Creospace brand is built on the passions we have for service, quality and people. We’ve been privileged to work with (note not ‘for’ but with) some wonderful clients over the years. Over 90% of our work comes from word of mouth referrals, if Google search fell apart tomorrow it wouldn’t affect us in the slightest. However if our brand fell apart, our standards slip and our clients become unhappy we’ve lost the lot!

What are your passions? Let us know by leaving a comment below.