Most organizations know that the web is important today – even the most dinosauric. But for most, the web is an up and coming “channel” and most still don’t have a clue about social media – they do it because they have to and they do it without much understanding about how it works and how different it is from their old “Normal”.
The final arrival of the Beatles on the web - mainly as we see boosted by social media - shows the new reality. That the web amplified by good use of social media is now the primary way of connecting what you have to the public.
Billboard magazine reports that The Beatles sold more than two million individual songs worldwide and in excess of 450,000 albums in its first week on Apple’s iTunes Music Store. (The Beatles’ catalog was added to iTunes on November 16th.)
According to Experian Hitwise, it was social media — not search — that drove a lot of the online interest and, more importantly, the online traffic surrounding The Beatles addition to iTunes. Consider this stat: On November 16, the first day Beatles songs were available on iTunes, 26% of UK traffic to Apple.com came from social media, about double the amount that came from search.
This nail in the coffin of old marketing is what NPR discovered. When I worked for NPR back in 2005 - attracting a younger audience was thought to be vital. But at the time this meant that somehow the content should be changed. But what they found was that if you changed the medium for connection to Social Media - the young came - they loved the content - they just will not access it in the old way.
In a survey of more than 10,000 respondents, NPR found that its Twitter followers are younger, more connected to the social web, and more likely to access content through digital platforms such as NPR’s website, podcasts, mobile apps and more.
NPR has more than one Twitter account; its survey found that most respondents followed between two and five NPR accounts, including topical account, show-specific accounts and on-air staff accounts.
The data on age is hardly surprising. The median age of an NPR Twitter follower is 35 — around 15 years younger than the average NPR radio listener. This lines up with data we recently found about other traditional news media; the average Facebook user reading and “liking” content on a news website is two decades younger than the average print newspaper subscriber.
Isn't this what has happened to the Beatles? Good content is good. If you have a product or a service or cintent that is good and is not available on the web via social media - you are punishing your business.
So what does this mean? The jury is no longer out. If you are not using the web and social media well - you are no longer cautious but stupid. You are refusing to see the world as it is. Now I know why you won't move. Because this is all new and you are not any good at it. It's like me taking up skiing in my forties. What had held me back was how awkward and stupid I would look and feel. But you know - no one cared about how awkward I was and learning to ski then allowed me to spend 10 winters with my kids having a hell of a time. I am 60. I started blogging back in 2002. I was utterly pathetic at it. But over time, I got ok. You can be too.
The real question is do you want your TV station, store, business to survive? It's still not too late but it is getting close.
Who can help you? Well there are a lot of shysters out there. "Self proclaimed" Social Media Experts who have been involved for a year or so. So here are a few questions to ask to ensure that you are getting someone who can help for real:
- Tell us about who you have worked for in the past that you have helped make the shift in mindset? They must have been able to help another make this shift in POV
- Tell us who your friends and network are? The shysters know shysters, the real folks know others who know their stuff and their network is as valuable as anything that they know.
- Show us what you have written that moves the cheese! Shysters pound on about Facebook etc, the real deal is part of a larger deeper conversation about what all of this means.
- Show us how knowing what you do has helped you in your own life? Most Shysters still live in the 1.0 world themselves. The real deal don't - living this life has changed them radically - they have been made different by this and you will know this when you compare the 2 types. PS relentless self promotion is a give away!
Some advice about process:
- There is no formula/cookie cutter - it is not about using Facebook next week - it is about changing your own mindset. So start with lots of conversation about what is going on and where you can start - you cannot know where you will end up right now - don't try and go there.
- Our mindset is changed not by will but by new habits - try a few smallish experiments and label them as such - look at at others who have done well and see how this may give you a start - Have a look here at how Boingo have used listening or look here about how Kotex have used a deep question. These are powerful places to start to help you be different for in the 1.0 world we don't listen, we shout. In the 1.0 world we don't ask tough questions, we live instead in a clean, fun, smooth fantasy world where periods are the best part of the month.
- Hire one or two great young folks. Andy Carvin - just one person has done more for NPR than an army of consultants. Same with Baochi at Boingo who enjoys the confidence of the CEO.
- Persevere!!! This is really really hard to execute - the tools are simple - it is the shift in mindset that is so painful. I have found that as much as I and others know the direction the day to day part of the journey is stressful. Think of Christopher Columbus on his first voyage. He "knew" that there would be land if he sailed long enough west. But his crew did not. They also had to deal with storms etc, When they arrived, it was land but not the Indies - the destination was different. People got upset. When you do this - all of the trials of Columbus will come your way - Doubt, fear mutiny, disappointment - the lot. But there is no going back - you just have to push through.
- Last point - anyone who tells you that this is easy and they can show you a step by step formula is a Shyster
So stand up for our species. Be a Sapiens and not a Sap and good luck to you.