Here are a few posts you should not miss this week, on all kinds of top-of-mind social topics, as well as some just great reads.
- Engage or Die – the fate of associations and nonprofits… (Mark Tobias) – I’m meeting Mark for coffee this week. You’ll see from this post that we sign from the same hymn sheet…
The value is not in association anymore, but in engagement and service. To survive and thrive, associations and unions must do more than collect dues and distribute newsletters. The future demands a paradigm shift that regards ‘members’ as customers and engages them in continuous conversations. Instead of the old push method to renew memberships, attend conferences and buy reports, associations have the ability to use new technology tools to customize communication and service based on what each member or prospective member cares about.
- 19 Brilliant Business Lessons From Moneyball (Dharmesh Shah) – Moneyball is a brilliant movie, that we use as a metaphor in some of our Humanize keynotes, actually, so imagine my delight to read this.
You’re not solving the problem. You’re not even looking at the problem. Identify a fundamental problem in your industry and then focus, focus, focus on solving that problem. Don’t get distracted by all the the things that are swirling around the actual problem. Don’t listen too closely to those that have deep industry expertise and are emotionally attached to the status quo — it’s possible that they’re part of the problem. Figure out what the actual issue is, and solve it.
- Building Community with Value (SEOmoz) – this is a timely reminder that building a community around your org requires providing value. Business purpose and member purpose must go hand in hand.
Value is not all about you. People like to talk about themselves, and when you’re a company who has something to sell, it’s easy to think that the more you talk about yourself (specifically on social media), the more people will see you, hear you, and want to buy from you.
I’m thinking…not so much.
There is a HUGE difference between sharing value and self-promotion. When you’re promoting yourself 100% of the time, the focus is, of course, on you, which means you’re basically saying that you’re the most important part of the company/customer equation. That gets old. It doesn’t leave you with a whole lot to talk about or share in the social space, leaves no room for growth, and certainly doesn’t provide much value for your customer. When you focus on the customer and you think about what their interests are, what they need, and what they’re challenged by, suddenly the opportunities and choices for sharing value and making a connection with them are much greater.
- State of Social: A Report Card for 2013 (Nigel Cameron) Nigel pulls no punches in this one.
STRATEGIC SOCIAL WILL WIN OUT. It may be inevitable that the strategic significance of social in driving change through innovation will be resisted by organizations for whom old-style control issues are everything. The impact of social in aligning front-line employees and their own values with clients and potential clients suggests a concept foreign to the traditional corporation: that employee (personal) values and corporate values need to be related. It also offers a challenge to a core principle of the corporation: that the organizational boundary is sacrosanct, to be crossed only in the context of risk-controlled contractual arrangements. Social breaches that boundary. In the process, it offers the corporation the possibility of radical shifts in culture that will drive innovation and change. But it cannot do so within the context of the high-control mechanisms of the traditional functional organization. Strategic social offers high-value, high-risk change by aligning the organization with emerging markets and generations. Companies that find ways to harness these forces will drive ahead of their hidebound rivals.
- The SEO of Responsive Web Design (SEOmoz) – a perfect explanation of what responsive design is and why it’s so important.
If you have a mobile site that has less content or looks significantly different than your regular site, you’ll frustrate return visitors who are looking for something they found on the desktop version. If you don’t have a mobile site at all, 61% of visitors will return to Google to find a site that is easily readable. Either way, your bounce rate will rise and your rankings will drop. With a responsive web design, visitors will get all the content they want, in a format they can read.ect explanation of what responsive design is and why it’s so important.
- Top 10 Facebook Graph Search Questions Answered (CIO.com) – I don’t have FB Graph Search yet, so I’ve bookmarked this for when I do, but some of you may be wondering what to do with it.
Redesigning Google: how Larry Page engineered a beautiful revolution - a long, but absolutely fantastic article about Google’s design principles.
“Everyone we interviewed repeated the mantra “one simple, beautiful, useful Google” — though the order of those three words sometimes changed. Wiley says, “the different teams are creating apps that hang together as recognizable ‘Googley’ apps simply by talking to each other, not by following strict design rules.”