Josh Bernof writes Social technology growth marches on in 2009, led by social network sites
The graph to the left illustrates the continued adoption by segment of user type according to Forrester.
What Do The Numbers Mean?
Numbers can mean a lot of things and it all depends on one’s perspective. The biggest “shifts” illustrated by Forrester’s most recent report include indications that business leaders should “wake up and listen to the data”. C0nsider the increases in 1 year:
- A 12.5% increase in the category of Creators
- No change in the category of Critics
- A 10% increase in the category of Collectors
- A 32% increase in the category of Joiners
- A 5.5% increase in spectators
- A 28% decrease in the number of inactive people meaning more are active
For business leaders numbers mean everything. Every business reviews their numbers daily and at the end of each month they look to see if the numbers add up to an increase in revenue. Now lets translate the Forrester numbers into numbers a business can understand.
Lets say you were looking at numbers to date this year over last year. And the numbers showed:
- 12.5% of your customers were creating new revenue for you this year over last
- The percent of negative reviews by customers didn’t change from last year
- 10% of your market was “collecting and sharing” your content this year over last
- Your customer base grew by 32% (Joiners) this year over last as a result of #3
- 5.5% more of the market was looking at your value proposition this year than last because of #3
- 28% of your customers were more active in transacting with your business this year over last because of 3,4 and 5.
#1 was the result of 2 -6.
Now given that we’ve been in an economic downturn if your numbers reflected the above most likely you’d be thrilled, your shareholders would be thrilled, you’d probably be hiring more people and your competition would be wondering how you did it.
Social media represents a new method of doing business. If you changed your methods the numbers above would be realistic. When “shift hits the fan” you either change or fall behind. What methods need to change? Try these:
- Stop advertising and marketing and engage
- Stop pushing for results and pull the results to you
- Create value oriented content in context with your market
- Let your market speak to you and listen to what they are saying
- Follow your market instead of expecting them to follow you
- Learn the power of social media can reduce your cost, improve your efficiency and enable your employees to do more with less
- Get ahead of your market by getting behind the market
Growing revenue is all about improving relationships with people, your market, your employees and your suppliers. Look at the numbers in 1-6 above again……if you want 12.5% increase in revenue then you need 10% of the market talking about you which will bring you a 32% increase in customers and 28% were more active in conducting transaction.
Sound far fetched? It does if you don’t know how to create conversational currency and if you don’t think the “shift will hit your fan”. Get it?
What say you?