How Do You Learn How?

by Jay Deragon on 10/03/2009

While everyone seems to be rushing into using social media for whatever purpose the constant question people ask is “How” to create something with it.  Subsequently there are thousands of people “pushing” out advertising messages claiming they “know how”.

Since the market is still very immature individuals and organizations jump into the process following, and in most cases, copying “how” others are using it.  Here is the problem with copying. It doesn’t produce anymore than others have already produced.

What Are Others Producing?

I’ve done a simple analysis of “how” the bulk of the market is using social media. This study is based on an assessment of 8,000 followers on Twitter, over 10,000 connections on Linkedin and Facebook and a sampling of brands who have engaged in this process we call “social media”. Here are my findings:

  1. 94% are using social media to “push out” old messages trying to catch someone in a transaction
  2. 95% of the brands are simply using social media to “push” out their offerings, sales and marketing messages with little if any human interaction.
  3. Of over 8,000 followers on Twitter 96% of the communications have no relevancy to anything relative that would “pull” a market to them for whatever purpose.
  4. Of 50 groups I am a member of on Linkedin 95% of the group discussions do not represent new knowledge, new insights on new methods and more specifically “how” to create innovation and differential using social technology.
  5. 100% of the offerings I found proclaiming “how” to use social media effectively were in context to use of the technology not “how” to engage and build an audience that “sticks” and leads to “convertising”.

So with this data I asked myself “how” do people and institutions learn “how” to create new value, conversational currency and ultimately new transactions that motivate others to share why the new value created is better.

Where Can We Find “How”?

To properly answer this question we have to ask another question. The question is “what person or organization has captured “how” to do anything better and where did they find the knowledge to do so?” Now take a minute and think about “how” you would answer this question.

The first part of the question “what person or organization has captured “how” to do anything better than what the current market produced?” The answer leads us to recall industry leaders who have created new markets with innovative products and services. How did they do this? With the knowledge that lies between their ears and the input from people who believed in their vision of what could be done but wasn’t currently being done and if done would satisfy a market yet in demand.

The second part of the question “where did they find the knowledge to do so?” The answer is that these people didn’t find the knowledge to do so rather they created it. What? Yes, they created new knowledge which lead to new innovation in products and services that filled a market demand that their application of the new knowledge created.

Back To The Question Of “How?”

“How” to use anything effectively comes from learning what is currently working and why then applying creativity and knowledge aimed at how to make things work better than the current methods. Learning what is currently working is readily available for those willing to read and listen to those using the current methods for whatever purpose. Applying creativity and knowledge to make things work better than the current methods cannot be copied or found because it doesn’t exist until somebody creates it and uses it to produce better results than what the current market produces.

So how do we learn “how”? We can create it or copy it. Which produces the results you want?

What say you?

{ 12 comments }

ingenesist October 14, 2009 at 11:48 am

RT @JDeragon How Do You Learn How? | The Relationship Economy…… http://bit.ly/gVJYy

Pavan Yara October 4, 2009 at 5:19 am

RT @rsukumar RT @dorait Creativity & knwldg 2 mk things work better cant b copied.it doesn’t exist til some1 creates it http://bit.ly/K5GyZ

Sukumar Rajagopal October 3, 2009 at 11:17 pm

RT @dorait: Creativity & knwldg 2 mk things work better cant b copied. it doesn’t exist til someone creates it http://bit.ly/K5GyZ

Dorai Thodla October 3, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Creativity and knowledge to make things work better cannot be copied – it doesn’t exist until somebody creates it http://bit.ly/K5GyZ

Dorai Thodla October 3, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Like you said there is no magic formula. But here is what we found when we analyzed the successful vs not so successful products we built in a few of my startups.

Successful Products:
1. Addressed a simple pressing need
2. When some one saw the product, who had the need, it was pretty obvious why they should investigate it. We made that easy.
3. The first tiny bit of innovation and implementation came from our knowledge of a new tool and a glaring gap. We built a simple prototype and demonstrated it in a show. We got tons of input to improve it – all free.
4. We kept listening to our users. Both questions they had on what the product does and to the objections why they were not interested in trying it out. Some times you have to do the equivalent of reading between the lines when you listen to users.
5. Users can tell you the problems, but you need to abstract them in a way that satisfies many (some times the requests are contradictory) and have a feeling for what may work.

In a very abstract sense, you keep an open mind. You try an idea early and give yourself the opportunity to let interested users tell you how you can morph your product to meet their pressing needs.

Aron Stevenson October 3, 2009 at 12:09 pm

How Do You Learn How? http://j.mp/zWiQk

JDeragon October 3, 2009 at 10:01 am

New blog post: How Do You Learn How? http://bit.ly/2qdu7F

Hugh Macken October 3, 2009 at 8:46 am

RT @socialmediajs: How Do You Learn How? http://bit.ly/5TTlE #news #socialmedia http://ow.ly/15SFbL

The Social CEO October 3, 2009 at 8:04 am

The Social CEO How Do You Learn How?: So how do we learn "how"? We can create it or copy it. Whic.. http://bit.ly/zLRc4

Alltop October 3, 2009 at 7:00 am

How Do You Learn How? http://bit.ly/HsvfH
Social-Media.alltop

JobShoots October 3, 2009 at 6:54 am

How Do You Learn How? http://bit.ly/17vpmc #news #socialmedia

Wales Social Media October 3, 2009 at 6:46 am

How Do You Learn How? http://tinyurl.com/ycqlwzz #socialmedia #news

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