The Blog Revelations and Observations

5 Most Engaging Ways to Use Social Media

Granted, this is coming from a guy who spends very little time on social media, but I think that’s actually an advantage.

It seems that people crushing it in social media are very clear on who they are and what they value (Once again, it’s all about values).

This all came to me in just a few moments. I just had a very fine cup of coffee, I got on Instagram and I suddenly realized what really works…

5 Most Engaging Ways to Use Social Media

(and by the way, that term Social Media is pretty much everything within public digital communications)

These trends make the following assumptions:

  1. We have a lot of choices, so what engages has to cut through a ton of crap (as well as a ton of value).
  2. We have extremely short attention spans and they are only getting shorter.
  3. Much of our behavior is driven by unconscious tendencies rather than conscious choice.

1.  Relevance + Expertise

With a million places to direct our attention, it’s not about what’s important or interesting or entertaining. It’s about what’s most relevant to us or our audience at any given moment.

The Joe Rogan Podcast gets more than 120 million downloads per month. That’s more people than watch the Superbowl.  I can listen to it for hours (except for the parts on MMA).

JRE963

I love how he mixes three vital elements:

1) Highly relevant topic matters
2) People highly qualified to talk about them
3) Improv comedy style humor and flow

The first segment of this episode with Michael Malice is incredible because I learned so much about what’s really going on in North Korea and how the people there are being held hostage. I feel like I’m being informed and having fun all at the same time.

  • What are the absolute most relevant topics you can talk about?
  • How can you bring your expertise or that of others?
  • How can you just have fun with it and be silly and playful?

2. Nostalgia + Remixing

Gary Vaynerchuck was at Mastermind Talks when I heard him say that nostalgia is going to be huge, I think because as things change faster and faster, the joys from the past become comforting and grounding.

In this video, comedian Bert Kreischer pretends to be in an episode of Magnum PI before his Hawaii shows.

bert-socialmedia

I noticed how this is far different from everything else in my feed, so it immediately drew my attention.

  • How can you do something that immediately catches visual attention?
  • What would be a pattern interrupt to someone browsing through a bunch of selfies and food shots?
  • What’s something from the past that you love that you can make fun of or pay homage to?

3. Gestalt image dynamics

This is a fancy way of saying it conveys everything you need to know, in one shot, without explanation.  I got a lot of compliments on this post for that reason.  This is me conveying my ideal productive day, without explanation…

gestalt-socialmedia

4. Funny Narratives

The value of humor cannot be underplayed. I remember seeing Seth Godin speak and half the content was funny images. As a pro speaker I thought it seemed like cheating, but hey, he’s winning and it’s working.  Funny cuts through, opens people up, lets us relax and take our guards down. I fully believe our next president will be very, very funny.

fredsavage-netflix

Fred Savage posted this clip from Netflix on Instagram. I love how I could understand the scene quickly, with our without audio.

  • How can you think and express in stories?
  • Add text to your pieces for people scrolling by fast
  • (Again) Don’t be too serious! Have fun with it!

5. Automated Conversations

This is brand new territory, so let me first say that a lot of people are getting this wrong.  Having automated conversations (such as facebook messenger bots) that are actually relevant and helpful are speeding up interactions and keeping people engaged.

For an example of this, check out the opt-in at Bot Academy

BotAcademy

  • To see how this can work with an app, check out the dating app Bubby Love and text the number there.
  • What is the ideal conversation you’d love to have with the people you love to serve the most?
  • What are the questions you can ask to really get to know your audience better?

Move Slow to Gain Speed

google-glass

“The fastest way to move cattle is sloooooowww.”

Hearing this quote it hit me that maybe moving fast can actually be harmful.

A friend posted about how amazing it was that Google created a Google Glass prototype within a day of the idea.  Hmmm… That’s a good innovation story if it were not such a disaster. There are a lot of people out $1500 for a piece of plastic.  How is that a win?

I get that we should encourage failure, but what if the irony is that speed of innovation is actually at the root cause of failure?

I was speaking with a company that’s growing tremendously fast and they are hiring hundreds of people in months. That is incredibly risky for culture. Yes, we want to keep up with growth, but at what cost?

Think about Elon Musk and Tesla. They didn’t rush. In fact they said, you can pay us to be on our wait list, and we’ll get back to you when we’re ready.

They took their time, in the name of excellence and quality.

That said, I’m a huge fan of increasing capacity when it comes to customer service. Customers will be forgiving of a lot of errors if they feel they are being given a lot of attention. At Zappos we built up a bench of people because otherwise it’s impossible to answer a call in under a minute.

If you’re thinking about growth, here is the fundamental question to ask yourself…

What is more important? Momentum or Clarity?

Momentum can drive you 100mph into a brick wall. Clarity means no matter what the speed you’re going in the right direction.  That’s slow growth. That’s taking more time with innovation.

Values are Back

I sometimes call values the “Health Food” of business – It’s what we all know we should do, but aren’t really doing. Mostly because companies have not taken the time to simply figure out what their real values are.

But seeing stories like this in Fast Company, and noticing how both the strongest brands and the disruptor up-and-comers are focused on values, I think values are about to go vogue.

values-en-vogue

Themes in Culture

culturati-robertrichman

I was a facilitator and closer for the Culturati Summit in Austin, TX. It’s a gathering not only of culture authors, but people in companies, boots on the ground and implementing.  Here are the notes I thought would be helpful to share:

Themes in culture 2017

1. Getting Real
It used to be about hype and spin and staying positive. Now it’s all about the reality check. It’s about being authentic over looking good.

2. Embracing contradictions
We want to succeed, but we also want to make it safe to fail. We don’t want to get political at work, but we want people to be free to speak their minds. We want stability but there’s a need to disrupt ourselves before someone else does.

3. Values as clarity
There are so many distractions and interruptions that values are the only thing that really keeps us on track. It keeps us deliberate rather than being reactionary.

The Sweet spot

There was a talk on the new book An Everyone Culture that advocates for organizations that are constantly growing their people. I found this model interesting because it shows the balance of challenging people (edge) supporting people (home), and creating systems and processes (groove).

an-everyone-culture-ddo-diagram

How to increase performance, FAST.

Anders Ericsson, author of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, shared a fascinating way to improve performance across industries. The best way is not more and more practice. It’s this formula to generate the feedback loop of success:

  1. Do your thang.
  2. Have it video recorded
  3. Watch it and analyze
  4. Take the feedback and adjust

Rinse and repeat.

I’ve seen how incredibly this works for me as a speaker. I’m excited to see if others apply it to their industries.

Note, studies have shown that people are really on for peak performance for 4-5 hours a day. Makes me wonder – What if a company had people work from 9am to 3pm – with just highly focused work? I wonder if they’d be more productive and they’d have time to do the other things that make them happy (or do things like pick their kids up after school).

 

Progression: The Key to Sustained Culture

One of the biggest challenges I hear from top performing cultures is how to keep their talent. In fact, some have speculated that the old adage, “People don’t quit companies, they quit their managers” is no longer true.

Top companies know that the key to keeping people is a strong progression plan, but they don’t know how to execute on it.

Russ Laraway figured out a great approach to progression while at Google. He discovered that a past/present/future conversation that is based on individuals (rather than positions and titles) is key.

  1. The Past

    This is the conversation to be like Barbara Walters and figure out what they have loved in the past. It’s about connecting the dots in their story.

  2. The Present

    The interviewer listens for the skills being developed and ask about what the person sees in their future (from the present view).

  3. The Future

    Now they co-create a plan together to help that person achieve those goals (both personally and professionally). The interesting part about the plan is that it’s not just about developing their skills, it’s also about developing their network (because that’s how you really get things done). I would also advise building their communication skills.

NOTE: As with any culture hack, it has to be co-created, and you have to keep experimenting. There is no “right way.”

The hack for great customer service

I was visiting with Stewart Emery, author of Success Built to Last (and many other books). We were standing over his La Marzocco GS/3 espresso machine. He was telling the easiest hack to make great coffee – “Start with really great coffee.”

Yes, there’s a lot more to it that that, but what a head start you have with great coffee. He shared with me how the same thing applies to business:

“If you want to deliver great customer service, start with great customers.”

He said we have more choice that we think – Whom we choose to serve and market. It’s far easier when we choose great customers whom we enjoy serving and being around. Then customer service becomes easy (or at the very least, desirable!)