Metrics tell a story
Engagement — A contact has made a commitment to support your media
Reoccurring Engagement — A contact highly values your social media content.
Reach — web-surfers and social media engagement, leads to total possible contacts that your social media content might reach.
Contact Time — A contact may choose to follow your social media once, twice or many times. This length of time indicates the overall value in the long-term for a contact.
Long Term Value (LTV) = engagements (total) / Contact Time — this represents how valued the media is over time
Contact Acquisition Effort (CAE) — The amount of effort needed to get each contact
Contact Activity — How many of the contacts are active at any given moment.
Churn — arrival of new contacts – leaving of old contacts
What metrics don’t tell you is how a startup business makes the contacts with other people, this is what causes the metrics to have meaning.
“Whatever you do, be it for personal enjoyment, or to help other people in some way: it has the potential to be a business, or to have an extremely large social benefit. Investors, and people will join you because they also have similar interests to you—they will become part of your group.” ~ Gharr September 2015
Below this point, the idea of a group’s goals, and project management (making the goals measurable) will be discussed. However it’s useful to have a structure or model that allows you to understand what the overall goal of all the components below are: to get a product or service to a customer (regardless of it is for profit or not)
☯ The Business Model (canvass) [article]: http://wp.me/p10Tww-1tM
Introduction: an email, or to contact a new person or group via social media, followed up with a personal visit. Carrying gifts even if unrelated to your service or product can be useful as that can cause further discussions about your product or service after you leave. If you work online you may not be able to visit, instead you may have a video conference, or use social media to as a meeting point. your online gifts can be discount vouchers, invitations, pictures, a poem, a promotional package, invitation to read online blog, invitation to watch the videos you produce, to join one of your online webcast live-shows, or many other things.
The Environment: understanding the reasons why a person or group might be interested in your product or service can be useful also. The terms freelancer, and outsourcing work, are two words that might come in handy to understand why a person or group might want to use your product or service. You might have more specific words like event, evangelist, marketer, entrepreneur, project-group, or team that apply to the segment you are working with. This in turn allows you consider how to best approach the person or group that is interested in your product or service: as an individual, or as a group or company.
Getting Noticed: it is not only you that should seek out new people or groups, but also new groups and people should make the effort to find you or your group. So how is that done? The answer to that might be surprising at first, but it can be done with social media or some other service that helps out the people or groups that you are interested in. This is another form of gift, but it is a product or service that the people or groups of interest will find very hard to resist. It may range from assistance in marketing, tips to get their business running well, personal motivators, products that help them, scheduling events that interests them, providing industry news, and so on. If you are good at producing stories, rhymes, poems, sayings, or just like to post really cool blogs or videos, then this type of media can also end up being a way to make contact with the people or groups that you are interested in, as they may enjoy the things you produce: and this applies not only to people who might be interested in your product or service, but also to people who might want to work with you, or invest money or donate to your cause.
Investors: the people who are part of your group, or provide money (investments) are also important. This is also about relationship building, and getting a “NO” is not a bad thing, as it allows you to improve your pitch (elevator—short—speech about what you do), and it also lets you focus on who you want to work with, who should investment or donation to your groups work, and who your customers might be. To produce a good environment for a group to work in, or to find the perfect investors is something that often takes time to perfect, especially if you are working with a new product or service, as you might not fully know all the reasons as to why people might take an interest; investor might choose to invest; and how your own group will react to working with the new product or service. Creating good ideas, improving your product or service, and creating a pitch that quickly lets people know what you do, and catches their initial interest is the basis for having your product or service financed and accepted by people or groups.
Organizing: Your own work, and those of your group should be tangible: set goals, make them measurable (just as the metrics above are for social media). Goals should be achievable, relevant to the project, and time-bound. If you understand project management, then you will see that a group organizing it own work also involves the act understanding the overall goal of the entire group—so if your group does not have a leader, then make sure everyone knows why the group has been formed and what the group hopes to achieve. Have confidence that if you notice a service or product that people need, others will also see your vision, and will join you to make that service or product available—this is not something that specifically need leadership, it is simply an understanding that people have passions, and like to work on things that interest them; more often than not people’s interests also have the effect of benefiting or helping other people.
Regardless of if you intend to help people, or just do something that you find makes you very happy—that thing or activity that you have a passion to do, has the ability to make others happy also. This is also a reason as to why groups might form around you, or investors will take an interest in the thing or activity (product or service) that interests you. However, not everything you like to do, or make will make a profit as a business, but it still might be a very important thing or activity that could have a very large social benefit.
Business Model Canvass: Customer Relationships, & Channels
The most difficult concept is often once you have a good idea for a product or service, how can you get that product or service out to people. Also related to this is the question of how can you get people to join your group or effort, and how can you get investors interested in what you do also. Hopefully a lot of those questions will be answered below, regardless of if your activity is designed to make a profit or not.
In the above section we discussed “Getting Noticed” and “Introductions.” However once your customer takes an interest in you, and possibly to encourage more customers, there is a lot more you can do through media; which on the Business Model Canvass is part of what connects your customer to your idea or product. Possibly not stated by the Business Model Canvass, is that you can attract investors, additional group members, and people (observers, fans) that cheer for you with the same methods that will be mentioned below. A business (profit, or non-profit) is built around associating with many different groups of people, and you really need to know how to connect with each of the groups; as this will help your organization perform well. The below methods will also allow other groups and businesses that your organization may associate with to get an impression of who you are, and what you do.
If your business does not generate a profit, then it might be classed as a hobby, but it may still be have large social benefits to our society. Because social benefit does not always fit into the box of monetary worth, you can set goals and use feedback to see how your activity is going.
Businesses Not Making a Profit: You can use FaceBook, and G+ for example to post text, graphical, and video updates about what you are currently doing, this can be used for your own not-for-profit members information, and to attract the people who you want to provide a benefit to. These types of media provide a story board like set up over time, and this can often cause people to take an interest in your not-for-profit venture. Also people often think it is kind of cool to know a little about your organization’s history.
However when businesses engage in advertising, and producing channels to explain why their product or service has value, it can often seem to be a non-profit activity, but for a business this effort translates directly into sales, and thus profit.
What is discussed below, is applicable to both types of organization types (profit and not-for-profit—or hobby).
We often think that to connect a product or service with a customer, all we need to do, is to deliver a product or get a person to the customer, and that is the end of the story; but it is not, it’s only a very tiny part of the total story…
But a channel (as mentioned on the Business Canvass) can be social media, and the relationship you develop with people can be done through your media that may or may not be your product or service. The important point is that you are building a relationship with people, and that interest will allow those people to check out what you do. For example with Gharr: the activity is promotion, so the product can be articles, or sharing of music, dances, songs, and gigs. However Gharr also builds relationships with the people who are promoted, and the way things are shared can come into play in such situations also. This is an example where the social media is the channel and relationship builder to not only to a target audience, but also to the providers or producers of material to be shared.
Interviews: Occasionally a music producer has a longer conversion on twitter then is expected, Gharr considers this to be in most cases an interview, as quite a lot of really useful information can be taken away from such conversations, and the whole thing is recorded by twitter so it’s possible to go over the whole talk in detail. Music producers are quite busy, so such interviews will in general be a once only chance, and trying to engage the producer to get more details about the interview is generally not done.
One unexpected surprise is that some music producers can become fans of Gharr, or even part of the Gharr group. It’s quite amazing that Gharr can have such an emotional affect on people. Support can also mean that Gharr is not only doing the right thing for the producers of music, but also the fans of that music.
Demo: The music industry provides demos (demonstrations) of what the band can do by using sample music. However a demo may also be a technical “how-to” operate a complex machine, but this instructional video for example can also be a demo of what the machine does, so it can also be a talking point for people who view the video. In the case of the machine for example, it turned out to convert waste plastic into oil, petrol, diesel, and kero; and the talking point ended up being how the machine might benefit poor communities, where often children are forced to try to live by scavenging from waste disposal sites (tips).
Company, band, group news: often bands will announce new albums, tours, or gigs. Groups might announce they are going to a convention. A company may announce that they are introducing a new service or product to the market, or they may show off one of their existing products. Other company news might be the opening of a new establishment. In general any news is often worth sharing.
Sometimes major events happen to people who associate with Gharr, these include earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, tornadoes, floods, violence, wars, financial problems (Greece for example), and so on. Such breaking news often disrupts what Gharr is doing and causes the focus to be on what is going on: The Huge Explosions in a China industrial region for example just came out of the blue, and at first it was not clear what was going on, as the news developed, an awareness of what had actually happened started to be revealed.
Individual people can also have a bad day, the kind of news that is never good to hear, but sometimes, it’s possible to make a difference in such cases, but the risk (and it’s worth the risk as cheering up a person or helping them is just awesome) is that the person may get angry for you interfering in their affairs, so deciding to try to help is not always an easy and straight forward thing to do. Sometimes however, what seems to be a bad day can end up being a pleasant announcement that a new direction in the person’s life is going to happen—in such cases help was not required, just being there to get the chance to catch the amazing news.
Product Review: people care about security issues,of their own personal information, and don’t like to think that their mobile telephone, or computer has software and hardware designed into it so strangers can hack their device without their knowledge, gain control of it (to record sound, take pictures, and to get personal information stored on the device if that is what the hacker wants). However when the hackers are the government (for example the NSA) it creates a vision of society that is darker, and Orwellian. From the US Stuxnet that damaged Iran’s Nuclear Plants (infrastructure attack) to back doors into your computer, and communications equipment such as mobile telephones that NSA or other countries security forces can conduct mass surveillance with.
This type of mass surveillance product review obviously cross into news, our human rights, and our very thoughts of free speech, and privacy. The review also crosses to many different devices, even to your refrigerator if it has automation attached to it. So commenting and sharing information on this should be of interest to many people—as indeed is.
Less obvious product reviews is when a tag is placed with a shared song. For example #cute, #amazing, #awesome. Such short reviews during a share, is a product review that can develop talking points, and possibly encourage people to check out the content of what is shared.
Sometimes related or unrelated stuff is added to a product, and this forms a story that might interest people. In advertising it may be putting young fit people in advertisements, or surrounding the product or service with expensive things to give it an air of success. For music it is possible to mix legends with the music to produce a story of interest that might attract people to view the song. Such added content adds a thing like a simple tag, except in this case the #awesome tag is translated into fit young people, expensive things, success, and legends for example. The added thing does not always have to have a direct link with the product, other than your imagination that may resonate with other people. Overdo this, or do it in the wrong way, and the added content can make your shared content seem hollow, and false instead of creating interest.
Product and service reviews can be as wide (broad social issues) or as a limited scope (single products and services) as required, but they can create interest and great shares.
Quotes: Some social media is made totally up of quotes as shares to other people, but sometimes this seems to be more a sign of a system that has become impersonal or highly automated. With social media it is nice to have that personal touch. Gharr does not tend to use many quotes, but there are some really good ones out there. Like quotes, there are also interesting pictures and occasional short videos that have powerful short messages in them.
Testimonials: Gharr shares a lot of music, and the odd thank you tweets, are like testimonial that not only endorse the artists own product, but gives support to what Gharr shares. Normally testimonials are done by the end customer, but having a producer say thanks or to cheer you on is IMO much more powerful—as it is a very strong incentive for people to take an interest in what is being shared. The social metrics mentioned above are also unsaid testimonials of the people who like what you share. People also make mention of the music they really like, and they will obviously like it when you share that music with others—no metrics or market research is need there to realize this…
Case Studies: Translated into customer segments, it describes different groups that you want to help. This in turn can become part of your branding statement. Since people can keep their privacy, there is no need to single individuals out, rather there is a need to form an opinion on what groups might take an interest in.
History: People are often interested in the history of an organization, and one way to achieve this time line record was discussed above (use Facebook, or G+), but it is possible to also use graphical pictures, or a blog to achieve the same thing. Gharr has produced a large number of tweets and that also forms a history.
Q&A: This is used on The Venus Project website in a list format. However it can also be done in a less obvious way. People might be interested in how to make music if they have a creative block, or how to make money from producing music. Others might be interested in how the vocaloid voice software, and people’s voices fits into the musical instruments tracks, as some music can make it more difficult to hear a singers vocals. Gharr in most cases produces articles in preparation for commonly asked questions. Thus the “Q” part is missing, but there is a very good chance that people will ask that question that will be answered by a pre-made article.
DIY: The instruction manual on how to do it yourself, well this article is one example, but other examples might be sample computer code that a person can use to make programs or to make programming easier. Creative commons pictures can also help with putting your groups or organizations image forward, or encouraging a sense of belonging for each member of the group—even if each member is shown how they could design their own symbol to remind them of the group. Articles from the Q&A section can also be used here, as DIY could be interpreted as a question: how do you complete a DIY project of interest.
Shares: Most of the stuff above could go into this section, however sharing or delivering something interesting to your audience, customers, or just to interested people is what this article is aimed at. Each share can be contained in a tweet, single blog post or article, and even on the time line of Facebook or G+ if desired. Sometimes you can group similar shares into a single article. A share contains the channel to get information or products to your audience, customer and it develops a relationship with them, so you get the chance to deliver the products or services that are provided by your organization.
Remember that your shares on social media can also attract investors, additional group members, and even supporters that cheer for you.
Searching for new customers (who you, or your group wants to make an introduction to) is not something you have to do on your own. Contact your group members if you feel they can give you some potential contact details. Simply posting information about the fact that you are looking for additional customers on your social network is a good start—but should take care to clearly define who your audience is (general public, potential customers, your social network, your group members, and so on).
You might provide a simple promotional page that states your services, or product, and the benefits your product, or service will bring to the customer. You can include case studies, testimonials, quotes, your organization’s history, and achievements (often listed as historic news articles, or events on social media).
You can also personally contact people (as long as they are okay with that, and you respect that they might be very busy). People that you work with often, mentors, partners, group members, people that might know your potential customers, and so on.
If people try to help you out, make sure you take the time to say thank you, and tell them that they can keep a track of your progress via email news, and your social network announcements. You can send them a personal email, or direct message if that is okay. If they helped you out on social media, make sure to say thank you on that social media.
While things like emails can be sent out in mass, social media will not appreciate thousands of posts in a short while. Use direct messages to people who will not be upset by that method of contact if such a campaign is required. Musicians do post a series of public posts to people over time (and it looks quite boring if you check out their social media stream), but it’s one way to get that message out there. Social media will restrict the rate you can post anyway, to keep those post trickling out at an acceptable rate—if you try to directly contact a lot of individual people.
For Gharr this method of public posting to individual contacts in the network is difficult as the stream is filled with promotional material. New people, and producers of information, and music all find Gharr through social media, internet searches, or through networks that might or might not include Gharr. The media that Gharr posts is interesting and entertaining (but specific people may only find some of it to be interesting and entertaining) and that along with internet searches, and word of mouth (or social media in this case) is the method of new people finding out about Gharr.
Not everyone has the will or desire to create their own entertainment, opinion, and news channel—and they may want to use more direct contact methods with their networks, as is mentioned above.
☆ Orwellian: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orwellian; “denotes an attitude and a brutal policy of draconian control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past, including the “unperson”—a person whose past existence is expunged from the public record and memory, practiced by modern repressive governments.”
☆ Back Doors into your computer and communications equipment:
- 📌 back door decryption: https://www.rt.com/usa/318159-Obama-wont-decrypt-data/
- 📌 Live Q&A: Edward Snowden “UK government has taken control of your devices–cameras, microphones etc.” [23:05]: https://youtu.be/lhKXTVc5h4A
- 📌 “Smartphone users can do “very little” to stop security services getting “total control” over their devices:” http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34444233; “Smurf Suite: Dreamy Smurf, Nosey Smurf, Tracker Smurf.”
- 📌 NSA Malware infects on mass scale: http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/17/snowden_docs_expose_how_the_nsa
- 📌 Google and NASA are getting a new quantum computer: http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/28/9398807/google-nasa-quantum-computer-d-wave-2x
- ☏ NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’ [interview]: https://youtu.be/0hLjuVyIIrs
- ☏ Edward Snowden: Here’s how we take back the Internet : https://youtu.be/lhKXTVc5h4A
- ☏ Social Media Defense: http://blog.totallynotmalware.net/ HiiiiYaaaa!
Last edited in Oct 2015
Gharr is currently in hiatus: “I miss writing all those articles, and sharing all those great things, and ideas on the internet.” 2015
Shortened link to article: ☆ Social Media Metrics [article]: http://wp.me/p10Tww-3wF
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