Tag Archives: social network

Digital Networking for the Skeptic Leader

This post originally appeared on the Sklar Wilton & Associates blog.

There are many reasons to love the internet but my top reason is that it shrinks the world to fit into my own backyard. Whether someone lives in Australia, India, Japan, Finland, South Africa, Venezuela, Mexico, or even in another province of Canada, I can communicate with all of them on a personal, one to one basis any time and any day I want. Networking with a global community of industry experts has never been easier and, given global accessibility and the accelerated rate of technological innovations, never more essential.

One of the main problems people have with social media networks and digital networking, however, is that the tools are boring, irrelevant, or waste a lot of time. A few quick tips might help to improve the experience so that you too can benefit from digital networking.

1.      Find the social network that’s right for you

There are hundreds of social networks but you only need to find and participate in the one that suits you best. If you are visually oriented, head off to Pinterest or Instagram. If you want to get to know people personally, Facebook is the place for you. If you like a mixture of personal and business content that is short and sweet, Twitter is the place for you. If you’re all business, all the time, LinkedIn will suit you perfectly. Indeed, anyone wishing to grow their brand or further their career should be active on LinkedIn.

There are many more networks to choose from but the bulk of English industry conversations take place on these networks. You could try QQ.com or Weibo.com if you speak Chinese, or Vk.com if you speak Russian.

2.      Focus on people in your industry

Most social networks try to help new users by suggesting accounts to follow. Bad idea! Absolutely never follow their recommendations. If you are forced to do so to get your account working, be sure to unfollow those accounts as quickly as you can. Following celebrities, athletes, musicians, and pundits might be fun at first but, over time, you’ll find that type of content to be sensationalist and boring. You’ll probably even give up.

Instead, seek out people in your field, including industry experts, keeners, and hobbyists. If your industry is marketing, search for keywords like marketing, advertising, branding, retail, customers, consumers, messaging, pricing, or targeting. If your industry is market research, search for keywords like analytics, data, ethnography, focus groups, insights. Identify the relevant hashtags such as #marketing, #advertising, #branding, #MRX, or #NewMR. Find your relevant industry association. Identify the people who use those words and follow their accounts.

Even better, identify at least one expert who is well known in your industry and follow all the accounts they follow. More specifically, take care to follow personal accounts that showcase the names and photos of human beings not business accounts with names and logos of businesses.

To ensure you’ve always got a regular stream of new, interesting, and unusual ideas flowing through your stream, follow at least 1000 accounts from around the world. You aren’t supposed to read everything from these 1000 people as if they’re emails or personal messages. Rather, glance at whatever is passing through your stream when you happen to feel like taking a peek.

3.      Go beyond surfing and lurking

Social networks are supposed to be social but that doesn’t mean you have to share photos of your dinner or your kids (actually, give your kids the gift of privacy and don’t share any information about them online). You also don’t have to fill up the interweebs with random chatter just for the sake of being able to say you participated.

In the digital space, you are encouraged and expected to communicate with anyone, even world renowned, industry gurus, about anything. When you do see a post that is interesting or thought provoking, reply or leave a comment for the author. Let them know you liked their idea or share your own experience with the topic.

In addition to replying to comments, be sure to share your own ideas. Many people think they have nothing interesting to say, nothing new to say, or simply nothing worth sharing. I can 100% assure you that this is wrong. Everyone is an expert in something. Everyone has a unique perspective on even the most ordinary topics. The trick is simply to recognize when one of those opinions has popped into your head.

When you do share and comment, you’ll quickly become part of a conversation with people you’ve never talked to before but who now look forward to hearing from you. You never know who you’ll become fast friends with, who might ask you to speak at a conference, or who might turn into your best client.

4.      Communicate on a personal level

Networks like LinkedIn try to be helpful by giving users templated responses, sometimes suggesting phrases such as “I’ll be in touch” or “thank you” as one-click responses. Unless you need to reply to a hundred messages in the next five minutes, don’t take the bait. Take the time to respond to every person individually with a relevant thought or comment, even if it is simply a more personal way of saying “thanks a bunch!”

Some networks allow you to send automated messages. For instance, Twitter can be set up so that any new follower automatically receives a private message thanking them for the follow. Some people create longer private messages that include further contact information about their products and services. Don’t do that. Most automated messages are unwelcome. In fact, they might even encourage someone to stop following you. If you truly want to thank people for following your account, take the time to do it personally.

5.      Social media is for social not selling

If your title begins with a C (e.g., Chief, Consultant) or has the word “business” or “sales” in it, chances are every time you talk to someone, your brain tries to force you to offer a sales pitch or to invite someone to review your products and services. Don’t do it. Turn off that part of your brain. Beginning any new relationship with a sales pitch is a sure fire way to encourage someone to click on the mute/unfriend/unfollow/block button.

Instead, get to know people. Simply chat with people. Engage in some genuine conversation about the state of the industry. Learn what industry topics are important to them and what their challenges are. As part of a normal conversation between friends. Over time, you might experience the ultimate metric of success… you might find that you are asked for a pitch.

6.      Keep your profile current

Over time, you`ll learn more about your industry, and your interests and experiences will evolve. The profile you set up on a social media account 3 years ago may have been fun and relevant then, but it certainly doesn’t describe who you are today. Sometimes, that very short profile is all that people will see about you so make sure it reflects who you are today, not the young and uninformed kid you were 3 years ago. Current photos help new friends recognize you in the conference crowd, and current websites help potential clients learn more about your services on their own initiative. Make it a habit to update, or at least check, your information once each year.

Above all, don’t stress. If you find a social network to be overwhelming or unhelpful, find a buddy who can guide you through the intricacies and help you find a strategy that works for you.

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This post was written in my role as a consultant for Sklar Wilton & Associates. Sklar Wilton & Associates has worked for more than 30 years with some of Canada’s most iconic brands to help them solve tough business challenges to unlock growth and build stronger brands. SW&A was recognized as a Great Workplace for Women in 2018, and the Best Workplace in Canada for Small Companies in 2017 by the Great Place To Work® Institute. Recognized as the number one Employee Recommended Workplace among small private employers by the Globe and Mail and Morneau Shepell in 2017, SW&A achieved ERW certification again in 2018.

 

 

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Tipping the sacred cows of MR #IIeX 

Live note-taking at #IIeX in Atlanta. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Will Watson replace researchers? By Bruce Weed

  • Health data will grow 99%; Insurance data will grow 94%; Utilities data will grow 99%, and more than 80% of that data will be unstructured
  • Machines don’t make up answers, they will give the answer you teach it to give
  • Now we teach machines to read images like MRIs, a doctos can’t remember an MRI from ten years ago but a machine will
  • Machines understand, reason, learn. They can learn multiple languages too. Can teach it how to read, hear, see, and 9 languages 
  • Showed all the Ted talks to Watson and now it will find the relevant part of the video you want to see
  • Teach machines to do more than a keyword search, teach it to learn and understand
  • Machines are listening in to call Centers and helping the agents give better answers
  • Machines learning will give us crime and threat detection, early detection of diseases, understanding customers, new product development
  • Machine learning makes humans smarter because it gives us capacity

Co-Creating a tailored experience to identify relevant insights leveraging advanced cognitive text analytics by Sion Agami and David Johnson

  • There are lots of five star ratings out there but not all five stars are created equally
  • Can’t approach analytics from a single dimension
  • Corpus linguistics – how people communicate
  • Olden days used to be keyword, Boolean, taxonomies
  • Now it’s NLP, machine learning, topics modeling – these are probabilistic models – 65% confidence that this is what you wanted, what if 4 different models are 65% confident?
  • Next is leveraging all methods in parallel – focus on emotions and cognitive states
  • Emotions, persona, experience, purchase path, topics are all important
  • How do you rate BOO, Not like, disappointed, like, good, WOW, and then add the emoticons into the scale
  • Algorithms can pick apart which products really are a 5
  • Fix the social media comments that are filled with emotion
  • How do identify WOW experiences before launching a products? What is the best question to ask consumers so they can share emotions, how accurate does your model need to be, can you measure what moved the needle from consumers with confidence
  • Put new tools in front of people who are passionate, those with project specific challenges
  • Watch out for groups who think they can already do something, maybe it’s time to work together OR let the people are ARE doing being the people who DO

The Perils and Pitfalls of Recall Memory: How flawed recall and memory bias pollute market research with David Paull, Elizabeth Merrick, Andrew Jeavons and Elizabeth Loftus

  • [I did an entire class in graduate school on unconscious and flawed memory. I’m totally on board with this session. Love this topic. Wish I could remember more of it. Ha ha. I really do.]
  • Market research has made a lot of assumptions about how memory works, completely contrasting academic research, we can’t remember names so how can we remember the past
  • [we need more true academics in market research ]
  • We assume what you did in the past will predict what you did in the future, or that we can predict
  • Our goal is to make money, we want to know allocation of marketing dollars so we ask about recall, we just don’t have better tools though good tools are on the horizon
  • There are lots of false positive and false negatives in recall data, 15% of people misremembered receiving something [This is NOT a bad respondent or a cheater or fraud. This is real human behavior.]
  • There is more to memory than forgetting, false memories are a huge part of memory
  • It’s very easy to expose people to leading questions, misinformation, erroneous versions and to contaminate or transform people’s memories
  • You can plant entirely false memories for things that didn’t happen, it has consequences, it affects their thoughts intentions and behaviours, memory is malleable
  • They planted memories that people got sick eating something as a child and people no longer wanted to eat those foods, they planted positive memories and got people to like yuck foods more
  • Should we take advantage of this to make people happier and healthier, or use them for marketing purpose
  • Sounds like advertising, we find a feeling like nostalgia so we put that into an ad
  • [we need more academics on stage. Most market researchers just don’t have the relevant psychology/sociology background]
  • Manipulation feels creepy but that’s a practical application
  • What is ethical – a therapist helping someone eat better, maybe not; What about a parent doing it with an overweight child?… Hello Santa Clause. WHich would you rather have, an obese child with heart problems or a child who remembers broccoli with grandma when that never happened
  • People have a lot of fiction mixed in with their facts
  • Memory includes “what you bought at the store last week” but memory also includes meaning “I remember the brand Uber” but I may now remember going to the store
  • Semantic memory helps us build great products
  • Memory applies to doors – we expect a pull door to look in a certain way different from a push door
  • We know we shouldn’t have long questionnaires, cognitive load is a problem, that hurts recall, we need to make it easy for people to recall episodic memories, it’s very shaky to ask people to remember the past
  • At least get the recollection as soon as possible, as they’re happening, need to get it before they interact with other people, responses influence each other, doesn’t matter if it’s a focus groups, early responses affect what people say later on
  • Automated systems can help remove some biases, qualitative is less and less reliant on humans
  • think about biases of respondents and and yourself
  • If people know they can look up the information later, they won’t try to remember it, we no longer bother to remember phone numbers, passwords are a huge problem
  • Does the precise memory matter more than the feeling, we can alter the feelings people have about products
  • “You told us you were a 4 on that scale” and many people won’t remember that they originally said it was a 2
  • Must think carefully about the outcome you need, be realistic about when you need precise memories vs insightful memories, knowing it was the 37th flow of a building may not matter because all that was important was that it was high

Social Disruption: The vertical network arrives by Ashlyn Berg

  • There are many social networks specific to  careers – ResearchGate is for PhDs, Github, ZumZero, SpiceWorks
  • Community aspect – online home for professionals to interact with their peers
  • Content – users share millions of original and shared content to stay up to date on trends and do their jobs better
  • Apps and tools – help people get their job done
  • Mostly for free so people engage for a long time
  • 1-stop shop for marketers, place to build relationships, platforms for research
  • Easy place to investigate Ned’s and challenges of your audience
  • Better platform for research over other alternatives
  • Rich projected information, not just into about their company, know which apps they use, hardware and software they use, massive amount of Behavioral insight
  • Vertical network is very clean data, social behavior is clean, it is the real audience you want to talk to, not someone who wanted an incentive 

Check Out the Statistical Outlier on my LinkedIn Cluster Analysis

Well, isn’t that a boring way to say look at this cool visualization on LinkedIn! It’s particularly neat if your LinkedIn folks come from a few different places. Perhaps you’ve linked in with folks from your last 3 jobs, plus some friends, and some family. This fun little program will run a fancy schmancy cluster analysis and figure out all the groupings for you. You will have to name them yourself but some of them will be really obvious. You can try yours here: InMaps.

And you can see my InMap right here!

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Twitterversity: It’s University in Pajamas! #MRX


Remember the good old days in university? Skipping class because it’s raining outside… Sitting at the back of class so you could doze off a little bit…

Well, next Tuesday January 11th is your opportunity to make up for all of that! Join Kathryn Korostoff, aka @ResearchRocks for an entire day of market research education via twitter. It’s the first ever University on Twitter and you can do it all without leaving the comfort of your pajamas! Continue reading →

You are too old to understand social media so don’t even try

Logo for the Addicted to Social Media Blog

Image via Wikipedia

It’s a phrase I’ve heard numerous times over the last year and frankly, I’m quite tired of it. “We need to get some young people in here who know what social media is.”

Since when is social media for young people? (A certain RP can help me attest to this.) Since when are “old” people who have Phds and 30 years of research experience incapable of learning something new? Since when are “old” people ineligible to be knowledgeable about important data sources?

So, to you old farts and young lazy asses, here is my guide to get you back on track and eligible to speak intelligently about social media.

1) Get a facebook page. Friend at least 20 people including friends and family and colleagues, become fans of at least 20 brands like KFC and Old Spice, join at least 20 groups. Read what people are saying on your page, on the fanpages, on the group pages, and write on other people’s pages. Like their messages, follow their senseless links and watch their stupid videos.

2) Get a twitter account. Follow at least 50 people. Actively participate for at least 2 weeks. Write tweets. Read tweets. Reply to tweets. Click and read the links people share.

3) Visit youtube at least 5 times. Watch the videos that make no sense, that seem inappropriate and offensive. Read the video comments. Leave video comments. Reply to video comments.

4) Find a few blogs that interest you. (You are reading a blog now.) Read them. Comment on them. Ask if you can write a guest post for them.

After following these guidelines for two weeks, you will have a fairly good feel for how people communicate online. You won’t know all the details but at least you’ll know what your colleagues are talking about when they say DM and retweet and buzzup.

To really internalize social media, follow the list religiously for two months. (Then try to quit cold turkey.)

If you keep it up as a part of your everyday routine, you will have part of the qualifications to be a social media researcher. (The others including knowing how to design research and use statistics.) Social media is a share and share alike space. So share.

Top 10 MR “I beg to differ!” topics

[tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]If you’re bored and have a few hours to spare, here are a few conversation topics that are sure to grab the attention of researchers.

Or, if you just want a quick MR quiz, you can count how many times you get angry at one of these topics.

Photo credit: alvimann from morguefile.com


.
In no particular order…

  1. The internet may not be private but researchers must respect the presumed personal space in social networks
  2. There is no such thing as random probability sampling in research with people
  3. Statistics are guides and thought provokers, not indicators of truth (, justice and the american way)
  4. Researchers don’t know how to make quality charts
  5. Researchers are the cause of poor survey design, not clients
  6. Researchers are much to blame for the decline in survey response rates and survey panel retention
  7. Researchers are scared to say no to clients and won’t say it even when they should
  8. Conference presenters need to stop rehashing old material and start teaching new material
  9. Pie charts must never be used

.
Oops, that’s only 9. But still, count up how many of those statements made you think “I beg to differ!”
.

Your score:

0: Cream Puff: You acquiesce and have no opinions of your own. You are dumped from my dataset.
1 to 3: Capable: You have some of your own opinions and you know what matters in research. That’s good. We can be friends. Go buy me cookies.
4 to 7: Critic: You have the guts to say no to a client. Good for you! But, you need to get your act together because you’re not getting it.
8 or 9: Combatant: You’re disagreeing on purpose! You too are dumped from my dataset

Read these too

My Secret Relationship via Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I’m in a relationship so secret, my spouse doesn’t even know about it. In fact, I didn’t even know about it!

The last time I moved, I used the services of a realtor. He was absolutely wonderful and I recommend him every chance I get. (If you’re looking in central Toronto, let me know and I’ll give you his contact info.) He knew everything about the neighbourhood, about the style and build and quality of every type of house in the neighbourhood. It took a long time, but I eventually found a house I liked. I got the standard congratulations note from him and a quick follow-up to see if everything was ok. But, a couple months later, I got a phone call. He wanted to know when my birthday was so he could give me a call and say Happy Birthday. It seems not only did he sell houses, he also built relationships. However, I was only in the market for a house. My friend card was full up.
東環相依 Sweet n Indulgency

Seems to me that Twitter has done the same thing. Other than the DMs selling you junk and telling you you’ve won free junk, read a few of the automated DMs that you receive but never pay attention to.

  • Thank you for the follow! Look forward to connecting with you!
  • “Thanks for following, look forward to building a relationship with you.”
  • “Isn’t it fun to get to know each other?”
  • Hi, I look forward to your tweets & keeping you inspired

I’m sure most folks are trying to be polite, but I think they have mistaken my follow for a personalized request for friendship or a business relationship. No, i’m really not interested in the minute details of your life. I truly do not hang on to every link you share nor internalize every thought you have.  In fact, i probably won’t even see most of your tweets because i’m following so many people. i quite like the fact that any time i log on, i’m presented with a random bunch of tweets from a random bunch of people. It must be the researcher in me desperate for a random sample.

So why am I following you in particular? Because among all the tweets you send out I expect that one or two will be of possible interest or just be plain funny or silly.  You did it at least once before. Assuming that the best predictor future behaviour is past behaviour, luck is on my side. So thanks for thinking I wanted to be  your best bud but as I said, my friend card is full up.

Sincerely,

Negative Nelly 🙂

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