“How do you find the time to manage all of this social media stuff?” That’s one of the most common questions I’m asked whenever I present. And sometimes, I get the sense that people are hoping that it’s so complicated and time-consuming that they’ll have a great excuse NOT to do it. Not to learn [...]
Build Feedback into Your Planning
Every business has a tribe. They are your clients, customers, staff, suppliers, and contacts. They are out there talking about you. Interpreting your business and the experience they have with it - using their own language when they explain their experience to others.
Do you know what they are saying?
Some people will voluntarily tell you what they say about you, but many won't; they need to be asked. You can do this in an unstructured way, which is the way many businesses do it, however the members of your tribe that don't volunteer their views might still be talking about you and you won't know what they are saying.
Compare what they say to what you say
Finding out what they are saying in a structured way will allow you to have data that you can really use to:
- understand the language your tribe uses and compare it to the language you use in your marketing. If there are differences then the world is getting mixed messages from you compared to your tribe. You need to understand what that is doing to your brand.
- If there are words they are using that you don't want associated with your business then you can find out more and develop services, adapt products, and change marketing to change this perception.
- If there are great words that you aren't using then you should start to use them in your marketing and when you are talking about your business.
Make it simple so it is fun
Make understanding your tribe simple so you do it and implement your learnings to drive change in the right direction in your business.
Visualise the language your tribe uses through a word cloud or data cloud - a display of words using varying font size and/or colour to indicate frequency of the word. Clouds usually consist of single words, where the higher the frequency the larger the word.
Idea 1: Words your tribe uses to describe you.
- Send an email, or ask in a survey: "When you think of us, what are the first 3 words that come to mind?"
The cloud for Tribe Research is: www.flickr.com/photos/triberesearch/3492660159/
Idea 2: Words your tribe uses to describe an aspect of your business.
- When you think of the skills needed in business, what first 3 words come to mind?
The cloud for business skills is: www.flickr.com/photos/triberesearch/3466332069/
Idea 3: Use existing data about your tribe.
Eg: Create a word cloud of an aspect you collect data about. This could be as simple as the suburbs in your address book. You might discover a hidden group that could use your services when you do this.
We recently made a cloud of the month and year when some of our tribe registered their business to understand when it was mostly done and this is the cloud: www.flickr.com/photos/triberesearch/3561445749/
You don't have to create a word cloud. You can simply look at the frequencies and gain insights for your business that can help you grow.
Tribe Research has developed software, CloudMaker (within a larger platform at: www.tribaltoolkit.com). It allows you to create word clouds in 3 different ways:
- Text on a webpage
- Your own data that you import into the software
CloudMaker allows you to edit your data once you have imported it, allowing you to easily merge, delete, and edit words. You can export your revised dataset. Your data is saved in the system as you have an account and so you can go back to your data whenever you want.
Your cloud can be saved as an image to be placed in your documents, or HTML code so you can put the cloud on your website. The website option allows you to link the words to relevant pages on your website.
Tribal Tool-Kit is at: www.tribaltoolkit.com
You might be interested in this upcoming event...
NEW: Social Media for Small Business Webinar Series
Practical ways to use social media to grow your business
Online Webinars - Starting 28 May 2013
NEW webinar series: designed to dispel the myths about social media and arm small business owners with skills and know-how to make social media a powerful force for business development and bottom line results.
Experts will present practical ways to use social media to:
- Build brand awareness for your organisation
- Network and make connections all over the world
- Build your personal profile and position you as a credible authority
- Drive traffic to your website, blog or social networks
- Convert social media followers to leads and leads to customers
- Grow you reach with suppliers, staff, resources, alliances, sponsors