For the past few weeks I have been trying to better understand my audience on Google+. As an early adopter, I was fortunate to take the opportunity to grow a large audience. The people that have circled me are from all over the world, and I would be surprised if more than 50% of them spoke English.
For those that do speak English (or were able to translate), I created a Google Form to collect data to better understand my audience. This is something that businesses could easily do from time to time to poll their followers. In the survey I asked a few questions relating to peoples’ use of Google+ and what they typically enjoy seeing in their streams. The results were not shocking, but very interesting. Out of the first 245 surveys completed, here’s what people had to say.
For the first six questions I asked users to answer a question on a scale of 1-5 to see how they felt about certain things in their stream.
Maybe your friend gave you an invitation to join Google+ before it was available publicly. Maybe you joined a few weeks ago and have been posting some very intriguing content. Either way, if you have had a lot of people “circling” you in the past few weeks or months then you are on your way to building a tribe.
What exactly is a tribe and why do I want one?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a tribe as: a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.
Let’s dissect this. First of all, in your tribe, you are probably the leader. In social media the purpose is to market a brand and promote that brand through successful interaction with your audience. In most cases, for us, you are the brand. The slice of the audience that is consistently reading and interacting with your content makes up your tribe.
Now, just in any socio-organization, it is important to remember certain members of your tribe, or organization. In the case of social media, and Google+ specifically, you probably have a few followers that consistently comment and re-share your posts. This is very desirable behavior for building your brand. Whether you are trying to educate your followers, market a product or make a point, having your words, photos and videos shared with people outside of your audience is a great compliment to your work.
Keep in mind that the people sharing your content are therein endorsing your content. I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of products out there that I wouldn’t feel comfortable endorsing. That tells me that the people that re-share my content have a firm belief that they stand by what I am saying, feel interested or compelled to share it with their followers. This is a conscious decision they are making.
How do you reward the important members of your tribe?
Maybe it’s a +mention, re-sharing some of their content, or interacting with their posts. Whatever it is you do, it is very important to recognize the people that have helped you build your brand and promote your content. Do you have a small project you can include them in? Are their opportunities for them to work within your brand? No matter how small, or how big, anyone that is active in engaging your content will surely be pleased by your recognition for their doing so.
In order to build a tribe, the leader of that tribe must have followers that respect him or her and members of the tribe that support that leader by engaging others. So, if you want to continue building your tribe, make sure you are offering compelling and relevant content (“I just flossed my teeth” could be considered informative, but unless you have a following of dental hygienists, you might not be reaching your audience effectively).
As you watch your tribe grow, make sure that you are actively engaging them, participating in their content and sharing their successes as well. If you stand on a soap box and keep yelling without paying attention to the questions being asked, the comments being made or recognizing the people sharing your message, you will betray your tribe and watch your following drop. The numbers may not disappear, but the engagement will slowly fade away.
What are you doing to build your tribe? What are you doing to celebrate the people sharing your content? How do you approach your most consistent content engagers? Do you have a plan?
Share your comments below and feel free to re-share this post with as many as you would like!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the new Google Currents app for Android and iOS. It allows you to read your favorite online content in a beautiful setting comfortable for your eyes!
You can download the app for your device here: http://www.google.com/producer/currents
Once you get started, be sure to add Micro Patrol to your subscriptions with the QR code below. We just signed up tonight, so there are still some kinks to be worked out, but make sure to add it to your library and share with your friends!
Tonight, by pure accident, we stumbled upon an incredible example of social interaction at its finest. A group of people, getting together, in the comfort of their home, to connect with each other.
Most of you probably didn’t know that the Latin term for ‘stuttering’ is Alalia Syllabaris, don’t worry, I didn’t either. However, I bet you can name at least one friend, family member or colleague that deals with stuttering/stammering or has dealt with it in their past.
Stutter Social (http://www.stuttersocial.com) is a website that was founded by +David Resnick and +Daniele Rossi to help people that deal with stuttering connect with each other from around the world. Tonight, we stumbled into their hangout and unlocked some secrets to their special clan.
+David Resnick, the co-founder of Stutter Social was one of two of the groups’ members that was initially in the hangout when we entered. The other participant was a former stuttering sufferer, +Mike Lee. I asked Mike how he came upon Stutter Social and he wittily replied, “I don’t know, how’d you guys get here?”
Touché, +Mike Lee, touché.
The group started in the last week of August and they host two hangouts a week. According to David, five to nine people usually show up, some repeat and some first times visitors. They’re people from all over the world.
“We’ve had people from India, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK,” +David Resnick said. “It’s a pretty neat way for people [to connect].”
David provided an example of how Stutter Social blurs boarders and brings in people that wouldn’t normally find acceptance in their local communities: “In India, social attitudes towards stuttering are totally different and sometimes people who stutter in India have never met others that stutter. It’s kind of an empathetic exchange that happens and its really cool to see.”
“I grew up in Korea–stuttering–and I know where he’s coming from,” +Mike Lee said in response to David’s comment. “I think the number one problem outside of the US is awareness.”
Inside of the United States there are several organizations that help people that suffer from stuttering connect and cope. One of the most notable organizations is the National Stuttering Association which has chapters nation-wide.
After David and Daniele started Stutter Social they contacted a number of NSA chapter leaders asking to help spread the word and send notices out to their members. Instantly, their participation grew.
“It’s super convenient, I don’t have to drive anywhere. The hangouts go on for an hour or an hour and half. For people that have a busy schedule it’s really easy and convenient,” David said.
As we continued the conversation, which included +Cam Meadows, +P E Sharpe, +Paul Roustan, +Raleigh Burke and +Trey Ratcliff (to name a few), more and more people from Stutter Social were contacting David in private chat and asking to get into their own hangout.
One of the people, +Sasha Rayshubskiy, joined and stated, “I am a person who stutters and I am a scientist.” People that suffer from speech impediments, disabilities and other afflictions are all around us. They’re our doctors, our teachers, and even our scientists. Usually we don’t even notice it!
We’ve all heard the statistics that 1 out of every _ suffers from ___. Or that 3 out of ever _ are likely to develop ___ in their lifetime. We’ve heard of support groups for these ailments and in all seriousness, some of them sound very intimidating.
Enter Social Media
What if there was a way to get people from all over the world to join together, to chat, to hangout and share their stories and bond?
“Stuttering is something that isolates people, and hangouts connect them,” David said. “So that is the thing that I’m going for.”
Bravo, David, you have truly opened our eyes to an incredible and inspirational way to use social media to connect on a whole new level.
What Do You Think?
Is there a support group that you belong to? Have you connected with others online to talk about something that you all share in common? How do you think people that stutter can benefit from David’s hangout? Do you have any personal stories?
Take a moment and leave your comment below. Be sure to check out their website and share this post to help spread the message. We can each make a difference every day, just by sharing…
It used to be that the people you talked to online were totally anonymous. There was a time, and there still are places, where people communicate entirely under pseudonyms. Having conversations with your “online” friends was rarely interrupted by spending time with your “real” friends.
Enter social media.
Times are a’ changin’. No longer are we bound to communicating and sharing friendship within our local communities. Cities are losing their borders with their suburbs, countries are blurring their lines and people are interconnecting.
This is happening online as well as offline. Now we live in a culture when you can share a beer in a hangout with people from 4 different continents and then coffee in the morning with people from 3 others. Or, you could hangout with +will.i.am while he performs live in NYC to learn that one of the people doing the very same thing lives right in your neighborhood.
Location Isn’t Anything
It doesn’t matter where you live anymore. It’s changing the way people shop. It’s changing the way people communicate. The Internet is changing the way businesses seek talent.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn page yet, HR departments might not take a serious look at you. If you have a very niche hobby or talent, the Internet can put you in touch with people that share your interests better than you might find in your own small community.
The Internet is blurring borders and all of a sudden your “online” friends mean just as much to you as your “real” friends. Anyone that has attending SXSW will most likely tell you that they’ve made some of the best friendships in their lives in Austin, TX.
So, as the digital cloud starts touching down on planet Earth we’re starting to live in what I call “The Fog” and that’s a great thing. I wanted to share with you probably the BEST piece of GMail I’ve ever received in my life and tell you that social networking, with a little time invested, can create some of the strongest bonds, friendships, conversations and opportunities. But, you have to put yourself out there, engage your audience, and most importantly, interact.
Happy Holidays, +Zach Eggert!
This year a team of my co-workers and I will set out for a fundraiser for the Nashville chapter of the American Heart Association.