I ask a lot of people for their opinion of social-media tools like Twitter and I always get a lot of different responses—ranging from 100% commitment to curiosity to utter disdain. However you feel about social media, here is one simple fact: Even if you’re one who considers these tools inane and a waste of time, a large number of your most influential customers do not. And that means you must at least monitor the conversation for possible signs of trouble.
In a Premium article at MarketingProfs, Mack Collier outlines five such tools you simply cannot ignore. They include Google Sidewiki, a new add-on for Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. Once installed, it can open a side panel where visitors are able to read other visitors’ feedback—and leave their own—on any page at any website.
“Every webpage now can be commented on,” explains Collier. “Every. Single. One. Potentially, your competitor could comment on your company’s website criticizing your products and services. So can your customers. Did you launch a blog and turn off comments? Now your readers can still comment ‘on’ your blog.” “You need to familiarize your company with what this tool can do,” says Collier, “so that you can react to feedback left for your company and, hopefully, become proactive in using Sidewiki to connect with current and potential customers.”
In other words, you can no longer control the conversation, even on your own homepage—because for those with the Sidewiki tool, every site is a social-media site.
You might have seen this video shot at the Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington state of of a guy dancing crazily by himself to the strains of Santogold’s “Unstoppable.” He’s clearly enjoying himself while as are the people watching the spectacle. I’m sure we’ve all seen people like this at concerts. After a while, a second concertgoer joins him, and the two dance together with equal enthusiasm. So far, though, they look more dorky than cool.
Around the one-minute mark, however, a third guy appears on the scene. Despite using the same awkward dance moves, he transforms the scene into something people want to join. Within seconds, two more guys join in. Then there are three more. And then another few. This prompts a stream of people, all racing toward a dance party that, less than a minute earlier, looked almost tragic.
One of my favorite bloggers, Seth Godin, commented about the importance of the third dancer as a marketing inspiration on his blog. Seth said, “Before him, it was just a crazy dancing guy and then maybe one other crazy guy. But it’s guy #3 who made it a movement.” While it’s often more easy to reach the initiators, we should discipline ourselves to seek out the Guy #3’s that will buy in and ultimately bring along Guy #56, Guy #284 and so on.