Traditional media people – journalists, marketers, editors - are just like other professionals. They do the same things in print and via emails year after year because of intuition.
Success came about by
- hoarding the content
- broadcasting to the users
- expecting a response
- trying to please everyone
- assuming everything was read
- not engaging with the competitors
The more you get to use the web, the more you realise it works the opposite way.
- the more you focus on a niche than a whole community, the quicker your traffic will rise
- the more you comment on other people’s sites, the more comments your site will receive back (even if they are not from the same people)
- the more annoyed you are that you still have no comments, the harder still you need to try
- the more information you contribute to your community, the more you will be able to develop those relationships
- the more frustrated you become with the lack of response from your community, the less response you will receive
- the more open you are in your networks (even if there are traditional competitors), the more information you will get back
- the more you link to other sites, the more sites will link to you (even if they are not the same sites)
- the more questions you answer on Twitter, the more others will answer yours
- the more specific, even lengthy, your keyword phrase can be, the more qualified will be those who find your content
- the more you can make your navigation like your online competitors, the more easily people will find what they want on your own site
- the more quickly your subscribers increase, the more quickly they will decline
- the more you block the wrong people from following you on Twitter, the faster your followers will grow
- the more rude a comment is on your blog, the more you should presume that the commentator did not mean it
Can you think of other web behaviour that is counterintuitive?
If you think your followers/community on Twitter would be interested in this post, show them your value by reTweeting it to them!
Photo credit: Payton Chung
Sound advice from my colleague Rob Enslin to our teams. Hope they will follow it!
“It’s Monday morning, I’ve just got into the office and trawling through the spam. I come across an article in a regular marketing-lead newsletter about Halfords adopting social media technologies to generate user-generated content for their website. The reason – to engage with their users to better understand their needs and behaviors and respond accordingly. Sounds perfect! I start to think about how we could relate in our B2B exhibitions business and how it could benefit us. Then I wonder what software Halfords used – Bazaarvoice. So, I Google it and visit their website (www.bazaarvoice.com).
“Whilst browsing the website it’s apparent that these guys know what they’re doing when it comes to designing web interfaces. Their website hints strongly at a web 2.0 style. I decide I’d like to stay updated with their news and developments so I locate their sign-up box on the home page (no clicking to another page as is quite often the case). The sign-up box is not overly complicated and simply says: ‘enter email’. I enter my email address and click ‘subscribe’.
Here’s the real smart bit
“While it may seem like just another sign-up page there are a few things worth noting here:
My email address is carried over from the sign-up form box to remind me of my email address and instill confidence in the process
The updates options are varied: Email. Skype, AOL, Twitter (public), MSN, Twitter (private) and Yahoo!.
The obvious ‘what do I do now?’ Subscribe me button.
“While the smart bits don’t seem obvious or groundbreaking they are simple steps and rules and ensure the process is dead simple. Steve Krug wrote a book: “Don’t make me think!” where he dedicates an entire book on ensuring all interactions do not make you have to think at all.
“As I flick across to my email I find, as if by magic, a ‘Confirmation of registration’ known as a double opt-in subscription. When harvesting email subscribers, list quality is all important.
“Double opt-in ensures the list is high quality: users really DO want the email, unsolicited subscribing (spamming) is avoided and users email address ARE correct.
The confirmation page
“After my double opt-in subscription is all done and dusted my subscription is confirmed as active. What I like about this page is that I’m not simply sent to a ‘dead-end’ page I’m sent to a page which gives me more options in the form of ‘Next Steps’ so ensuring I never get to a dead-end. I’m now engaged in a loop with the website / product and again NOT having to think what to do next (Steve Krug’s book!)
“Note too that other information like when I’ll start receiving updates and how to unsubscribe are also there. This is simply GOOD PRACTICE. We should all be doing something similar.
“Got anything to say? If you have any comments drop me a line“.