Do You Miss Social Media Connections When They’re Gone?

I’ve been gone on vacation and then focused on digging out upon my return.  I’ve been “gone”.

As I got back into the stream of emails, tweets, voicemails, messages, updates, check-ins, texts, questions, phone calls, pins, shout outs, uploads, appointments, posts, sharesscores, and more…I realized something.

Someone is missing!

 

The sad thing was I didn’t know who.  I just knew they were gone.

I wonder if we’re talking to so many people on so many channels that we don’t even know who we’re missing anymore.

Are we forgetting?

  • Clients
  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Mentors

They say the human brain can only maintain an average of 150 weak relationships at a time (Dunbar’s Number), and only 10 strong ones.

You know who was missing?

Me.

You forgot me!  Sadly, I also forgot you too.

Isn’t this crazy?

When we are honest, many of us with a modern social network would admit that we forget each other when we’re gone.  Yes, we remember each other right now, of course.  That’s why it’s so important that people, brands, and blogs stay active and “out there”.  That may be the only way we’re unforgettable in the Attention Era.

When we’re gone, we’re most likely forgotten.

Let’s reconnect tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Attention Era: Why You Should “Like” What You Like

Something big is happening and it requires your attention. Literally.

We’re in the Attention Era now and we’ve got a million things coming at us. Actually, it’s more like a trillion.

Each year the world wades through:

  • 90 trillion emails sent
  • 1 trillion ads displayed on Facebook
  • 1.1 trillion videos watched on YouTube
  • 1 trillion websites indexed by Google

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff coming at us! There’s no way to keep up.

Luckily, websites like Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Gmail, StumbleUpon, and others are helping you sort through these messages to find what you want or need to see.  Other sites are learning quickly.

They need your help.

On Facebook, you have to click “Like” or comment on things you actually care about for the sorting to work well.  On Google+, you have to click +1.  All of these systems require something from you if they’re going to pull you from the overwhelming ocean of information we’re drowning in.

The next time you see something or someone great, do yourself a favor and click “Like”.

It’ll save you time in the long run.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Why Don’t You Know?

I always get a kick out of  comments like these in response to failure:
  • “I didn’t know that people don’t use phone books anymore.”
  • “I didn’t know that direct mail was a waste of money.”
  • “I didn’t know that spammers get 1 response to every 12 million emails they send.”

In the Post-Information Age (Attention Age), I am convinced that the “I didn’t know” excuse is obsolete.  With all the information out there, it’s hard for me to accept it anymore.  If you don’t know something, search it on Bing, ask on Quora, or poll your social network.

So why do so many still use that excuse?

Because they don’t care enough.  They may care, but not enough to spend their evenings reading, learning, and getting with the times.

During my years of leadership and consulting, I can’t believe how many times I had to beg people to follow the advice they paid me for.  I would provide reports, research, 3rd party support, and on and on and on and on….all to motivate them to make a change for the better.

You’ve probably had similar experiences.

The funny thing is that most of what I know anymore I learned from people like you, online, for free.  I don’t generally preach things that aren’t backed up.  I’m just not smart enough to be the first one to think of anything.

So why do people ignore good advice and then claim they “didn’t know” it was wrong?

In some cases, I think it’s easier to “not know” than it is to face the reality of an ever changing world.  It’s a lot of work to be the best. However, instead of saying “I didn’t know”, they should just say “I didn’t care”.

It’s much more accurate these days.

If you’re reading this blog (or any blog), I doubt you’re one of the “don’t knowers” I’m referring to.  If you have any ideas for the group on helping people “know”, please leave your thoughts below.

Have a learning night,

Aaron@Biebert
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Invest in Relationships!

The world is going through growing pains and it’s leaving a lot of people very confused, hurting, and unemployed.

We’re in a new world of “on demand” information and entertainment, and many traditional companies are acting like deer in the headlights.

Not moving.  Not sure.

For them, familiar methods of bringing products and services to market are floundering and they aren’t hiring or growing domestically.  Some are waiting for things to return to “normal”, but we’re living in the new normal right now.

DVRs helps people skip commercials, the internet is replacing newspapers and magazines (I love Flipboard), and only 1 out of 10 people open corporate emails on average. As Gary Vaynerchuk said at a tweetup event last night in Milwaukee, “People aren’t looking at billboards…they aren’t even looking at the ****ing road!”

The same goes for nearly all marketing communications from unfamiliar faces or brands.  Everyone is too busy texing, tweeting, and “facebooking”  to pay attention.

Times are changing and we’re not going back.

We’re now in the Attention Age, and companies are going to have to find new ways to get our attention.  It won’t be easy.  Wives may think husbands are bad at listening, but the modern world is even worse when it comes to traditional advertising.

In one ear and out the other.

Another thing Gary said got my attention.  He said that everything in his latest book “The Thank You Economy” would be irrelevant in 5 years as marketers (like me) find ways to crawl into every successful way of getting our attention.  As they actively seek our eyes and ears, marketers always find a way to ruin what’s working (email, banner ads, etc.) and they’ll ruin social media too.

So what is a safe long term investment?

Relationships.

People are usually loyal to their friends, business partners, and favorite brands.  No matter what happens in the future, if you build real relationships and take care of your clients, friends, and followers, they will take care of you.

How?  If you don’t start using social media tools now, you may not figure it in time.  These tools are valuable for creating and strengthening relationships, but you need to get on it before it is ruined by marketers and the window of opportunity closes.

Seize the day!  Engage on social media.  Invest in relationships.  Do some business.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.” – Unknown

New tools, same rules.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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In Defense of a 2-Year-Old Secretariat

While reading Warren Buffett’s letter to the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders last week, I came across something very interesting.

Apparently, Warren Buffett just hired 39-year-old Todd Combs as part of his succession plan.  Some are up in arms, saying he “lacks experience” and is too green.  Since Todd and I share the same generation, I was intrigued by the following explanation by the “Oracle of Omaha” himself:

“Our goal was to find a 2-year-old Secretariat, not a 10-year-old Seabiscuit.”
– Warren Buffett

I want to be clear that I have absolutely no problem with experienced people.  In fact, I’m on the lookout for an experienced mentor myself.  I believe that experience may bring additional maturity, strength, and other positive traits to a person.

However, in a time when our world is changing faster than ever before, I want to caution people who focus on “experience” rather than talent and learning ability.

Just look at the last 10 years, as Google went mainstream and some of the most popular marketing tools in the world wove themselves into the fabric our lives:

  • Wikipedia (2001)
  • Linkedin (2003)
  • Facebook (2004)
  • YouTube (2005)
  • Twitter (2006)
  • iPhone (2007)
  • Groupon (2007)
  • Foursquare (2009)

The Attention Age has begun!

With New Media entering the stage, business leaders must deal with 24 hour news cycles and the collective attention span of a world constantly seeking out the next big thing.

Personally, I’m enjoying it.

I’m embracing it.  I’m learning it.  I’m living it.

Whether you’re a “10-year-old Seabiscuit” or a “2-year-old Secretariat”, one thing is for certain:

Experience isn’t as important as it used to be.

We’re all students in these new and exciting times, and the leaders who are best with creativity, learning, and vision will win big.

Todd, I’ll be cheering you on.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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