Being well connected has always had its advantages.
The old school tie, family money, the right circles, the right clubs and contacts have always been great for those on the inside, but now, being connected is taking on a new meaning.
Just like the old style connections, these new ones can get you business, influence, jobs, upgrades and loans.
The bracelet on the left is a Nike Fuelband. It links to your iphone and measures your activity throughout the day, recording calories burnt, miles covered, heartrate etc., etc.
You might think this is just a sports accessory but it isn't.
Your results are also recorded on you social networking sites and you can set up competitions with work colleagues ...... are any alarm bells ringing yet?
How long before your 'activity score' affects more than your health?
We've already heard of airlines and hotels upgrading people based on their Klout score (this is not an endorsement of Klout - it is a deeply flawed algorithm - try Kred or PeerIndex instead). Some employers are already asking for a minimum 'social influence' score. How long before they ask for your activity score too?
What if health insurance companies offered lower premiums to those with a good Nike Fuel score? How long is it going to be before this becomes a reality?
Banks are looking at people's 'social connectedness' and social network activity to help them decide who they'd like as customers. This is not much different to the old days when someone 'vouched' for you as a good risk.
You are already being judged on your connections or lack them, whether you like it or not.
How do your customers see you?
Don't tell me your customers aren't on-line so you don't need to be. Generation X and Generation Y is over. Being connected on line is not about age any more. If your customer has a grouse about your service on Facebook or Twitter and you're not there to pick it up and turn it to your advantage by showing the world what great customer relationships you have, you're not going to survive for long.
Customers and clients are behaving differently. They ask their on-line friends for recommendations and they trust them over any fancy advertising. They expect to be able to connect with you on-line without any barriers and they'll check you out before they buy anything from you. If you're not there forget it.
It's easier than ever before to get connected.You don't need to have gone to a good school, have family money, be a celebrity or a millionaire, you just need to know how to talk to real people. This is not about social 'media' or social 'marketing' its about treating people as individuals, being more interested than interesting, asking questions instead of pitching, building relationships and building trust.
"What's the ROI?" is the wrong question. No one knew that Amazon was going to be the death of giant retail book stores when it launched. Right up until the tables turned the figures showed that Amazon was making less profit than the high street stores. When that changed, it was too late for them to catch up. If they'd gone on line at the same time as Amazon who knows what the results might have been.
If you are watching and waiting to see what happens instead of being one of the people that makes things happen, pretty soon you'll be asking "What the hell happened?"
If you'd like help getting connected to your customers and clients just email me or call me on 07711 705038