'Shareology: How Sharing is Powering the Human Economy' – click here to buy from Amazon

Martin: Hello everybody. I’m joined today by a chip-eating Bryan Kramer. We can hear them in the background. You can just carry on. It’s lunchtime. We’re both in CA. We’re almost stretching distance here.

And Bryan has got a fantastic book, Shareology! Which is out and doing understandably well in Amazon. It’s got a beautiful cover. Love the cover. And I read it last week. Really enjoyed it.

I said to Bryan before we got started, it’s got a corporate feel to it. You’ll see what I mean. It’s got a depth and it will take social in a slightly different way for some people. And I like that.

Always a chance to see people’s world view and their perspectives when they write. And a great opportunity in this hangout. So welcome Bryan. Good to see you.

I feel I know you already. We’ve never hung out.

Bryan: I know. Isn’t that crazy about social media?

Martin: I know. So we’ve got Persicope going on. So if I look over that once in a while. Bryan’s coming on the main screen.

So let’s start. I’ll tell you what I thought. I will zip through, almost chapter by chapter. But tell me the back story. Let’s give a little bit of the back story to Shareology.

Bryan: Yeah, so the book was really written with the idea that as we’ve grown up, we have not really learned how to share in school other than maybe in kindergarten. So one of the things that I think is really more of a skill that we learn, rather than taught classroom-style way, sharing in Shareology was written to help fulfill the art and the science of sharing, because it is both.

It’s not one without the other. So I did 250+ interviews with people of all walks of life – executives, social media, linguists, psychologists, sociologists, PhDs, great executives, CEOs, large companies and small companies.

And really it was all done with the idea that everyone, especially right now with the era of social and the sharing economy, the collaborative economy, whatever you want to call it. I call it the human economy. It’s necessary, important for us to all learn, how, when, why, where to share.

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So that’s the premise of the book. And the book is broken down into two parts: Share and Ology. The art and the science. And you can skip around if you are more interested in the art or the science. You can skip to one or the other.

That’s pretty much the idea behind it.

Martin: Let’s start and look at the sharing economy. Let’s explore a little bit more, because we were talking social a minute ago. What do you see, and particularly from your interviews? What do you think the current wave is with this?

What are the current feels? Are people resisting this, or are people getting swept up into it?

Bryan: I think it’s been well received. I’m going to find out the book numbers here today. So I’m not exactly sure what they are yet.

But #Shareology has reached over 300M imprints. And it’s continued to, if you go on Facebook and look up #Shareology, I’m getting about 10-15 book selfies a day.

Martin: Nice!

Bryan: Thank you for that. So I think everybody has been very excited by it. And I know there’s been a lot of books on social media. This book is not just about social. This is about the evolution of sharing.

And it’s the before-during but it’s also the future. So it’s present to future. I have a future part in terms of where I think sharing is going.

It’s changed over the years. And it also incorporates the physical-digital room like Uber and Airbnb and how we share our physical things. How we order things that are app services that are sharing a co-created economy.

So there’s a lot of different aspects to sharing. And I tried to cover a lot of that throughout the book.

Martin: Cool. Let’s have a look at – I’m zipping through the chapters. Contextual Shape Shifting. Can you say a little bit about that?

Bryan: So Contextual Shape Shifting is the digital to physical world. That’s where eventually we’ll be able to share and literally shape things together.

Like for instance, there’s a way right now where you can actually imagine a big ball of clay. And you start to shape that clay into something, into a square, a figure, a statue of something, whatever.

Now that shape shift, that clay is actually little micro balls that allow you to actually physically shape something like a statue or a shape of some kind. Now imagine that is connected to your computer and you are connected to somebody in Sweden or Australia or wherever, anywhere in the world.

And you create the shape. And then that person on the other end sees exactly that shape and they can actually help you to create this thing. So you’re both working in the physical world across the internet to physically shape something. That will be huge.

I mean, we’ve seen a lot of it coming up with Oculus Rift and 3D. Now Facebook just bought another company that allows you to pull your friends in front of you and you can see it through the 3D glasses, the Oculus Rift. You can see your hands. And your hands can actually interact with what’s inside the space that you’re seeing.

So now physical to digital world is right there in front of you. You’re helping to control things with your own hands. So this kind of thing I think is going to start to take off, not in the far future. In the near future. Like just the next year or two.

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Martin: Yeah. Have you tried Oculus Rift or one of the headsets?

Bryan: Yeah. It made me really dizzy. At the time that I did it, the development of the space or the animation is really key to the UX, the user experience. And it can make you really dizzy if they don’t design it right and it’s not high definition.

So I think it’s come along. I think by the time we all start to see it they’ll have those bugs worked out.

Martin: Worth keeping an eye on. This is a little headset for the mini thing. And that’s, great apps. Anyway, I’m slightly obsessed by VR stuff.

Good. So coming back – this is what I got from the book. What you were just talking out with the clay, I mean, it’s metaphoric as well, isn’t it? But you’ve also got, the technology is changing how you connect and changing what you can do.

And you can’t always imagine what’s going to happen next. But this is what I was saying about the wave – we’re in it. We’re part of it. And the more connected you are, the more the network’s there, which I know we’ll start talking about, the more you get the opportunity to do things, whatever that looks like.

Which brings me to the Human Business Movement because you’ve been talking about human to human, H2H for quite a while.

Bryan: Yeah.

Martin: There was no question there Bryan. You’re pausing, like, is he going to ask a question? No. This is your realm.

Bryan: Yeah, so H2H, I wrote that almost 2 years ago now. And it was a really vital part of what I think led up to Shareology because first you need to understand the human factors involved in sharing and why we’re here to connect. And then I think the evolution to that is how do you connect, and that’s the sharing aspect.

So it really is evolved over the last few years since I wrote Human to Human. And I think still very relevant. I’m not sure that the term will go out of style any time soon. For H2H, it still carries true, because there are so many. People that are trying to automate systems, their email, their responses, and so forth.

At the end of the day, I’m not sure that’s winning. I don’t think it’s carrying as much weight as a relationship does. When we think back to door-to-door salesmen and how much effort and work it took for them to do that. I’m not sure there’s a way around that other than really putting in the hard work.

There are systems in place. I’m not against email marketing or demand gen, anything that’s automated. What I am really trying to focus in on there is how do you get a little bit more personalized, a little bit more customer-centric. So personalized meaning don’t just blast your list out to 100K people and call it a day.

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Some of the fundamentals of marketing, which marketers already know, but a lot of people still don’t do, and we get all these emails all the time. And we get spammed all the time, which is ridiculous. And they could easily segment us into smaller groups and have messages that really resonate with us. And feed us content that really matters.

We don’t want to unsubscribe all the time. But that’s only the first part of it. The relationship opens and closes the process. It’s the reason that you don’t leave a brand. When you have a relationship with a brand, you don’t want to leave that brand.

And if a real human knows you by name, now you’re even more screwed. Because now they know you, and you know they know you. So building a relationship goes miles. But if you take it the opposite approach, they don’t pay attention, they don’t know you, then you can be a brand shifter. And most people are.

Most people are able to shift brands at a moment’s notice. Whether it’s a car that you have to trade in or a phone. It could be a computer, anything sitting around you. We have 100s of brands sitting around us on our desk and in our cars between home and work. We can shift in a moment’s notice.

And this is a real fickle time for brands to start building relationships so that it really does make it harder to leave because they have paid attention. They do care about it.

Martin: And how do you be delightful in that situation?

Bryan: Delight comes in lots of different flavors. You have to be delightful, first of all, in a way that’s not creepy. Creepy can go in a couple of wrong ways. And I think that’s where we’re going to have to watch ourselves, especially as personalization gets huge in the next few years.

But being delightful, especially being unexpectedly delightful, can be in a couple of ways. I describe one situation in the book. It’s a story about my college job that I had as a pizza driver. I was trying to make tips. It was in a college town. It was hard for me to make tips, because college students don’t tip that much for pizza or for anything.

So I heard what they said. They said they were really thirsty. I never had soda or anything on me, because they didn’t order it. But I was at the grocery store one day, and I saw 2-liters on sale for $0.50 for 2, so $0.25 / apiece.

I bought the whole pallet and put it in the back of my Chevy blue old Blazer. And with a medium or large, I delivered a 2-liter. And I would hand it to them. Half the time, they were stoned, because it was college. So they were really excited when I said, here you go, and I handed them a 2-liter.

And they said, oh my God! I’m so thirsty! I’m so glad that you brought this. I didn’t think I ordered that. And I said, nope. You didn’t. That’s on me. It’s for free. And where I was getting no tips before, now I was getting $5 and $10 in tips.

And at the end of the night, I’d make several $100. And it was all because I was delivered unexpected delight for something that they needed. I was listening to what they needed and that helped.

A month later I was called into the office and told I had to stop doing that because the other drivers weren’t taking 2-liters, and they were getting calls that they weren’t getting the 2-liters. And I argued that they should start doing it as a promotion.

But anyway, the point is that we have to deliver unexpected value to our customers. And it has to be done in a way where you just feel like there’s something special. It can be like my Ted Rubin says, a smile, or a thank you. Or it could be something that helps them to feel good about their purchase or a personal note. Thank you’s go a long way.

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There are so many ways to do it; it doesn’t have to be a 2-liter. But it could be something that really makes somebody’s day.

Martin: Let’s talk a little bit about listening.

Bryan: Listening is probably the first and most important thing I think everyone should do in life, in our day to day work, and especially online. People ask me where to begin and what to do. They’re just building their profiles and they don’t know what to do.

And I think it’s important that everyone does a little bit of research first and just explores through listening what people are talking about. We had a very big, one of the top culinary schools as a client that was in NY and they’ve got locations around the world. And they hired us to do some social media content.

So we came in and the first thing we did was we listened. We went online and we listened to what everybody was saying. We put in the keyword term, I want to become a chef. And it was really interesting because we got over 25K comments a day just for that one phrase.

Then it became time to whittle that down and find the needles in the haystack for people who were serious. That’s where social listening software comes into play, where you can see the serious vs the non-serious. Everybody wants to be a chef at some point, but who really wants to go to school for it.

So then we can whittle that down to just those and offer up helpful content or directly say, we can help you. But social listening allows you to find them. And that’s something you would have never been able to do before.

So listening is probably the mother of all skills, and the mother of all skills online as well.

Martin: I’ve got to say to everyone on Periscope, there is so much in the book. It’s got 220 pages. Just little tasters of bits. But it gives you an idea. It’s great to get a perspective of your personal story.

Influences, Bryan? Where are things with influences these days? I’ve been so fortunate, largely due to Mike Stelzner and Social Media Examiner and connecting with people. The space for me has changed, because it’s about adding value, one conversation at a time, listening and learning from you guys that are so much more established in this space than I am.

It’s like, it’s not so much that they’re influencers. They’re just people that are further along or better at certain things. There are teachers and mentors. And Chris Brogan has been an amazing mentor.

How do you see influencers in the space now? You personally? And we can come to the more corporate, because of the value of spreading information and things.

Bryan: I believe that everybody is an influencer on something. We all have influence, whether it’s online or offline, doesn’t matter.

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Everybody has something that they’re passionate about, whether they know it or not. If you strike up a conversation with somebody on something that they are passionate about, which I believe everybody has one thing that they know really well, more than anything else – at least one, maybe more.

Then they will start talking about it, and you can probably get more than your fair share of information from that person. And what makes them unique is the fact that they are so excited or passionate or went to school or however they built up their knowledge about it, that you can obviously see that they’re interested.

And that makes them an influencer because you would trust them. You know that they know a lot about that product. So it’s really important that in today’s social era you start identifying who in your business is an influencer or could influence. Because they could be more powerful than anything else you do.

There’s a great book by my friend Sam Fiorella called Influencer Marketing. And I quoted him in the book and did an interview with him. It’s a great book to pick up. There’s a lot of stuff out there on influencer marketing, but that’s the best one.

One of the things that we’re able to do is with influencers, you’re able to build relationships with these people, and you’re able to show them maybe more behind the scenes than you could do with the masses.

And at that point, once you’ve given them enough information, a couple of things can take place. One, maybe they share it with everyone else. Maybe they write blogs or share it on social media. Maybe they just simply share it with their friends, which is phenomenal unto itself.

Like we were talking about before. When people share things that you trust, they’re going to sell it. And then the other thing is if something happens, you also have started to build a community of people who feel like a VIP of your company. So they might be able to help you in any given time, when something might happen. They can come to your rescue, without asking, because they know the answer.

Maybe they start to support your product or service simply because they care. And all of these ways go miles once you start to hear an influencer talk about a product or service. It’s way better than a brand.

It’s why PR debatably did well. Some people think it didn’t. But I think PR does well. And this is another extension of, or I should say an integration of PR and social media, where you’re integrating this great collaboration. And you can see the results.

I mean, there are metrics for it that you can put down. It can be more – some people call them egometrics. But you can see impressions that people are creating online, or blogs, or direct clicks and links and stuff like that. So there’s a lot there.

Martin: Super. What is your favorite social platform? Do you have one?

Bryan: Favorite.

Martin: Like one of your children, exactly.

Bryan: Right now I would probably have to say Facebook would be the most favorite. Quick follow up. My personal favorite on the non-business side is Instagram. And then my business favorite on the non-personal side is Twitter.

LinkedIn is probably last on the list. I do enjoy LI though. I do use LI. I just find a little bit more engagement and value on Facebook.

Martin: There are a lot of conversations. There’s what I say, “you lot.” You know who I mean, which is great. And there’s a huge amount of engagement on everybody’s content. Which is you or Ruben or Mike Stelzner and so on.

And it’s a very social place, isn’t it? Facebook.

Bryan: Yeah, it really is.

Martin: So, next. Let’s have a quick look – there’s so much here! Brands on sharing. What did you learn? Because you interviewed people around this, I believe. What was the brands on sharing?

Bryan: Yeah, Jay Curley, that’s a good one. He is the head of social for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. And he gave me an interview around that they’re just not an ice cream company. They’re more than that.

They’re community-driven. It’s interesting because they drive value back to the entire supply chain. So the dairy farms that supply the milk to make the ice creams, they go feature and support those dairy farms. So it’s not just taking and buying them from a vendor.

They also see them as an inclusive community. So they wanted to take that idea and go further with it on social media. So they do a really good job there.

They reach out to each of the different communities and asked them to share something that was euphoric to them. And to take a picture of it on Instagram. And they had people showing with #EuphoricMoments. And then they took the community’s photos, with their permission, and turned them into ads – billboards, and so forth.

And really showed those moments. But they showed them locally. So they ran the billboard in the same town of the person who shared that photo. So they were proud because they saw their photo up on the billboard. So it was very local, community-focused, and it went back to their whole ideal of building community and helping people to celebrate their local nature.

So I think it was a cool campaign. I also think it’s something anyone can do. It’s got something any community, any size company could also do that.

Martin: Right. Now, talking about community, there are two people. Mari Smith, Mike Stelzner. In the last section, let’s talk about Mike first. Because that’s where I got brought into – I say you lot – I feel part of it now.

He built a community around Social Media Examiner. When did you get involved in connections there? Has that been going on for a long time?

Bryan: I think two years now. And it was right around when my book H2H came out. He reached out to me and said that he was really impressed with the book and wanted to – he asked me to speak at Social Media World based upon what he had read.

And from there, we struck up a friendship and have since been on his podcast twice and spoken at his event twice. And yeah, it’s a really cool community. He’s just a great guy and done such a great job.

Martin: What tips does he have in the book on the future of social platforms? You’re not going to remember now. I know what it’s like when people ask you those questions.

There is a future to social platforms and it’s community. Let’s go for that.

Bryan: Yeah. That’s like on page 72, line 3.

Martin: Yeah-yeah-yeah. The editor wrote that word. Cool.

Bryan: No, the crux of what he talks about and what I think he’s really good at is how he manages his community. And he does a really good job of managing his community. But he also talks through the process of – I think he has like 300K email subscribers and pretty high numbers on his social media as well.

I would be surprised if it’s not in the 1Ms. And he’s creating two new pieces of content a day. Quality content. And he’s got a team that helps to share that out and a process for how that gets shared out.

So he walks through that entire process in the book. And I think he talks about then, as things shift, where he sees that going. But everybody by the book to see what that is.

Martin: And there’s a huge amount of people from Jay Baer, I think is fantastic. You mentioned Mari Smith. So what does Mari say? And then we’ve got Nathan, I know Frank, Eddie Aston. You mentioned about Sam Fiorella earlier.

This book, there’s a lot in it, everybody. Let’s just touch on Mari Smith before we wrap up. She’s talking about the future of brand shareability.

Bryan: She’s dynamic as you know. And she really gave a great interview for the book. As you know, she’s a very dedicated person to Facebook. And known for Facebook.

So she talks about where things are at and where she thinks things are going. And there is, and she was very honest about the brand pages and how hard it is to get traction on those pages right now and what brands can do.

And she runs through some concepts and ideas of what that is and talks about how to get things seen and some examples on that.

So she gets really practical, which is what I really enjoyed about her interview.

Martin: Awesome! Last couple of minutes, what would you like to leave people with, Bryan?

Bryan: You know, I think the one thing I would say is if you’re either looking at where to start, looking at what you to listen in on, or you’re far enough long and you really just want to figure out your metrics, keep one thing in mind. That everyone really wants to connect.

Everyone is in this world and in business and online and purchasing not only to get a product or a service but also to connect with other people. And I think if you keep that in mind across no matter what, the measurements and the analytics really show one thing. But at the end of the day, does it show what a relationship means, and that into itself – when you start to focus into the relationships and the connections you’ve made. And start to show all the many layers and circles that you have, followers, all of that.

That boils down to the hard core relationships that you’ve built. And there’s nothing more powerful.

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Martin: Beautiful! Thank you, Bryan Kramer.

Everybody watching on Periscope or Google Live, the link for Amazon for Shareology will be on the event thread. I would ask you when you buy it to review. Stay in touch with Bryan @BryanKramer. And follow him on Facebook.

If you’re watching this after, then the link is going to be on the website. So go to the book and buy it there. Remember to review it. It really helps. And also, if you’re watching it on YouTube, then the link is in the description. So please do click to buy.

Thank you so much, Bryan. I can see in the comments, people have really enjoyed you. You have given another perspective on what it is to be sharing. And really appreciate connecting.

Bryan: Thank you so much. Really appreciate it. Cheers!

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