Is Social Media The Next Big Bang?

I am currently engrossed in the most amazing book by Bill Bryson, some of you will probably have read it already – “A Short History of Nearly Everything” for which he won the prestigious Aventis Prize in 2004 for best general science book. It’s a remarkable book and I believe the world would be a better place if it was mandatory in every school library.

I know I would certainly have taken an interest in science if this book was around in my day and had been readily available to break down the mysteries of atoms and photons.

Bill Bryson is a gifted story-teller and he presents the study of science through this book in an articulate, friendly and light-hearted way and more importantly, in a language everyone can understand.

The most curious thing happened when I was reading this book that had a profound effect on me.  Now I’ve only read the first few chapters so far but no matter what page I turned I couldn’t stop thinking about the incredible similarities between The Big Bang Theory and the arrival of Social Media… it’s quite extraordinary.

Night lights of US West Coast

What about this analogy?

The Big Bang Theory and social media both appeared as uncontrollable events, a force majeure, something that took hold at a moment in time and has been spreading ever since.

“It took three minutes for 98 per cent of all the matter there is or ever will be to be produced and voila! The Universe was born.”

I’m not saying that the “coming” of social media technology was conceived and completed in three minutes, but we do know that this phenomena exploded onto mainstream consciousness in a similar fashion and expanded with a parallel intensity … and is still spreading.

Both events appeared with a “hiss and a roar” on a magnitude of universal proportions.

Social media keeps on expanding…

“In less than a minute the Universe is a million miles across and growing fast.”

In less than six years social media has made a major impact on our lives… and continues to mature and grow on a daily basis.

And what about this from the Book?

“In 1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were troubled by a persistent background noise, a steady stream of hiss that was relentless and unfocused. It came from every point in the sky, day and night, through every season”.

(Does this remind you of  a small flightless blue bird that has its lodgings in every corner of the world?)

It was eventually discovered that this “persistent background noise” was in fact the edge of the Universe – some 90 trillion miles away!
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Marketing With Twitter! It’s Not All About ROI

Twitter marketing is about giving and sharing information2012 will be the year for businesses of all sizes to seriously acknowledge social media.

Business owners now have an exceptionally powerful and proven marketing tool to add to their portfolio – Twitter!

As we all know Twitter is one of the largest social networks in the world and if you take the time to create and shape a strategy that integrates with your other marketing methods you will certainly reap the benefits.

To understand how marketing with Twitter brings business success can be a daunting prospect if you are not familiar with the nuances of Twitter and it definitely pays to get it right.

Unfortunately most companies are missing out on this opportunity simply because they have not taken the time to understand how Twitter can work for their business.

In his book  “The Tao of Twitter” Mark Schaefer says “I have studied, observed and written about hundreds of different success stories through Twitter and the social web and they all have one common formula running through them.  This is truly the path, the way, the Tao of Twitter.”  

He goes on to describe the business benefits of Twitter as being created through three elements  – one of these is “Authentic Helpfulness.”

In the case studies below I demonstrate how all of these connections have occurred through ‘authentic helpfulness’.

In all cases there was never a pitch for business and no sales page to convert leads.

The connections were made through the genuine desire to offer valuable information to educate and help other business owners understand how they too can reach out to find potential business and partnerships using social media.

As Schaefer says “Content is the new currency of the social web and sharing valuable information is the catalyst to forming new relationships and business partnerships”.
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The Social Media Benefits Of Telling Tall Tales!

What are some of your most cherished childhood memories?

…your most loved activities as a child you have grown up with and continued to love as an adult?

Most of the activities and pleasures we love as children change as we mature and become immersed in adulthood and all the trappings of maturity – career, travel, marriage and families of our own to start the cycle over again.

There does however seem to be one aspect of our childhood that never loses it’s appeal – and that is storytelling.

Tall tales bring social media benefits

 

Just think about it for a minute, at any given time you are either listening to a story being told, you are regaling one to a friend or audience, you are reading someone a story or reading one yourself.

Some smart educators and trainers use storytelling to teach new programmes, managers use them in resolving conflicts, addressing issues and facing challenges and many games are based around stories often in an outrageous form with hyperbole gaining the highest points!

Even your best kept secrets destined only for the most private ears – are stories!

Our existence is one big story made up of thousands of tales that weave together the fabric of our lives, chapters that inspire, sadden, excite, rejuvenate, sparkle, enthuse, bring a delightful end to a long day, evoke buried memories and bring joy and laughter into our lives.

Stories can also frighten, agitate, cause discomfort, scare to death, unnerve, disappoint and make you sad.

You will at some time have come across brilliant raconteurs who can recount their anecdotes and experiences with a talent that leaves you feeling the pain or pleasure of their tale, as if it were your own!

You are probably wondering how this relates to the title of this article: ‘The Social Media Benefits Of Telling Tall Tales’ but before I get to this point I want to indulge you just a little bit more.
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Social Networking Etiquette Hits Rock Bottom!

Picture this!

You are at a social gathering at a friend’s place – people are dressed for an occasion, large platters of delicate finger food are being passed around, a very nice groove is playing on the sound system and there are lots of interesting people to look at and meet.

Your hostess introduces you to a small group of people you have been itching to get to know all evening (just because they look interesting to you) and now, you have the opportunity to initiate conversation and find out more about them.

Social Media EtiquetteWhat would your conversation be about?

Well if it was me, I may begin by extending a compliment, or perhaps I would share something of interest that happened to me recently that I think might be entertaining, or I may mention how the hosts have a knack for throwing a really great party…

…or some other social banter.

And I would certainly ask them about themselves in an attempt to know more about these interesting people that caught my eye…

But I would never, never, never, thrust my business card at them, criticise them or make a comment that would offend or upset them, delve into their personal lives or ask a whole lot of boring questions that would certainly make them want to leave our conversation and move on somewhere else.

My intention here (remember I find these people interesting and want to get to know them) is to befriend them, have some light conversation and see if we have anything in common.

Isn’t that the way friendships start?

It may be news to you, but this is exactly the same way you want to approach anyone in your social networking circles.

After all, don’t you want to present yourself in your best possible light – friendly, warm, entertaining and gracious?

Attributes that will make others want to engage with you and together offer small insights as to the kind of people you are and see what each other has to offer? Remember, the objective here is to engage in conversation (not dominate) in the hope they will come back for more.

I am continually amazed by some of the conversations I see on the various social media platforms, particularly on Twitter.
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Lists on Twitter – Experienced Marketers Use This Small Trick To Get Big Results!

I am a lists person, I love making lists – some would say it was an obsession…

It’s  a common trait that a fellow Aries will instantly recognize.  So I can’t wait to share with you my new favourite list for 2012 – it’s Lists on Twitter – and it has become the crème de la crème of my social media tools.

There are so many reasons why I love this – it keeps all my favourite Twitter users in one place, gives me easy access, saves time, cuts out out all the noise on Twitter I don’t want and it gets me to where I want to be – instantly.

Using lists on Twitter to save time

Lists on Twitter is the most incredibly helpful tool in many ways and once you start using it – you will wonder how you ever got on without it.

As we all know Twitter is a microblogging service and it has become a social media phenomenon with more than 250 million users.

Twitter is changing the way we communicate!  It has rocketed into the mainstream and has vastly modernized the way customers view products and brands, so there is no need to reiterate here the power of this social media giant.

To get to know your way around Twitter and leverage it’s power for your business is not only smart, but to be quite honest – imperative! There is no doubt about it, Twitter is here to stay.  By implementing great Twitter techniques like Lists you can really start to recognize and measure Twitter’s impact and value.

Let’s talk about Twitter lists – you will see how easy this feature is to use.

Twitter gives you the capacity to create up to 20 lists and to follow as many lists as you want that others have created. As an example, you could put your friends in one list, your closest collaborators in another, your social media favourites in another, your gardening friends in one, your best bloggers in another and so on…

The Lists feature enables you to compile a list featuring all your favourite Twitter users. The really cool thing is once you have got your lists established it will provide you with a huge amount of information right at your fingertips for you to read and share.  Just by creating lists you have freed up the time you would have spent hunting around for valuable information from blogs and publications online.

It’s this easy:
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Tactical Twitter Techniques To Drive Engagement With Influencers

Who are the influencers in your industry niche?

How do you find them on Twitter?

How do you begin to engage with them on Twitter?

There are a number of techniques which can be highly effective in finding and beginning conversations with the influential Twitter users who you would like to build a relationship with.

Twitter for social media But first of all there is an extremely important point to be aware of…

Stop pitching!

Yes, if you want to be taken at all seriously in social media circles then you MUST stop the hard sell!

It is the first thing that will turn off the engagement tap for any users – not just influential ones. You have heard a thousand times that social media is where you build relationships, give value, join conversations… and I am telling you this is 100% the reality!

There has been a very powerful shift away from the pitch and it probably has a lot to do with consumers drowning in advertising messages, some overt and some covert. People hate being sold to and they particularly hate being sold to in a social or community space.

Next up – how is your online image?

Pay attention to how you look! What is your image like? Is it really cool to use the image of you with the wrestling mask on?… or your dog?… or an image you pinched off Google?…

Use a really good image! Not a posed photographer’s studio shot, but a warm, interesting human photo of you!

The most powerful short message about yourself is your bio!
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10 Personality Types You Don’t Want Managing Your Social Media

It is absolutely essential that your social media business pages are managed by someone who understands your brand, your company philosophies and the goals of the social media campaign.

Too often we see the reins being passed to a junior staff member because they already have a Facebook page or are on Twitter! Or anyone who knows anything at all about Facebook or Twitter.

Prepare for the slow-motion train wreck that will inevitably follow.

Take careful note of the recent celebrity tweets that have landed the tweeter in hot water or the badly handled brand reputation crises that have gone viral and done irreparable damage to the company name.

This is an area that needs professional management…

But just for a bit of fun I have outed the personality types that you want absolutely nowhere near your social media marketing management!

1. The Reactive Type

You know this one! Every communication from another social media user which seems like it is in any way critical is replied with a serious put-down or an insult. Think of the stand-up comic delivering a witty one-liner to a heckler. Except in social media it isn’t humourous at all – it looks like your company is paranoid and has a bit of a nasty streak! And you will alienate not only those that the sarcasm is directed at but most other people who read it as well.

2. The non-listener

Yes, a very familiar beast this one. You know the people you are in the middle of a conversation with who can’t wait for you to finish what you are saying because they have something way more important to share. They are likely to talk over the top of you and glaze over as soon as you reply so they can think of the next momentous comment! Put these ones in charge of your social media pages and they will talk at people all day long but never engage in a real conversation by actually listening.

3. The Drunk Tweeter

Oh dear! It has been a fun night out hasn’t it? “I’m abshowludely fiiine… I might just share some really hilari… hilari… funny things on Twitter…” That’s not the company account you have just logged into is it? This is probably not the best time to make fun of the CEO of the company is it? And you may not think that photo you took on your iPhone at 1am is quite so funny in the cold sober light of day! D’oh!

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Social Media For Businesses – How To Lose Friends And Irritate People!

We have all met them – male and female – at some stage in a social situation. They will be the one at the party who you can’t help but notice – not because they have a cool haircut, a great derriere or just that…. je ne sais quoi!

Social media for businesses tipsNo, sadly the reason you have to notice them is because they are right there – in your face.  They demand the attention of everyone in the room from the minute they walk in talking loudly (about themselves), they are not interested in anything you might have to say, they are completely oblivious about social etiquette and don’t even have the slightest awareness of the art of conversation or that this involves listening as well as talking.

After ramming their views down your throat in a bullish forceful manner, they move on to the next victim leaving you exhausted and drained after only a few minutes in their company…

These social bores sure make an impression on us – but for all the wrong reasons.

These are the people we talk about the day after the party “OMG, did you see that guy at the party last night – all he did was brag about himself the whole night, not only was he completely boorish and vulgar – but he wasn’t smart, witty or interesting by any stretch of the imagination.

And so it is with Social Media Bores…
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Social Search! What Is It And How Does It Affect Twitter Business Use?

Using Twitter Or Facebook For Business?

Well, they have been working on the concept of Social Search for some time now (they being both Google and Bing)!

And, now, finally it is here…

And the repercussions for online marketing are massive.

The advent of Social Search has blasted the importance of Facebook and Twitter into the stratosphere!

Take a look at this video from Google to see how this works: Google’s New Social Search Video Here

I have been banging on for a long time now about how important marketing with social media is for any business and I have also been quite clear on a couple of very important points.

Is your business ready?

Numbers in social media are important!

It is not all about ego either – the more potential people you can communicate with and send information to the more potential customers and business people you can build relationships with.

Let’s not forget though that social media marketing is not about pitching the whole time. It is about sharing quality content with in-depth analysis, opinions, researched articles as well as sharing things that interest you in order to build a full picture of who you are and what you are about.

It is about being grateful when some other social media user shares your content with their friends or followers.

And it is about knowing how often to speak – does the thought of following someone who has tweeted 60,000 times terrify you too? Unfollow quickly!
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