Wednesday, April 23, 2014

mindfulness in social media

The concept of mindfulness in business is not new, but in this age of complexity it can’t be over-emphasized that we need more of it. Especially in social media, taking the time to actively notice what’s going on before engaging can lead to a more focused, enlightening and productive experience for everyone.

When you take time to really listen you’re gifted with new perspective on what’s happening around you. What your customers want. What your business and your family needs. What YOU need. You’re also more open to adapting your current beliefs by taking the perspective of others into consideration before you make decisions. This is a trait of many respected leaders. Thought leaders listen first and act thoughtfully and with more than average insight.

How does mindfulness manifest in a social business?
With a little focused attention you’ll quickly see the benefits.

  • Better awareness of the needs of your market
  • Seeing changes in the marketplace more quickly
  • Responding to issues within your company or customer feedback online before things get out of hand
  • Develop deeper relationships
  • Greater awareness of what generates positive reactions to what you post online
  • The ability to be generous with your knowledge and praise for others’

Doesn’t all this being mindful take too much energy?
Rather than an energy suck, being mindful can help you be more responsive and sensitive to what’s going on around you and spend less time reacting on auto pilot (and then repairing the damage). Instead of letting the cacophony of social media and business matters drive you, take control of what you allow to be important.

Knee jerk reactions to a flame war on Twitter are not going to make things better. Taking a moment to step back for perspective, creating a little space between your emotions and the keyboard can make a huge difference in how your business is perceived by others. Trust me, taking back negative comments posted in the heat of a flame war is going to be much harder than taking a breath, looking at things with a fresh perspective and responding mindfully.

I love this talk from Loic Le Meur at Wisdom 2.0. He says the more technology we have, the more we interact on social networks, get emails and text messages, the more we need to slow down. I agree wholeheartedly.

It’s about people, not numbers
So much of what we see businesses doing on social media these days is about building fans, follows, connections and leads. How many times do we have to tell you that being a social business is about relationships and not numbers?  I want a brand to see me as a person, not fan #23,406,204.

Pure Matter’s Bryan Kramer says: “As our businesses become more complex, it’s up to all of us to work harder at humanizing our approach in everything we do. “  As social businesses interact more on a human level we can interact more naturally and listen to each other our own inner voices. Business people who practice mindful business and learn to listen and connect with those around them create deeper and stronger relationships. Mindfulness should be at the core of your strategy for a social business.

Nest week I’ll post here about how you can make your social business strategy more mindful.

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crowdfunding for nonprofitsPretty much everybody understands the concept of crowdfunding, a bunch of people get together around a great idea, share it with the world and they get rich right?

Yeah, not exactly. You’ve got to have a solid plan and hopefully either a large social network or access to people who have large and engaged networks to help you. Crowdfunding is definitely easier if you’re already in a social business mindset. [click to continue…]

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billboard-in-the-desertContent marketing is the new buzzword on the lips of every marketer these days, but what does it mean for your newly social business?

The easy answer is that depends

  • It depends on what your goals are and how you plan to measure your success.
  • It depends on whether  you can consistently create content that is of high quality, useful and shareable by the people you need to care about it.
  • It depends on if you have a clear picture of who you want to reach and why.
  • It depends on if you can clearly show your value proposition through the content you create.
  • It depends on if you are in this for the long haul or expect to do a little work and reap fantastic rewards and manna will fall from the sky.

[click to continue…]

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LinkedIn Influencer BlogsIn 2012 Linkedin launched the beginning of what has become a powerful stream of thought leadership blogs through their “LinkedIn Influencer” program. The likes of Gretchen Rubin, Richard Branson, Dharmesh Shah and Beth Kanter to name a few, have been lending their voice to LinkedIn and making it a pretty darn awesome content platform. Many of these people have well over 100,000 followers on LinkedIn and it’s growing quickly.

The best part about the Influencer blogs is the ability to share their insight with your social networks and the conversations generated on LinkedIn and other platforms. Raising the level of conversation world-wide is a powerfiul way for someone to become a true social influencer and share their knowledge.

Needless to say there has been a lot of “me too, me too!” coming from lesser known but equally intelligent authors and today LinkedIn opened it’s publishing platform to the larger group of it’s members.

25,000 members will have the opportunity to create their own influencer posts on the LinkedIn platform, and they’ll be expanding that number over the next few months.

Published posts will become part of the member’s public profile and shared with their network on Linkedin. Members can follow the blogs of other members even if they are not in their networks and interact on their blog posts.

A really important part of this is the ability to finally post rich content that is seen on your profile. Videos, images and original SlideShare presentations can be embedded right in your blog post. These rich profiles will tell the world much more about you than the static resumes many people still have on the their profiles on LinkedIn.

How does this work?
If you’ve been given access to the publishing platform you’ll see the option in your profile in the “Share an Update” box on your homepage. Simply click the “edit” icon and you’ll be in the editor. It’s a fairly bare-bones editor but you can do basic formatting and upload images, presentations etc.. Learn more about LinkedIn’s publishing platform and best practices for successful posts.

Did you get access to the new platform? Share your link below so we can follow your progress!

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Social Media is Not a Direct Sales Channel

February 12, 2014

Let’s think for a moment about how great–really great–sales people deal with initiating a sale. Do they just walk up to someone at random on the street and say “Hi, my name is Jill and you’ve GOT to buy this product!” without ever knowing anything about the person, what they need, or warming up the [...]

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This Is Social, Watch Your Mouth

December 23, 2013

No, this isn’t another diatribe against Justine Sacco, I think she’s had enough. It’s a gentle reminder, dear reader, to watch your mouth in public. Cuz that’s what Twitter is you know, it’s public. I don’t care what social network you’re on actually, or who you are, if you wouldn’t say it to a crowd in [...]

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There Is No Free Social Media For Business

December 10, 2013

Waay back in the 1990s I co-founded a startup on-line community for the restaurant industry. Ontherail was smart, funny, beautifully illustrated and edgy, and we had a rabid subscriber base of restaurant folk. Blogs were in their infancy and we used bulletin boards and comment streams on posts to communicate with our user-base and we [...]

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Google Helpouts- Small Biz Boon?

November 6, 2013

We are big fans of the Google Hangout around here. I frequently do hangouts to meet with clients and potential clients, and I co-host a weekly hangout on-air called The Friday Hangout with Steve Farnsworth and Adam Helweh featuring industry leaders in digital marketing and we have a pretty good following. Now Google’s introduced a [...]

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Custom Short URLs for Google+ At Last!

October 30, 2013

Tired of explaining why you have a long string of numbers as the URL for your Google+ page? Then you’ll be as excited as I am to hear Google+ is finally rolling out custom URLs for both personal profiles and pages. The next time you log in you’ll notice a bar across the top of [...]

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Content Marketing Is Nothing New

October 17, 2013

It cracks me up when a client calls and asks me about “this new content marketing thing”.  Honestly, we’re so hung up on buzzwords these days we can’t see the forest for the trees! I came across this infographic that perfectly explains it. Geez, can anything that dates back to 4200 B.C. be called new? [...]

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