Human Media Practices

human media tactics - isra garciaA fundamental shift is needed in the way we communicate, market and do business, this shift relies on the convergence of people, human interactions and the Social Web.

Here you have some practices that help to explain the phenomenon of Human Media and how it leverages the Social Web through Human Business Interactions.

Human Media Works

– Human relationships are the core: When I started in New Media, it was early 2008. At the beginning, I didn’t care about making a sale or doing business. What mattered to me was becoming known by a lot of people and it doesn’t mean just introducing myself, if that is all, how many people can you meet on the Social Web on a daily basis?

I started building relationships with people I have things in common, sharing information and thoughts, reading contributions from other people and commenting on them, highlighting people who were doing work that I thought mattered. All of this brought me closer to them, then from time to time I was reaching out to these people to see how things were going. Suddenly, among other things I found myself working on a New York Healthcare company’s social media project, being appointed social media adviser, for a London-based agency, blogging for the number one social media resources site and being hired to speak in countries such as Mexico, Australia or the US. It was simple, I just did one thing, being and remaining human on the Internet.

– The new thing It’s about people: When we launch an online strategy we must look at people, feelings and behaviors and not figures, numbers or stats. Everybody wants to make a quick sale and leave, that’s not how it’s working today. First we must connect creating resonance and then building a relationship based on trust, care, credibility and commitment, then people will not only buy from you, but they will also tell their friends that they should buy from you.

– Human Business rather than Social Business: Businesses are not people and people are not businesses. When we work in projects as for example we worked on Amnesia Ibiza, we don’t focus on the transactions – they happen eventually – we focus in how people interact with the people who is making the engagement and most importantly we focus on how people react when is in the club, then then only thing we do is connecting with them in persona and using the social platforms to take them where they want.

– Electrify the interaction: When you interact with people, connectiveness should arise. The best way to make this happen is giving total freedom to your staff to connect. Guidelines are ok, but are ok just for platforms and tools procedures, no human interactions, don’t be a robot.

– Human simplicity: Look at IBM, Apple, Google, Zappos or Starbucks, they keep connection and interaction simple, accessible and authentic because they know that this is the key.

– Human Branding: Brands such as Coca-Cola show and demonstrate how a brand can be humanized. The emphasis on values and feelings such as happiness, nostalgia, joy…not only this, but they share their successes as well as their failures, which undoubtedly fosters community and makes them more human and appealing.

– Human Leader: I spend more than 60% of my time interacting with people, answering emails, responding tweets, connecting and expanding relations on linkedin, commenting on other blogs, also answering comments on my blog, through Google + and of course, taking the relationship to the real world. The more I interact and connect with people, the more “lucky” I am. I confident for going throughout the 70%.

Thoughts? Do you have more Human Media practices to add?

Photo credit: ChristIAM blog.

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Implementing a Social Media Strategy

I Have been working on that white paper for some months, and trying to figure out how best explain – step by step – a social media strategy, so can guide people who want to develop a serious Social Media strategy for its business, but – and this is a great but – I’m not talking about the process going on, but focused on the development stage.

I’ve followed some steps from the latest projects I’ve been working on and then, put it together, when doing that I knew something was going to happen. It really happened, I was able to design a social media strategy based on the experience that these projects have brought to me.

How to develop a social media strategy - Isra Garcia

Social Media Strategy step-by-step

A. Objectives. Define your goals, have a clear vision where you want to go and how you’ll get there.

B. Analysis. Know your limits, take into account what can help and what can hurt your company, have a plan B, even a plan C. Make a plan, a plan for success and of course, a plan for failure.

C. Rethink step A and B, shake it and see what happens, have some time to mature the ideas and concepts. Are you willing to continue? nice, go ahead!

D. This is what I call the philosophical stage. Same as strategy planning: let you feelings go, paint what you want to represent, define your identity and image – vision – , set up a sense of purpose – mission. Every platform, tool or action taken should have is own identity, features and goals. On the contrary, we’ll be talking about only a mainstream platform. However, all platforms have to be aligned into one workflow.

E. Once you have defined the key elements of your strategy – from analysis (competition, external factors and inside-out approach…)  and brand identity – put ahead in every platform, and visible, what makes you unique.

F. Time to get serious. Brainstorm all the ideas and take what you’re sure you can carry on with the highest levels of accuracy: campaigns, tactics, contributions, team, partnerships, tools, platforms, APPs…everything counts.

G. Do some research about the audience you want to achieve/represent (likes, habits, needs, profile…), competition, limitations, brand identity, market, platforms, singularities…once you get it, structure all the information and resources, so you can draw a map for your strategy. Study also how you plan to tangle platforms and people, because no need to mention that at this point you know that you “want” to segment communities in social platforms

H. Integrate and implement this map in your business model strategy. That is to say, find key facts that can help you to create a consistent social media structure. This is structure is built as it follows:

1. Once you get the platforms, assemble them

2. Build the social media profiles, don’t forget to fill in every criterion

3. Don’t publish it yet, make a draft – draw it if you want first, so management and to board can see and approve it

4. Optimize the profiles: use tools, APPs, resources and tips for giving the profiles a competitive advantage. If is like every other, why should I buy from you?

5. Link profiles: You post and it goes to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…You know what it means right?

6. Set up your blog – at the end is what truly matters – (WordPress rocks) theme, plugins, CSS and ready to roll on

7. How will perform your blog in the social media ecosystem you’ve built? strategy-tactics effect.

I. Set up a trial period for all the platforms before you the launching and see how it works. You can test it inside your company, with colleagues or even with loyal customers. Get feedback, correct, polish and improve it as much as you can.

J. How are you going to market your social media strategy? If you don’t say what you are doing, how will the audience know about you?

K. In order to do step “J” allocate resources: people, calendar, tools, actions and of course budget – this will help you to get better results – Note: It’s really important that you allocate resources not just in short-term, but mid/long-term too.

L. Launching campaign. Do whatever it takes: guerrilla, offline, beta for your customers, offers, discounts, events, website, publicity, PR. Best results are achieved when you cross offline with online media.

M. Use optimization tools as: PosterousPostlingTweetDeck, Tagthebit.ly,  WorkflowyStorifyCurated.byDropBox,MailChimpGoogle WaveDel.ici.ousDocsReaderEvernote…- these are some I’m using now – it will help you to simplify the process and manage better your time.

N. As long as your strategy is on the field and deal with it. Consider – seriously consider – track, monitor and measure everything what you do on the Social Web. Identify how you can best meet your goals (step “A”) by assigning ROI measures. I strongly recommend that you tailor them depending on your goals.

O. Short-term. Don’t worry too much for it. Ensure that all fit in, your community is growing, therefore interactions happening around. People is talking about your brand, get feedback, creating traffic to your blog/website, some conversions

Q. Mid-term. Have it mind. Engagement, loyalty, brand reach, sentiment, sales, effort vs reward, opinion leaders

P. Long-term. What truly matters. Have you reached step “A”? If not, try different

Note: Notice how I haven’t set up a timeline for the time periods. Your mileage can vary: it can go from 3-6 months to 3 years. It depends your product/service and your goals, of course.

R. Time to earn $$$. Beautiful, isn’t it?

What’s your take? With me? What others steps would you add?

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Building a Social Web Framework

Question: How can you build a stronger and effective Social Media ecosystem?

Answer: Designing a Social Media Framework.

Have you ever thought in your social media framework?

Due to the rapid adoption of social media, I’ve come up with a new Social Media Framework aimed to empower Business and Communities beyond Social Media. It’s based essentially on Human Business Interactions.

To me, the social media framework aids comprehension of workflow experiences by describing their components, it also optimizes my social media workflow in an easier way since a framework may include components that are applicable to them all.

Why do you have to care about? because badly designed processes lead to slow and inefficient response of your audience, ineffective communication, wasted time, disappointing experiences and poor degree of engagement. Not to mention driving yourself to nowhere.

Social Media Framework

This is how I’d do it – Actually, it’s how I do it –

Social Media Marketing Framework by Isra García

How It Works

  • Optimize and manage your time in Social Media, designing a Social Media Workflow (link to the complete function model)
  • Did I mention the word sharing? Share news resourcestoolsbest practices, tips and guides through social bookmarking platforms.
  • Rock with Twitter: Use it heavily for different purposes such as, RT useful linksWOM, spread the news, share insights with professionals, learn what is hot, real-time conversations, gain more affluence on your social networking platforms, support interesting initiatives, building a reputation on the field I work on, promote your blog, look for trend topics , getting ideas and enlightening tips from brilliant people.
  • Your effort and sacrifice deserves be known and shared for the benefit of others: Posting papers, concepts, frameworks, reports, projects, strategies, marketing plans or campaigns I’ve developed, so people can get insights from it.
  • Knowledge don’t belong to you nor me, but the universe: Spread what you know, share what others shared with you, teach what you’re good at, learn from everybody, write about how you put in practice these campaigns, or explain how you reached this conclusion that made you point a success and so on. Don’t forget, quote your resources and tell the attributions!
  • Fall in love in “long-term relationships” with LinkedIn: Use it insistently for giving and receiving feedback, reading interesting posts, commenting on them, find your key connections and engage with them, share ideas in the groups discussions, also participating in Q&A (either giving advice or receiving it). Should increase your visibility, it will improve the chances of being contacted. Connect and be connected!
  • Have a break and have some fun on Facebook: Aim it to talk and engage with your friends. Create lists to giving different degree of permissions to your crowd and segmenting the information according to the content you usually share with them. Forget the Social Media Buzz and take a breath – if you wish –
  • Don’t make waves, ride them: Use Google Wave for a collaborative tasks, develop projects, exchange ideas, brainstorming, conceptualize campaigns and seeing how others can enhance your work.
  • Grease the hub of your timing belt: Your blog, Do you love it? No? You must, because it’s the place where all your efforts, time, money and even romantic relationships are going to end up. All you do on Social Media has being meaningful to your blog. If not, I suggest you may want to reconsider your strategy. Give a personality, a sense of humor, a purpose, a regularity,  a bottle of Möet if he wants it and you’ll have your reason to give the very best of yourself in this URL. I always say that your blog is the extension fo your personality. Agree?
  • Managing and optimizing:  As I explained in the post social media resolutions for 2010, it’s essential define your strategy, set your goals and  monitoring your results but, it’s vital not being overwhelmed by its magnitudes. Hence, write down every procedure, pattern or system you follow to implement your social media workflow and start developing a schedule with all the tasks you performs every day, together with the time spent, the activities, the allowance, restrictions, and of course, deviations.
  • Make efficient use of Social Media through the available Social Web tools that best meets your needs: I Use tools as TweetDeck, Posterous, TwitterSearch, GetSocial, ShareThis, bit.ly, tagthe, DropBox, Postling, Storify, Skypecurated.by and many others…
  • Boost your Social Media initiatives with productivity tools as: Mindjet Manager, OmniGraffle, WorkFlowy, evernote, Silverlight and Docs
  • Take care of you – and your people: Monitor, track and follow all what’s being said about the brand (are you the brand? Yes you are!) Not to mention, the thought-provoking ROI. Here you have a few I use: Socialmention, Radian6, Trackur, FlowTown, FollowEye, ChartBeat, Google Alerts.
  • Plan for failure: If it doesn’t work, try changing and adjusting things to your needs. I know how it works to me, for you instead it can be slightly different. Be aware that you need to have hundred of bad ideas to have 1 or 2 great ideas. Do you get the idea?

Does it works for you? How would you enhance it? What would you add? Do you have your own social media framework? I’d like to know your thoughts…

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