Strategic Human Media Integration Model

How can we work in social media if we show no interest for people, if we don’t consider their relevance? How can we be professionals in the field and, at the same time, ignore what happens afterwards? Can we learn to accept change without doing the work, simply expecting applause and a standing ovation? What changes can we implement in the digital world to connect with and change our own audience?

I created the first theoretical social media integration model in December 2009. What I find fascinating is how it has evolved over the years, until now, with 2014 just round the corner.

How has strategic integration evolved?

New skills in an interconnected environment, the adaptation to social platforms, the different approaches to new online tools, the change in strategies and tactics towards further interaction, engagement and the consolidation of relationships, perception and understanding of ecosystems in the social web, and the digital revolution, of course. All of this has made social media integration become a more direct, human and connected model, creating a more powerful social and human web. The start of Human Media.

I have been working for a while towards understanding and figuring out how the new environment works and how a new conception of all the above changes social media integration in the business environment.

Human-media-integration-theory-model

The meaning of this

Users generally prefer connections over sales, sharing over creating, resonance over influence and relationships over promotions. This is further amplified by the sheer number of elements that take part in the integration of online platforms and tools in any communication or marketing model today. Platforms that humanise, filter and select contents (content curating) improve the chances of a social object being shared by a larger number of kindred spirits.

Connectivity between platforms results from the users’ “shareability” ratio: the more relevant, emotional and segmented the content you share, the greater connectivity you create with kindred spirits (you can call them potential clients or community). This will inevitably lead to positive visibility and will make it easier for your brand to interact with the people in the community to which you have gained access. This generates a continuous feedback flow resulting from the high level of input generated from visibility to a potential audience, connectivity with these persons and the resulting interaction. However, such inputs are meaningless without perception, understanding, assessment, implementation and reaction to the feedback channelled from social networks and from actively listening to these platforms.

It’s convergence, it’s connection, it’s human

Integration converges with an ecosystem that focuses more on connecting with users than on bombarding them with promotions. A good handling and use of the feedback provided will inevitably generate more traffic and trust, as does sharing what you’re interested in with your audience (usually as a result of feedback), only that it will also afford you credibility and exposure, and a certain authority resulting from having something of value to offer. Authority is a good thing, something you wish to have. Something which is helped daily by microblogging services, geolocation services and online publication services.

A factor to be taken into account is how, as a result of the emotional, human and relational impact of this economy, platforms remain on the outside of such integration; even in the case of a vital element such as a blog: the effects and properties that favour the people remain on the inside and build a crucial system, a resonance between brands and people.

Is there a happy ending to all this?

Of course! The agents that truly strengthen, influence and act as a lever in this setting and all its different channels, aren’t the social platforms or tools. These are only the means towards strategic integration.

How do you think that the social web converges, collides and integrates with this increasingly human and interconnected economy?

Appeared first on Social Media Today.

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Human Media Fundamentals

Now it’s time for everything to be placed on a map and coherently drawn – thank you Luis Calabuig. These are the Human Media Fundamentals, the concepts which define the way to a new form of communication, one that represents the end of the Social era in its pure state of art.

Human Media goes deeper than 3.0 and makes it possible for a company to offer products or services that meet the clients’ expectations. How? Simply because the clients realize that they have someone to connect with at the other end of the channel, they find common means to communicate and be listened to.

This is your opportunity to connect people and communities, build relationships, generate loyalty and be involved in human interactions, all this on the base of gaining great relevance and reach. Doesn’t that sound brilliant?

First of all, let’s define the fundamentals of Human Media. There are 10 fundamentals, which most of the times are interrelated, complement or support each other. They are presented in a chronological order, so as for you to easily identify the relationships between them.

The Human Media Fundamentals

human media fundamentals - isra garcia - odosdesign

Social Media…

…is the root of Human Media. This might look like a reversed process, a paradox, as it is generally known that social communications should derive from human interactions. Maybe this has been the mistake: using technology and social media means of communication to select, categorize and label communities. The connection should be made based on human values.

Allow me to point out that when you listen, understand, respond, build relationships and connect emotionally, you are being human, not social. The social media challenge is take back to the human nature.

Disrupt Media

The interaction between Social Media and Human Media has started here and now. We live in an world of information overload and this saturation is already reaching the Social Media environment; not because there are too many people using it, but due to the way they are using it. The hype, the “social media experts”, “Community Manager Seniors” and other products saying “we-are-the-solution-to-all-your-problems” have transformed the opportunity to create connectivity into a “bla, bla” movement.  Noise, many messages sent in the same direction, intrusive messages, “non sexy” robots and predetermined users is what I call disruption media. The eruption of social media as sales pitches, with the wrong goals, which are artificial and strictly commercial have generated a new Social Media breach, which is what once happened to conventional marketing, only with this there is more awareness regarding the matter.

Welcome to the disruption era – this gives us the opportunity to make use of the new media to transmit our values, abilities, emotions and knowledge through the Internet. And this opportunity is Human Media.

The good news is that we’re no longer accepting these agents…what has taken them there won’t get them here, that I know for sure.

New Media

Human media wouldn’t be possible without New Media, which is revolving our everyday lives. As an example, we are almost not using the telephone anymore. Instead, we use Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Google Plus, Foursquare, LinkedIn, in different ways for different reasons.

The New Media is more than an evolved type of communication, as it’s located at the connection point between people and information/innovation technologies. I can’t call it the revolution of communication either, even though it has broken most of the traditional broadcast models – can’t even mention the TV, newspapers or radio here, as they are not a means of communication. How could they be, given that they never facilitate an interaction, feedback or any type of expression rights from the message recipient? New Media is the re-evolution, as it is an evolution that has revolutionized the ways of communicating both between people and businesses.

New Media converts us into authors, publishers, protagonists, leaders, affiliates, connectors and information exchange points. New Media offers us a blank sheet where we can draw the lines of our personal brand, the way we want to communicate and market our company, the business strategy of our Startup or the actions that will take our small business over to the next year. New Media is only showing us that everything we do depends on us.

Human Conceptualization

We are now thriving to make every interaction as human as possible. The key now is to stay human while still making use of the Internet. The human conceptualization of the processes helps us better understand the online platforms and tools in order to generate the WOW! effect. This is part of the Human Media strategy: create credibility, trust and resonance. By simply understanding the key concept – stay human – we will be able to create a fundamental change in the way we relate to other people within interactive environments.

Human Integration

This is the tactical part of Human Media, how to stop being a robot, advice, recommendations and experiences that will help you to emotionally connect.

Human Branding

The brands’ focus is radically changing, now brands are like us, act like us, dress-up, eat, criticize, complain, have fun and connect like we do. Nowadays, brands are more human than ever, they undertake a process called Human Branding. This is translated into a new type of communication: Human Media.

The human side of brands will be soon reaching a tipping point: we’ll stop talking about brands, but people, feelings, emotions, histories and abilities.

Businesses have finally understood who are their most valuable assets: the people. This is why their efforts are concentrated towards generating positive emotions, both internally and externally.

In the case of companies, the way to integrate this change into their business model is called Human Business. In order to be able to interact through Human Media, the way of connecting/thinking/functioning must suffer a great change. It’s something imminent, though you are welcome to simply stick to your Social Media strategy and only change when you have no remedy left; though it will then cost you more time, money and effort.

Human Leader

This concept refers to all the people who use the web in order to add a human touch to their business and lead communities with transparency, honesty, resonance, charisma and authentic relationships. Human Leaders (HL) understand the importance of this change and use it to build a sustainable future.

The HL inspires and leads through the web. He’s not a robot, he’s a vivid human being.

We’re basing this idea on years of experience as hybrids made of analogic and digital components, combined with the understanding of the people and the business. We can tell you how and what to do, but you would still need to make an effort to apply the formula to your business.

We’ve discovered that people who understand how to build relationships through the Social Web, know how to make businesses work by using the same knowledge.

The Human Ecosystem

This is where the inertia comes into action. The Human Ecosystem is aiming to create an area of relationships and human interactions on the web, taking advantage of the resources, benefits, peculiarities and profiles of each participant.

– Channels: PPC, SEO, SEM, SMM, SMO, SM, Web Development, Design, Innovation, Community, Tech, Entrepreneurship, New Media…

– Platforms: Twitter, Soundcloud, Foursquare, SCVNGR, LinkedIn, WordPress, Google +, GetGlue, Yelp, Stumble Upon, Slideshare, Ustream, Flickr…

– Tools: Workflowy, Timely, Scoop It!, Storify, Badgeville, Let’s Lunch, Prezi, Skype, Flowtown, TrackUR, Posterous, claim.io, Social sharing, Radian 6…

– APPs: Boxcar, Evernote, Instagram, Bump, Whatsapp, Latitude, LiveShare, Notepad, Pulse, Google APPs…

– Media: Online and Offline. Precisely, this is the way: interconnecting both realities.

Human Business Interactions

The process of creating interactive bridges between people and brands as a result of taking the online warmth to the offline relationships also works the other way round: the business model based on emotional touch points. The Human Business interactions make use of all the Social Media resources (Human Ecosystem: channels, media, platforms and tools) in order to apply the emotional side of relationships on to the business framework.

This is one of the most important Human Media fundamentals, the way that Internet is backing-up the human relationships in order to generate business opportunities.

Your mileage could be different

These are the Human Media fundamentals, where human interactions, people, Internet and businesses start to make sense. I am confident that the concept will build-up, expand, generate ne concepts, but still, this is where it starts from. Some of the fundamentals might be useful to you, some not. Don’t worry, we are in a permanently reinventing state, take advantage of it.

Human Media is the way to understand how people make use of the information technology and interact on the Social Web.

Why wait for someone to award you permission? Implement Human Media into your strategy today, simply do it. [Read more…]

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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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How Execs Are Using Social Media

While I was surfing the Social Web, I found this insightful infography at penn-olson, which was a research made by socialcast. Then, I thought it would be interesting and useful if shared, so as for all of us to understand better the importance of Social Media for business. Note that LinkedIn is the preferred Social Network by executives and also, how the Smart Phone has increased the use of Social Media in this segment.

social media Infography

What’s your view? How would you interpret this infography?

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Social Media Workflow – Optimizing and Managing your Time in Social Media

Social media can be – well, is- truly time-consuming. So, in order to optimise and manage your time, I strongly recommend defining your workflow. That is to say, identifying all the key tasks you do throughout the day and place them into a structure divided into blocks of time. This will allow you to have clear goals for each task and set up milestones.

The Social Media workflow is designed to optimise and best manage your time in Social Media, as well as help you become more efficient and achieve better results.

Here is an example of a Social Media Workflow, which I designed for a Social Media project with the Government some months ago:

Optimizing and managing your time in Social Media

How It Works

First, we planned the Social Media Strategy- what I call the “philosophical stage.” Once planned, we moved to a more complex scenario where we developed, integrated and implemented the Social Media Strategy.

Secondly, we built a Social Media Framework to fit in all the tactics and actions.

Finally, we worked on the Social Media workflow. We took the results of the Social Media Framework we defined by job description within the flow chart and identified a social media process to follow. This was dependent on the possibilities, goals, requirements and resources of the brand we were working with.

Once we had achieved this, we split all the tasks we needed to do into three blocks of time (morning, noon and afternoon) based on a working day of 9 am to 6 pm. Then we organised the tasks by priority- not for ourselves, but for the audience:

  1. Reputation – Listening
  2. Updating
  3. Distribution
  4. Blogging
  5. Planning
  6. Research
  7. Content sharing
  8. Engagement

Basically, this model is aimed at Social Media and Community Managers. The main idea behind it is that by following and consistently tracking this type of model, you will be able to boost performance in less time, with the same resources. This will also lead to a more dynamic and efficient output. But hey! I developed this workflow according to the needs of my team- your mileage can vary and your version can work well too!

What’s your take? Do you have a Social Media Workflow? How does it looks like?

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