What you can do with this opportunity to create change

Communicating, marketing, selling, gaining visibility, sharing content, writing posts, maximising your brand’s reach, starting promotions, working from home, optimising your time, tweeting, uploading photos or building your personal brand. These are only some of the things that you can do with the social web and the Internet of things; but I guess you already knew this!

the opportunity to chenge things

What we don’t see is the other side of the social web; the side that changes it all. How can we dedicate our time to social media yet show no interest or dismiss the importance of people?

That is my favourite part. This is what you can do with this entire new world in front of you:

  • Make an impact on the world.
  • Develop your professional profile and both your professional and personal skills and competences.
  • Create connections and interactive bridges.
  • Start-up your business.
  • Connect with people you don’t know personally.
  • Build a community of people interested in something they have in common.
  • Head a charity cause.
  • Modify the expected result.
  • Study, learn and grow.
  • Find a purpose.
  • Start a movement that inspires others.
  • Start a new business – it’s never been easier or cheaper!
  • Gather ideas together and check out what happens when they hit the market.
  • Decide how you’re going to help those in need.
  • Communicate with and reach anyone you wish.
  • Start a revolution.
  • Educate people through shared knowledge and experience.
  • Share stories that are worth knowing.
  • Add value to your industry.
  • Create your own story.
  • Change people.

How can you do this and more? That’s where you need to step up and work towards this tirelessly.

Reading the above, I think we sometimes don’t realise the times we’re living.

Photo credit: Benoit Tremblay.

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13 ways to add human understanding to the Internet

If the Internet is made up of people, I don’t understand why brands use the Internet to communicate and market their products in a way that keeps them at a distance from human relations. If human relations are the essence of the social media, I don’t understand why no one is connecting and humanising instead of just sending out the same message 100 times, aiming to have an impact or simply wanting us to click on an ad in Facebook, LinkedIn or during a YouTube video.

add understanding to the internet

How to add the human touch and understanding to the Internet

Thinking about this, I hope some of the things included here may help us to understand the term “humanise” in regard to the Internet and social media.

1. Establish the foundations for listening: spend your time processing everything that’s being said about you or your organisation and do something with this. For instance, you can offer an answer to your audience. You may not know this but they’re the new “killer App”.

2. Respond to LinkedIn invites in a personal way, reviewing the other person’s profile, taking care in how to word your message to connect with the other party. Offer individual personalised answers and don’t use templates. It works for me. The same goes for emails.

3. Start or finish any comment, message, tweet, recommendation, review or shared content by naming the person you’re addressing.

4. Always answer any comment made and try to do what you’d like people to do with you: leave a comment, RT, “like”, “recommend”, “vote” or mention.

5. Speak positively, deal with situations with optimism, even when faced with harsh criticism or comments. Don’t lose your nerve and let humour reign. Researchers from Georgia Tech found that staying positive, useful and resonating is a tactic that leads to the trust and credibility needed for people to purchase at our store.

6. Look for ways to be innovative, staying true to yourself. For instance, use a word or catchphrase that is close to you, even one you make up. For instance, “rock on”. It may seem daft but try it out and see.

7. Look for conversations that are close to your interests. For instance, the contact made between a designer and a programmer to create a new blog, or contacts made between food lovers and the cooking blog you’ve discovered. So, make that introduction, connect!

8. Take an interest on subjects that may also be of interest to your audience and offer them information. For instance, if you’re a hotel, recommend tour routes. If you’re a dinner restaurant, talk about places where you can go for a drink later or recommend clubs. If you’re a club, recommend a good after-party.

9. Filter information that may be useful to your community and transform it into actionable points you can work with. For instance, if you provide a guide on how to install plug-ins in WordPress, explain exactly what plug-ins you need to install and summarise the steps you need to take in a direct way. Otherwise, you’re not really contributing anything new.

10. Perhaps through your experience and knowledge, even through your failures, you may extract conclusions, reflections or moments –transferred into content- that may connect with your audience and which betters them. This would be equipping them. Try talking about when you lost your nerve with a client, when you launched a campaign with the wrong target or when you paid your Facebook “Ads” with the wrong credit card.

11. Look for conversations regarding your brand on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ (hint: look for hashtags and keywords). When you find them, engage in them, contribute your point of view, share, recommend, provide information or clarify doubts.

12. Every time you want to read something interesting, spend 5 minutes looking for it among the content posted by your audience / followers / fans. You’re sure to find something worthwhile, something you can share and recommend. We’ll be grateful!

13. Ask your community what they want from you, don’t be afraid! Then, work towards making it possible if you can’t offer it right away. For instance, if people complained that there weren’t enough women in your last event, work to fix this in time for the next event.

Obvious?

I honestly think I’m not really discovering uncharted territory here. Neither is it a cure for all. Similarly, discovering humanity on the Internet or in social media is a greatly complex task. A paradox perhaps? What do you think?

Photo credit: al shep.

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How to save time on the Internet and make something happen

save time on the social webGiven the increasing number of emails that our inbox receives each day, the hundreds of tweets we write or receive each day, toxic meetings and tons of information running to our door every day, there’s only one thing we can do: set boundaries separating work that really makes a difference from work that is merely good or completely mediocre and useless.

I’ve discovered a few boundaries on the Internet that help me save the time needed to make things happen and to get the work that matters going.

Meetings and events

Forget about meetings in person unless they’re indispensable, they have a purpose, a limited time frame and all attendees have a role appointed. Instead, you can set meetings on Skype or Hangout. My estimates are that a daily meeting with your work team shouldn’t be longer than 30 minutes; a meeting with a supplier, 15 minutes; and any important case, never longer than an hour. When you meet through Skype or Hangout it is always easier to get out of the meeting at the right moment.

Isolate yourself from networking events, conferences, workshops, seminars, presentations, webinars or blogtrips. That’s when you should be working. The best time to switch on is when everyone else switches off.

Social Media

  • Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn won’t make it happen. These are only platforms that will strengthen what you create and maximise your reach. Keep them open, it’s great if they pay you not to lose track of any conversations, keep track of people who mention you or answer messages or friend requests right away.
  • Use your tablet PC or smartphone as a recreational tool when you’re outside your workplace, on the tube, on the plane, train, on your way home for lunch, at home on the sofa, etc. It is then that you can check to see what’s going on in social media. Try to produce work when you’re sitting at your computer or standing in front of an empty blackboard and make the most of the time when you’re answering simple emails (those you answer to with an ‘ok’. ‘wow’, ‘great’…) to check Twitter, to Check-In, upload photos to Instragram or Pinterest or to record a video.
  • If you practice sport, consider making the most of your time by doing all irrelevant work then – checking on Twitter that a meteorite hasn’t fallen to earth.
  • Programme the post you want to publish in your blog the night before, and also what you’ll be tweeting about it. Answer any comments at the end of the day you launch. You’re not going to generate further change or earn more money by answering straight away.
  • Believe that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Give your community time to digest the information you publish. Distribute it according to a logical timeline.
  • When you join a LinkedIn group, ask for the “weekly digest” rather than a daily summary.
  • Sharing one extremely useful item of content a day is much more worthwhile than sharing 20 things that are run-of-the-mill.
  • Deal with any requests you receive from people with precise, straightforward questions. The aim is to have a more precise, well-defined and direct way to help them.

Mobile

  • Don’t use WhatsApp with your professional contacts, followers, suppliers or clients unless you want to be bombarded frequently. WhatsApp makes sense for 3 messages to the point; after that, you’re better off calling.
  • Ignore phone calls from unknown or hidden numbers. If something is important, they will leave a voice mail or they’ll let you know who they are and what they want.

Email

  • When you’re on the 5th message in the same email chain, make a phone call and get it sorted, you’re already wasting too much time.
  • Use different email accounts for each client/project. This may seem crazy, but it’s a great way to classify, optimise and centralise topics and such volume of information. I currently handle 20 email accounts.
  • The less words you use in your communications, the more time you’ll be saving. You’ll also realise that you can say as much in 200 characters as you were going to in almost 1,000. Simple is beautiful.
  • Unsubscribe from all newsletters you don’t wish to receive. And make a claim if you continue receiving them.

Processes

  • Keep a copy of everything you do in Evernote: emails, projects, proposals, ideas, reflections, etc. You never know where an idea can come from or, maybe, where you can use it again in a similar context.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts. If you work with a Mac, the spacebar works a treat!
  • Write down your ideas as items or doodles. It’s simpler, faster, easier to understand and more direct.

What other shortcuts do you take to save time on the Internet so that things can happen more frequently?

Photo credit: mgribby.

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How to succeed quickly in the Social Web and the Internet – disruptive version

success easy internetI usually get asked questions by email which seem very specific but are as vast as the universe itself. These questions are of the following kind: “What can I do with my brand/company to position it on the Internet quickly?”, “How can I reach all my potential audience on the social web?” or “I need some advice to increase my company/brand on the Internet, help me!

Some are even more bold and direct: “What do I do to be successful in social media?”, “How do I maximise my effort on the Internet and social networks to obtain real results?”, “I need any type of advice you can give me to get results in social media” or “Could you give me any idea to sell more online?”

Success awaits you

Clearly everyone wants to be successful on the social web and Internet. And, of course, they, want that success to be fast, simple, effortless and using a special trick you download from the Internet. Oh, and I forget! It must also be free.

This is the answer to those who ask how to quickly be successful on the social web and in social networks overnight:

  • Help out a lot. Helping out isn’t taking advantage of a situation.
  • Share large amounts of useful and valuable content. Sharing doesn’t mean your own content.
  • Make it visual: use photos and videos. Remember they must be useful and valuable.
  • Say what you think. Be yourself. Use your own voice.
  • Just accept that many people won’t like you. That will help you focus on those who do.
  • Decide what it is you want to do and do it.
  • If you have something to say, say it.
  • Create chaos, start revolutions, bring about disruptive innovations, go against the flow.
  • Launch as many ideas as you can. Start things that are easy and quick to start, take on small risks.
  • Adopt a small movements strategy – those are the ones that matter.
  • Market what you do, make the most of every occasion, however small. Everything can be communicated. Marketing involves coherence, intelligence, subtlety and results. However, self-glorification means laziness, selfishness, despair and babble.
  • Do whatever may create change in people/customers and show it to the world.
  • Make your strong point your life constant in your daily work flow. That’s how you’ll be creating something that no one else usually does.
  • Come up with a blog that serves a purpose to both you and your audience, a blog that makes them better. Create it, launch it against the market and blog 366 days a year (yes, you read it right, 366!).
  • Don’t work for the likes, comments or RTs. Do it to get deeper into the problem and find the solution.
  • Consider euros in the bank as your end measurement. And work towards achieving them.
  • Invest time, Sundays, nap times, holidays, vacations and Christmas to creating your personal brand.
  • Connect in the most human way possible with the people you know in the social web. That’s what they’re expecting.
  • Use the social media universe  – not the other way round!
  • There’s life beyond LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest – just kidding!
  • Forget about online reputation and invest time in monitoring, analytics, ROI and online branding.
  • Ignore Whatsapp.
  • Be very active. You should be everywhere at all times, helping and being useful.
  • Don’t take calls while you’re doing important work.
  • Close Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and your email and do what needs to be done to make an impact.
  • Don’t accept meaningless meetings, only those with clear objectives, a defined agenda and with people in charge at every step. That is, accept only 5% of your meetings.
  • If you want to do business, go do it. But don’t say you’re going to network at an event if you’re there to do business.
  • Don’t go to so many conferences, seminars or workshops. Instead, spend more time with a blank sheet of paper and do, experiment, fail and try something different.
  • Being an expert won’t help you to be successful. It will only serve to see how wide, round and deep your own bellybutton is.
  • Change masters degrees and advanced courses for blogs, videos, TED conferences and your own experiences.
  • Trace your own plan, establish your goals, develop a strategy and find your spark.
  • Don’t say you’re an online/social entrepreneur, prove it!
  • Use all your followers, readers, fans and connections to promote those beneath you. It’s easy, doesn’t take much time and it seems to be a strategy that works.
  • If no one offers you to take part in an event, workshop, initiative or movement, build one yourself and invite yourself. Think of something amazing.
  • Results are king, not content.
  • Take the maximum possible number of fans, followers or whatever you want to call them to your website.
  • Use calls to actions wherever you go.
  • Take care of your community.
  • Talk to clients and ask them in what other ways you could help them.
  • Stay human and value human relationships above everything else.
  • Transparency, honesty, authenticity, coherence, being consistent and passionate, excitement and determination are the keys for anything to work.

I told you, overnight. You want to be successful? Then go and be successful.

You don’t claim or pretend victory, you win it!

Photo credit: marsmet541.

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