Social Media is not your Job

Social Media is a distraction…

Unless it’s your job. I hear and read that ‘social media’ isn’t working, that it offers no results, that it’s a distraction, that it prevents you from doing the job that matters, that it’s a waste of time, taking up most of your time and leading nowhere. I believe it depends on how you use it, who uses it and the purpose behind it. Like everything else, there are different sides to it. Perhaps, interacting with people, building relationships with them, creating emotional bonds, offering and getting feedback, answering private messages on Facebook requesting information, building brand perception, starting conversations, reading blogs, sharing useful information, creating leads, calls to action that work, reading many RSS feeds, adding value to your community and much more is actually your job.

A Challenge For You

Many people will tell you they can’t find the time to do all that. Let me challenge you here by asking the following: Would your business improve by doing all of the above? We often do all this on automatic, without paying attention to the most important side of it: the human side, the side that makes you care about the people you connect with. Even if it isn’t part of your job, we all connect and interact with people online. Could it be part of your job?

The Other Side

All that work we believe has nothing to offer, which we occasionally believe has nothing to do with us, is really part of what the new Internet has to offer us with regard to unlimited interaction, relations and information. We could find something to do and do it endlessly until we hit a wall. You’ll probably find it isn’t your job to do it or that you didn’t find the results you were expecting with it or that the processes aren’t fast enough. OK then, we can try hundreds of platforms, tools and practices to experiment with: something is bound to happen. All this in addition to what the community has to offer us, what goes on in Twitter, on your friends’ walls, on your Facebook home page, on your Pinterest board, in your blog, the constantly updated information in your RSS feed.

However, many of us remain unperturbed, doing what we’ve always done, thinking that the Internet isn’t our job: it’s just a way of getting away from the noise, it doesn’t mean that it has a positive impact on our decisions or plans…

How addicted are you to the social media? What would happen if everything that could be your job was something that mattered to you? Could you create online work processes to work on for two hours on Monday and Wednesdays?

Photo credit: careers guardian.

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Looking on the Social Web for Humanity and Rays of Light

One of my favorite pastimes has always been watching people watching, you learn a lot. One day I started paying more attention to the environment we were living and how this marketing and media revolution was changing the game. Indeed, during the last two years the game has changed considerably, it has turned more smart and selective.

Social media was born as something difficult to measure, but inevitably it appeared new ways of measure our activity and its results. It was not easy, sure, and it did not happen in one night, but eventually business began to discover new winning paths using the social web.

Social Media is Evolving

Social media, as any other type of marketing and communication, it is evolving right now. Through the last years, advertising and PR were focused on the “big idea”: manipulating the hearts and minds of organizations and individuals… and thus, business itself. Then the question was… How could I manipulate and alienate businesses and people? Nobody knew exactly how to do it, but the numbers – from whenever they come – showed that it worked.

The “Social” Revolution

Time before the Internet appeared and with it digital, and then the revolution, the “social” revolution, meaning the disruption of marketing and communication. The Internet destroyed any kind of frontier that prevented from a free, human, authentic and genuine communication, today the social web has thunder any trace of retention measure towards a global communication. Now, creating connectivity and resonance with any person of this world is possible, yes it’s possible. All thanks to certain human extensions called Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, Facebook, Foursquare, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Youtube, Google +.  We had something really valuable to work with.

Back to the Past Again?

However, we wanted to step further before saving what we had closer, people. We forgot creating long-lasting relationships with our community members. The fact that hundred of thousands of organizations, agencies and marketers were not paying attention to the existing link between relationships, results and measurement made that they started ironically focusing on online advertising, massive marketing and influence. Sadly, it take us back to the conversation isolation and media saturation, it take us back to the over-communicated past society.

Happily, it is changing again. Thanks God we are more human than ever and we’re looking for this small ray of light that the social web creates, and not for the disturbing noise that come with it.

Photo credit: scrap your adventure.

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Amnesia Ibiza, Humanising the Brand Through Social Networks

This is a Collaborative post together with Aitor Contreras.

humanising the brand, Amnesia Ibiza, Isra GarciaLet me tell you a bit about the job we’re doing at Amnesia Ibiza…The club’s presence and bond with its public is unique thanks to a comprehensive integration of social networks in all aspects of the company. Implementing a sophisticated “ecosystem” of social networks allows the club to start a wide array of differentiated activities which are exclusively dedicated to improving the experience of the fans and to “humanise” the brand in their eyes.

Building an Ecosystem

Amnesia Ibiza has become the leader of its sector at international level with the implementation of an “ecosystem” of social networks whose aim is to garner a closer and more “human” contact with its audience. In this way, the several-times winner of “Best Global Club” at the IMDA becomes again a world reference not only as a club and musical reference, but in its integration, presence and activity on all types of social platforms. The club’s actions, different for each platform, are part of a global strategy which includes Facebook – where they already have more than half a million fans-, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Foursquare, YouTube, Mixcloud and a long list of platforms.

Customer care, having conversations with them and solving doubts are only part of the daily actions carried out by Amnesia Ibiza through the social networks. It also carries out other types of activity such as sharing and commenting on music, holding contests, geolocation apps or the live broadcast of Radio Amnesia through its webpage, all of them examples of how Amnesia Ibiza develops a myriad of differentiated actions across its ecosystem of social networks. This is made possible at all times by the total integration of its online actions and its offline activity, and by the club internalising this “ecosystem” as part of its internal structure.

Caring is Focusing on People

In the case of Amnesia Ibiza, the challenge lies in providing our customers with an added dimension to their experience. To this end, Amnesia Ibiza makes a daily effort so that its actions aren’t limited to the physical space occupied by the club. Beyond this, all of these experiences must focus on a personal relationship that transcends the relationship between a fan and their brand. There is an urgent need for us to know that the people out there are, at all times, feeling like they’re dealing with other people [within the company] who work passionately and with whom they can deal with directly on any issue. As a result, we integrate the human aspect we’re trying to strengthen through our online actions so that it rubs off onto the offline experience. This is essential. We’re experimenting continuously with new platforms or new ways for integration so that Amnesia Ibiza can connect ever further with its fans.

A Human Touch Beyond Social

Right now, there is a worldwide community of more than 2 million users on the club’s social network ecosystem, extending to places like Australia, Chile or Japan. We’re currently putting the finishing touches to the strategy and all of the actions for this season. We hope to connect and interact further with many people in different ways without losing the human touch that is currently setting the difference.

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New Media Allowed Writing the Title of the Revolution

human media - isra garciaDuring all this years we have seen how the tv, newspapers, family and even school tried to force us following a manual, arguing that we had no choice.

Now, thanks to New Media, those from above (status quo) truly have no choice but change. It’s finish. Welcome to the era of transparency, connectivity and authenticity, a new era where you have an unlimited canvas and colorful crayons to draw your path. Be clear, write a title and tell us what to do, please.

Without the Internet there wouldn’t be the Web, without the Web the New Media wouldn’t have appeared and neither Social Media without it. Therefore, we wouldn’t have reached to the human approach.

It’s a Re-Evolution

New Media isn’t only the evolution of media, but the focus on the intersection of the connectivity between people and information technologies and innovation to take processes beyond traditional media methods. New Media isn’t neither a simple communication or marketing revolution, although it has broken traditional and massive broadcast models. We may never again want to call the radio and TV communication channels. How can they be if the are not created for an interaction between both point of the bridge or even a relationship based on relationships? A fair message exchange? Real-time, sincere and authentic feedback? An equality in the rights of expression for some of the elements that play a role in the communication process? New Media is a revolution beyond the evolution, because it’s an evolution that has revolutionized how people and businesses communicate and market. Everything that New Media touches, it changes dramatically.

Inside-out

As I said, New Media changed the game. However, it doesn’t create a whole new world, it leverages the Internet harnessing the appearance of the Social Web: platforms, tools, channels, practices and any other type of element that can create connectiveness, relationships, conversation and feedback and also can clean that way to human interactions. Therefore, we’ll open the inside world to resonance and attunement with the outside world.

New Media gives crayons to everyone, so you can start our own revolution.

Photo credit: grrlwriter.

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The Opportunity of Social Media Remains in the Human Relationships

remains on the human relationships - Isra GarcíaDuring all this time I have realized that we pay to much attention to concepts – perhaps – too abstracts, such as the times you interact with the audience or how many visits have our blog or youtube channel. Ok, it might not be as abstract as we may think, at the end, it’s our day-to-day job (bonus: you can also buy it on the Internet) No, it’s really abstract when we compare with staying human.

The Meaning of Staying Human on the Internet

We talk about experiences, not concepts. We talk about feelings, not about promotions. Emotions and not services and most importantly, we don’t talk about our business, we do it about stories, stories that create resonance. We align people with people.

Are we truly social? This is quite weird, sometimes we forget the word “social” and owe just focus on the word “media” or “marketing.” Businesses lose their authenticity and brands turn themselves into robots – and remember that they won’t flirt with you – looking for more and more robots like them, so they can easily automatize processes and content that get lost in its way to nowhere, in its way to the auto-promotion, mediocrity and silence of the ego-system. However, there’s a new offer that rewards the credibility, authenticity, engagement and alignment. In other words, the opportunity remains in the connectivity created by human interactions.

Where’s the Opportunity?

We don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, who knows? What Human Media means for us?

If you are a business that intends to use the Social Web in a meaningful and thoughtful way, my advice is that you may focus on experiences that happens in your community, connect with people within your community and decrease the noise by creating more conversations – this starts by listening – this conversations could happen beyond your community, you should be there too, engage personally with every customer – not a fan – and really make use of the human interactions through the Social Web. I do think that brands, companies and organizations should embrace the fact that, in this 2012 – 2013, connecting first by staying human is the key for a sustainable business model as a result of building a foundation among your community. Then more and more brands will approach Social Media from a human perspective (Human Media), then business will create relationships, and this will stay longer than sales pitches.

If you are a business using the Social Web for creating connectivity with your customer, my advice is that focus on interactions and execute them with brilliance, you should go beyond counting fans, followers and likes. There’re some ways to do that, but it is no as easy as create a Facebook page or a Twitter account and waiting for results to come soon. Create content that matters to your audience, offer different ways for them to connect with you, allow them to have a voice in your framework, allow freedom of interaction and relationship inside your business, answer clearly and quickly and in the most human way possible.

The opportunity remains in the human relationships.

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Social Media isn’t Magic – It’s about Staying Human on the Internet

staying humanSocial Media is not magic, nor does it surprising tricks, you will need more than magic to succeed. I am talking about a process that truly makes sense when it’s aligned with the business strategy and also gets inter-departamental touching every aspect of the business model.

I am afraid but Social Media is not the damn thing that will save your business from crashing.

What does social media really do for you?

It multiplies you reach, harnesses the power of global communications, mingles you with the party, connects emotionally with your audience, makes use of the social web to empower human interactions and also gives you real and measurable results.

What the heck! This is meaningful, I suppose you want to be on the top of the wave, I have got a question, why?

Perhaps you want do it for some of these reasons: reach more potential customers, align our marketing strategy with the online channels, find a niche inside the networks, less spent on marketing and advertisement, connect with our real customer, generate more traffic towards our website/blog, increase business leads or skyrocket the conversions rate.

This is me or the reasons shown below are so cool? I think that at least they make sense. Are you with me? Let me be clear and direct, there’s no magic formula, neither golden egg, sorry… Is there any other way? Sure, it starts from simplicity, launching and shipping right on their noses, experiment with campaigns and platforms uses, accepting failures as usual, but not mistakes – meaning failing more than one time at the same thing. Trying different is what matters in Social media, it means walking new paths, trying differently until you make something happen. Social Media is not what God sent you to save the world – actually are people – but an opportunity to a new media and marketing dimension. You only need to approach it as it was a strategic planning and goals definition. Do you get it?

The Key – Staying Human

Social Media can be understood in different ways, there will be people that it will talk about platforms or tools and there will be some – the crazy ones – that will say that it’s about people. I believe that Social Media is a means of expression that makes possible for customers, communities and brands “staying human.” That is to say, they will connect and establish relationships and thus, interactions among people through transparency, commitment, empathy, humility, consistency, coherence and closeness.

Staying human means going beyond the Social thing. It’s about how the information technologies we have available, together with the media innovations can help us building professional-personal relationships in situations and contexts where we were not be able to do it years ago.

Photo credit: mojo social media marketing.

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Social Media and Technology Won’t Change the World, People Will

The potential that social media handles today is tremendous, I do think that managers, CEOs and directors of big companies, associations, institutions and brands, should consider the valuable opportunity that they have in their hands and make use of the Social web and technology to create change in the environment, which includes people.

It’s clear that the new world where we are living now has impacted and shifted work, marketing and media processes. It’s ok, but… How important it’s if we don’t try to help finding meaning to other people?

Human ROI is Possible

Human Media is an idea that I was chasing for quite some time, almost more than a year… Why this idea? Simply because it’s about staying human through the Internet, it makes possible equip people with knowledge and experience, help them to reach their goals (personals and professionals), deliver real value to the world, exchange and expand ideas and perspectives, meeting new approaches, finding a better applicability to the use of the Social Web, feed with coherence the online strategies that our brand may be developing and of course, pointing out to the results. It seems to me that all of this it could be possible without losing the human touch, it’s possible make use of social media and technology without the need of focusing just on numbers instead of people, we don’t have to embrace the anonymous system anymore, this way of doing marketing intrusive, cold and massive, let’s end it up.

Human Innovation: Connect, Create and Build

Undoubtedly, we are in the media and marketing disruption era, a new era where the online media is being used in the wrong way, we are boosting them the other way around, the social web potential could be lost if we continue with this practices.

We need that the platforms and tools allow us to connect, build relationships and create human interactions, we need that people fuel the Web and not the ego-system. We are in a scenario where the mobile connectivity is demonstrating that it’s a real alternative to reach customers. There connectiveness is more important than targeting or retaining customers, now touching emotionally is the new CRM. It’s the era of the human innovation through the Internet. Now people wants to be involved in the game, interact and change the outcome, we are not merely viewers anymore, the are businesses – and people – that are creating effective channels so they can communicate with their potential audience and customers and so, generate a favorable outcome for them.

Make Something with it

Human media doesn’t belong to me, it’s only one of many approaches that could help to create change and build something significant, in this case I just was determined to make something happen and then launch it. It’s being accepted and used as a model for many businesses and people, so it seems that’s working, nice. It’s your turn, grab it, modify it, improve it, adapt it to your business needs and apply it depending what you are looking for, create a game for you to win in the most human way possible.

After all, it has to be somebody crazy enough to step ahead, be questioned and criticized. but, if it helps and equip people, all this effort will be worth it, then I don’t mind do it as many times as needed.

Social Media and technology won’t change the world, people will. Why don’t focus constantly on that?

Photo credit: Blaise Agüera y Arcas (TED).

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Adding a Human Touch to the Social Web through Human Media

human media - isra garciaI’m not talking about re-inventing the wheel, but to make the wheel working for us. The media revolution it isn’t about what the platforms or tools can do for us, I think it’s more about how human interactions can change the outcome for business, people and the environment.

Human Media

It changes the point of view, refocus your strategy, it takes you far from the social platforms and talks plain about them, it’s just a simple means of expression neither more nor less. Human Media means paying attention to what truly counts, people and their interactions and also, how their abilities, competencies and skills plays an important role in this networked society.

The Reality

Have you ever felt in love with a laptop or even with Facebook? Have you ever thought in Twitter whenever you have experienced joy, happiness or nostalgia? Do you prefer going on a concert with your best friend or perhaps with your iPad? Whenever you have felt defeated, who was the one that was by your side, LinkedIn or a relative?

Then, why do we put so much emphasis on Facebook, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Google reader, Foursquare, Pinterest, Instagram, and so on? Don’t you see that information technologies, last-generation software, devices or APPs are relatively nothing without the human component? Without human interactions and thus, relationships we never won’t be able to reach our customer and touch their heart, soul and mind. Social media it’s a emotions, abilities and interactions catalyst.

Human Art

Social Media is a means of expression capable of creating change that changes people in real and meaningful way. If so, then Human Media is the brush that allows you to draw in the canvas of media and marketing, so you can create human relationships.

The Human Media challenge lies in identifying the human part of the Internet, as well as persons and emotional part of businesses – I would dare to say that even the interpersonal part. It’s not about programming tweets, post content as if there’s no tomorrow or overwhelm our audience with excessive promotion and intrusive marketing, nor even share for the sake of share, no. We’re talking about transmit what we are, people who can add real value to the mission of businesses or individuals.

Back to the Past

Human Media demystify the web 2.0, it takes as it’s principle the change from 2.0 to 1.0 empowering the human relationships through the vast possibilities that we can harness, the potential is endless.

Up until now, we have seen how social media grants power to the artificial thing, the flip side is that Human Media tries to take the marketing back to human nature, where it should be, among people.

Changing the focus and how people see the online landscape won’t be easy, but it’s necessary. Technology and social media won’t change the world, people will, so why not constantly focus on that?

Photo credit: workingtropes.

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Human Media: the Human Approach that Changes the Outcome

human emdia - isra garcia

Using Human Media means changing the “social” approach that you give to the Web, for another more human. It’s simple and effective.

Two Parallel Approaches

In the early times, companies developed a marketing campaign with a liv motiv and claim, and after that they studied whether it worked or not. They practically made a guess on that. The mantra was creating first and then we’ll see if the campaign fits, something like: “Let’s try something, perhaps we are lucky enough and we can create value to our clients” a very risky approach – not good.

Human Media makes use of the Web and Social Media, is a new approach towards the connection between business and audience and the consequent relationships. It transmits proximity and appreciation and also help businesses to place themselves next to the actual and future clients so we can understand their lifestyle and identify what really interests them. It’s a way of fitting first and then creating something that it truly creates value. “Let’s connect, meet, discover and then, only then, we will create something meaningful to our clients” a really smart approach – very good.

The Right Approach, the Human Approach

Using this more human and less social approach we will know immediately (platforms and tools allows us to do so) if clients enjoy and are enjoying of your business story, service o product, marketing campaign or even the interaction you created with them. This really makes possible that we are be able to keep drawing (marketing and business campaigns) in the right direction, introducing small changes or yes, even bigger moves, and all that with greater and better maneuverability, adaptability and reach.

Search, Connect, Meet, Consolidate and Traduce

We are mistaken every time we create and look for the audience and market them through Social Media. Search, connect, meet, consolidate and traduce. In other words, work on the people approach, the possibility of monitoring in real-time – react and even anticipate – respond and act accordingly to your audience needs and wants, so later on you can act on constant and small movement bursts, which respond to momentum and conversations of your community. The outcome will be transactions in form of long-lasting and profitable relationships.

Photo credit: ortzadar.

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The Challenge of Social Media is Called People

human media - isra agrcia

The real challenge of Social Media isn’t only:

  • Create more benefits for companies
  • Sell more products or services
  • Generate more leads
  • Increase your Facebook fans base, twitter following or blog subscriptions
  • Divert more traffic to your Website or the conversions as result
  • Create, share, exchange, participate, distribute o redistribute content
  • Gain more visibility and exposure
  • Find a job

[Bonus: you'll achieve all of this if your work properly, but let's get deep]

The real challenge of Social Media is creating change in the world we live now, a change that really change to the better, enhance the growth of present and future opportunities. A change that makes a more unified and committed world.

It’s Time

The challenge rests in using the platforms, tools and APPs that social media provides for gathering people with a desire to make something happen and creating movements that help people to overcome difficult situations. Hey! I’m talking about trying  to improve the life of people who live on our “particular worlds.” The purpose of Social Media is deeper and more powerful than the list I mentioned above. Egypt, “Pray for Japan“, HaitiIran electionsLibia, fighting against the VIHcancer or even as an organization that uses social media resources for helping people (“Social Good”). This should be the real value of Social Media, to create meaning for people and the world we live in – and also the ones that will come after.

It’s the Opportunity

When you use the Social Web and Social Media you have the opportunity of making a difference, connecting people that want and need to be connected, guiding, leading and following people that want to succeed. It’s also part of the challenge staying human through the Internet, because technology changes, people don’t.

Make use of Social Media to change the world and don’t let Social Media make use of you. Welcome to the era of people, Social Media evolves from a technologically/digitally-driven concept to a more Human approach, focused on the right thing creating value to the world.

How would you use Social Media in order to change your “particular world”?

Photo credit: Ecopreneurist.

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