Chronological Twitter-Use Analysis: 2007 to 2015

I’ve created a timeline from the moment I started using Twitter in 2007, analysing the strategy and use I’ve made of this platform, right to the present, just as we’ve just entered in 2015.

Twitter use analysis

These are the results of the analysis:

2007 and 2008

I couldn’t find my way around it! I needed to work out how this thing worked! Twitter? A bird? What a drag!

2009 and 2010

Twitter was a place where I would share my blogposts once a week. Yeah, it was OK. Everything else in it was just a machine gun endlessly firing information on social media and anything connected with it. Everything that fell into my hands was shared. I probably wasn’t objective enough yet. 95% of the content I shared belonged to external sources. I spent almost 4 hours a day reading, learning, implementing. I was sleeping 5 hours a day on average (less so in 2009.)

I was possibly using Twitter for up to 3 hours a day. Unbelievable.

2011

During 2011 I would massively share loads of links regarding social media, online marketing and Internet. Resources, best practices, newly-arrived platforms and tools, start-ups regarding the Internet and similar stuff. Most of the content came from blogs, platforms and English-speaking websites. This was possible thanks to the number of sources I was hooked up to on a daily basis. I spent two hours reading and filtering content (at night).

Meanwhile, among such content, I would also share the posts from both my blogs, in Spanish and in English. The workload then was less as I wasn’t publishing on isragarcia.es every day (that would start at the end of 2011.) The ratio then was 85% external content vs. 15% own content. I used Twitter 2 hours a day on average, or slightly more.

2012

In 2012, I decided to stay more human. I would look for interesting stories on my timeline and share them, without turning to the main platforms such as Mashable, TechCrunch, Social Media Today or the blogs on Social Media Examiner, INC, Brian Solis or Jeff Bullas to recommend valuable and interesting content with my community. This increased my interaction with Twitter users and significantly increased conversations regarding these stories. This, in turn, led also to my own content having more repercussion and a greater reach. This led to more connections, visits and, as a result, more leads.

I noticed how Twitter improved my efforts to market my contents. This made me take greater care on what I published. The ratio in 2012 was 70% external content vs. 30% own content. I realised at the time how important it is to becoming your own communication company.

I continued to decrease the time spent searching for information, reading and filtering contents, from two to one hour a day. The average use of Twitter that year must have been approximately 1.5 hours a day. Not bad at all!

2013

2013 came. One thing was clear: once you regularly share interesting content from the same platforms, it’s no longer a novelty, it’s accessible to all and it’s no longer relevant. If it becomes a routine, it no longer adds value. 60% of the platforms I was sharing from in 2012 had already reached saturation point. I say 60% as I’m always looking for places where I can find interesting ideas. Nowadays, the number of sources I work with is 400 blogs and 175 platforms or specialised sites. Of course, I don’t read them all. In fact, I’m reading less and less.

There has been a significant change in the way I use Twitter this year. I stopped sharing as much external content from other sources, although I continue to use what I consider to be the star platforms: Social Media Today, FastCompany, eMarketer, INC, Chris Brogan or SmartBrief. I’ve shared the best content from these, but in an irregular way. I’m no longer necessarily sharing content from these platforms every 2 or 3 days. The content I’ve been producing daily has been up to 5 times the amount I produced in 2010, for instance. Projects, ideas, collaborations, speeches, blogs, adventures, challenges, etc. I’ve simply become my own communication enterprise. Another great change is that I’ve stopped being connected to Twitter during the day. I never log on while I’m working at my computer. I only check it out using my smartphone or tablet and the time I spend on it is 30-45 minutes. Lucky me!

The ratio this year has been 30% external content vs. 70% own content. That 30% external content is shared as follows: 15% is from selected sources, 10% from contents I’ve come across during the day and the remaining 5% I dedicate to contents I’ve found from anonymous people who have great stories to tell.

The time I’ve spent to reading, searching, filtering and absorbing contents this year is 30 minutes a day, maximum. Obviously, my search is now more clearly guided and intuitive and my expectations much higher.

Above all, I’ve tried to stay human first and foremost. I’ve answered and connected 99% of the times, with the remaining 1% left to the “not worth my time” segment. One of the things that best works for me is asking questions. Asking specific users, or asking the entire world; asking out of curiosity. You always get some sort of answer.

2014

My ratio of external content continue to diminished. I stopped publishing so much of my own content. I looked for more personal stories to share and I shared them. I used Twitter for less every day. What was my strategy? I published less of my own posts per day. I continued to work towards creating and sharing the content that created a greater change in you and frankly, it worked.

2015

I frankly don’t know what is going to happen. What I do know is that I will be using less Twitter and keep reducing the amount of tweets I’m sending every day. Let’s see what happens.

Photo credit: Scott Beale.

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8 tasks that define a social media workflow

In 2010 I spoke about the social media workflow to handle and optimise the time and effort you dedicate to social web activity. I updated this in 2012 with a new version that included a graph designed by Luis Calabuig.

While adapting this for a new project, I quite recently realised that this workflow could be further completed by describing its steps and adapting them to the current times.

Which 8 tasks define a “social” workflow?

The following tasks will optimise the time and effort you dedicate to your social web workflow.

1. Reputation – Active listening.

Monitor and follow up on key words regarding what people say about the brand from one day to the next. Analyse and classify mentions according to their nature (positive, negative or neutral.) A new tool has recently appeared to help you with this: SocialVane. It has an interesting ‘artificial intelligence’ feature: the more you use it to filter words out, the more it can classify mentions according to their nature, offering better search and filtering results. There are other tools on the market that can do this, such as Pirendo or Mention. The latter is quite complete, boasting a more comprehensive search feature that searches not only across social platforms but in other channels too.

Once you’ve gathered and analysed this information, select the results that are of greater interest to your organisation. Present a daily report or document with active links to each news item, mention or post.

2. Updating and interacting.

First of all you will need to define your social objects according to a content plan (a day early or even previously for the entire week or month; see below.) Now you need to create this content and disseminate it using the different channels available, not only social platforms. Interaction is another significant moment in your workflow: respond to comments, offer and get feedback, provide information and connect with the brand’s community through bilateral interaction on any of your ecosystem’s platforms.

3. Content marketing – Distribution

Draw up a content plan for the next day (or for the next week or month) and decide how to promote and circulate your content through different platforms and channels. Decide also what pieces you will create: press releases, videos, audio, newsletter, pictures, etc. You must also take into account the call to action linked to every piece of content you publish and how you will measure its result: what action are you expecting once the content reaches your community? Make sure that the result is in line with your objectives: subscriptions, visiting the online store, download of ebook or podcast, contact form requesting more information or a request for a quote.

4. Blogging

If you have a blog or offer news on your website, you should previously define what this section will be like as part of your content marketing strategy. At this stage you simply have to write, optimise and publish your post, news item, event or whatever it is you will be publishing. If you’re writing a post that is meant for the following day, leave it ready to be posted by scheduling it. Consider sharing it on platforms or using tools such as Buffer, Twylah or ScoopIt.

5. Planning and brainstorming

It may be interesting, even advisable, to spend up to one hour every day thinking about creative actions, contests, promotions, campaigns and other tactics that are in line with your objectives. They must add value to your community and your brand. By doing this on a daily basis you will be able to run a tight operation that works constantly.

6. Community engagement

Identify the conversations held by your community and take part in them. Share content that is valuable to them, engage with them by putting them in contact with resources, allies or people that meet their needs and interests. Do this by being one more in the conversation, not the one dominating the conversation or the flow of content.

7. Search and analysis

Monitor how your organisation performs in online conversations. In this case, intervene in the case of both negative or positive comments (acting to put a positive spin on things or, in the latter case, to reinforce such comments). Remember to watch your tone in doing so!

8. Eventualities

The chances are you’re not only in charge of the “social” side of things. You therefore need to combine all of the above with any other duties you have outside this area. Don’t worry if you can’t always follow this workflow strictly; there will always be other distractions: emails, phone calls, unexpected meetings, you co-worker’s love life, etc.

Find your own formula

The best thing about this is you don’t need to follow the precise order of tasks and responsibilities I set above. Distribute them across your day however they work best with your strategy and time. You can repeat more than one task within a day; some may take two hours, others 15 minutes. This will depend on your objectives, the time you can dedicate to online tasks or how relevant all of this is to your organisation.

Everything boils down to what you require. The idea is for you to define and structure what tasks need to be carried out. Don’t approach them all at the same time and dedicate time to each one separately. Online activity is increasingly integrated into the day-to-day running of companies, so perhaps they’re part of customer services and you need to integrate the social media workflow into your own workflow mix.

What is your workflow like? Are there any other tasks you think I left out?

Photo credit: woodlyewonderworks.

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Improve your results using the social web

improving your results using the social webWhat goes on out there when we use the social web to communicate our product, improve our organisation’s marketing or connect with our potential target? After a year spent observing, analysing and measuring actions and cross-referencing behaviours, this is the pattern that I’ve seen repeated the most by brands, companies and even people and professionals.

Current strategy

  • Four tweets regarding business purposes.
  • Two or three updates of the company’s Facebook page; photos and videos mainly.
  • Spending about $400-600 per month on Facebook Ads campaigns to increase the official page’s fan base.
  • A couple of images in Instagram and Pinterest.
  • One or two links shared on LinkedIn and perhaps another in the group that is closest to our industry and has the most members.
  • Perhaps posting a news item on Google+; you know, for SEO purposes and stuff.
  • Very occasionally, carrying out a promotional video about our company or about what we do, basing it on a current reference that we liked.
  • If we’re lucky, our SME, business or personal brand has a blog. Perhaps we might publish something once a week or every two weeks; more often than not, on a monthly basis. Then we massively (sometimes, intrusively) promote our post (and blog).
  • Sending a commercial newsletter to every contact that has ever given us a visiting card, whoever we exchange emails with, whoever subscribes to our blog or whoever’s in our database through subscriptions.

I’ve also seen lots being said about content marketing and strategy. Although there are some large brands using content marketing (very well in some cases), there are still many smaller companies and organisations, personal brands and self-employed workers out there. I’ve read about 40 posts that talk about content marketing as the trend for 2014. Wasn’t it the trend for 2013? Of course, content marketing is very different from filtering and publishing links that are coherent and that build towards a common goal. This is what I’m talking about.

So, it’s hard to measure change. However, I know that when you’ve done the work that matters, your social media efforts will decrease and be more focused. The more people turning their heads to take a look at you, the more things you should be creating.

The deal here isn’t the content but, rather, the results you get. Create processes that help you achieve your goals. The following ideas may help you improve your results using the social web.

What else can be done?

  • Instead of (aimlessly) publishing on Twitter, try to link with your potential audience more and pay greater attention to your customers. Look for conversations, analyse and measure them and then take action in them.
  • Set up your fan page as a place to get test samples, special offers, peripheral services that are only carried out on this platform (for instance: a form for free samples). Publish blurbs from your customers or show different ways your product can be implemented.
  • Focus your Facebook Ads budget on achieving leads to your end point of sale on your website or online store.
  • Carry out visual contests through Instagram with attractive incentives. Use Pinterest as a catalogue for your products, experiences or featured services. In the case of products, include the price so they can appear in lists of “gifts”.
  • Try to connect through LinkedIn with the contacts that can strengthen your organisation. A sales agent in the UK, a legal adviser in Colombia, etc.
  • Create a community in Google+ with the people who have things in common with what you do and share with them. Use your Google+ page to tell funny, surprising and attractive stories that resonate with your industry.
  • Create a video every month or two explaining the craft involved in the work your organisation carries out (for instance, how you prepare your rye bread or how you prepare fruit milkshakes)
  • Publish the most important thing you’ve worked on at least once a week, explaining what you’ve learnt from it and whatever may serve as a recommendation for your potential target.
  • Work on content marketing based on your strategy, defining the actions you carry out and, most of all, measuring what happens with each piece of content. It should help you.

Was this useful? Did it help your ideas? How do you use your social web to get results?

Photo credit: ntr23

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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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How to make the social web work for you

I often receive email requests with a very specific question that, nonetheless, can involve something as wide as the universe itself. Questions such as, “What can I do with my brand/company to position it on the Internet quickly?”, “How can I reach all my potential public present in the social web?” or “I need some advice to make my brand/company grow on the Internet, help me!”.

How to make the social web work for you

I’m outside social media

I don’t really care how others are using the social networks or social media. I used to care but not anymore. What I care about is discovering new paths to make the social web and Internet work in such a way that new business may be fostered, designing new digital roads beyond the social media and making a personal brand, agency or company more useful, connected and valuable. Using the social web and the Internet to develop your knowledge and expertise towards creating change, leveraging your influence towards new opportunities, strengthening processes, people and brands, building scalable ideas and launching new projects beyond the digital noughts and ones. That’s it.

How to get “this” to work

That’s what takes up my time, making sure that you get the tools, platforms, channels, strategies and tactics that form the social web working for you. This is how I do it:

  • Build your own attack. Write posts for your blog, prepare videos for YouTube, create your own social news, organise hangouts, tweet. Anything that helps you get your story across. However, make sure you stay human and interact with people rather than beating them with your message.
  • Form an ecosystem. Segment platforms and define your core value: Facebook to find people you know. Twitter for having conversations, searching and interacting and so forth in other places where you set your online presence. One use, one objective, one action, that’s enough.
  • Create your own framework. No one should trust other people’s framework or job structure. Modify them, hack them if you have to, make them work to suit your needs. Tactics, strategy, time management, work timetable, vacations: find a strcuture that works the way that you work and make it work. As Hugh McLeod use to say “ignore everybody“.
  • Learn from the outside. Extract ideas, learnings and feedback, learn to learn from the social web.
  • Negotiate your time. Use any lack of attention in your favour and create a defined workflow the allows you to structure your personal and professional tasks so that you can optimise each step of the work chain.
  • Do, make and show. Work on your project or idea, experiment, check and then share what you obtained. Seek inputs that can improve your output.
  • Burn the handbookDon’t pay too much attention to any social media preacher. For instance: if you hear that so-and-so only publishes once, try publishing twice that, then thrice that and continue trying out and experimenting, analysing where the breaking point is. Perhaps some won’t like what you do (for instance, publishing too much or placing an interstitial in your website to increase your database) but you may gain visits to your website and end up selling more.
  • Jump on the bandwagon. Take a look at what is trending in social media and jump on the bandwagon by also linking to that content. It will probably help you too. Netiquette establishes that if you find valuable content from a large brand that someone has shared, link to the person, not the brand.
  • Online reputation and blah, blah, blah! Forget online reputation and invest the hours you spend worrying about looking great in doing work that has a great result.
  • Measure whatever makes sense. Focus on metrics that measure what’s important to you; that is, your ROI. Forget the likes, followers or RT unless your job is to collect nonsensical figures regarding an overrated action. Measure the increase in orders, percentage increase in sales compared to the previous year and the one before that. Active users in your database, how many join it daily and how many unsubscribe. How many App downloads you have every week or month and the income received if it’s not a free App. How often is the content you publish shared or how many leads are you capable of taking from your social platform to your point of conversion. Whatever makes your bank account grow will make a great indicator, it’s what you should be measuring.
  • Human sells. Are you selling something? Even if your blog’s main aim is to sell, remain human, be interesting, become involved in what concerns you and add value to your audience. This isn’t the Internet we used to know. Now we have amazing tools that remind us that in order to create digital business we must start by being human. Let’s use it in a different way.

You define it

You know the best thing about it? This sleeps with you every night. It is the product of your work. The best news I’ve heard in years: Choice and not opportunity define your work…or fate!

Photo credit: Ralph S.

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Human is Appealing

I’m not talking about figures or behaviors that we would associate to a fad or a particular bubble – spotted – from my point of view, I would associate it to an explosion, the social web is skyrocketing and is reaching such an enormous magnitude simply because it’s more human and less mechanical. This is the reason why everything we do on it is so appealing and seductive to us – human beings. Commonly, we feel attracted by things that allow us to be more human. This should be a call to action for those people whose mission is humanizing and yes, socializing businesses and brands.

Every day more and more people is being productive in their spare time, in the “”non-work time.” When we lead as machines our business, we are wasting the opportunity of creating conectinveness and resonance. Businesses that start paying attention on how to stay human despite of the technology and grant opportunities to employees as well as customers of connecting and engaging through their work, interactions and transactions, will win a competitive advantage worth of being present in every successful marketing plan.

Human Media as a Strategic Process

We are now expecting human relations, no matter where, when and how happens the transaction and so the interaction. Now the strategy is staying human through the Internet and beyond the social media hype, and yes, making use of the online landscape to reach marketing and media goals. How you conceptualize these processes will help to identify human marketing touch points, which harness the power of the new media platforms and tools and perhaps, step towards the digital ecosystem. This is the strategic part of human media, the one that helps to draw the path so we can reach the market for creating the desired effect on our audience, you can only do that if you connect emotionally with the public, building credibility, trust and showing you are there, just in time, caring about them.

Simply by understanding that staying human is the key, we will see how this perspective drives a fundamental change in the way we relate to other people within interactive environments.

Photo credit: young hr manager.

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How to Integrate the Social Web into your Business

human mediaPerhaps you don’t know where to start, that’s ok. Every project, person or business requires something unique, a special treat, it’s a new adventure.

On the other hand, perhaps you are tired of listening terms such as social media, new media, human media or social business, social CRM and so on. I believe that it can be annoying when people talk too much about these “buzzwords,” let alone not showing real results or even giving a starting point. Please, we need something actionable and applicable from you, please.

Here you have my “no problemo” approach, I would like to provide you with some movements that may help in your path towards building an online presence. Find here some of the essential points for implementing the social web, social media and so, new media into your business.

How to implement the Social Web into your business

– Strategic formulation: design, structure, integration, implementation and the make-of of a strategy based on general and specific goals. Think about how this fits into the business model, it should be integrated within the overall business strategy and aligned with the offline marketing and communication. Also consider the role that SEO, digital marketing, creativity, web development, APPs and mobile marketing are playing.

– Training and guidance: A must for most of the group, this is something complicated because many brands either allocate one / two people to work on it or go for the outsourcing model. As we have seen many times and you probably know, Social Media is not an isolated case, neither will it do the magic. The real potential lies in integrating people and processes and making them work. You should be looking for interdepartmental work, which means involving all company areas in the online interaction. Make use of the training process to harness that opportunity and inspire those people.

Do not sell complicated to people who come to you to buy simple. Once you have opened their minds and hearts, it is the right time for using the the tools, platforms, APPs, channels and media more effectively, so they’ll have the tools to reach their goals – theirs, not yours.

– Social processes: interactive works, social media customer care, online-emotional touchpoints, community funnel, best practices handbooks (internal and external) and cross media. Basically, offline-online job transformation, taking departments and processes to the social web and developing extended functions.

– Social Media guidance, creation, distribution and leadership: choose someone who is close and in constant contact with your business. They are the ones who should create, distribute, exchange and share social objects: pictures, videos, posts, podcasts, etc. Don’t manage, but lead.

– Development, optimization and understanding of the Social Web Ecosystem: first select the tools, channels, APPs, mediums and platforms. Then develop a highly online-oriented strategy supported by let’s say, two main goals based on the intended typology, quirks and peculiarities. Finally allocate resources and schedule each of them. The result: you have already designed a customized online ecosystem for your business. The main idea is that it allows you to see the big picture of your online strategy.

– Community engagement: lead, build interactive bridges between brands and people, respond, redistribute and filter content, connect and interact with your audience. Say what you are going to do, how, where and with whom.

– Actions: ideas, ideas, ideas, ideas and more ideas. You have only one big commitment, being accountable for the brilliance, you are responsible for the online campaigns and social media actions that will impact your audience, but most importantly, it should be designed to reach your goals: monetization, branding, visibility, virality, direct sales, traffic, etc,

– Reputation, tracking and monitoring: online branding, naming, digital corporate identity, listening techniques (opportunities and threats). Sending reports about what is said about the brand within the online landscape. Furthermore, taking care of the brand, its reputation and carry on with a qualitative and quantitative brand analysis. What happens in our brand atmosphere is really useful in order to get the word out .

– Monetization: set up the techniques and methods which you would help you obtain the expected ROI. You are waiting to get something in return, aren’t you?

Is there any other advice that you would add about the implementation of new media in your business? What is your take on this?

Photo credit: conexus marketing.

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Human Media: The New Media

human media - isra garciaThe new way of communicating is not about Social Networks, Community Managers, complex technologies, the social-hype or last-generation software. It’s actually something basic, something simple. It’s about human relationships, connectivity, resonance and people  sticking together. This is what Human Media is about. However, in a new environment where everything still remains to be defined, we misdirect our energy towards the moment called “now”. Human Media goes beyond the current moment, it helps you compete for relevance and influence on the long-term – dealing with people, not robots.

The vast communication that goes on over the Internet through Social Networks is human, to start with, and then social. The true importance of the new communication does not only rely on social – classes and groups, segments, lifestyles, behaviours, profiles, tendencies and culture -, but on the human side of it: feelings, emotions, values, aptitudes, philosophy, personality, resonance and connectivity.

Beyond Technology

Technology is brilliant when it humanises the processes and creates connectivity in the real world; when it supports the backwards transfer from 2.0 to 1.0 and vice versa. What I mean is that Social Media, as it is, won’t change the history of humanity, but it’s very probable that what’s happening with the help of Social Media, could actually bring about change: human interactions that is.

This convergence between the new communication and the information technology allows us to witness the eruption of noise, broadcast and digital saturation. Every day we express the need for more and more human interruptions. Disruption media deals with this convergence between the three components: the new communication, technology and human interactions through online media.

By simply understanding that the idea of “staying human” is the key, we will see how this perspective drives a fundamental change in the way we relate with other people within interactive environments.

Human Media Strategy

The strategic side of Human Media is being supported by the following principles:

  • Find the true meaning of what you are doing and help others to do the same: a genuine and authentic interest in people. Human Media is oriented towards helping people, through the Social Web,  must achieve their objectives and find the relevant meaning of their actions. Inspire to inspire others.
  • Use Social Media as a means of expression in order to drive change and mark the difference: at your workplace, in your company, in your department, with other people or simply in your personal life.
  • Your ROI is the ROI of the people around you: teams, clients, friends, people you find through the Social Web.
  • Your actions must be oriented towards the objectives of the main objectives: this doesn’t change the sales objectives or leads that one must accomplish at the end of the month; what changes is the way to do it.
  • The degree of empathy should be elevated: through online media we have the chance to educate, lead and provide tools.
  • Develop the necessary skills and abilities for people to be able to have a successful trajectory within this human-technological environment; creating digital leaders or what I call Human Leaders.
  • Use feelings and emotions to generate resonance within groups of people that could become your affiliates: love and the story behind every individual or group is the only thing capable of touching people in a profoundly meaningful way.
  • Human Media is not about “heavy users”, but “attitudes”: being able to interconnect from a human point of view is a lot more valuable than simple technological insights. The value rests within the human being.

The Impact on the Web

The other day during the Panama 2.0 conference I was asked whether I believed that the connection between people is generated by the new technological findings such as the HTML5, Social TV, open graph, Siri, the New SEO… My response was simple: “Of course they help, but never forget that behind all that there is a person who’s creating the necessary movements with the intention to connect”.

Human media realises that if there is no connection, there is no engagement. Therefore, the management – or, better said, the leadership – is not related to platforms, media or tools, but feelings, sense, emotions or actions. And that’s when things get more complicated.

The opportunity rests in what remains to be defined, the unknown, the conversation generators (not noise creators): the human interactions, which happen throughout the Social Web. One can’t disagree with the fact that all the tools, channels, networks or APPs are helpful, but omitting the human factor would be a huge mistake. After all, there’s no APP, social network or online medium that could replace people.

The Impact on Business

The main challenge that businesses face is to create and launch something truly attractive and engaging. The Social Web is nothing but the means. Business has always been personal, but now more so than ever. Until now PCs were unable to transmit feelings; now this is possible.

Businesses should not follow a Social Business model, but adapt to the Human Business one. Nowadays, brands/businesses/companies try their best to transfer everything to online. But throughout this process they forget what’s most important: to also transfer their identity and culture and do it in the most human way possible – not social way.

Brands, companies, organizations should “electrify” the way that the Internet and the Social Web connect us and make transparency a must when it comes to sharing information and doing business. This factor, together with a few others (authenticity, humility, empathy, humour, inspiration or the emotional contact points) supports the human relationship between both points of the interactive bridge. The way to define that depends on you. Human interactions may happen with difficulty or with ease. But if they don’t end up in the 1.0, the interaction is not complete.

The unifying net between businesses and the social web is actually people.

what’s your opinion?

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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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Social Media Mission Statement

How many times have you heard about the mission statement? I’m talking about, the philosophical description of the organization, team or individual, which is the unbreakable path we should follow to achieve our desirable vision. As the author and consultant Laurie Beth Jones states “The mission statement is centered on the process of what you need to be doing”. In other words, a mission is a commitment that gives meaning to its carrier, through our most deeply values and beliefs – it’s our reason for being. Do you get the idea?

It doesn’t matter if you are receptionist, consultant, broker, community manager, sales representative, CEO, doctor, professor, accountant, waiter, analyst, researcher, bus-driver, or what the heck more…We agree that we’re here for a “reason“, don’t we?

Well, here is mine:

“I help and guide individuals and organizations on “going social“. That is to say, I architect and execute social media strategies in order for them to maximize their reach, build influence and harness the power of global communications building social relationships within an engagement perspective and empowering brands leveraging the audience – all contributing to increased loyalty and trust, in a funny bottom line.”

So, what is your take? Do you have a mission? What is your reason for being in Business?

I’d like to thank Dylan Persaud from Eval-Source, who enlightened me with his knowledge.

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