Taking it on one spoonful at a time!

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Why Am I Seeing This?

I love finding shortcuts and easy ways to do my job. I don’t mean that I’m lazy but with all the tasks that are required to do this job well, having tools that make them easier and faster are beneficial. It’s the old “it’s not how well you mow fast, it’s how fast you mow well” kind of thing. Examples of this include Hootsuite which makes my posting life a dream. Google Analytics which give me the insight to know who is paying attention to me. Other things like Facebook and Google trends allow me to think about current events in terms of our business and use those topics as a stepping off point to timely posts that people are tuned into right now.

This business is about keeping up with your competitors and putting out better resources that draw the attention of new clients. There are a few tricks out there like following their pages, blogs and Instagram accounts to see what they are sharing and then taking that and in your own way turning that into your own useful information sharing. I came across another handy tip today thank you to one of the many social media resource experts that I look to for help when I need it. I am not sure about you, but I am super sensitive about seeing annoying ads in my personal Facebook Newsfeed. I shouldn’t be because we have advertised on our social media channels so I get it. I just don’t necessarily appreciate it all the time. So, the suggestion, which might border on simple brilliance, was that when you see an ad from your competitors which is pretty easy to spot you should click on the “why am I seeing this option” choice instead of hitting “hide this ad”. When you do that, you will be able to see why you’re seeing the ad which tells you the demographic that they are targeting and a small piece of insight into why. BAM! super smart right?

This isn’t really sneaky just creative in that it allows you to begin thinking about to whom you should consider marketing to and some of the why. Now, you may already be doing this but if you’re not it will at least provide you with an idea or two on potential ways and topics with which to reach a certain demographic that may seem just out of your marketing reach. Add this to your regular strategic arsenal and you’ll only fine tune not only your target audience but also the way in which you are reaching them.


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Is Technology Becoming a Handicap?

is technology a handicap blogIn my world it is beneficial to be organized and use time wisely.  Finding and utilizing the right tools to make the most of every minute in a day that doesn’t have enough hours is super important.  Tools such as Hootsuite, Hootlet, Feedly and others have been lifesavers because they let me do more in less time and bring the information that I must have to do my job properly right to my desktop.  I couldn’t possibly keep up with the massive volume of information let alone push out the same without them. So to say the least I love these tools!

There is a line however that at some point crossing could disable us.  At what point do we begin losing skills, not to mention brain cells, because we use tools that make everything we do just that much easier?  We are enabled to use less creativity because our tools do that for us. We are encouraged to use resources that a partnership offers to us instead of researching and writing our own material.  We use links that we first shorten to meet our 140 characters with a tool and we speak in terms of acronyms like LOL and BRB because slang is is now how the world rolls. It happens in life too to our children right in front of our eyes. They text while sitting next to one another, Google things for schoolwork while playing XBox and Snapchatting.  We used to have to walk to the library to WRITE a report. Now we type it up on the computer.  This I’m sure every one of my old teachers is grateful for since I did not have very good handwriting….handwriting, that too is no longer practiced because we can type.  UGH!

Before I proceed, I do want to say I do believe in saving time.  Driving to the library versus walking there to save time is fine.  Utilizing the internet is much faster than trolling the card catalog then spending a half hour trying to find the book and the reference or devoting an hour in front of Encyclopedia Brittanica which is all it used to take.  Time saving resources and tasks are good but at what cost?  The days of real card catalogs and the Dewey Decimal system are gone.  I’m not sure this is an improvement but I will say that it is part of where the world is going and sometimes you can’t fight City Hall and lets face it, I would never have driven through Boston without my Garmin because the days of my road map navigation are thankfully history!  We have programs that now separate our emails for us so we will know which ones are most important. Really?  We can text from our cars hands-free, why?  Because we can’t possibly wait :15 minutes until we get home?  We network online, we date by filling out a form and we order take-out because it’s easier to do at 5:00 instead of learning to cook a meal where we know what all the ingredients are and how long they have been hanging around.  We are becoming more and more impatient, less resourceful, more lazy and definitely more reliant on tools that do things for us, usurping us of the skills we all love to boast right here on LinkedIn.

At what point are these tools and resources hindering our ability to grow as people, employees and a society?  Are they enabling or disabling and how will that affect the next generation of leaders? One never can tell about these things but we must wonder.

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What is Your Flashpoint?

What is your flashpoint blogIn the world of science, a Flashpoint is the lowest temperature at which a given liquid will ignite.  There are two basic types of flash point measurements: open cup and closed cup.  In open cup devices the sample is contained in an open cup which is heated, and at intervals a flame is brought over the surface. In closed cup testers the samples are in the cups which are sealed with a lid through which the ignition source can be introduced.

In social media a Flashpoint can be considered the point at which your follower engagement takes off.  What is the catalyst that you can employ to drive engagement?  Video?  Graphics? SME interviews? Podcasts?  What medium are you using to get people talking?  Is it working?  Have you compared yourself to your competitors and what are they doing better than you?  Perhaps you should add another resource to your social arsenal such as this relatively new posting feature on LinkedIn.  Content is key as @RyanHanley_com will tell you any day of the week.  What you need to then ask yourself is: are you measuring engagement or randomly pushing out material?  Do you actually know what your Flashpoint is?  If not, why?  If you don’t have one, be bold and brave and try something new because success comes through failure.

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It’s a Give and Get Game!

friends-social-fingersI always teach people that one of the first things they should do when setting up a social media presence that they should like their vendors, partners and corporate clients.  This group is what is known as industry peers and are one of the greatest resources you will have as you bring your message to your target audience.  They will be the group you get the most help from when you are wondering what in creation you will post about today.  This group is like sitting in a room full of people with great ideas who are just shouting them out into the ever growing stream known as your newsfeed.  They are just begging you to share their information, and you should.  Why?  Because it’s just like your parents told you when you were little.  Share and share alike.  If you share then other people are inclined to share with you as well.

Maybe you are now saying to yourself, “self, I don’t care if they share my stuff” so it doesn’t matter anyway.  Uhm..YES you do!  You do because each time someone shares your post or blog or infographic it’s like being on the Jumbotron at The Fleet Center instead of just talking to the people around you in the nosebleed section.  Your message instantly goes out to all of their followers which is how you organically grow your faithful readers provided of course that you are sharing valuable content with them.  It happens one Like at a time. It can also be likened to attending a networking event where the host takes you around the room and systematically introduces you to many of the guests.  These efforts open the door that would have been much harder to open alone.

Now this alone will not rocket you to fame or instant sales success but it isn’t about that.  It’s about developing relationships. It’s about investing the time where time is best used and gains the most ROI.  One hand washes the other in this game of social prowess and you too must do your due diligence in order to keep yourself in good standing with those who are willing to share your message.  This post is a spark of thoughts based on another post I just read that discusses the specific things you can do to maintain these relationships.  Nothing is ever truly free and everything takes work, something this upcoming generation may need more of an understanding about. That fact aside, get to know who your industry peers and resources well.  Make friends with these groups and be a regular contributor to their communications.  This will be an effort that does not go unnoticed and will come back ten fold.