Thursday, February 3, 2011

How to accomplish everything.

Because I started back with a full time position, I haven't as much time to update my blog here at Your Web Presence Strategist.  I also strongly believe in not adding more content for you to consume, unless I think it provides value.

That being said, I think this post by Chris Guillebeau provides value.  You may not know who Chris is and I will leave it up to you to find it out.  Thankfully his sage wisdom does not need to be supported by his expertise (of which you know nothing of).  He wrote a post recently called Accomplish Everything. I encourage you to read it yourself, however I wanted to mention a few of his main points.  Consider this your Executive Summary.

  1. You don't actually accomplish everything.  You accomplish what is the most important.
  2. You have to enjoy what you do to accomplish everything you deem as important.
  3. In order to accomplish everything you enjoy and deem as important, you still need to work at it.  
There you go.  Chris's article is an enjoyable and quick read.  I suggest you take 2 minutes and learn something (or strongly implant something you already know).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tribal Stages

I listened to a great TED talk today by David Logan who was answering the question, "How do we create world shattering innovation?".  He talked about tribes, not Seth Godin's Tribes, but actually tribal leadership and tribe stages.

He outlined 5 tribe stages:
  1. Life Sucks - the lowest of these types of  tribes. These are the culture of gangs and prisons. In this tribe,  people just do bad things.
  2. My Life Sucks - sounds like it could be worse than Life Sucks, however it's a step up.  Atleast you know there is a better life out there somewhere.   (I like his Boys Club example)
  3. I'm Great ... and you're not - Here you compare your life and accomplishments to everyone else in a competitive nature.   This doesn't really promote growth.
  4. We're Great - Here the tribe gels and they see how as a group how great they are.
  5. Life is Great - Here is where real new ideas come.  His example of South Africa really encompasses the effect of Stage 5.
Now whether you agree on these stages or not, you can see how a greater focus outside of yourself can breed all sorts of creative innovation and results.  And you can't remained in Stage 5 the whole time but how you can aspire to reach it.  I also like David's comment about tribes can only see one stage above and below themselves.  I've heard this before and have seen in in action.

When working on your own social media, keep these in mind.  Within your company, aim for Stages 4 and 5 because that's where the real magic happens.  However, realize you need to work your way up.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Social Media as a Means Not an End.

Often companies get so focused on their Social Media channels they forget it's a tool not the goal.  When Social Media usage becomes the goal, you don't have the time nor insight to make the company succeed in it's true mission.

Jonathan Fields, one of my favourite bloggers,  addresses this, however I think his blog title is misleading.  Instead of Twitter, the ultimate creation killer, I think it should be "Social Media as a means not an end", but that might be too poetic. :D

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Twitter Starter Steps

You know you want to be on Twitter. You've done your due diligence and decided it's important for your business. Now what?

Other than registration, getting started with Twitter, requires a few more steps.
  1. Pick a username that is easy to spell and appropriate for your company.
  2. Your bio allows 160 characters. Use it wisely. Think a combination of search friendly terms yet human friendly as well. (It has to be readable so people know what you are about).
  3. Your profile image should look good.  Don't just load up anything, think about your brand and how your background will look.
  4. Design your background to coincide with your brand.  Test it out on multiple sizes and remember the center column will float left and cover anything you have in the background.  That being said, maybe it's my own pet-peeve but leaving your contact info, email, website, etc as part of your background image is just annoying.  I can't click it. I can't copy and paste it. If it's important stick it in your bio.
Once you have the Twitter profile page design completed, it's time to get some peeps.  This can take some time however here are some starting points for this as well:
  1. If you know of  competitors or similar business Tweeters, check out their following and followers list.  Follow the same people if they look like they would provide value.  Keep working your way through these lists.  You might want to set an alarm so you remember to come back up for air 60 minutes later.
  2. Use Use the keywords you hope people are using to find you.  Follow these people if it makes sense to.
  3. Announce your new Twitter account on Facebook, your blog, your website, where-ever.  If people don't know you have one, how will they know to find you?
  4. Retweet anything that is of value and makes your business look good. (If you tweet something stupid it looks bad on you as well).
To make sure you are using Twitter to it's fullest potential, like knowing hash tags have nothing to do with illegal substances, check out the many online resources available.

Oh and most importantly, BEFORE you decide to follow anyone, you might want to have a few Twitter updates already live and ready.  No one wants to sign up to your Twitter account with "Hello World! This is my first Twitter post! So cool!"  Well no one other than your Mom.

Happy Tweeting!

Monday, November 8, 2010

To Tweet or Not To Tweet ...

Before you become a Twitter-er or a Tweeter, you need to think about a few things first.
  1. Why do you want to Tweet and what do you want to get out of it.
  2. How much time do you have available to commit to Twitter?
  3. What value are you going to provide?
  4. How are you going to measure your success using Twitter?
Often companies get on Twitter and they don't really know why other than they were told they need to be there.  The same goes for Facebook.  As with any good business decision, you need to have a plan before investing your time and money. Are you going to use Twitter as research, outreach, customer service or for promotions or company updates? Is the purpose to give your company a human touch or to provide data that makes you look like the expert you are?

Once you know why you want to use it and how you plan on using Twitter, the next obvious question should be do you have the time for it? If you don't, can you outsource your Twitter Social Media plan or keep it internal? Can you trust your brand to whomever you allocate the role to? Where will the content come from and what are the parameters for your research?

Finally, you should know how you plan to measure your Twitter success.  It's not cut and dry. There are no 1 to 1 measurements at the moment. However, there are measurable aspects when using Social Media.  Do your customers say they heard about you on Twitter? Are there more referring urls from your Twitter page to your website? Has the phone load in your Customer Service Call Center gone down? Is there more online chatter about your company and is it positive?  These are all things that are measurable and will contribute to the value of your company.

But first ask, should you create a Twitter account?  If the answer is yes, next week, I'll discuss what is required to set up Twitter for your business other than just registering your account.