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Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category

Frickin’ Elephants Help Effective Communication

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011


When it comes to good communication it’s not so much about sending the right message as it is getting the right response. The right message assumes you and the other person will respond in the same way. A person’s understanding shows up before you do, and that is the reality of the message you send. It’s not what you say; it’s what people hear. And, while you might not be able to control what people see or hear, you can do a better job trying to anticipate it.

I heard a story about a grandpa helping his four-year-old grandson learn to read. The boy pointed to a picture in a zoo book and said, “Look, Grandpa! It’s a frickin’ elephant.” The grandpa took a deep breath and asked, “What did you call it?”

His grandson repeated himself.

“It’s a frickin’ elephant, Grandpa! It says so on the picture!”

And, so it did. When the grandpa looked down at the picture, it read,

“A F R I C A N Elephant.”

It’s not what you say; It’s what people hear

When looking at logos and any of your marketing materials it’s importnat to ask serious questions about the message that’s being portrayed to those that will see  them.  Here’s 4 quick pointer questions for you to consider.

  • Does this graphic support or compete with the intended experience for your audience?
  • Does this logo (or any marketing material) help accomplish the desired objective or not?
  • Does it have potential to attract or repel?
  • Does it add to or take away credibility?

When it comes to your website you only have 3 seconds to communicate that right message to your visitors, that’s less time than  it takes to read this sentence.

What’s your message and how is it being heard?
Do you think about what you might say will be taken by others and how it might affect them or do you just think about what you have to say and go and do it?

I wonder what open and candid feedback you might get if you were to show your communications (whether it be your website, newsletters to clients or internal messages) to others before sending them? Would the feedback you get back match that of the desired goal of the communication?

Is the communication you’re sending actually opening doors rather than closing them?

Your comments are really welcome, please leave them below.

The Language of Liking – Facebook Pages

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

ilikeThere’s been a major change on Facebook this week. Well actually it’s quite minor but the shift it represents is quite major.

If you’re not aware then brands and personalities can set up something called a page on Facebook and then people can become ‘fans’ by simply clicking a button to confirm they are a fan. The action is simple but what is the behaviour behind the action when someone says ‘yes I’m a fan’?

Become a fan of

Behaviour of becoming a fan
Are you a fan of something or someone? How long did it take you to become a fan? How much do you have to like something to become a fan of it? On a scale how far up it do you need to be to really really like it so much you’re willing to say ‘yes I’m a fan’?

Becoming a fan requires you to decide how much you like something not the fact you simply like it.

You see becoming a fan of something takes time. It requires you to decide how much you like something not the fact you simply like it. Generally speaking it’s not an overnight thing that happens much like ‘falling in love’. You know when you’re a fan but what are you up till that point? You’re wither a fan or a nothing, you’re in or you’re out!

The problem is it puts up an unseen barrier to people making a connection with the things they feel they have a connection to but are not willing to call themselves a fan. In this world of connections and ownership we all like to belong to something and connect with it and own it so a barrier to doing this is bad.

The barriers are up! So what’s changed?
This week Facebook have changed the word ‘fan‘ to ‘like‘ and this changes everything. No longer does someone have to wait to decide if they are a fan or not they simply need to say ‘hey yeah I like this’. They might of only seen, tried, tasted, visited or whatever once and they can say they like it. This is a very subtle change but a genius one!

It’s so much easier for someone to say they like something than to say they are a fan of it. There’s no real scale any more, you either like it or you don’t, it needs a much lower trip over level for someone to know if they like it or not and be willing to click that button and digitally say ‘I like’.

How is this good for page owners?
People, in a word! You see the name of the game for page owners is to get people to commit and connect to them so that they can interact with them and ultimately build there brand profile much more easily.

Being a fan was a barrier and with people only needing to process whether they like something or not we should see many many more people acknowledging their likes and so brands have a bigger connected audience.

What are your thoughts on this? We love to interact with our readers so please leave a comment.

Have you got any social equity?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

socialmediasWhat is social equity and and why do I need it?

Well Social Equity (closely linked to brand equity) covers many different things but in this article it’s the value of your online reputation as dictated by your followers, readers and fans etc. That is to say do people like you, trust you and generally think you have credibility?

This value of your equity ie your worth increases or decreases based on the on-line engagement between yourself and others on various social media outlets. It’s not very tangible but it’s evident quickly if you have positive or negative social equity and ultimately this moves to the off-line world, maybe in the form of a business transaction.

How do I work out my equity value?

If you look at the diagram below you can easily see how different aspects of engagement determine your equity value.

social equity scale

Now there’s no definitive scale or points system and there’s no website to sign up to to get your equity value score although I no doubt someone will try! This diagram is theoretical at best but I know that when people know, like and trust you then things happen. My suggestion is that everyone starts at 0 if you’re unknown and it’s up to you which way you travel, up or down the scale.

How do I travel up the scale?

You will be part of a community that is your followers, fans, readers and those that come across you. You maybe part of multiple communities which is where it gets a little complicated so I’ll come back to that later. Within your community you have to build trust and credibility – kudos is the name of the game.

This is done in a number of ways and if you’re already actively involved in social media you’ll of read a number of articles saying how you need to be real, authentic, transparent, trustworthy, engaging, helpful etc (if you haven’t read anything then you need to be all those).

Also if you want to be seen as the guru in your chosen field then you also need to be seen as knowledgeable, the person who should be asked and of course you must respond to and answer those questions that are posed to you.

Is it a numbers game? If I have lots of readers or followers I’m doing good right?
Well not necessarily. There’s no real direct correlation between your social equity and the number of followers or readers. For example you might have a 1000 readers of your blog but they might not trust you.

How will I go down the scale?
Posting one way salesy marketing messages about your business is a good start. Not responding to any comments, tweets or messages aimed at you. Posting inconsistently, infrequently and without any substance will also send it plummeting. And of course as in life if you’re being a general douche bag that wont help.

Can I survive an equity fall out?
A tricky one. It really depends on what happened but people are people and some will forgive and some wont. Most people like to hear the word sorry as it’s the hardest word to say. That out of the way you must then rebuild what you’ve lost or indeed never had following the advice in this article.

We love to engage with our readers so please do leave a comment.

Social Media Explored Seminar in Cromer

Monday, March 8th, 2010

socialmediasFazed by Facebook? Troubled by Twitter? Unsettled by social media generally?

Whether you’re a business owner, representing an organisation in the private or public sector or just a concerned individual the explosion in use of social media can easily leave you feeling left behind and uninformed. Maybe it seems everybody is getting involved except you?

Come to this completely free seminar and listen to experienced social media user, speaker and trainer Gary Dickenson explore, explain and unravel the mysteries behind social media. Anyone is welcome to attend the talk but it is primarily targeted towards business owners, management & staff and organisations & their staff.

The evening will be split into 2 parts with the first part giving a general introduction and the second optional part giving a specific brief twitter teach in.

Pt 1: Social Media Explored:

  • Where has the social media explosion come from?
  • What are the good/bad things about it?
  • Is social media right for you, if so what type?
  • How do you keep privacy and boundaries?
  • Should you be letting your employees use it?
  • Get tips on how to gain new business & exposure.
  • Learn what do to when it all goes wrong.
  • Learn how to use social media responsibly & effectively.
  • A time for questions and answers.

Break for refreshments

Pt 2: Twitter Teach In
This is the social media channel that everyone seems to dismiss as pointless but is it and why is so popular?

  • Why do I need to be using Twitter?
  • How to use Twitter, the basics?
  • Learn how to avoid bad behavioural traits and succeed with best practices

Where & When?
Cromer Parish Hall, Cromer.
Tuesday 30th of March
7pm for 7:30pm start

Please book your place in advance by calling Gary on or email so that we can make sure there are enough seats and refreshments.

People are talking about your business, brand or organisation right now,
…. are you listening?

How Twitter has Successfully Worked for Us.

Monday, December 14th, 2009

twitterWe’ve been social media users for as long as I can remember, in fact it’s fair to say that this business has been built solely on the back of various social media channels. This said we only started to harness the power of twitter no more than 3 months ago although to be fair the methods of approaching twitter are the same as any other social media tool it’s just a case of learning the little idiosyncrasies.

I admit it was a time thing that was most off putting, how was I supposed to shoe horn in one more thing to my working day? But, one day I read an article and the last parting comment was this:

The train is leaving the station with or without you

This was a general reference to social media but in particular twitter as that is the forerunner at the moment. The next day I was on that train brandishing first class tickets yelling at the driver to take off the brakes and get this train moving full steam ahead. The one thing I can say without doubt is ‘why didn’t I start tweeting earlier?’.

Twitter success
It takes a while to get established and in the first few weeks getting stuck in and finding your feet does take up a lot of time but we’re confident we’re taking the right approach to our tweeting (open to opinion though) because of our achievements with it so far in about 6 weeks and 600 or so posts.

So in no particular order of importance we have: Found 2 new suppliers, have been invited to show at an exhibition (which went very well), am talking to one contact to do some consultancy for them, have been invited to guest blog with good exposure, had the opportunity to quote for work (2 largish contracts so far) we otherwise wouldn’t of, connected with people who have been asking about our service that we otherwise would of missed and we’ve actually won some work!

But maybe more importantly we’ve forged some fantastic relationships with people and anticipate doing more deals within the next month or so and all as a direct result of twitter alone. All within approx 8 weeks, although to be fair the productive parts have been in the last month or so.

We’re firmly on that train now, are you? If you are looking for help and/or advice regarding the use of Twitter for your brand or indeed social media in general then do get in touch via our contact page. We can provide your business with various social media based products from twitter backgrounds up to training seminars/workshops.

Your comments are really welcome, please leave them below.