Where are you with defining yourself? How are you showing yourself?

In the fast-moving world of Social Media, what are you using to put yourself in the Shop Window?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #SocialMedia #Social-Media

With the many different platforms of Social Media that exist, but which ones are the right ones for you? The situation of sharing the items you want to, can fall between personal and business. But which should you be using? So, to give you some ideas for making sure you are ready for 2014, here are some for you to consider:-

Personal:-

  • Facebook more and more people are using Facebook but at the same time, it would seem (according to many recent reports) that the under 28 age group are using Facebook less and less, so consider whether Facebook is pure for your family and close friends
  • Flickr is a photo sharing website owned by Yahoo which enable you to have an on-line photo album which can be set to Public or Private or a mixture of both
  • Foursquare gives you the opportunity to “Check-in” at your chosen places of interest or locations where you make your purchases and in some cases receive rewards too
  • Google+ is now becoming a format where you need a G+ account to enable to do more things with Google products than just view such Google Hangout’s, Google Maps / Earth and YouTube to name a few together with also becoming the host for your emails like gMail
  • Instagram is a mixture of photo and 15 second video recording sharing platform which is used by both personal and business and heavily used by the under 28 age group
  • Klout gives you the opportunity to link all your Social Media applications together in one place, which then rates your interaction with people to give you a score based on your influencing interactions
  • LinkedIn is a professional networking platform where you are effectively showing your work history and sharing business information with a wider audience with the business community. This year has seen the age of entry being lowered from 18 to 13 to help the teenage generation with their careers and interact with companies and universities and colleges
  • Path is becoming a more used platform by people wanting a closed group for sharing information with especially as it is secure and limited to only 150 connections hence why the under 28 age group using this more and more
  • Pinterest is a platform where you can create on-line scrap-book showing shared photos of your likes together with uploading images you discover on-line
  • Snapchat is fast becoming one the most used platforms for sharing photos and these are only viewed once before disappearing based on a viewing time of 3 to 10 seconds especially being used by the under 28 age group
  • Tumblr which is owned by Yahoo is becoming more and more the use of the under 28 age group together combing the similar applications of the likes of Blogging, Facebook, Google and Twitter
  • Twitter a platform that can either be personal or business and giving you the opportunity to share your views with famous people, celebrities and companies
  • Vine is a 6 second recording video site where you can share your videos there or send then out to a wider audience via Twitter
  • WordPress gives you the dual ability of having either a website or a blog and both combined if you wish and sharing your dates via the site or with Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Twitter too
  • Xing is one of the main networking platforms for senior professionals and senior management personnel along side CEO’s and board members across Europe with a major focus around the Benelux region of Europe plus Switzerland too

Business:-

  • Facebook via pages facility give you the opportunity to either give yourself a Public profile or a business page to promote you in a profession aspect away from your personal profile. Also, by providing a “Page”, you are enabling your clients and prospective clients to interact with you
  • Foursquare if used correctly is a good marketing platform for your business as well as a rewarding platform too
  • Flickr is a photo sharing website owned by Yahoo where you can host your photos. Many companies are using this site a s a way to host their photo albums for their website
  • Google+ is your personal website giving you the opportunity to log in and access platforms for your business needs but ca also be the security back up access for platforms such as your business email account and YouTube for example
  • Google Hangouts gives you the opportunity to host or take part in video conferencing or seminars
  • Google Places is page where by displaying your business allows people to locate where you are. In certain cases this is being provided by your G+ page above interacting with the Google on their mapping facility
  • Instagram allows you to host your business promotional photo material together with promotional videos
  • Klout shows what your interaction across all your Social Media applications and platforms can achieve and the level of influence you have created across your Circles of Influence
  • LinkedIn allows your company to have Showcases, Company pages and Company Groups too, to promote not just your company but specific aspects of your business also
  • Pinterest allows you post all your promotional photos and other information on a dedicated business page
  • Snapchat I foresee if used correctly will be one of the biggest marketing platforms of 2014
  • Tumblr is a combination of blogging and a website which aims to allow you to post information either as a quick update, photo sharing, a blog and or as a website depending on your needs 
  • Twitter is a great way of providing an interface to your prospective clients and clients together with providing information to what your company is doing
  • Vine via a 6 second video clip you can promote your company or your products
  • WordPress gives you a website that you can build, develop and update yourself and if you then want to get a professional company to take it over, then they can with losing all the words, photos and articles you have done. With being able to share this with Facebook, FacebookGoogle+LinkedInTumblr and Twitter – you can provide updates and releases in one go

Whilst there is many more you can use, these will give you the basis to start in the Social Media arena or take you to the next level. Yes you can add other platforms that brings information  together or allows to cross promote or schedule, but the main thing is to get yourself going and get things right before extending into other areas.

So, make sure you get yourself involved with these platforms for the start of 2014 so you can start the year on a professional platform that gives you a depth of platforms and new audiences when you post on these applications.

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When we speak to people – we communicate, but do you on-line?

There you are about to walk through or exit a place via the door and people are following you or entering in the other direction, you hold the door open for them and you exchange comments thanking each other…..

You bump into another person and you apologise……

Someone does something for you and helps you, you say thank you because they have assisted you

You do something for someone to help them or acknowledge what they have done by congratulating – a word or two of thanks is exchanged…..

Someone says hello and introduces themselves to you and answer back…..

Just four examples of what we do in our lives each and every day, we show our manners and are polite due to the way we have been brought up in society – so, what do you do on-line? Do you operate in the same way? If not, why not?

With the increasing use of Social Media and how we operate – are you behaving properly? Whilst there maybe not be defined rules as to how operate on-line, why don’t you replicate what you do in your normal day on-line? So let me ask two questions:-

  • You see something on FacebookTwitter, Google+ LinkedIn or Xing to name but a few, yet what do you do? You like the item, share it, re-tweet it, favourite it, Plus 1 it or comment on it – why do you do this?
  • Whilst using these platforms, you write or share something and in turn you get people who like the item, share it, re-tweet it, favourite it, Plus 1 it or comment on it – so why do you not thank them or acknowledge what they have done every time?

As I mentioned before, in normal every day life you do the first question as a matter of course and the second question, you do this automatically, so why can’t you do this on this on-line?

Just a simple piece of etiquette can go a long way and helps you to start on the road to:-

  • Engage and/or engagement
  • Interaction and/or interaction
  • Influence

Just by developing the mirroring of off-line and on-line of your activities, you will start to engage with your audience and thus starting to create interaction between you both. Once this interaction starts to take place, you are both starting to exert influence on each other. Once this influence starts to grow between you both become members of each other’s Circle of Influence – thus you are each other’s Key Person of Influence.

Should you be wanting to develop yourself, your work and/or your company on-line, you truly have to create the correct on-line presence and develop your credibility thus, your Circle of Influence will help you and hence why it is important that you interact.

Whilst the last few paragraphs seem to hint and revolve around the same points, you need to understand why this is crucial. In today’s fast-moving world of the internet, your presence and your performance is key.

Let me leave you with these four little tips, which whilst maybe little, but in the on-line community that is the internet and Social Media, these little tips are very powerful and crucial:-

  • Treat any part of Social Media like you would when applying for a job. The Curriculum Vitae you would handover or the Application Form you would complete, you detail everything and tell the truth – so why would lie or be false on-line?
  • As pointed out at the start, off-line you always thank people and exchange messages – so do the same on-line. When people engage with the items you share on-line, always try to acknowledge. Whilst you may not be able to answer every single comment, like or share made about your article, at least comment on it, thanking people as this will show that you are engaging with your audience.
  • When you are communicating, make sure you are doing this right and with the correct intention in mind as well replication too. For example, many people send tweets which are up to 140 characters and the reason for this, was that it was a facility to share and update your audience with what you are doing. So when writing your tweet, endeavour to keep it below 100 characters, so when people re-tweet it, at least it will a) have name in it so you get credited and b) the tweet is re-tweeted in full. Also, when you share items, say from Facebook to Twitter, make sure the message is there, two people send the message but it is just a link and people tend to skip this in the majority of occasions due to issues over the links being not secure or they can’t be bothered as they are scanning quickly over these messages.
  • What are the rules? Make sure you obey to stop you getting into trouble. Take the two most important Facebook rules – a) you must be over 13 (but many parents allow their children on below that age) and b) Facebook is personal, so have your page for personal use and create a business page. If you use a personal page and treat it as a business, Facebook will close it down and you have lost everything which can’t re-activated. The latter also applies to LinkedIn too.

So, I hope this article and the four points above have been of interest and help you with how yow behave, engage and interact with your audience on-line in the future…..

Are you wanting something new or are you happy to see the same things again and again?

A question for you…..

– How do you learn?
– Is it by seeing something new?
– Is it by seeing something that seems new but is just a repeat of something weeks, months or even a year or two ago?

So what is your answer…….

In my own opinion, I want to be reading something new that can educate and inspire myself – not receive something and then discover it was posted or shared previously!

How about receiving something that implies that it is new but upon reading it, you see the date and it is several months old, last year or even older? Whilst some of the information may be relevant, aren’t you being mislead with the accompanying message implying it is new?

I guess what I am hinting at, is so many people that are called experts, are actually repeating the same messages over and over again – maybe spaced a week or more apart – but is this beneficial to you? Wouldn’t it be better saying in the message, a new overview which then links back to the original article?

I may be being controversial and seem to be commenting on people who may be very successful – more than I could ever be – or more liked and well known than myself, so why is it people have made the same observations yet don’t want to upset the ‘Apple Cart’ but feel the same? Is it because they are concerned that people will question them and imply they don’t know what the experts are saying?

If you actually look at these ‘so-called’ experts, how many have actually ran a real business or had a real job in a position where they have to control budgets and make decisions as to whether people have a job or not? Had the occasion where they need money to pay bills, rent or taxes and experienced the worry that goes with it?

If you look at the high percentage of these ‘ so called ‘ experts, they are people who are either from a Academic background or have decided to take a new career and choose to become mentors, educators or experts. Yet, how have they all done this, read books, listen to podcasts, CD’s or watched YouTube or DVD’s and maybe even attended seminars or training courses. So, yes they may have this knowledge – and possibly qualifications – but do they really know what it is like to be in the position of the business people they are trying to help or are they the right people to nurture and mentor people starting out in business?

Yes, education can be very beneficial but is education more important than actual real life experience? How often have you undertaken role play? If you asked those people to role play a situation in their business, could they actually do it? I guess a comparison could be ‘would you let someone who has only read books, read the internet and watched YouTube/DVD’s BUT never touched or spoken to a real patient be your doctor or surgeon?’ – no doubt, the answer will be always NO….

So, in summary…….

Whilst it may help to drive people to your website, like your Facebook page, your LinkedIn or Xing profiles by continually asking them but surely wouldn’t it be better to say, ‘pop over and have a look, please let me know what you think‘? Doesn’t this create better engagement and collaborate with your audience and potential clients?

Furthermore, I am not suggesting everyone who does re-posting is wrong; as some people who re-post, do it because the original posting is being constantly reviewed and commented on, thus re-posting is to share the new comments to their audience.