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15 Tips and Howto’s to Empower your Social Media Career

Posted on November 24, 2010. Filed under: Adventures, Howto, Social Media, Tips | Tags: , , , , |

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practical advice on social media

I’ve been asked several times for some students, that I should put together practical advice on going through the social media pathways and how to avoid the pitfall. Well the pitfall – meaning failure – is part of the game – However,  I can definitely take some concepts that best have been worked for me through these almost 4 years of adventures and experience in Social Media and list them.

15 Tips and Howto’s to Empower your Social Media Career

how to empower you career on social media

1. Hang out!

Meet people outside the Social Web. You’ll engage with them by meeting them personally in real-life. This is goal of Social Media. isn’t it?

2. Be an  entrepreneur

Start things, try, fail, make things happen, make business, set up social media initiatives, create needs, anticipate trends, trust in your gut…

3. Screw it, let’s do it!

Life spent wishing is life wasted

4. Manage your Social Media Time (idea by ChrisBrogan)

In order to engage, connect and interact with the community, you need to set up a social media policy, which allows you to manage your social media time, not for the sake of your time, but for creating the perfect relationship between the community and you.

  • Reading/listening: Spend 2/4 of your time reading and listening blogs, posts, updates, comments and so on…you’ll have a full understanding of what’s going on in your community, not to mention learning, thus gain insights and expand your knowledge, which is always great!
  • 1/4 Commenting: How do we expect people connect with us if we don’t reciprocate? We just expect comment from other people, but what about themselves? If we do so we’ll build a trust-based relationship with our audience and suddenly, we’ll realize that we’ve influencers and “high value partners”
  • 1/4 Creating: And the last one, create content, your content is important and is also essential to get you known – I’m not talking about quality and relevancy, we assume that – but at the end is auto-promotion, so my advice is promote your content 1 time for 20 times you promote others’ content.

5. WOM is your best friend

Nowadays, the WOM is the best marketing ever. The good news? In Social Media he’s our best friend, let’s see how we can make an effective use of him…

6. Social Media World

Offer social media platforms to collect feedback and at the same time-sharing and interacting.

7. Learn to say thank you

Say it! Do it publicly and please, customize your message, avoid mass untargeted messages.

8. Connect!

Connect your audience, create your tribe, start with a small group of people first. It’s a hard and slow process, it requires consistency, transparency charisma and imagination. But, let me tell you, that when you start seeing the results, it’s worth to make this effort.

As SethGodin says, you don’t need a keyboard to lead, you just need the desire to make something happen.

9. Network

Hell, yes! We’ve not talked about it yet!  Build a network, join social media associations or communities as Social Media Today, Social Media Marketing, word of mouth marketing association, third tribe marketing, mashable, techcrunch, adictos al social media, social mediopolis, life hacker or inbound marketing to name a few.

In all this groups, there’s a great amount of information exchange about social media and other related subjects. These are fantastic places to get in touch with what’s hot in social media, upcoming trends, but also to connect and engage with other professionals, enthusiasts and even businesses. Here, in Social Media, the opportunity has no name!

10. Breakeven point

Find you breakeven point – between professional and personal life. Establish beforehand which platforms are going to be for professional use and which ones for a more personal and private use – if you think you may have – In my case, I use Facebook for chilling, bragging, whining and so on with my people, I like to know what are they up to. I’m afraid, but unless I know someone who had me as a friend, I’m not going to friend her/him. However, they can always find you on LinkedIn, Twitter, foursquare, blogs…Does it make sense?

11. Multi-task

Be ready for being a multitask, owning your own Social Media brand, working as a freelance for big agencies, setting up synergies for collaborating in bigger projects, working for big brand, travelling, giving business talks, teaching Social media classes, posting regularly, commenting every single interaction, helping out others, having friends, family and even girlfriend/boyfriend…It’s OK to have 30 or 40 windows opened, it’s OK to have 100 passwords, is ok following and managing 10 communities, is Ok Posting each day in 5 or 8 blogs…at the end you are a Social Media Rockstar, right?

12. Always IN

Forget vacations, I said that because with Social Media you always should be on the top of the wave, doesn’t matter if it’s with a laptop or with a smart phone, always IN

13. Plan for failure

As we said before we’re on the gates to a new world, so there’s a lot to discover, learn and win. Nevertheless, as we don’t know what’s going to happen, you’d better have a plan B, C D and even E. Have always a contingency plan.

14. Your Spark

Everybody has a spark, if we take it from the foundation that we’re all different, and we won’t find another person identical to us. Then, as everybody has something that makes her/him unique – call it the Spark – You’ve one, Did you find it? Yes? How would you apply it? Is your Spark the ability to connect with people? To be open-minded? Catalyst for change? Heretic? Leader? Think about how you can use your Spark to boost your Social Media rock star Career…

15. Attitude

Did it mention before? A strong willing attitude for being remarkable, following your dreams or make a difference are sings that you are a social media rock star and if not, no worries, you can learn them, nobody is born being social media rock star.

You

What’s your opinion? What other tips would you add to the list? What’s left?

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Social Media Adoption Process

Posted on October 14, 2010. Filed under: Howto, israelgarcia, Models, Social Media | Tags: , , |

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How do you keep focused on Social Media? Is social Media something you have born with? or otherwise, something you can learn and develop? Have you ever thought if Social Media has an adoption stage?

I, as you – I suppose – Scarcely have we learned through all this thing called Social Media by chance or casualty, nor at the University or by attending a Social Media Masters course.

I learned by:

  • Leaning forward
  • Taking the lead
  • Challenging assumptions
  • Questioning everything
  • Failing dramatically
  • Using “their” glasses, not mine
  • Making mistakes – minors and majors
  • Saying YES, where everybody said NO
  • Reinventing myself over and over
  • Having the right attitude
  • Being Irreverent
  • Exploring new paths in search of adventures
  • Taking risks
  • Having thousand of arguments
  • Reversing how people use to see things
  • Agreeing and disagreeing (most of the times)

Social Media Adoption Process

However, beyond all these learning I realized that I’ve followed a singular path to learn how to focus, approach and engage my understanding about Social Media.

I summed up in a procedure I called the Social Media Adoption Process

Learning in Social media - Isra Garcia

The Process

The process starts as follows:

  1. You get insights and perspectives by reading, listening and commenting – basically feedback – that is to say, by being an active player in the Social Web.
  2. These insights and perspectives lead you to create an idea.
  3. Then, you move from thinking to doing when you put in practice the idea. However, you don’t know if you’re going to succeed with the first idea – hopefully – Therefore, you experiment with the idea.
  4. During the experimental phase there’s 2 possibilities: A. You succeed, then you’re done, congrats! B. You fail – I love this one – this leads you to another different step.
  5. When you experience failure, best thing to do is laughing at yourself – Yes, laugh at you – don’t take things seriously, think about it as a new opportunity to learn something new, share your failure with your community, make it part of your story, and more important, celebrate it!
  6. When you laugh and rest importance, you distress yourself from the failure, so you’re more open and eager to receive sincere feedback from your community, followers, subscribers or friends – in this case, true friends –
  7. Undoubtedly, good feedback (note how I use the word good) steps you to a new level of understanding and learning – there’s no greater experience that sharing for improving – The key resides in how you ask for feedback, to who and where, but this is another adventure…. So, taking what you learned from failing, laughing and from others’ feedback, you correct your first idea. Let’s say a blogging approach focused on your community: the tone, subjects, message… instead of what you wanted to publish – your initial idea –
  8. All those steps you’ve taken when you failed have changed – either slightly or radically – the way you approached the idea for first time, so what you’re really doing is trying different – in my opinion, the key reason
  9. Once you get here, it gets easier, if you try different, and succeed – not you’re not done – try different again and you’ll succeed again, and for the sake of Social Media, keep trying different. Nevertheless, should you fail, keep trying different. Because, when you’re trying different you’re leaning forward, and the person who is leaning forward the most, wins the race.

With me? What’s your take?

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What Twitter can Do for your Small Business

Posted on June 29, 2010. Filed under: Howto, Social Media, Tips, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , |

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I recently talked about the suitability of twitter for every message/event/channel in a UK forum, saying that Twitter isn’t a tool or platform, but a communication medium, which has the power to create conversation instead of the typical “noise”, leverage millions of people with just 140 characters and all this in real-time. Therefore, if we find our audience, create relevant content, adapt it to them and finally shipping, and delivering it properly.

Nevertheless, what I missed – and Jonathan N reminded me in Social Media Today’s LinkedIn groupis that Twitter seems to have a lot of benefit in helping businesses reach out for finding customers. And as he said, it is an adventure too! – heck, let’s explore it! – There’s no doubt, that Twitter will be suitable for every form of communication we intend. If you are  still thinking what twitter can do for your small business, here I you’ve a brilliant post from P2W2 series by Chaitanya. It talks about what Twitter can do for your small business and gives you plenty of examples of how does it.

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Social Media with Ease

Posted on December 7, 2009. Filed under: Blogging, Howto, israelgarcia, Social Media | Tags: , , , |

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I’m here to talk plain and frankly from my approach about Social Media with ease, so everybody will be able to understand the essential role Social Media is playing in today’s business world.

What is Social Media about?

I’m sure we can find thousands of different definitions on the Web and all very valid and even more accurate than mine, but that is what Social Media is about, sharing and interacting for a common enrichment. As I said above, here I leave my view…

Social Media is about giving value, being social and communicative with everybody who cross your path,  all that is moving from traditional  communication “you to all” (press, television, billboards, etc.) to a communication “all to all”.

Recently, it was about providing information to the folks, so the communication was going only in one-way street. On the other hand, Social media concerns about the people, giving them a voice and granting them a power to change things and make decisions that can affect very straight our brand, either in a profitable or harmful way. Therefore, communication becomes a two-way street, where public and brands interact, storing and distributing content created by all different natures, for instance. Its content allows to take part, collaborate and distribute information “to all, from all”. What’s more, influencing Social Media takes profit of the “social” phenomena to strengthen the emotional ties that bind people together, creating fans instead of customers.

Social Media is not only about creating and sharing content, but the best experiences achieving when we’re listening, reading, discussing, blogging, commenting, or giving feedback to the rest of the crowd.

In short, social media is about building an effective communication between brands and their environment, helping them to merge a strategy in each social working area

Why Social Media?

Using Social Media for our companies is accept the reality, which today’s environment demands. We’re tired, we need change, we need to have fun, we need to love but above all we need brands, which be authentic, reliable and truly inspiring – not to mention BELIEVE in –  We live in an over-communicated society, where tones of messages try to gain a little of space in our minds, but now the wheel has changed hands. Those traditional advertising methods “I communicate – you receive” are no longer valid, that’s water under the bridge – or it’s not as efficient as they were before (for being tender to those who think the  conventional communication still has a place in this scenario where we are living just now).

If we intend to innovate, we’d better speak customer’s language, which means we should melt down with , listen , understand them and offer the content that best meets their needs.

Advantages of using Social Media

  • Stays closer to the younger audience, so makes easier predict trends
  • Strengthen relationships between folks and brands
  • Builds loyalty, turning a customer into a fan – they’re the ones who are going to cross the street to buy only from you –
  • Differs from other media reaching the audience in a less intrusive and in a more original way.
  • Connects the brand with a more immediate environment
  • Makes your brand be seen more sociable, familiar and therefore, popular
  • Goes viral: the brand will reach more people in less time – the more you use Social Media, the more spreads –
  • Trustworthy and efficient research tool
  • Continuous Feedback

Social Media Tools

Communication: Blogs, micro blogs, social networks and events.

Sharing content: wikis, google reader, social news and opinion sites.

Multimedia: photo-sharing sites, videos and music sharing, and Live casting.

Opinions and reviews: Review of products/services, communities of FAQs and Wiki-questions

Entertainment: Advertaiment, virtual worlds and game sharing.

Others: Information aggregators

As a sample…

One fact that illustrates the great benefits of Social Media is the landslide victory that achieved Barack Obama during the 2008 cycle in the U.S. election, where Obama elected president, it was clearly Social Media, which was one of the several key factors that gave Obama the differential advantage. The Obama’s organization used Social Media and its tools for spread the word in and connect to his potential audience – also known as fans – It allowed the awareness campaign’s organization, creating an expanded social consciousness and let the people were more closer to Obama in a more intimate setting.

In fact, the White House continues using Social Media to connect citizens with the president and for many more purposes…

What is your take? What do you think about Social Media? I’d like to hear from you.

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