Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Social Media and Tribes #9: The fear factor

by Deepika Bajaj on August 25, 2010

Recently, I was in a conference in Las Vegas, speaking about the ” Social Media – Taboos & Innovative Uses”. The focus was to help professional women of different ethnic backgrounds understand how technology, specifically social media, help or hinder their personal and professional development. Though they all understood that these days you cannot afford to ignore  social media as one of the key ways in which companies and individuals communicate, there was this FEAR of it as well.

These were professional women who had gone through many technological innovations in the past but the idea of being transparent and authentic over social media didn’t appeal to them. They were worried about identity theft, making a wrong impression on a potential employer and above all were overwhelmed by the friend requests on Facebook (from people they don’t know). They were trying to get “tips” and “techniques” on which social network to use e.g LinkedIn versus Facebook OR how to do a check on someone from a different country OR how to save their children. Some of them were working mothers who were of the opinion that all that Twitter and Facebook were doing was to hurt their children since now they didn’t have control over who their friends were on Facebook. Some of them were scared that some nasty pictures of their kids might float on the internet and hurt their reputation.

I think all these are valid concerns.

Here is the BIG BUT.

Avoid Stupidity

I am putting this bluntly. This is nothing different from the way of life. Don’t do anything that you don’t want published or don’t want hurting you. This way you will not have to worry about what pictures your friends are tagging you in OR have friends you can trust for not hurting you. The idea of social media is not to use it for hurting people. That is not the intention. This is a tool like every other tool – if you misuse it, it will be destructive. Destruction is possible even if you speed in a car, over load your washing machine and/or overheat your food. Don’t do anything stupid and tools are usually effective in increasing your productivity. Similarly, social media is a tool to make it convenient for you to broadcast your POSITIVE message to your tribe. Read my previous post on this: Changing the World is Addictive.

Fear of Unknown

Fear and Suspicion are based on a lack of knowledge.There is nothing more paralyzing than fear.  Learning these tools is important. Speculating this as an observer will only lead to fear, uncertainty and distress. Social media is here to stay. We can learn it and leverage this to make it a powerful tool to create networks that connect professionals to opportunities in their career and personal branding. To let go of fear, in this post I share how it has helped women: The New internet Junkie

Build Relationships

Don’t worry about all the negatives, focus on being valuable. Share things that you believe might help others in their pursuits, connect with companies where you think you can add value, build a brand as someone who has something valuable to offer. Don’t waste people’s time, share with them your expertise, give good help, listen to people. To emphasize on building relationships, here is a post : Relationships matter more than ever before.

Last but not the least, don’t forget to have fun!

A recent report from Nielsen Company demonstrated that more and more Americans are spending time on Social Networks. Share of US internet time spent on social networking is 22.7% which clearly dominates the time (as highlighted in the list above) of where users spend their time online. There is an increase of 43% from 2009, which clearly indicates that it is no more an activity embraced by early adapters but now is part of the main stream population.

Social Networking goes mainstream

  • The most surprising part is that it part exceeds the time people spend on playing games or emailing. This surely means that people are connecting for personal and professional reasons on social networks. A social networking report just pointed out that there is an increase in traffic on Facebook from middle-age users and users with same college since 2009.
  • In a demographic view of social networking activity on mobile devices, women were found to use their phones to “tweet” and “friend” 10% more than men. Also, the 35-54 age group had more active mobile social networkers than any other group.
  • If you are in the U.S.  and use social networks like Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn, chances are you’re more affluent and more urban than the average American according to Nielsen Claritas

Mainstream Behavior

“Intimacy prevails” – In spite of the explosion of social networking users studies show only 5-10% of FB users leave comments on statuses, photos and walls of their friends though women are more active. People who are members of online social networks are not so much ‘networking’ as they are ‘broadcasting their lives. So, it is common for people to comment on their activities and updates. In effect, as Godin, the author of Tribes, says every tribe becomes a media channel.  It is most important to notice that humans may be advertising themselves more effectively. But they still have the same small circles of intimacy as ever. So, even if you are “broadcasting” to a wider, exponentially expanding network, people who are engaged with you is a small, intimate circle of friends who are part of your professional or personal tribe.

Social Media and Tribes #4: Tribal leadership

by Deepika Bajaj on June 30, 2010

What is a Tribe?

A group of 20-150 people. In these tribes most of our work get done. Naturally occurring groups.

What is Tribal Leadership?

The leader of one tribe meets someone who is a member of one tribe and find someone of another tribe and make introductions. That is what great Tribal leaders do.

People form tribes – they always have and they always will. But not all tribes are the same and what make them different is their Culture.

How people behave?

People behave based on how they see the world. If they see the world as a unfriendly place, they will behave unfriendly and isolated. But the good news is if they see the world as friendly and collaborative SO will they BE.

How does culture shape the Tribe?

  • Level 1 – You are in a dumb culture, and people in such cultures stay dumb and live together. You succumb to your circumstances and you feel life is horrible and powerless.
  • Level 2 – You are an elite – You see yourself as an expert and NOT others. This is where we become sarcastic, resentful because you only value your contribution and NOT the contributions of others. This leads to the creation of an environment where there is no acknowledgment and bitterness reigns.
  • Level3 – Individuals unite and see that together they are larger – they get excited and enthusiastic and life is better. You feel you can create more than was possible ALONE.
  • Level 4 – You find life is amazing and gravitate people. Gandhi said “Be the change you want to be” Martin Luther said ” I have a dream” NOT “we have a dream”. They are giving a message that life is good. The Tribal leaders have the competence in moving people into leave them better than they found them. They move their life to be better and enroll them to the tribe and get them connected.

The Ultimate Tribal Leadership

Go beyond “networking”, where you extend your reach. Find people who don’t know each other and connect them – elevate them – empower them. Make an impact in your tribe and touch them so that you nudge other people to move to a higher level. So, that your Tribe can change the world….

PS> Join 99tribes by simply clicking on “add me to the tribes”…and join a tribe… or even better, form your own tribe.

Social Media and Tribes #3: Mob mentality

by Deepika Bajaj on June 23, 2010

Tribes today have shifted to multiple affinity tribes.   For instance, professional tribes, social identity tribes, etc. People move into and out of tribes online…..for work, fun, and play!

Herd mentality implies a fear-based reaction to peer pressure which makes individuals act in order to avoid feeling “left behind” from the group. Herd mentality is also sometimes known as Mob mentality. A related idea is that groups which hang out together tend to stick up for each other. As can be seen on MySpace, FaceBook & Twitter, members of a tribe will work to promote each other.

The Classic Mob-Mentality

When we think about play, from Facebook to MySpace and now Twitter, Mafia-themed games have more or less taken over. Mobsters, a game created by development company Playdom, is the most popular application on MySpace’s platform. The mechanics of the tribes of this games involves that  you can  join a “mob” with friends on a specific social network on which the game has been built on. You can carry out missions, including “killing” other players in rival mobs, in order to earn points. Your activities are broadcast, via news feeds or Twitter posts, to your friends.

Tapping into Ego

Every tribe has ego associated to it. And that is why violence is a popular factor in making these games successful. When someone kills your character, you tend to avenge it forcefully and engage in missions that feed your ego. Similarly, the tribe derives special pleasure when they “get on the top” or “get recognized” (a.k.a. earn respect of your tribe) for some mission. This gives the biggest boost to your ego.

Social Tribes reinforce your beliefs

Contrary to popular conventions about the Web opening minds, people are more likely to read information or participate in social groups that reinforce what they already believe. In some cases, a tribe can show dramatic increase in the undesirable action compared with doing nothing at all, because it demonstrated that lots of others engaged in the behavior.

Is the Tribe capable of making a positive change?

Yes.

It simply depends on what is your message to them. And its quality.

Look for early adapters of your message and bring them into your fold. They are more likely to have a BIG impact when you have a critical mass. It has been seen that you get more comments on a blog where other people are commenting, you get more subscribers when you show the number of people who have subscribed or number of tweets for a specific post.

Try to keep the message positive and focus on where you want to go. Most likely people will have no fixed thinking of the future and you can then enable to act in a positive behavior. And since they belong to this tribe of positive change, soon they will adapt the behaviors that will have positive impact on the Tribe’s future.

Is using Social Media an impediment to your Organization?

by Himanshu Jhamb on February 8, 2010

Au Contraire, it can lead to improved productivity and branding.

First and foremost, let’s get one thing clear about Social Media. It is not just a tool, or a tactic or even a strategy. It is simply a channel for having online conversations. Depending on if you know and intend to use it purposefully or not, it can increase productivity… or not. There are two kinds of stances organizations that do not believe in the power of Social Media take when it comes to using Facebook or Twitter, at work.

  1. Employees will be distracted. They’ll spend too much time on these sites and it will be an impediment to the actual work. So, they should not have access to these at work.
  2. Social Media is not useful at all. I don’t want to know when someone is going grocery shopping or cleaning his car.

The issue with the first stance is simply not about social media. It is about ethics. Just like you shouldn’t be browsing the internet for 7 hours a day in your 8 hour workday and you shouldn’t be chatting on the phone about your favorite football team with your buddy for the better part of your workday, you shouldn’t be using the different social media channels for extended periods of time. Blocking the websites wouldn’t do a lot of good if the people in your organization are looking to spend the majority of their working hours elsewhere. You might want to look at “Why are they distracted”? more than “What distracts them”?

The issue with the second stance is simply ignorance and a fixed way of thinking about social media. There are some Social Media Rockstars who have branded themselves impeccably using the various social media channels. It does not mean they have never got subjected to online conversations about grocery shopping from other folks. It simply means they have been participating and contributing to the social media space purposefully and with an open mind. They do not allow themselves to be led by popular opinion. They are in the department of changing the popular opinion… or even being a source of a new one! There is a reason why companies like CNN, BestBuy, Dell and JetBlue continue using Twitter and the reason is simply that were ready to experiment and they’ve found a way to make it work for whatever it is that they are after. Contrary to popular belief, these companies not only use Twitter as a channel to market their offers but also to have online conversations with their customers which, mind you, involves listening to the customer’s concerns and then engaging with them by taking action to best take care of them.

Regardless of your organization’s stance on Social Media, Social Media is here to stay. It’s not any different from any new practice or technology that is invented. About 30 years ago or so, with the advent of computers, we got a real taste of what machines can do from a small microchip. About 20 years ago or so, we got a taste of what connectivity means with the advent of the internet. Perhaps it’s time for organizations to give up their rigidity on Social Media and leap into this new decade with a sense of exploration and genuine intrigue to see what conversing online means with the advent of this dangerous opportunity (Social Media).

Branding – What’s the point?

by Laura Lowell on October 1, 2009

whats the point brandingWe’re all bombarded with thousands of messages each day – personally and professionally. Maybe it’s because of new media like Twitter, LinkedIn or FaceBook. Maybe it’s the internet in general.  Whatever the cause, the effect is the same. The volume of marketing messages is overwhelming to most Americans. In fact, 60 percent have signed up for the do-not-call registry; 33 percent have installed Web pop-up blockers, and nine percent have signed on to a do-not-e-mail list (and 40 percent may want to). So the question is: “How do you break through in this environment?”  One answer: Branding.

Everyone has a different definition of branding – everything from your logo, your message, to your visions and personality.  Each of these is correct in a way.  My definition (just so we’re clear) is that a brand is a promise; a promise of authenticity and value and sets our expectations about the product or service we associate with the brand.

That’s all well and good, but here’s the real question:  What’s the point of having a catchy slogan if it doesn’t strengthen or support your business? Why invest in PR if it doesn’t translate into increased awareness and recognition? Why go to trade shows if they don’t produce high-quality leads? Branding, or a promise to your customers, is a way to differentiate yourself in a crowded market so your company can sell more stuff.  Short and simple.

Independently, without a coherent brand strategy, these tactics do little to attract customers and drive revenue. However, as part of an integrated brand and marketing strategy, these and other tactics are the foundation that will deliver results for your business. Sounds simple, right? Well, often the simplest things are the hardest to do.

Here are three things you can do today to make sure your brand is doing it’s job – helping your company sell more stuff.

  1. Look at your website: Is your brand consistently applied on your website?  Do you use the same logo, or do you have multiple logos scattered about the place?  What about your messaging, are you delivering similar yet different messages and confusing your customers?
  2. Ask 10 people what they think: You want to know what they think your brand stands for.  Hopefully you get similar responses, and hopefully they are right on target.  If not, well, you have more work to do.
  3. Step out of the box: Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  Step outside your company and look at what’s going on around you.  Is your brand relevant in today’s market?  Are you linking with current events and trends?

Marketing should get people’s attention, and convince them to consider your company’s products or services over the competition. An integrated brand including strategy, messages, visual identity, and other marketing tactics extends the impact of your marketing investments. You can more efficiently and effectively improve awareness, produce leads and ultimately drive revenue. After all, isn’t that the point?


Let the Games Begin!

by Deepika Bajaj on September 17, 2009

As human beings, we are always in a game in our lives. We have characters who play different roles in our lives. There are jobs we are doing to earn money (points). There are times we WIN and times we LOSE. There are rules for the game of life – try not showing up for work to understand this point. And there is start and end.

These games keep us entertained, challenged and engaged. Every time we are too comfortable, we need to change the game to keep ourselves going. Imagine! sitting in your living room, changing channels on the TV, you are restless and then suddenly a friend comes in and takes you for a game of basketball – suddenly he changed the game you’re in… and what’s better! You find yourself enjoying the new game you’re in.

This is the underlying foundation of why Gaming is so popular on social networks like facebook, myspace and bebo. Your friends keep pushing the bar of the game you are in and you enjoy the time spent with them. You can form guilds and communities with your friends and discover new friends who have similar interests to accomplish big milestones. Many games give you the choice to pick an Avatar that speaks to your favorite fantasy character. Most importantly, the fun is in planning and coordinating with your friends… and of course, Winning!

It is clear that the intent of gaming and social media is to bring SOCIAL back into the game.

Here are the trends that show how social networks are integrating with games.

1. Play Games on Facebook:

Looking for a new game to play? Discover games on Facebook — Tetris, Bowling, Scrabble and more. Games: Better with friends.

2. Twitter and Facebook on XBOX 360

Social Media and Live gaming on Xbox

So, let the games BEGIN…


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DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC. Invincibelle helps women who live and work in a multicultural world to accelerate their professional growth.

Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world.

You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle

Be socially responsible with your Social Identity

by Guy Ralfe on September 2, 2009

hacker

The social media call today is to get online and participate. Over the last year a day hasn’t gone by without someone mentioning a new contact through a social network site or some new statistic about the presence and reach of social media networks, but more often of late we are hearing more news of misfortune surrounding social media.

This is not unexpected as this is a common characteristic of social groups. It has gone on for centuries and is to some degree the cause of wars and organized crime – where there’s a large group that appears to have something relative to another it produces an opportunity to exploit. In social media this has manifested itself in Identity Theft and Brand Damage (topic of next post)

Identity theft seems to be rampant today and rather intimidating. An article in the Daily Mail quotes a large UK insurance company Legal & General as warning that insurance premiums may rise if household members utilize social media sites.

This is on the back of the claim that criminals are preying within these network sites for opportunities such as burglaries, personal account details and identity theft. What appears to be an innocent use of your ability to broadcast everything from your thoughts through twitter, photos on Flickr and everything about yourself on facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or such sites, can potentially provide key information to criminals to utilize against you.

What this means is that we have to be conscious about how we configure our accounts on these sites and responsible with what information is shared through which channels.

Here is some edited advice published by Robert Siciliano on bloggernews

  • Before you post anything online, think about what a criminal could do with that data.
  • Don’t post specific details about yourself such as address, date of birth, kids’ names, pets’ names, phone numbers, or any account numbers or financial information of any kind. This information can often be used to retrieve passwords and help get fraudulent access to personal accounts.
  • Do not tell the world you are going on vacation! This is an open invitation to any would be burglar. Remember posting pictures of your vacation while on vacation is much the same as writing that you are on holiday.
  • If you’re a “partier” and like to imbibe, informing the world that you just smoked a joint is not only one of the worst things you could do for your career, it also makes all your friends guilty by association.
  • Before posting pictures or videos, consider what a criminal or potential employer might see. Could they be used against you in any way?
  • If you let your kids use social media, you must monitor every aspect of their Internet activities. Pick up McAfee’s Family Protection software and take control of your childrens’ Internet use.
  • Take advantage of privacy settings and lock down your profile, so that only those who you approve can view everything.
  • Get a credit freeze. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.
  • Invest in identity theft protection and prevention services such as Intelius. Not all forms of identity theft protection can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk.

Remember that it is not only criminals that are potentially scouting you out! Today it does not take a lot of effort to perform searches on individuals. Posting something that may be illegal or unsavory can just as easily be picked up by a prospective future employer, client or worse used against you in court!

Social media is built on trusting relationships. It is this trust that is manipulated to exploit your situation and information. As aptly demonstrated in Himanshu Jhamb’s article Social Media: A Dangerous Opportunity, this does not need to be intimidating and there are many things we can do to protect ourselves. We just need to be aware how these tools can be utilized and act responsibly to protect ourselves from criminals or others carrying hidden agendas.

Don’t be intimidated, enjoy your social media experience!

Social Media: A dangerous Opportunity!

by Himanshu Jhamb on September 1, 2009

social media dangerousNowadays, the web is full of success stories on Social Media. Indeed, the arrival (and the acceptance) of Social Media has opened the gates to many opportunities: enabling individuals and communities to brand themselves being perhaps one of the biggest. However, as is the case with every opportunity, it has the potential downside, too. The downside, if not paid attention to, can turn this opportunity on its head into a “dangerous” one.

Here are two fundamental questions that you must strive to answer, before you can turn any new tool into an opportunity for yourself.

1. What is my purpose of using it?
2. How do I use it effectively to get the outcome that I am after?

Take, for example, using a knife for the first time. You need to have a concern of cutting/chopping something before even thinking about using it. Without that, you are simply wasting your time (might I add, dangerously) if you’re running around with it. Then, you need to learn how to use it effectively – if you don’t, it is equally dangerous as you might end up slicing and dicing your fingers (didn’t mean to go to this extreme… but, you get the point!) instead of what you intended to use it for.

Social Media can be like a knife. You need to know what is your purpose behind using it first because, if you do not have a clear purpose, then you’ll end up squandering away the other opportunities in your life that you could have availed in the time you’re spending dabbling with Social Media.

You also need to learn to use it effectively… without that, you are playing with a dangerous tool.

I recently read a great CNN post on How Social Media can hurt your career… and though I loved the examples the author shared in there (some of them were downright scary), I felt the title of the post would’ve better served the content had it been “How you can hurt your career through Social Media” instead of “How Social Media can hurt your career“. You see, there is a subtle difference if I say it like that because the conversation you have with yourself on Social Media after reading the former title is on the lines of “Oh! I better learn how to use this properly” instead of “Oh! Social Media is too dangerous… I better stop using it”, which is what comes forth after reading the latter. Yes, there is a very subtle difference between the two but clearly, the former opens the possibilities of “getting better” at it and the latter closes the possibilities by instilling an unfounded fear in the reader.

Getting good at leveraging the opportunity that Social Media is, is a skill that beckons to be learnt and exploited to the maximum potential. For this is how your level of engagement will start reaping you the maximum returns… and you can be assured that you are playing on the “Safe” side of this dangerous opportunity!

7 Kinds of Relationship to Social Media

by Rajesh Setty on August 24, 2009

Everyone does not view social media with the same lens. Different people have different stands about social media. For some people it’s a nuisance and for others it’s their life.

I have grouped the kinds of relationships people have to social media in seven categories. You may be able to identify yourself in one of them or somewhere in between. You will notice that the investment you make and the returns you get are directly influenced by the approach you take.

As you can see, only in the last two kinds of relationships can you expect reasonable ROI from social media.

So, here are the seven kinds of relationship in detail:

7kinds-socialmedia

1. Despise

You hate social media and social networking. You might even think it’s a nuisance. You think it’s artificial and you just keep thinking about the old days when people could really meet and talk. This new kind of building relationships seems so fake to you. Some of you may think that this is a fad that’s going to go away sooner than later. So why bother?

None of you in belonging to this category have any plans for participating in the social media. Some of you may question the intelligence of others who are participating in social media. Obviously, you can’t expect to see any returns from social media with this attitude.

2. Distant

You don’t hate social media but you don’t love it either. You are standing at a distance and watching all the action. You are sometimes amused, sometimes surprised and sometimes shocked with what’s happening there. When you read a success story you are encouraged to begin your journey but you stop yourself saying that you may not be ready to make that BIG commitment of time, energy and mindshare into this without being fully clear about the return on that investment.

Some of you in this category may be afraid that you might abandon the ship prematurely if you are not fully equipped before you start. Whatever be the reason to keep the distance, you can’t expect any returns from social media with this stand.

3. Dream

You are more open to participating in social media but the right time has not come in yet. You know what you will do when you finally start engaging in social media. In your mind, you have a grand plan but the time to execute has not come yet. Even here, your ROI from social media is not much for you as the marketplace rarely places a premium on people’s dreams. Dreams are important but action is even more important.

4. Deal

You are someone that had no choice but to jump into social media. Someone posted about you or your company on a blog. Someone tweeted about you or your company on Twitter. You are now forced to respond, especially if you feel the article or tweet was not backed with facts. You jump into the social media to set the record straight. This is a reactive approach rather than a proactive approach. However, you can still benefit from dealing with the situation on social media. People appreciate that there is human touch from the company. You might decide to engage proactively from now on or you might again go back to the sidelines and come back whenever there is a need.

5.  Dabble

You are definitely on the social media side of the fence. You are experimenting on various tools, techniques and tactics albeit without a clear strategy. You act as if the latest tools that surfaced were the missing piece in the puzzle. You embrace new tools with vigor but you don’t follow through with the same vigor as new tools in the marketplace continue to distract you.

While you may not get a long-term return using this approach you do see some benefit as you start making and building relationships on the web.

6. Dedicated

You are committed to participate and engage in social media. You are active on various networks, ask and answer questions and do everything to engage with community. People know you as not only competent in your domain but also as a “nice and helpful” person and probably will reciprocate back when you are in need. You are on the path to building long term relationships that matter.

This is where you start seeing serious returns from social media.

7. Dance

This is social media mastery at display. You know what it takes to “dance” in the social media. You not only help – you ensure that your help is “valuable.” You not only give away stuff but you ensure that what you are giving away is “SIGNFICANT.” Whether it is an article, eBook or a tweet, when you talk people listen and they are thankful that you are there in social media and you are accessible. You change lives via social media and make things happen.

Your returns from social media skyrocket with this stand.

If you are not engaged in social media, I urge you to start engaging with the view to “dance” someday. That’s where all the magic is.