Tag Archives: Social Media

A Sound Bite World

By Karel Murray

Took a trip on Twitter…a virtual vacation for the purpose of learning as much as possible about this communication venue.  The process of sending an update to people who chose to follow your “streaming thoughts” is called Tweeting.  The first thing I thought when I heard the term Twitter was what people did on the long train ride as a scene in “The Music Man” written by Meredith Willson. Talk a lot, cheep, cheep cheep.  The passengers exchange information and gossip at an astounding rate as the train barrels forward to its destination.

I’m not far off base for understanding the intent of this social network.   Small bits of information tossed out to the virtual world and if you’re lucky, someone grabs onto the sound bite and decides to follow your comments.  It is internet blogging in short hand.

Reading a few of the tweets makes me realize exactly how old I am.  It truly is a brave new world out there and as a solidly placed baby boomer, I’m trying to adapt with as little personal anxiety as possible.

The first hurdle to get over…why would anyone care what I am doing at a particular moment?  My husband only checks in on me once a day, much less several times in a 10 hour period.  And in that single conversation with Rick, we cover all of the interesting and bland things that occurred during the day while enjoying a hot meal.  Glasses are clinked, jokes are exchanged and personal observations enjoyed.  Total time – 30 minutes.  How do I write about that in 140 characters?

The art of conversation, to me, is digging deep for the resonance of the relationship, not skittering across the surface like a water bug.  How can I best represent my thoughts on such a venue as Twitter without having the opportunity to develop a concept to its fullest?  I’ve received some interesting direct communications from people who have chosen to follow my Twitter entries and it is obvious they are aggressively looking to create a virtual relationship.

But, I don’t know them… another mental block I’m trying to get over.

Having been raised in an environment where you walk up to a person, shake their hand and look them in the eye while reading the body language is totally missing from the internet chatter.  I fully am aware that what is written on-line may be a total fabrication… or, it could represent exactly who that person is and sometimes I’m concerned about the other party’s mental stability.  Worse yet, shouldn’t they be concerned about mine?

Context and contact are the foundation on which solid relationships are built and I believe that is possible to do within the confines of Twitter and any other social network.  As a professional and a human being, we often harbor thoughts that we would never express to someone face to face.  Anonymity of the virtual world can actually set us free to share our true feelings and opinions.  Perhaps that is why more and more people are connecting online first before ever meeting.  Reading between the lines will become an art form and it is one I’m determined to master.

Our younger generation has not lost the ability to chat or hold a conversation.  They just do it with their thumbs on a smart device – sound bites of information delivered at lightning speed.  I’ve expanded my communication to my 30 year old son to texting and quite frankly, I feel closer.  Funny thing, I know he is on his phone and I can just call him, but there is something exciting about waiting for the “you got mail” bing on my phone.

Twitter and other networks will continue to evolve and I don’t plan on being left behind.  So, reach out and touch someone.  Here is a 139 character Twitter entry that sums up this entire article.

Twitter set us free to exchange ideas, concepts and recommendations in a quick and effective manner.  Sound bites to connect with purpose.

Huh.  I think The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly in the Plains! Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady would be proud of me. 

Karel Murray is a Certified Speaking Professional, author of “Hitting Our Stride: Women, Work and What Matters” and business trainer who helps women entrepreneurs and executives resolve interpersonal issues and balance their work/personal lives. Now, you can listen to her exciting, free interviews that will help you maintain and sustain a healthy business and a healthy lifestyle at https://www.JustForAMomentPodcast.com


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Break or Take a Break

By Gail Z. Martin

I was behind someone in line a few days ago and couldn’t help hearing part of his conversation with his companion.  What caught my attention was the man’s comment that he hadn’t had a vacation in fifteen years.

Wow.  While I’m sure this man was proud of his diligence and hard work, I couldn’t help wondering how badly burnout might be affecting the value of his output.  In my experience, you either break or you learn to take a break.

Now I know that with some of the ups and downs of the economy, “staycations” have replaced vacations for many people.  The point isn’t about leaving town, staying in a hotel, or going somewhere exotic.  For me, the essential point is to step away from the swift current of your busy life for even a day, an afternoon, a weekend and rest, relax and refresh yourself.

Some people like to brag that they are so essential, their business couldn’t last a few days without them.  Usually, this means they have avoided developing procedures and delegating trivia, or that they have made themselves the roadblock, either out of a love of being important or the need to micromanage.  Eventually, the stress catches up and the business is forced to do without them while the indispensable manager recovers from a heart attack or other stress-related ailment.

Other people have never learned how to relax.  Maybe they were told that it was bad not to be active every minute–“idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”  American culture has the unfortunate habit of undervaluing rest and restoration and overvaluing activity for activity’s sake.  If that’s your hang-up, let it go.

When we allow ourselves to take a break, wonderful things happen that actually enhance future productivity.  By taking a step away from the normal flow of things, we often gain new and valuable perspective.  By resting, we preserve our health and prevent a longer, possibly destructive interruption due to illness.  When we move outside our normal routine to go somewhere new, do something different or have a new experience, we become open to unexamined possibilities.  And when our break frees up time for us to nurture our family and close friendships, we preserve the relationships that support us and enable us to do our best work.

This summer, make a commitment to yourself to take a break at regular intervals and see what new possibilities emerge.

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Marketing, Social Media

Clear Vision makes the Difference for Online Marketing

By Gail Z. Martin

What, specifically, is your vision for your online marketing? If you don’t have clear intentions for your online marketing, it probably isn’t working as hard for you as it could.

Online marketing includes your web site, any paid ads you run online such as banner ads or Facebook ads, your presence on blogs and podcasts, online press releases, web videos and audios you’ve created, teleseminars and online events—everything about you on the web.

Does your online presence tell a consistent story? Do all the pieces reinforce your position as an expert? Are you showing yourself in your best light?

In order to have a clear intention for your online marketing, you need to focus on your top business goal and your #1 target audience.

Everything you do should support achieving your top business goal by successfully connecting with your #1 target audience in a way that moves your audience to take strategic action.

What is the action you want your audience to take? Do you want them to move down your sales funnel from free download to expensive consulting product? Do you want them to sign up for an upcoming event? Are you hoping they’ll invite you to speak? It’s OK to want all of those things, but you’ll need a carefully structured online effort to reach multiple audiences with multiple goals.
Start simple. If your #1 target audience did just one thing to make the biggest impact on your bottom line to help you achieve your top goal, what would it be? Once you know, align all of your online marketing efforts toward encouraging your audience to take that single action.

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Marketing, Social Media

Social Media Success Begins with Clear Intention

By Gail Z. Martin
When you log onto Facebook for your business, do you have a clear intention in your mind of what you hope to achieve?

Without a clear intention, you’re likely to lose your way. Facebook and other social media sites are full of distractions, from comments by old friends to videos of cute kittens. If you’re not completely sure what your mission is when you log onto Facebook to promote your business, you can drift, dawdle, and find that you’ve wasted several hours.

The key to having a clear intention is to keep your top business goal in mind. Next, remind yourself who your key target audience . That audience will help you achieve your goal, and that’s who you’re on social media to meet.

Go armed with content that you’ve already written that targets the needs, interests and concerns of your target audience. Provide tips, ideas and expert suggestions that showcase your expertise and, most importantly, provide something of value for your target audience.

Take the time to make a personal connection to just two of your current friends. Comment on one of their recent posts, ask a question, share an interesting link. Then invite 5 – 10 people to friend you and “like” your fan page by selecting people who are part of one of Facebook’s many groups dedicated to a topic that relates to your expertise.

With a clear intention, your time on Facebook will translate into a stream of new prospects and qualified traffic to your web site.

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Intentions, Social Media

Are you in the Witness Protection Program? (Your Facebook profile said so)

By Gail Z. Martin

Have you ever gone out to someone’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile only to find a gray outline instead of a photo?  That image always reminds me of the people you see on the news who are only shown in profile because they’ve ratted on organized crime and fear for their lives.  They’re anonymous because they’re in the Witness Protection Program and they don’t want to be identified.

Those people have a reason to hide, but if you’re on social media for business, you don’t have any excuse.  The truth is that people like to do business with people—not with companies, web sites or products.  Customers want to meet you out there on Facebook and other sites.  They don’t want a photo of your dog or a creative snapshot.  They want to get to know a real, live person well enough to trust that person (you) with their money.

Getting to know someone before making a purchase is one way buyers decrease decision risk. That’s why it’s so important to have your photo on your social media profile, and why it’s a great idea to use web audio and video to give even more of a sense of who you are.  Your prospect may never meet you in person, but a photo, audio and video can go a long way toward creating a sense of trust and confidence.

Make a commitment to completing your profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media pages with a current professional photo and complete business information.  You’ll be glad you did!

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Social Media

Intuition and Social Media

By Gail Z. Martin

Does it seem strange to talk about something as high tech as social media in the same breath as something as “woo-woo” as intuition?  It shouldn’t.  I believe that intuition  is part of everything we do—if we listen for it.  Intuition is definitely part of business, although men like to call it “having a hunch” or “going with your gut.”  Women are often afraid to speak about intuition in business settings at all for fear of looking soft on metrics.  But our fear of speaking about or acknowledging intuition doesn’t make it less real.

How does intuition play into social media?  Have you ever had  a “hunch” that you should (or shouldn’t) talk about a certain topic?  Ever felt like something was pushing you to comment right now on a topic?  Have you ever thought about a friend or colleague and opened Facebook only to find a new post or message from that very person?  Better yet, have you ever felt internally pushed to contact someone you hadn’t talked to in a long time, only to discover they had the key to a problem you were trying to solve?

All those factors play into our social media presence.  Do you have an inkling that a certain topic would be hot with your readers?  Run with it.  Something in the back of your mind tell you not to weigh in on a popular subject?  Better listen.  Feel drawn to answer a particular question on a forum board or recommend a person you haven’t seen for a while on LinkedIn?  Do it!

Social media is just a large-scale, virtual model of the water cooler or small town grocery store where everyone gathers for news.  Don’t be afraid to let your intuition guide your conversation when you interact online, in the same way it should be prompting and prodding you when you meet with people face to face.  You might be surprised at the results!

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Intuition, Social Media