Saturday, March 31, 2012

Social Media Business Communications

As a CEO, manager, or business owner, you have plenty to say on social media, and you already know how to say it. Just communicate as you would to a colleague, employee, customer, vendor, media representative, friend, or family member.

What makes social media so intimidating to business people?

(1) It's a two way communication channel, unlike tradition unilateral broadcast and print media.

People can talk back, question, debate, challenge, refute -- or enrich, enhance, and elaborate on what you say.

(2) Your sincerity and dedication to social media's core values of Sharing and Caring are easy to see, or debunk.

If you rarely post anything, never interact with others, just spew forth hyped up sales messages and "news about what we're doing" -- you'll turn people off.

If you offer good advice, impart your expertise, joke around a bit, act nice, click Like and Share, and comment on other people's posts in a charming, encouraging, and intelligent manner -- you'll differentiate your company from uncaring, arrogant, unresponsive competitors.

Social media is not about marketing. It's about socializing. But you can indirectly "market" your company by simply being authentic, transparent (with professional discretion), altruistic, and instructive.

Share your expertise. Share your personality. Share your industry savvy. Share your knowledge of how to solve customer problems, with or without your products being involved.

Business communications for your firm must find their place in social media. Otherwise, your competitors will dominate the platforms, making your company look unsophisticated, aloof, and uninterested in attracting new customers.

Work social media wisely, ethically, and humanly -- and you'll see results in new customer acquisition, customer loyalty, and customer-generated word of mouth.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What You Would REALLY Do if You Won the Lottery

Lotteries are taxation scams directed at the poor, uneducated, and superstitious. And those who are bad at math and statistics. It's vain and delusional to even dream of winning. You just add to your own frustrations and disappointment by wasting money on a ticket. You could buy 500 tickets and still not increase your chances of winning significantly.

I laugh when I see people say "If I won the half billion dollar lottery, I'd donate most of it to charity". No you wouldn't. Once you started spending, you would NOT be able to stop. Just ask the government, which spends money it doesn't even have.

Neither you nor I actually know what we'd do if we won a colossal amount of money. We think we're so rational and methodical. But once the money hit you or me, we'd go nutty.

It would be such a huge shock to the entire system. Nothing in life, including thinking a lot about it and planning how to spend, invest, or donate that money, would prepare us for the reality.

It would probably be a curse more than a blessing.

Now here's what you would REALLY do, based on research on winners and a bit of psychological insight, if you won the half billion dollar lottery:

(1) Disappear to whereabouts unknown -- go into hiding -- to avoid the multitudes who would beg for money, most of their stories being lies.

(2) Give the IRS half of it.

(3) Waste tons of money on investment scams

(4) Waste tons of money on impulsive purchases that you bitterly regret later.

(5) Buy all those things you used to dream about, but then have buyers remorse when you realize they don't bring you happiness, just more worries and fears of theft.

(6) Waste more money buying all your friends and family expensive new cars and houses.

(7) Hire bodyguards and install security systems in your underground bunker where you quiver in fear of stalkers, ransom kidnappers, and extortionists.

(8) Hire an expensive team of lawyers to protect you from bogus lawsuits by financially slick predators.

(9) Drink, drug, or dine yourself to death with what remained.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

8 Reasons To Be on Multiple Social Media Platforms

Why should a business use the combined power of a blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, GooglePlus, and other social media -- rather than just a website or just a Facebook page?

(1) Your competitors are, or will be, using multiple social media platforms to drive traffic to their websites. If they perfect, and become well known for multiple platforms, it will be difficult to play catch-up.

(2) You obtain better SEO (search engine optimization) and more prominent rankings when customers do an internet search for your company or services -- and find you on multiple platforms.

(3) The more web presences you have, the more you position yourself as authoritative, technologically sophisticated, active online, and eager to get your message out in various internet venues -- you appear more customer-centric, transparent, and engaged with an audience.

(4) You give customers more options for getting to know you. Some people relate better to YouTube videos than to Facebook posts, while others relate more to frequent blog posts than to static website content.

(5) You can't tell which platform is going to work better, and people change in their preferences, so it's good to cover several bases.

(6) You will be reaching out to different types of customers on the different social media platforms. Why limit your marketing to just one type?

(7) You can link to all your web presences at each individual platform, thus giving customers a sense that you seek to proclaim your messages in a variety of venues, and increasing the chances that they will find the information, advertising, expertise, or product explanation best suited to their current needs and in a format they prefer.

(8) You fortify and increase the positive values of your online reputation, thereby burying negative stories, trolling webpage attacks, and imperfect or incomplete media reports on your company.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Compelling Content vs Pleading for Responses

It's natural to want people to pay attention to what we think are important issues. We all want others to react positively to our passionate concerns. But you could turn people off by begging for Likes, Shares and Comments.

To get favorable results, post compelling content. Add an eye-catching photo to your text. Make your posts so interesting, informative, and valuable that people will, unprovoked, desire to Like, Share, Retweet, Repost, Link To, and Post Comments on it.

If you come on too strong, your promotion may backfire. If you keep hammering away at a campaign, you may make people Block, Unfriend, Unfollow, or Report you as a nuisance.

Spammers and con artists often try to force behaviors from their audience. They typically employ threats, warnings, guilt-tripping, photos of suffering children, exaggeration, over-excitement, deception, wild claims, repetition of message, and seduction of various types.

Distance yourself from such nonsense. State your case in a professional, self-restrained, non-coercive manner. Link to reputable, credible sources for those who want more information. Avoid any hint of bullying, intimidating, or demanding specific actions.

Learn how to be persuasive without being domineering. Ask a friend or spouse or co-worker to look at what you want to post. Listen to their opinion of it. Communicate in a dignified, subdued, and creative manner -- and your message will have a much greater impact.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Facebook Social Media Tips

Here are some graphic images, with social media tips, that I posted on Facebook recently.

It seems you get better responses to statements when you turn them into signs or billboards, rather than just typing them as raw text wall posts.

Get more reactions to your thoughts by turning them into attention-getting images.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

14 Health Benefits of Brown Rice

Brown rice is a terrific meal in itself. It's easy to cook, doesn't cost very much, and can be a very satisfying food, especially with a little soy sauce. Our old friend brown rice is a valuable substance for preventing and combating many types of disease.

Brown rice is a staple in many Asian countries. They eat it as a meal in itself on a regular basis. If you knew how powerful brown rice is as a natural remedy and fortifying food, you would eat it a lot more often.

My system craves brown rice.

Now, I have a fondness for several types of food, but I rarely experience a deep-seated, perpetual craving for anything. In the summer, I seem to crave lemonade and watermelon. I assume it's partially the refreshing taste and high water content, but it also could be that my body is seeking specific nutrients found in lemon and melons.

But my craving for brown rice is year round. I never get tired of it, as I've said before. It always satisfies me, I have no trouble digesting it, and I love the jolt of energy that I derive from this wonderful fuel. Once I eat a bowl of brown rice and soy sauce, I actually feel empowered. There is scientific evidence that supports this feeling.

Do you have any cravings like that, cravings for things that are good for you?

White rice is not as healthy as brown rice, because, by just removing the rice hull, the processing of brown rice retains its nutritive values. The milling and polishing that is done to make white rice robs it of many important B vitamins, half the manganese and phosphorus, and all its dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Even when the white rice is enhanced with added vitamins, it's just not the same as the complete package of value that nature intended.

"Mother Nature Knows Best" is a slogan that has a lot of truth to it. Humans may tamper with nature, modify it and learn to control some of its forces, but in the end, what is natural is generally safer and more effective than what is designed by humans. This is especially true when it comes to food.

As far as I'm concerned, I see no reason to eat white rice, which is brown rice minus some of the essential nutrients. You may enjoy the taste of white rice, and I admit it has a good flavor. However, I'm of the opinion that brown rice tastes even better, and it's a fact that brown rice is much better for you.

Let's take a look at the nutritional and medicinal values of this wonderful food.

14 Health Benefits of Brown Rice

(1) Lowers LDL cholesterol, due to the gamma-oryzanol found in the rice bran oil.

(2) Lowers risk of Type 2 diabetes, due to phytic acid, polyphenols, dietary fiber and oil.

(3) May help prevent and treat various forms of cancer,  including pancreatic cancer, thanks to inositol hexaphosphate.

(4) Heart health can be improved, due to high amounts of lignans and subaleurone components in a layer of tissue surrounding grains of brown rice.

(4)  Energy is boosted due to manganese and the antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase.

(5) Weight loss can be enhanced by the dietary fiber and that full, satisfied feeling you get after you eat a bowl of brown rice, that tells your system it is now satiated.

(6) Improves colon health and may help to prevent colon cancer, due to its dietary fiber and selenium.

(7) Helps improve liver detoxifying functions and supports the immune system, due to high levels of glutathione peroxidase.

(8) Reduces inflammation, largely due to high selenium content.

(9) Can be useful in treating asthma, thanks to its high levels of magnesium.

(10) May reduce frequency of migraine headaches, due to its high levels of magnesium.

(11) Can calm the nerves, thanks to the magnesium and niacin content.

(12) Can improve bone health, thanks to the magnesium content.

(13) May help females prevent gallstones, due to its contribution of  insoluble fiber.

(14) Improves general overall health due to the interactions of all these substances as they enter and are processed by your system.

Be sure to only cook the amount of brown rice you plan to consume on a given day. It's best to eat it freshly cooked, but you can keep cooked rice in the refrigerator for 2 days if necessary. Uncooked brown rice should be stored in an air-tight, moisture proof container, and can last for about 6 months.

Rice goes well with beans and with vegetables. Be creative. Choose organic brown rice for maximum health benefit and to avoid the chemical pollutants that can be sometimes be found in non-organic brown rice.

I recommend you add organic soy sauce and Hoisin sauce to brown rice.

With the stock market sinking, and all the uncertainty in financial markets in general, there are two things that will always be a wise investment. Invest in education and invest in your health. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Corporate Cop-outs Related to Social Media Participation

I was listening to a BlogTalkRadio show yesterday. It was about social media community. I asked on the text chat why CEOs, managers, and business owners typically don't interact with people, but just grind out sales messages.

"They say they don't have time," was the reply.

"They have time for golf," I answered.

"They're unsure of the ROI (return on investment)", was another reply.

"What the ROI on new carpet?" I asked.

CONCLUSION: These are cop-outs. They have time. It only takes a few minutes per day to interact, click on Like and Share and post comments on social media.

There is no money investment required for social media interactions. They say they know WOM (word of mouth) is powerful. Well, social media is WOM on steroids.

The real answer is, unfortunately, many of them just don't care about customers and don't adequately appreciate how a bad online reputation can kill or seriously wound their brand.

Be smart. Interact with people on social media, or hire someone (like me) to manage your social media campaigns.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Brands Have Nothing To Say on Social Media

Someone at SXSW tech conference said on Twitter "Brands spent the last couple of years building up followers, but they don’t really know what to say to them".

Brands can't say anything to anybody because brands are figments of marketing imagination. The only real "brand" is the perception that is burned into the customer's mind as they use a product to satisfy a need. Slogans and commercials can't counteract what the user experiences.

However, CEOs, business owners, and managers can say something to their followers on social networks. They can share their expertise, provide product selection advice, disseminate industry news, answer customer questions, handle customer problems and complaints, interact with people, tell jokes, post anecdotes, engage with community members in a warm, genuine manner.

If a business person doesn't get that social media is about socializing, being kind and interested in others, putting a real human face on a company, then they should get the hell off of social media and go back to their boss cave or ivory tower, perpetuating the stereotype that capitalists and business leaders are aloof, uncaring, greedy, and exploiting.

Be smart. Use social media to prove your company is altruistic, non-manipulative, honest, helpful, and sincere. That's what the whole social media revolution is all about. Sharing and caring: the core values of social media.