The Social Media Follower: Following Communication

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It was surprising to me that I love using social media. Social media is communication. Its about technology and integrating it with your message, to transmit feelings and points in a manner which can be as interactive as the tools used. That’s my definition.

Merriam Webster says it this way, “ Social Media are forms of communication (as websites for social networking and microblogging)through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content as videos.”

I never thought I would ‘get it’ so quickly (many years), because I was actually concerned about privacy, security of websites and the destructive capabilities of the unknown. Awareness of safety measures made it easier to jump in and enjoy the experience.

There are somethings we forget about humans when we are caught up in the latest technology blitz or hype. Not many people like to ask questions. They don’t like asking for several reasons which include the fear of sounding ignorant, dumb or stupid. Communication tools and social media

channels are things which demand questions to be asked, because they change so frequently. Here are some examples of the words which ‘tripped me up’, before I asked questions and investigated their meanings;

  1. Algorithm — This sounded like math or algebra, and I was convinced it would be hard to understand because I’m awful at math!

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary its, “a step by step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end, especially by a computer.” Thus, its like baking a cake and knowing what proportions are needed so it won’t flop! If my teachers taught math as food I’d be a grade A student.

2. SEO — This one took a while for me to figure out, but my first impression was it had to be a verb in whatever content you wrote online. (LOL)

Webopedia states, “SEO is short for search engine optimization. SEO is a methodology of strategies techniques and tactics, used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine.” eg. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

Let me say it this way – if you want someone to find your location you would give directions, sometimes referring to a map or drawing a sketch of the area. SEO is the map/sketch with general directions. As you get more specific with the details, its easier for someone to find you. That’s why SEO is important. It makes information easier to be found when searching online.

3. Followers — This one should have been as easy as the generally understood meaning, which was what I assumed it to be. It is not.

Merriam-Webster states, “ one in the service of another. Fan, devotee.” Social media followers are different from followers whom you lead, and are doing as requested or observed. No way. Social media followers are thinkers who use access to you and your network to expand their own. For many its a one-way relationship without reciprocity. Ideally, it should be a two-way flow of support and sharing.

Having 10K or 100K followers will not guarantee you supporters. You have to build a relationship. This is like having a customer who follows the activities of your company because you sell the Toyota brand of vehicle, and they like cars. Many followers may check out your cars but its the one who engages with you , who may become a customer or refer you to others in his network. Increased engagement, will grow the value to each other in the relationship.

4. Bots — got this one right because I thought it had to be something with robotic features. Bots help with automation which is a process of sharing information and giving feedback , through the use of software, designed to help improve service virtually. I’ve seen them in action and though I’m not keen on talking/writing to anything which is not human, they do generate responses which are quite relatable. Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and any other bot are all here to stay, so we might as well make them welcome into our world!

Experience it

Social media makes it possible for strangers from worldwide locations to meet virtually, through various channels with speed and efficiency. Its easy to have face to face communication with folks because there are so many options, and they are constantly being upgraded. Building quality relationships are easier through the use of ‘real-time’ interaction via Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Twitter, Snap Chat, and a host of other computer and mobile apps.

Your followers can eventually become your close friends / business associates. Gamers interact and share as they engage in their online sport with those they follow and others. Even with all this access, the traditional emotional barriers ( human qualities) are there to be overcome. Trust still has to be established with followers and the site where you meet, for the relationships to mature into more than a collection of addresses.

Am I a social media follower?

Yes I am. I’m following many folks I will probably never physically touch, but the potential for a planned meet-up is also possible. Through blogging and sharing my words you will learn about me and my interests. I’m inspired daily by the writings of many of my followers. Our humanness and diversity keeps us engaged socially online. Maybe one day we will meet. Until then, I’ll see you when I power up on my blogs, medium, twitter, beBee, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Goggle+, tumblr, and others.

Does my experience mirror your understanding? Maybe I’m wrong, what do you think?

Hope this resonates with you. Please share your thoughts via comments. Thanks for being awesome!

A short brief about me: I’m a corporate business veteran, with practical experience in a diverse range of industries — Safety/ HVAC / FMCG /Industrial Equipment /and much more . Sales ,Marketing, Business Development & Coaching are combined to deliver over 30 years experience. As an entrepreneur and blogger (Dwordslayer) I’m right now living an adventure, and looking forward to the next opportunity to challenge mediocrity.

Find me on: Twitter https://twitter.com/DLE41

email:dwordslayer@gmail.com
Credits: merriam-webster.com ; webopedia.com ; pixabay.com

© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2017. All Rights Reserved

Originally published  at The Marketing and Growth Hacking Publication on April 6th, 2017

Understanding Blogging & Social Media / Marketing and consumer behavior

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8af7a-animal-2067456__340Its been a year and a half since I started blogging. When I began I was a battered and bruised warrior, on a mission to recover from an accident. Today, I’m still that warrior with a weakness in one area and stronger in others. Whatever makes us weak can be complimented by increased strength developed elsewhere.

If blogging was my day job I would fire me(smile), or I would give me several warning letters! Consistency has not been something I can be marked favorably on. Instead, healing has been my all-time job, and once I accepted the position, there are benefits for the gains I have been making. You must be fully committed to whatever you pursue if you are seeking excellence.

Benchmarking against the performance of theory and others, can severely weaken one’s ability to grow when it comes to healing. An excellent doctor once admonished me by saying, “Your body knows itself. It tells you when it needs help. How can you tell it, it does not, when it shows its distress through pain and inflammation?” Thus I eventually listened to my body, giving it time to recover. With blogging I decided to listen on several publishing platforms, to understand what drives readers and followers to choose one over another.

blog 2Readers, followers, bloggers.

Blogging is much more than sharing stories via words posted online. “One must be keen to listen to be good at blogging, because its about a conversation.” This is my understanding of blogging from my experience. Businesses have been reaching out to have this conversation. Bloggers tell a story with their reading/viewing customers, which can help influence the decision-making process. In fact, social media influencing has become a major marketing strategy across most commercial industries. Competitive advantage is gained or lost through reviews of ‘rants and raves’ ( Trip advisor ,Amazon, and others) on the customer experience — experienced!

People blog because they believe they have something they wish to share with the world. For this sharing to be effective, an audience that is willing to read and respond is necessary. Responding can take the form of ‘liking’ and that can be compared to someone listening to a singer and clapping to show their appreciation. When the audience starts singing along with the singer, its the beginning of ‘engagement’ and a beautiful conversation. The standing ovation can be associated with the sharing and commenting on the blog which stirs emotion.

Now there are times when an audience may not like the words presented. This has been an interesting observation I’ve been a part of on different sites. If the words are the opinion of the author its personal. Let’s face it, political and social views are a haven for controversial discussion and debate. Initially, it was hard to read and discuss the views of others who were of a different mindset. Though I thought I could be unbiased — my cultural, ethical, moral, religious, political and a host of other beliefs called out emotional actions and reactions!

“We tend to cling and be drawn to the things we like, or feelings we control, and shun the ones which unsettle and disrupt.”

Disruption creates chaos which can either lead to greater understanding or a ‘war of words and hurt feelings.’ I’ve experienced both and I’d like to say ‘maturity’ comes from understanding the things which ‘ruffle our feathers’ while allowing our feelings to settle and be less judgmental about the other person’s opinion. Disruption is also the one sure way we can move from our ‘limited vision’ while seeing what impacts on the perception, and views of others.

Marketing and the Blogger

In marketing we learn that different markets require different strategies. Our target market will be made up of several types of consumers, and the ones we focus on will be those we believe we can convert to buyers. If our research is contaminated by bias, or misinformation, then, when the product is offered the results will dispute the research. Personal blogging can be like that.

Some bloggers will start without a clear plan. As they develop confidence in their skill, they may be guided by the topics which stimulate discussion and sharing from followers. Many times , bloggers do not see their readers and followers as consumers, and are disheartened by the results after publishing. Bloggers should have a basic marketing strategy to ‘get the ball rolling’ based on their objectives and goals.

Blogging and social media communication, requires some general understanding of marketing and consumer behavior to be effective. You don’t need to be qualified to listen , you simply need to be ‘open’ to listening. Blogs are important as stated in ‘Principles of Marketing, Kotler & Armstrong. 2006,p561. Pearson, 11th Edition’, “Blogs have voice and personality. They’re human. They come to us not from some media-genic, anchor-bot on an air-conditioned sound stage, but from an individual.” This is one of the reasons why we experience strong emotions, when bloggers use their pen, sharing their truest opinions and beliefs. When a reader takes the time to respond passionately whether in agreement or disagreement, the blogger has been effective.

In his latest article on Inc. ‘Here’s how to properly align your sales and marketing teams in 2017′, John White states, “ Social media has caused a blur in activities that are now both sales and marketing related…” As bloggers we should align our blogs (sales product) with marketing to increase our readership. When I started to think of blogging as a product I’m selling to my readers, the way I write and share took on a different meaning. My followers create a market for the words I’m ready to share!

I have found this blogging journey to be quite fascinating as I take apart the traditional thoughts and theories on marketing and consumer behavior. Social media is a dynamic communication tool, which requires ongoing participation and interaction, for the analytics to make sense!

Hoping you enjoyed reading and will share your thoughts through commenting or ‘liking’ the posts. I like hearing from all my readers, the fact that you take the time to read, is greatly appreciated.

Credits: Images: free-letters.com, metalholic.com, pixabay.com

© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Originally published  at The Marketing and Growth Hacking Publication on April 3rd,2017