Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day.

To mark this day I will be featuring tweets throughout the day @Wellbelove that I hope will serve as a reminder not only of the horrors from this terrible part of our history, but of the importance of not standing by today in the face of modern day prejudice and hate.

A quarter of people in Britain have witnessed at least one hate crime or hate incident based on race or ethnicity in the last year. We have seen shameless prejudice against minorities by senior politicians and selfish ignorance of the plight of refugees. Far right groups continue to exploit fear and ignorance. Memories of the terrible consequences of this cocktail of hate seem to be fading in some circles.Holocaust

Whilst others suffer we must not stand by. As we now judge those from the past who did not do enough – others will sit in judgement of our own actions in response to the suffering we see today.

On 11 December 1946 the General Assembly of the United Nations resolved that genocide was a crime under international law. Millions have died since, as a result of genocide crimes. Millions more will die.

Don’t stand by.

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Stop making excuses – the real reason you are not on social media

The most frequent reason I am given on why professionals do not use social media is ‘I don’t have time’.

By contrast despite incredibly busy live the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Stephen FryEllen DeGeneres, Lady GaGa, Katy Perry, Scott Monty from Ford, Ralph Lauren, many senior politicians including President Obama and other notable ‘busy’ people can find time to fill 140 characters or more and post to social profiles.

Social networks

Admitidly some have assistants that help them, tmany of the names I have chosen directly post regularly themselves and have identified the benefits that social media can bring. So how can they find time when you cannot? Why have they made it a priority? Why do they think it is a worthwhile part of their daily routine – whilst you do not?

Some of the other reasons I am given include…

– People won’t be interested in what I had for breakfast
– Can’t see the point
– It’s just a fad (do not hear this as much anymore)
– I’m a very private person
– I am worried I might say something wrong
– I might be attacked

People may not be interested in what you had for breakfast, though the occasional post that shows you are a real rounded human being can do no harm. Social networks are not just about one thing and people are interested by a wide variety of things. The great thing about social media is the audience decides if it is interested or not, and you will soon see what engages people – so do not pre-judge what they will or won’t like..

Social media is now an extension of how we interact as human beings both in private and in the work place. If you do not see the point then you are effectively saying you are not interested in those who use social media both within your current circle of influence, and beyond through the ripple effect and wider realm of influence social media provides.

I totally understand people being cautious. However often people who tell me ‘they might say something wrong’ are professionals at the top of their game, who fully know understand what they can and cannot say as either a politician or business person in the public domain. After all they filter what they say everyday. A brief Google search will bring back nightmare examples of people doing stupid things on social media – but they are exactly that – stupid – and you should trust yourself to be able to make the right decisions about what you post. The fact you are concerned means you are less likely to post something you shouldn’t, and if you can’t be trusted it’s not just social media you should be worried about.

Yes you might be attacked. But does it really matter? I remember when I first posted some tech tip videos there were several nasty comments include one saying that I had funny eyebrows. Would have prefered that he had said something about the video to help me improve my presenting style, and was interesting he himself had an unique style of hair growth above his eyes – but it did not really matter and was nothing more than name calling in the playground. There are tools you can use to mute out some of the unconstructive comments, however the biggest challenge I have found is to get people to engage at all. Maybe they are not saying anything as they are worried too.

The biggest barrier to your effective use of social media is you and sometimes something as simple as your first post. If you are worried you may something wrong then say nothing at all and share something you find interesting which comes from someone else. Over time as you get to understand the community that you will become part of you will learn the unspoken rules which are mostly common sense.

Social media offers so many opportunities. I have learnt however for those who have multiple reasons for not taking part, and as you answer these concerns come up with even more, until they are willing to try it nothing I can say will change their mind. But until that time please admit the real reason you are not on social media – is you.

It’s not your fault your password is rubbish

In a now annual event, the media mocks us for using passwords that are criminally easy to guess. Despite this we continue to ignore the warnings and choose simple passwords but to be honest it is not our fault.

Why? Well online services both make it too easy to allow us to choose a common password, they could easily block these after all, and too hard by varying rules for what you have to use ie: including a capital or not from service to service.

Other reasons we pick rubbish passwords:

  • It’s too hard to remember a different password for every service
  • It doesn’t seem to be that important – until we are hacked
  • We fear forgetting them so try and pick something easy to remember

One policy that really annoys me is organisations who insist you change your password periodically. This often forces people to choose something even simpler as they know they will have to come up with something new in a month or so. It would be far better to encourage people to create a complex password they can stick with unless it becomes compromised.

I created this video for BT to help guide you on how to create a more secure password that is easy to remember, the formula for doing this is thanks to advice from presenter Leo Laporte.

Truth to be told, the only way this problem will be fixed is via biometric passwords and behavioural monitoring. As with the latest iPads and iPhones you will in the future be able to login via your finger or other biologically unique feature. Additionally behavioural monitoring will be able to add an extra layer of protection, learning about elements of how you use devices then requesting extra verification when these behaviours change.

Oh, and the most common passwords for 2015 are (with change on 2014 in brackets)

1) 123456 (unchanged)

2) password (unchanged)

3) 12345678 (up 1)

4) qwerty (up 1)

5) 12345 (down 2)

6) 123456789 (unchanged)

7) football (up 3)

8) 1234 (down 1)

9) 1234567 (up 2)

10) baseball (down 2)

11) welcome (new)

12) 1234567890 (new)

13) abc123 (up 1)

14) 111111 (up 1)

15) 1qaz2wsx (new)

16) dragon (down 7)

17) master (up 2)

18) monkey (down 6)

19) letmein (down 6)

20) login (new)

21) princess (new)

22) qwertyuiop (new)

23) solo (new)

24) passw0rd (new)

25) starwars (new)

 

 

Dead again… on social media

A new phenomenon is growing on social media. Alongside an increase in the number of people commenting on sad deaths of celebrities, many are taking to their favourite social channel to lament the death of others who died months a long time ago.

dead againIt seems in an age where news can be old news in the tweet of an eye, our recollection over who has already passed on is fading just as fast. This is not helped by online publications featuring popular related stories which can result in articles from several years ago rising to the top .

Another factor that is resulting in people seemingly dying more than once, is how many of us do not really read what we see online. Many share without ever checking out the original article let alone looking to see when it was originally posted.

From my own posts on Twitter I often see where more people have shared an article that I have linked to than those who have clicked to view it.

One of the latest celebrities to die again is comic actor Leslie Nielsen. Whilst it could be upsetting for his family and friends to see him ‘die again’ across social channels – I can only think that he may find the fact he has re-died some 6 years later a tad amusing.

Digital Marketing is dead, Long live Digital Marketing

A Gartner survey has shown that the term “digital marketing” is on the wane. The report showed that many CMO’s are “done” with the term with 98% of marketers no longer making a clear distinction between marketing online and offline.

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This is a welcome development, seeing full integration of digital marketing into the mainstream and end an era where digital was often an afterthought or totally ignored.

The integration of digital marketing into the mainstream demands that many marketers upskill. For many marketers who studied marketing before Facebook were a glint in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye, this is a real challenge.

In some sectors there is a digital skill shortage in the marketing profession. Over the years I have met many marketers who struggle with the basics let alone what I call the ‘social media denialists’, those who continue to dismiss the value of social media as a marketing discipline.

As with any trade it is essential that marketers keep up-to-date with the latest developments in their chosen field. In marketing, arguably keeping up is not enough and you need to be ahead to have an edge on the competition and to maximise the potential of new developments.

The Gartner survey shows the industry pointing in the right direction, it’s a warning to those marketers who have had their heads in the sand and can no longer ignore digital’s permanent place as a core marketing discipline.

Your Facebook updates are a lie

I remember being on holiday, sitting in the sun with a lovely chilled glass of wine, when I saw a friends update with a picture of him having fun at a party. For a moment I felt gutted, wished I was home in rainy Britain and able to be at the party too. When I returned from holiday I asked how the it was, and contray to the image painted by the photo was told the party was rubbish and really boring.

LiarNow whenever I look at Facebook updates I remind myself of this. More important than ever to do this as people are getting even better at creating this illusion of a world where every moment is fun filled and and amazing. Moments of time are carefully crafted and staged to give the best image.

With studies linking use of social media sites with depression we all need to put other peoples digital updates into context, realise these are effectively personal press releases designed to show us as they want to be seen.

In one survey they found 20% confessed to not being trueful about their holiday activities or jobs. 25% of Facebook users said they had falsfied some of the account information.

I don’t think social media is making us more dishonest, it is just recording and sharing these lies to a much wider audience.

This short film is a brillant portrayal of a very modern problem.

Why are so many getting social media marketing wrong?

This comic succinctly captures what is so wrong with so many organisations social media activity.

You need to spend less time talking about yourself on social networks and work harder for the attention you desire by providing real value to the communities you wish to connect with.

Competitions and ‘viral videos’ will drive short term relationships where providing regular useful content can help build a valuable relationship. When you do talk about your products or services you need to start with how this will benefit your followers not how brilliant you are for bringing it to them.

Slip back into old ways and no matter how much trust you have built up – you could quickly find yourself dumped as your followers will quickly go elsewhere.

5-types-of-social-media-strategies

Cartoon via Marketoonist

How to write the perfect tweet

The helpful guys at Twitter have issued some guidelines and stats to help you get the most out of your tweets. Whilst the focus is on promoting mobile apps these lessons will apply whatever you are tweeting.

 

Time to switch off the caps lock…Tweet best practices

Be specific about discounts…
Tweet best practices

Be specific about your prices…TweetBestPracticesSeatGeek

Use “you” or “your”…Tweet best practices

Give a call to action… Now…Tweet best practices

How to switch off birthday reminders in Windows 10

Since updating to Windows 10 I have been getting birthday updates popping up on my desktop which are pulled in from Facebook. With over a 1000 Facebook contacts you can imagine how irritating this can become.

If the same is happening to you and you would like to switch them off here is how.

First enter into the Windows 10 search box (bottom left next to the Windows key ‘Calendar’

This brings up the Windows Calendar app.

Unclick the ‘Birthday  calendar’ which is on the left hand side of the screen.

Windows 10 birthday calendar

That’s it – no more birthday alerts on your Windows 10 desktop.

How visual content drives social media growth

Imagery is so important in social media. I have done a number of tests of posting the same content in similar situations with and without images. Everytime those posts with images far exceed those without in all levels of engagement. This infographic goes further in attempting to explain why your followers relate more to posts with images.

Social media images

STOP: Time to rethink social media at work


Social media is now part of the mainstream. Rather than seeing it as a threat you need to see it as an opportunity. If you have not already realised it, it is time to do things differently.

In your business you may see your people using social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and think they are wasting their time.

STOP. RETHINK.

Social mediaRather than a waste of time social media can be a huge opprotunity to turn all your people into evangalists for your organisation. You need to stop focussing on the possible negatives and look for how your people could use their social connections to promote what you do.

People trust people on social media. Yes, you have your corporate account, but the relationshiop with individuals is very different and can help build a digital relationship thatmore easily converts beyond the virtual world.

To help your organisation make the most of your people on social media you need to:

  • Encourage your people to connect via social channels with current and potential customers
  • Give them guidance on how to make the most of social media
    • Create a do list not a don’t list
    • Encourage them by highlighting the best of what they do
    • Elevate your social media champions – sharing their good work to encourage others
  • Make social media presence a requirement
    • Targets for followers and engagement
    • Social media score card to follow their growth

If you are still in denial about the benefits of social media. Want more evidence, pick through every follower, question every social media post… you are wasting not only your time but that of your people.

By the time you catch up your competion will be way ahead and in a social media world that evolves at an amazing pace you will be left years behind.

Rather than worrying if social media is the right thing to do – you should worry about your ability to catch up. It’s time to do things differently and be ahead of the game rather than years behind.

 

 

 

Importance of images in a social media age

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013–one second less than the attention span of a goldfish.

So now more than ever the likelihood of someone sitting through your 15 minute video on how fantatstic your product is – is less than ever.

This means you need to be more creative in how you get your messages across. Using imagery is a quick and effective way to capture attention and convey information. This infographic from Widen shows why images are so important, especially in the social media age, and how you can use visual storytelling in your marketing.

Visual storytelling