Who would have thought that increases in luxury watch sales and being brought about by the social influences of Instagram and other social media? The 21st century so far has been one of charge. The digital space is bringing more and more income earning possibilities. Rather than get be left behind learning the skills is a must if you want to take part in this “new” economy. In the book, “Jab Jab Jab Right hook” the content marketing strategy of social media is explained. Developing relationships is important to gain the trust or rather that meeting of minds that user sees in your content. This in itself explains the new vocation of social influencer!
As you can see in the video I made a leisurely 400-kilometer trip through the most picturesque part of New Zealand my home country. Before I left I spent 3.5 hours in training learning digital skills. In order to perform well in today’s society a person in business must acquire digital skills. My Trip took me from Greymouth mid-west coast to Motueka in the heart of the Tasman district. I could not help noticing the parallels in our two provisional towns and the next day in Nelson. That is the large numbers of retail shops that were vacant. The names on the shoes indicated clothing, shoes, gift shops, booksellers, specialty shops, food and beverage shops once stood there. I can see that drink driving laws have taken a heavy toll on food and beverage sales but I had to find other reasons for the other types of retail.
Direct imports of foreign goods are increasing at an ever increasing rate. Just click on the two links below and find out how much things cost by direct import by you the consumer! Retail trade by consumers in New Zealand is largely conducted in this way! I see also that food and beverage are affected by digital disruption. Consumer decisions are frequently conducted online before a person goes out and decisions on consumption are already made before people get to the restaurant or café!
What is needed is for business people learn the digital skills to get the businesses online to harness the online market. People who are successfully selling online have digital skills. Its not easy. You need to learn specific marketing skills and to understand how to reach the market you are aiming for. So what does it take?
We can help… signup, click the links on this page or at least go to our website to commence the process! Remember you can follow us on facebook too!
Then next generation are shaping the nature of work and it is not as you know it.
If you think back 10, 20, 30 years and remember what you work life was like you’d have to agree that the way you do work is different. Not only that you probably thought about work differently then because your priorities were different.
30 years ago I was starting my first job. I was sold a job that would last me my life if I wanted it. I had to decide if I wanted to work there a long time and think about all the opportunities that employer would give me. I didnt think about what I would give them. I was looking for a career and money. In those days I worked for a bank. I saw centralisation then decentalisation, restructuring, take overs by other banks and finally I took redundancy and went overseas.
I changed careers and fought my way into a new job in a new city accross the ditch. I gained heaps of experience but I didnt have kids and I had a good income so I wasnt thinking beyond starting a family. After my family I was faced with another career change to work around my growing family. I didnt want to work full time anymore but employers dont get it. They dont have structures for working parents….I know there are some companies that do but I didnt work there. I couldnt understand why more companies didnt see the value I had to offer….just part time. I had to change again.
My definition of work has changed over the years and I am sure yours has too. Like me you may have changed jobs and careers many times already. Well I hate to tell you this but the idea of what work is and how it is presented is changing all the time. The sooner you get your head round it the better.
What did I do? I opened up a business working for myself. I now have 3 businesses, all working from home and the first biggest thing that I had to get used to was budgeting. These days I still hate the numbers stuff so I leave it to my accountant most of the time. I love being social though so I have upskilled on my social media marketing skills. I am reaching more people than ever before and learning and collaborating with poeple to change the way I work all the time. It takes work on your mindset too in order to roll with the punches. Be flexible and learn to keep ahead of the game. What is it you really want to do? Maybe it is time you called the shots and ran your own business? Running your own business could be offering a service. Packaging your skills up and selling them to businesses on contract. Maybe you have a hobby you want to start making money from.
Sounds like you need to change your mindset, find out more about what is possible and seek some advice or join a community to see what others are doing.
We specialise in helping businesses succeed. Check out all the great blogs we have written. Check out our website www.anywherebusines.co.nz and see who we are and how we can help you. Heaps of free stuff.
The millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000 now entering employment in
very high numbers, will shape the world of work for years to come. Attracting the best of these millennial workers to your business, as an employee or consumer, is critical to the future of your business. Their career aspirations, attitudes about work, and knowledge of new technologies will define the culture of the 21st century workplace. Simon Sinek covers it well in the video above.
Why does it matter?
Millennials matter because they are not only different from those that have gone before, they are also more numerous than any since the soon-to-retire Baby Boomer generation – millennials already form 25% of the workforce in the US and account for over half of the population in India. By 2020, millennials will form 50% of the global workforce (always good to have the stats).
But although they will soon outnumber their Generation X predecessors (like me), they remain in short supply, particularly in parts of the world where birth rates have been lower. They will also be more valuable – this generation will work to support a significantly larger older generation as life expectancy increases.
How do millenials see “work”?
It’s clear that millennials will be a powerful generation of workers and that those with the right skills will be in high demand. Attracting and keeping younger workers is one of the biggest talent challenges for businesses employing them. They may be able to command not only creative reward packages by today’s standards, but also influence the way they work, where they work and how they operate in the workplace.
Are they that different to past generations? It’s true to say that some of the behaviour and attributes of millennials can be explained by their age and relative lack of responsibilities. Our behaviour and priorities change and adapt as we age, but to dismiss the issues entirely on that basis would be a mistake.
What sets them apart?
Millennials’ use of technology clearly sets them apart. One of the defining characteristics of the millennial generation is their affinity with the digital world. They have grown up with broadband, smartphones, laptops and social media being the norm and expect instant access to information. This is the first generation to enter the workplace with a better grasp of a key business tools than more senior workers.
It’s more than just the way they use technology its the way they behave too that makes today’s youth different. Their behaviour is coloured by their experience of the global economic crisis and they place much more emphasis on their personal needs than on those of the organisation.
Millennials tend to be uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures and turned off by information silos. They expect rapid progression, a varied and interesting career and constant feedback. In other words, millennials want a management style and corporate culture that is very different from anything that has gone before – that is, one that meets their needs.
The particular characteristics of millennials – such as their ambition and desire to keep learning and move quickly upwards through an organisation, as well as their willingness to move on quickly if their expectations are not being met – requires a focused response from employers. Millennials want a flexible approach to work, but very regular feedback and encouragement. They want to feel their work is worthwhile and that their efforts are being recognised. They value similar things in an employer brand as they do in a consumer brand. These are all characteristics that employers can actively address.
Businesses like Google and Apple have been successfully attracting talented millennials because they are naturally innovative employers who are never restrained by ‘how things used to be done’, their culture, management style and approach to recruitment and retention naturally appeal to the millennial generation. And because of that, they are able to take their pick of the best younger talent around.
Irrespective of your long-term aims and ambitions for your business, it will be your ability to attract and retain millennialtalent will be a vital step to the success of your business because they are not only your employees but your consumers.
Millennials want a flexible approach to work, regular feedback and encouragement, to feel their work is worthwhile and that their efforts are being recognised. They also value similar things in an employer brand as they do in a consumer brand. In other words if they buy your product they will want to work for you. If they like what you stand for, they will want to work for you. It will all be about what is in it for them. You need to learn now how to feed the machine that is here now. Interact with it (collaborate), develop a healthy mindset to working with it (mindset) and learn about how it works (learning).
Snack size communication is changing the way we communicate
Like a healthy diet, social interactions in our digital age should be balanced. Are you so caugh up in this digital age that you need to disconnect to reconnect with friends and family?
Did you know that according to the research by the food and dining industry, we are snacking much more frequently. In the United States, 90 percent of people are snacking multiple times a day and eating less during traditionally scheduled meals, sometimes foregoing them altogether.
Why is this important you might ask when I am talking about social media? Well, it seems we are also snacking on information, taking bit size chunks thoughout the day, more than we have ever done before too. It seems our attention spans are shorter, our desire to receive information is still there but we want it more quickly and in shorter chunks of time. Interestingly, this is called snackification (yes, that’s a real term).
So why is this technological trend toward briefer, more frequent, more casual interactions important to you? Because our communication to customers needs to be “snackified” too. At work and at home, there is a definite trend toward shorter, more frequent, more informal interactions while we are doing something else.
Snackification at Home
Have you noticed that your family and friends often send texts rather than call these days. They text what’s on their minds and then send those thoughts straight away in small bites of information. Have you noticed your partner sends lots of little texts during the day so you know they are thinking of you when before they might have thought it silly to just ring you to say the same thing. I used to have hour-long phone conversations with family and friends, but now I rarely have a telephone conversation lasting longer than a few minutes, and recently even these are being replaced by text messages. We are changing the way we maintain relationships aren’t we?
We also consume entertainment and news in bite-sized chunks. In our house we occasionally watching a movie together. But sometimes we spend time together while watching short videos, reading or listening to music tracks on tablets or phones individually: I call it being “alone together” on our couch.
A survey by OpenMarket from May 2016 reported that 75 percent of millennials actually prefer texting over talking. The research suggests that this has been a consistently growing trend for several years, indicating that this is not a fad. I know my son (11-years-old) only send texts to his friends (unless I force them to pick up the phone). In addition, millennials prefer texting because they say it’s less stressful since it doesn’t require them to come up with answers on the spot and allows them time to choose and edit their words.
Snackification at Work
In my own businesses I have noticed over the years, my clients began requesting shorter and shorter session times. If I am asked to do a presentation, more often than not I am asked to do a 10 minute opening followed by a Q &A session rather than a longer presentation going into more depth. Seems everyones busy. I have also noticed that emails are getting shorter, people are using bullet points and often opt to send 2 emails when in the past it would have all been in one long email.
In fact, snackification of communication is typical in most workplaces. Reports used to be long and detailed. Now many professionals consume and share information either in short, bulleted, slide presentation form or in multiple emails with text and video attachments. Meetings that used to last half a day are getting shorter or are eliminated. Interestingly, according to a 2014 survey, 43 percent of workers avoid spontaneous conversations in favor of email and myriad collaboration tools that enable them to have short “conversations” throughout the day.
What is the impact on your business
Since millennials are the next generation into the workforce I suggest if you are not one of them, you find out more about the way they are communicating in order to meet their needs as employees and connsumers.
Check out my next blog where I look at the pros and cons of “snackification” on our personal and business lives. I would love your comments.
Will 2018 finally be the year that you turn your pet project into an online success story? Sadly, for most women, this dream is less likely to become a reality. Research from UK bank NatWest found that women are a third less likely to start a business than men, with fear of failure cited as a major barrier.
So what’s stopping us?
What do I think?
I think its time, not willing to set aside to learn how to promote yourself and pretending your work will sell itself. It takes a good mindset that is dedicated to planning and making things happen. Caring that things are happening instead of burying yourself in “being busy”. Being busy is a vicious cycle. Try getting up an hour earlier.
I think people don’t take the time to learn about business planning and marketing, having a good accounting system, invoicing and cash management systems. You need to put time into learning about all aspects of business not just what you want to sell. Cash is king. Maybe you could learn this online, from your accountant or a business mentor.
I also think its lonely working on your own and some people like the flexibility of working for themselves but miss company and ideas other generate. Maybe you should be in business this year with others.
What do you think ? What stops you from becoming a success? Here are some more ideas
Are you keeping up with the changing digital landscape? It’s changing the way we do business.
If you have been searching the internet for inspiration about what you might do in the future you are probably aware that the future of work is changing. This is because the digital landscape has change the way we collaborate, our mindset, and the way we gather information (learning). The big question is are you prepared for it? What have you already noticed?
What change have we already been through? At almost 50 (generation X) I have seen lots of change in the way I communicate and the business tools I have used to collaborate and do business. No one stopped and asked if I was ready. I was eager to experience it to be honest and embrased it. I have seen work change from being repetitive and time consuming to become replaced by technology and efficiency. I adapted and changed because I had to and because it was exciting.
My changing landscape
When I started work in the late 80s fax machines were just coming into my workplace, there were no cell phones, no ATM machines and the home computer was for playing games on. There was not social media. If you were going to be late home you had to find a phone box or ring from work. If you broke down you walked to someone house and used their phone. If you wanted to know what a shop had to sell you had to go in or look at a catalogue or advert. We got our news on the radio or TV at the appointed hour. If you wanted to research something you had to go the library. If you wanted to read a book you bought it or got it out of the library.
If you wanted to communicate with a work colleague, family or friends you wrote a memo, letter or picked up the phone. Or better still you walked round the office to went to their home to speak to them in person. People were not so accessable and we had to wait to tell them things. Memos and letters were longer because you saved it all up to put in one document. Now a days we do everything in bit size pieces. Sometimes we send our thought on social media or text as they come to us. Maybe we used a diary for this before or wrote it down in poetry or songs…….imagine not being able to tell your partner something when you thought of it- ping off goes a text.
In the 90s I remember getting my first “flip phone”. It was a great comfort to think I could text my partner about my location so we could meet up after work or I could get help if I broke down in my car. It was quite expensive to make calls so I really treated it as an emergency device for calling. I was listening to music on my stereo or walkman. I was using my camera for photos and having them printed out from a role of film. I needed a video camera for video.
I taught myself to type so I could use my home computer to type up assignments for university (when I went back to uni after 10 years working so we are in the 90s now). I taught myself to use email and started sending emails to friends. I remember one friend saying she thought it was funny how I wrote like I was talking to her. She thought I should only use it to send a quick message and if I wanted to talk I should phone. I remember sending emails at work and treating it like a letter. I would save up things to say and send one long email.
In the early 2000s I was using the internet for booking flights, reseaching things that interest me, and checking emails when I travelled. I was using my home computer to do my accounts, business documents and communicating with work and friends who were out of town. When I travelled I took photos or video on my camera and I left my phone at home. My only form of commuication with people back home was sending a postcard, letter or checking my emails in an internet cafe. I used an walkman playing cds for music. If I wanted a job I had to look in the papers, and post in an application, then go to an interview. If I wanted to buy something I could search about it to see where I need to go to buy it. It wasnt the norm to pay online but you could email an order.
Digital landscape today
These days, I generally don’t go anywhere without my phone. I use it for my emails, internet searches, bookings, games, phone calls, texts, social media, business information storage in the cloud, my calendar, to take bookings for business, listening to music, accessing stored doucents in the cloud, taking photos and videos, read the news, do my banking and to tell me the time. When I travel I take just my phone and I can Skype or Facetime, or use my social media to communicate and share realtime what I am doing, where I am with whome I like.
Workwise I have seen that more and more people are working from home. Some are working remotely for someone else while others are working for themselves. Working around family is a big focus. Information is more accessable, its being stored electronically in the Cloud. People are collaborating through online meetings such as Zoom and Skype. Technology has changed the way we do business. We dont need to be in a clients office to speak to them, do training for them or with them, having a meeting or exchange ideas. If I want a job I apply online, I network with people imporant to my business or future business online. If I get an interview it wouldnt be unusual to be interviewed by Skype. If I want to order something I can seach online for the best price or product. Then I can order and pay right away online and it will be shipped to me.
What does this all mean for the future of work?
Our epectations have changed (mindset). We expect things to be at our finger tips. We expect businesses to get back to us quickly and to find what we want in an instant. We no longer expect to have to go to the shops for items. Dispite social media we are still meeting up to socialise (collaboration). We are just sharing the experience with more than just those who are there.
People want thing fast, in bite sizes and they want to share their experience. They need to see and experience your product so photos or video are important. You need a presence online so you can be found, so your consumer can learn about you, and you need a way of interacting online with customers to create a following. Are you providing that?What does your digital landscape look like for your business? Do you have brochures, messages or busy ads that are long and boring. Are you refusing to get conected with social media and unsure how to take video, share experiences and photos of what you do? This is the future NOW.
What can you do to improve your digital landscape right now?
Its often easier to cope with this change when you are young. I think thats because you dont have other things like kids and financial pressures to worry about. Some people are better with change. But change is all the current generation know. The digital landscape is in their face and its changing fast. If you are a gernation X like me then you need to think about the changing nature of work and the fact that the next generation, the millenials are now in the workforce in bigger numbers and they have grown up with laptops, phones, social media and the world of instant gratification. They are your workforce and your consumers and are just plain expecting different things than you have grown up with. As parents we are grappling with the changing digital landscape our kids are exposed to. My advice is to learn about it now. Engage with them in their world as this is the next generating of your customers. I will explore more about the millenials in my next blog. You cant afford to miss it.
If you are struggling to find your place in the world of work that currently binds you to the 9 to 5 workday that includes a commute to work then perhaps you would be interested in working differently in our changing world of work. If you haven’t already noticed it, how we work and where we work have changed significantly in the last decade. Maybe you need to consider how you can use your skills and experience to work differently so you get more of what you want. For me it’s flexibility, over the last 12 years I have needed to work around my family commitments. What are you looking for? Whatever it is it can be achieved if you start by looking at the current digital landscape as an opportunity.
We are working differently
Consider the already changing way in which work is being done from when you first started work. Technology has changed the work landscape significantly. I no longer need to travel to my clients for all the interactions I have with them. For example, I can have a virtual online meeting with a new staff member to train them on the use of my system. I can see them, they can see me, we can record our meeting and review what was said, we can share information on the screen in real time and if we need to bring in anyone else we can invite them in too – no matter where they are.
HR professionals and managers too have used Skype to interview talent for more than 10 years now, making it possible to employ the right person for the job no matter where they live. Working remotely has also never been easier and is becoming more and more accepted. How many of you know at least one person who works remotely? I know at least 4.
We want different things
So we know technology is enabling change but, what is driving this change in work? Technology is replacing functions that are time-consuming and in our current digital environment, we expect the thing to available quickly. We don’t like wasting time. This will be even more relevant to the Millennials who have grown up in this instant world and they are changing our world of work already. Staying in one job, doing the same thing day in and day out will not be tolerated by millennials who expect to be entertained whenever they want. They have ideals, causes and are motivated by these and not by money. Money is important, yes but freedom and variety are more important.
What can you do?
First, ask yourself if it is possible to do your work, or the majority of it from anywhere? If some tasks need face to face interaction can this be done by an online meeting?
Secondly, could what you be done on line or out sourced? Would you consider contracting on a short or long term basis?
Thirdly, could you or you and a business partner set up a business contracting to businesses anywhere doing all or part of what you do?
Fourth, do you need help understanding the digital landscape so you know what is possible?
We have lots of free information on the Anywhere Business Network website so feel free to look through this. We highly recommend you check out our video series if you are thinking of a change so you have all the support you need on this journey. We even have a 30 day free trial to our online learning platform where you will collaborate with others just like you who are in various stages of development of their work life. They are all learning about having a mindset that will take them where they want to go. They are all setting aside any spare time they have to learn from those who are sharing their experiences, mentoring, encouraging and challenging those who are telling them “yes, I need to think differently, I need a change, I am ready to learn, work with me”
We are AWB are here to help you. Check us out. Here our stories. Subscribe to our newsletter or our social media platforms and kick start you new career or business into life.
I live in a small town! The town is blessed with a 200/200 megabit fiber that can reach out to the world!
People talk of living the laptop lifestyle of beaches and travel. When I think of the digital lifestyle it is an escape from traffic chaos and crime that the large cities tend to have as facets! You can successfully operate a business online from a town such as Greymouth!
Since my Daughter was 2 years old I have worked from home in an online setting being there for preschool-primary school and high school. She is 21 years old now and still is at home (that is another story). Yes, I have traveled, however I prefer the small town feel where you can walk down the street and know the other people and say hello by name!
I am grateful for the online flexible learning options that are available to anyone -including you! The company I have with my business partner (also living in a village) provide online based courses in social media and business coaching. You may ask how did we get the courage to break out into this business! We did so by learning about the opportunities via the Six Figure Mentors network! Anyone can experience the same transformation as us!
How do you communicate with your audience on social media?
Do you know when to use # hash tags and why you need to? Do you use them on Facebook or not now that Facebook owns Instagram is a common question. The short answer is that Instagram and Twitter are the platforms to use # hashtags on and this acts as a search tool. Facebook will allow you to use some # but I recommend you only use a couple of these. It is not a search tool at the moment for Facebook but it can help identify some of your searchable topics on the other platforms to those following you on Facebook.
Here is an example of how you can communicate on the various social media platforms on the topic of Surfing.
Facebook- Man, I love Surfing.
Twitter– I am #surfing right now
Youtube– How to surf in 3 easy steps
LinkedIn– Surfing is one of my many skills
Pinterest– This is my favourite surfing locations
Instagram-had an awesome day in #hawaii #ridingthewaves #surfinginhawaii #catchingthewaves #surfing #surfcity
If you are new to social media or are only dabbling in Facebook you might be feeling like this topic is in the “too hard basket”. Believe me you cannot ignore it.
The best thing to do is to learn about all the ways to market on the internet because most people are searching online before they buy these days and you want to be seen by your audience. This is not a matter of reading an article and then you know it all. Markets need to be tested and you need to understand how to be effective. This takes time.
First thing to do is to define your audience or audiences
Like anything if you want to really understand it you need to invest time in yourself to do just that. If you don’t you could end up not reaching a potential market or spending money advertising on social media targeting the wrong market or no one at all.
5 things you need to know about your audience are:
Who are they?- male/ female, location
What do they do? Job, hobby etc
Where do they hang out? Instagram, FB, Snapchat, Google etc NB: If your product/service appeals to 60+ you will have a different strategy to those who are teenagers.
What do they really want? What is their problem? What is their passion?
What’s stopping them from getting it? Time/ Money, Knowledge etc
I always have my phone, so I will always have my diary and contacts which means I always have their contact details
Automatic sync between PC and smart phone, and its easy to make changes on either PC or smart phone
It is linked to Google Maps so I can find my clients easily.
One of the things I blogged about recently was challenging you all about how well you stored your important data for appointments, files, and client information. I suggested you store your electronic documents and client information in the cloud. I personally use Dropbox and Evernote and when it come to my diary I am using the Google App Calendar.
If you think about it, in an emergency you are not going to grab paper files and you may not have time to grab your computer. But you will grab your phone.
The reason I like the Google App Calendar is :
because the PC version syncs to my smart phone,
I can share this calendar with colleagues or family if I need to,
I can print it from my pc and on my phone I can even link it to Google Maps so I can find my clients
As a gen x, I think because our parents are baby boomers we are influenced by their beliefs….work hard, stick with what you know, be loyal, think of your family…. When in fact we haven’t in fact been offered such security from our employers. We have been through restructures, mergers, redundancies, centralization, decentralization and the introduction of technology that we were not prepared for in a school and had to teach ourselves to use. Many of us are on our 5th career change and are highly qualified. I myself have 2 degrees and another qualification but what I want is freedom and flexibility from the 9 to 5. I am tired of juggling family and work. Why?
This generation has the highest rate of broken relationships than previous generations. Not everyone it seems is willing to work on a relationship in order to provide their children with a balance that comes from a two parent household. It seems people of my generation (gen x) think they “don’t have to put up with anything they don’t want to”.
What has been the cost?
Gen Y and the Millennials (some of us waited to have kids)are our children. We have shown them they have lots of choices and don’t have to do anything they don’t want t and there are always choices. I think it became apparent to me when I heard myself say..” it’s up to you Alex, you can carry on with that behavior or loose you iPad time”. The choice is about winners and losers in this case. He can’t win but he has a choice. So now he is 11 he gives me choices…” If I do this can I have iPad time?”
So how does this affect the future of work?
We have bred a generation of self-centered individuals who know about trade offs. They love technology, because we gave it to them, and they know what it means to be anywhere and be able to do anything if you are connected to the Internet. You can find anything, talk to anyone and get information about anything from anywhere. This is how they will experience work. They have spent years discussing what the Internet is teaching them, forming opinions, finding out what is possible, and like us they will be determined not to be like their parents. They are tired to the trade offs. They are in charge now… or will be.
What can we do?
As a gen x, I am exhausted, I have been raising my son on my own for 12 years. Trying to work around him and have changed careers so many times I have no sense of what a career is. I have spent time pursuing careers that have been unforgiving to people of my age with no experience and a qualification.
So now, I have unskilled myself in the latest digital landscape, joined a community of people online who are in the same boat and are there for each other. I have spent a long time working from home, alone, but I don’t like working alone so I have a business partner now. We work remotely as we don’t live in the same town. We have online meetings, email, text, skype, Facebook….. whatever it takes. We each have our strengths. It works well. I won’t be left behind in this ever changing digital world. I won’t bury my head in the sand and say “ I don’t understand it, I am afraid of it, so I won’t use it” .
So, what you can do Gen X is pick yourself up and do what you know how to do and learn to survive change again. Change your mindset and collaborate with others, some will be just like you. You may need to meditate, you may need the help of a life coach or you may need to consider a new study option.
Whatever you do, make sure it is a positive step forward. No one will do it for you but it’s time to find out how you can fit into the changing future of work.
Get started today
What can you do that can be outsourced to businesses, and not just where you live? What skill gap can you fill?
What digital skills do you need, that are holding you back?
Do you need help and who can do this?
Are you mentally ready for change?
At Anywhere Business Network we can help with heaps of free resources on our website. We have motivational tips for you, business tools and recommendations, we are just like you. We would love to share your journey.
In my last blog I highligheted the growing trend towards snack size information dominating the way we communicate. Is this a good thing or bad thing? I guess its irrellevant but what is important is how we communicate. By better understanding both positive and negative consequences, we can make better decisions about our own communication choices.
Here is a recap of what Snackification is:
What are the Positive aspects
It’s Fast and Efficient
Have you ever sent a text to a friend to say “I’m here”? You are waiting in the car for them and you cant be bothered talking to her husband or interacting with her kids, you just want to get going so you wait for her in the car. Texting is the most-used data service in the world; and when you factor in apps such as Messenger and WhatsApp, we send 80 billion messages a day. We send transactional texts to avoid explanations or long conversations. Texts are less intrusive and we can get right to the point. Snackified communication is faster.
It’s Genuinely Persuasive
Furthermore, exactly because it is less intrusive, this type of communication needs to be concise and compelling. In today’s world we are all competing for attention. Not only do we have to compete with a barrage of other quick communications, we also compete with other activities. We use our mobile devices to communicate while driving or walking, while at a party, or dinner or work. So if we want to cut through the clutter of a constant stream of communications, our messages need to be clear, concise and compelling.
So how do you gain attention and ensure that your message resonates?
You make it informal and appealing, so it’s easy to consume. A communication snack uses short sentences. It uses contractions, emoticons and image stickers to create colorful, casual messages. And it’s exactly this appealing, fun, authentic voice that can be quite compelling.
What are the Negative aspects?
Are we trading empathy for efficiency?
Snackified messages are so condensed and informal that they often fail to convey the intended emotional meaning and instead create more misunderstandings. And when we consider the overwhelming amount of electronic exchanges we have, some of which are with people we’ve never met in person or have never even had a phone conversation with, this just increases the chances of misinterpretation.
Written messages don’t carry the tone, pitch or emphasis of our voice, which can make it quite difficult to determine if someone is being e-serious or e-sarcastic, or if a person is just e-busy and not e-angry. When we don’t hear a voice or see a face, or fully understand the context of written words, we are bound to make incorrect assumptions, which in turn negatively impact how we view others.
Are We Now More Separate and Alone?
When you look at Facebook do you find yourself comparing your life with others? Do you get anxious finding just the right words so someone doesnt take offense. These are the impacts of this type of communication that we need to be aware of for our lives and the lives of our kids. It can affect your self esteem to think others are leaving you out or doing better than you.
There is no doubt that snackified communication is here to stay, and that it has definite advantages. We are able to stay in touch easily, letting loved ones know they are on our minds. We can get information to people quickly and efficiently. And sometimes it’s just plain fun. But as studies show, we have to be aware of its drawbacks and make necessary adjustments.
One adjustment you can make to counter this is to specifically express our emotions, like “I was sad …” or “I am surprised …,” and if necessary before hastily and negatively responding, clarify a confusing message by asking, “Here’s what I got … is that what you meant?”
Secondly, a little face-to-face time without digital devices goes a long way toward reducing emotional misinterpretation and increasing empathy. People will get a sense of the type of person you are and you them from these exchanges, no matter how brief, which will help them determine what sort of meaning is behind the words.
Interestingly, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher, Sherry Turkle, who studies how technology influences relationships, wrote a popular book titled Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. She says we learn to develop empathy and intimacy through in-person conversations “where we learn to make eye contact, to become aware of another person’s posture and tone, to comfort one another and respectfully challenge one another.” Don’t be put off by “the boring bits” and awkward silences in a conversation, she cautions. “If the conversation goes quiet, you have to let it be. For conversation, like life, has silences. It is often in the moments when we stumble, hesitate and fall silent that we most reveal ourselves to one another,” she writes in a 2015 New York Times editorial titled “Stop Googling. Let’s Talk.”
“It is often in the moments when we stumble, hesitate and fall silent that we most reveal ourselves to one another.”— SHERRY TURKLE
There is no doubt in my mind that communiction with family and friends is being affected as well. Unfortunately, and because our technology is almost always with us, we have fewer of these types of meaningful conversations. One thing we can do for ourselves and our children is to schedule “digital holidays” or attend phone-free events.
Finally, Turkle also stated that “One start toward reclaiming conversation is to reclaim solitude. Some of the most crucial conversations you will ever have will be with yourself. Slow down sufficiently to make this possible. ” I think we all need solitude from time to time in this age where we are seemingly always in demand.
Summary- Finding a Healthy Balance
We need to communicate facts clearly and concisely, but we also need to communicate emotion accurately, and develop healthy, supportive, interpersonal relations. This can’t be done through snackified communication alone. Like a healthy diet, our communication must be balanced. And just as we see a new trend in snacks becoming more healthful, I am hopeful that understanding the influence of snackified communication will move us in a healthier direction.
The language of social media can be very confusing. When do you put a #hash tag and what do they mean? You may be wondering how you can ever get to grips with it. You simply need to invest time in yourself learning about it or you will just be spinning your wheels and spending time on in effective social media posts.
It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t know anything about online marketing. In a very short space of time we now know a lot and are successfully using online marketing tool to market our businesses. Now we are asked all the time about “how do you do it?”. There are a whole generation of kids in their teens right now who wont need to ask for our help. They already know more than us. But there are many like us who didn’t have a clue where to start. Here is a summary of some of the languages of social media:
Facebook- Man, I love pizza.
Twitter- I am eating a #pizza
Youtube- How to make pizza
LinkedIn- Pizza eating is one of my many skills
Pinterest- My favourite pizza recipe
Instagram-#out for #pizza #lunchtime #restaurant #image #filter
The language of social media can be very confusing
When do you put a #hash tag and what do they mean. You may be wondering how you can ever get to grips with it. You simply need to invest time in yourself learning about it or you will just be spinning your wheels and spending time on in effective social media posts.
If you have hooked into the online learning platform I suggested in my last blog you will be are working through the modules and attending the Marketing webinars to get a better understanding of who your market is, where they are hanging out and what they need. Plus you will be learning about the language of each social media platforms. Here is a summary of some of the languages of social media:
Facebook– Man, I love pizza.
Twitter– I am eating a #pizza
Youtube– How to make pizza
LinkedIn– Pizza eating is one of my many skills
Pinterest– My favourite pizza recipe
Instagram-#out for #pizza #lunchtime #restaurant #image #filter
Google+– I work at Google and love pizza
Follow us on social media to see examples.If you need help, check out the Digital Kickstart page on this website.
If you are new to social media or are only dabbling in Facebook you might be feeling like this topic is in the “too hard basket”. Believe me you cannot ignore it. Like anything if you want to really understand it you need to invest time in yourself to do just that. If you don’t you could end up not reaching a potential market or spending money advertising on social media targeting the wrong market or no one at all. First thing you need to know is where you target market is hanging out.
Where is my target market?
First you need to define your market. Are they male/female/ what is their age/where do they live..etc
Then you need to, based on this information, know where online they are hanging out.
If your product appeals to 60+ you will have a different strategy to those who are teenagers.
Look at this age representation of users I got from Smart Insights: this clearly shows that with audiences 18-34 yrs Snapchat has the highest audience of all the social media platforms.
You can go to The Statista Portal for more on social media trends. Take a look at this chart I took from this website:
You will find more statistics at Statista