Category Archives: Social media marketing

Q&A: The web: Is it making us lonelier?

For over 25 years we have had access to this wonderful gift called the World Wide Web. It’s both beautiful and the cause of trouble.

On Friday 20th March I heard on the BBC Breakfast show that using social media is making us feel lonelier. I think the discussion was prompted by United Nations International Day of Happiness. Is this true or not?

Let me ask you a question: When you have a coffee in a coffee shop do you ever talk to the person next to you? Sometimes I do and this week I had a wild conversation with a young man sitting next to me and we started talking about what happens to you when you are online and how being online is influencing people’s personalities.

He said, ‘People feel very lonely when they use social media.’

‘Really?’ I thought to myself. I replied, ‘People are not lonely because they use social media. There are other factors that make people feel lonely.’

‘I have proof that this is the case, and lots of my friends are really lonely and they are always on Facebook.’

I tried to explain my ideas to him, ‘Loneliness does not come from spending time online; there are other factors that make us lonely. We work too much, we live far away from our families, maybe we have too many shallow relationships and many people suffer from different kinds of addictions.’ (And there are probably many other factors as well that’s causing loneliness)

I read articles on a regular basis saying that we are lonelier than ever. This might be true compared to the past, but it’s not because of the web. I read a study that compared how people interacted in 1985 compared to 30 years later and it revealed the same level of loneliness. Annoyingly, I can’t find that study right now; if I do I will add a link to it.

We hear about all the effects that social media has on us on a regular basis and many conclusions are drawn based on this hypothesis:

‘Problem in society + we use social media and the web more and more = the increased use of social media is to blame for all kinds of issues.’

In the nineties there was a big study done about the web. It was published in 1998 and one of the researchers was Robert Kraut. It’s called ‘The Internet Paradox’ and it shows that people feel lonelier when using the web.

Of course, back then, when nobody was online, you felt lonely when you were on the web. Did you use the internet a lot in 1994-1996?

Today, when you use the web you form stronger relationships. People who use a social media network such as Facebook are not lonelier than people who do not use it. It’s more likely that people who are not using social media will feel excluded because they are not part of the chain of information that’s shared online.

There is another interesting study by Kieth N. Hampton about ‘People are more likely to spend time together in public spaces than they were 30 years ago‘. We are more social when we are out and about than 30 years ago.

One myth dismissed.

The web creates new voices

There is enormous power online and new communities and new networks are formed all the time while other communities dissolve.

I think it is beautiful that people and groups who never had a voice before now can be heard.

In the past there were certain people, such as journalists, academics and politicians etc., who had a voice in society. Today we can all be broadcasters and share our thoughts more widely.

In this post I will mention two groups who didn’t have a voice before. The first one is old and retired people. An example is Birgitta Jonsson, who is 80 years old and lives in Stockholm, Sweden. She’s an activist and very active online, and also runs courses for people who want to learn about the web. Thanks to the web she can share her thoughts and ideas and organise with other people. What do older people need in society to live a better life? You can follow Birgtta on Twitter twitter.com/FruJonsson.

Another group that never had a voice before is terminally ill people. I’ve been following several ill people online who are entering their final days. Before social media and blogs this was a private experience. But now some people choose to open up and share their stories. I think it’s a beautiful way to connect and it’s a way to leave a legacy for the people who are still alive.

Can you guess what the most shared blog post on Huffington Post was last year? It was a post by Charlotte Kitley who was terminally ill with cancer and the post was published just after she died.

Thanks to our active online life we are forming new communities, but it’s not just people with good intentions doing this. The recent Twitter census report about ISIS reveals that the average twitter account related to ISIS has about 1,000 followers whereas an average (non-ISIS) account has 300 followers.

ISIS Twitter accounts are super active and they are talented at utilising the power of social media and connecting online. Is it the case that evil leaders are more efficient? I don’t have the full answer, but they are driven by an inner fire and are extremely efficient when using the web to spread their propaganda.

The only way we can learn to manage the huge forces online is by gaining more knowledge. Being more active and not judging what’s going on in social media too quickly is one way to educate yourself. Social media is not an instrument you can use for one day and then say ‘this is how it works and I now know how these people think and act’. No, you need to give it more time and get more involved to learn how online communication works. As with many things, scrutinising details without paying attention to the bigger picture and context will lead to skewed views and misunderstandings.

By developing your knowledge of digital life you can use the web to take positive action for the world, if you choose to not get involved you are making way for more evil forces to take up more space online. And then you will stand on the side watching and saying ‘what’s going on? I had no idea that this is how the new world works.’

***

This post has similar content to one of my short talks at the Professional Speaking Association in the UK.

Watch the 5 min speech here.

Thanks for reading.

Sofie

Is social media making us lonely?

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My week visiting Oxford Internet Institute and speaking about leadership at the Digital Marketing Forum

It’s the end of the week and I feel that my energy is coming back to me after an intense week. On Tuesday I visited the Oxford Internet Institute. I met up with some people and I also had the chance to listen to Michael Corey [twitter.com/mcorey] who’s a social scientist at Facebook.

He shared insights about how to measure internet penetration around the world. Facebook’s vision is to ‘connect the world’. To see how well they are connecting people they research: 1) Who knows about the internet 2) Whether they use it 3) How often 4) For what purpose etc. It was a great and more technical lecture. Unfortunately, I can’t share details at the moment as the study is not public yet.

Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s founder) says: ‘To be online is a human right.’ I agree with him, why should only the privileged have access to the Web? What are your thoughts?

This week I also spoke about ‘How to be seen as a leader online’ at the Digital Marketing Forum with Richmond Events. It was a great and intense day, I spoke three times.

I was a bit nervous at first as I was speaking to my peers. Many of the people who attended were working in similar positions to me a few years ago when I worked as an ecommerce manager and digital manager.

When I talk about being seen as a leader online I share a philosophy that I subscribe to and that is: ‘I participate, therefore I learn’. When we spend time online we connect and collaborate; a lot of our personal and professional development is done this way now compared with just a few years ago. This is one reason why it’s good for you to be active online. And, to see trends you must be online and follow people who have similar interests to you.

If you would like to be seen as a leader (not only a leader with a title such as CEO) it’s important to be generous with your ideas and thoughts. I wrote a blog post about thoughtleadership the other week, you can read it here.

One comment that has been made in my how to be seen as a leader online workshops is: ‘But I don’t have time to look after my own online brand when I’m working on my company’s online brand all day.’

This comment turned into a discussion comparing a digital manager with a Michelin starred chef. The argument was that chefs do not cook restaurant quality food at home only at work, and therefore you could say you as a digital marketer should not actively working on your own personal brand either.

I understand the argument and my thoughts are: You are the only person who can take responsibility for developing your own leadership skills and personal brand. If you don’t do it no one else will do it for you. And I know a few chefs and they cook lovely food for themselves and their friends, and they are also very active on Instagram and Twitter showing their food, creations and what they are up to.

Leadership 2.0 means that you curate your online brand and that you share your thoughts and ideas generously with other people using digital tools in a smart way.

I wish you a great day.

Sofie Sandell

PS. If you know anyone who is looking for a speaker or a writer please have me in mind.

Sofie Sandell

Photographer Sandra Donskyte

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Different kind of members – membership strategy & leadership

I’m off to talk about Junior Chamber International (JCI) London’s journey, membership growth and leadership in Antwerp, Belgium today. It’s JCI Vlaanderen’s inspiration day.

All membership based organisation around the world, they have the same kind of issues:

  • They want more members
  • They want more engaged members
  • They want members to stay longer
  • And they want to build better relationships with their sponsors and partners.

Do you agree?

In my experience the membership is made up of a few different types of members.

Here are the ten most common:

1) Lifelong learners (not only focused on their profession)

2) Information consumers – always learning about whatever through books, seminars, online courses…

3) Continual professional development members

4) Aspiring leaders and thought leaders. Raising their profile in their industry and community from their membership and involvement

5) The networkers and connectors

6) The CV members – JCI looks great!

7) The activists, mission and purpose members. They LOVE JCI!

8) Happy to pay but don’t want to be involved members

9) Money savers – want the discount on JCI courses and conferences.

10) You “should” join members. Told by others they should join.

Who are you?

You can download some free recourses on my website here that will help you to grow your membership.

The world need more leaders and we can all develop our leadership skills.

Sofie Sandell is a professional speaker and the author of the book Digital Leadership. Read more at sofiesandell.com. And connect on Twitter @soffi_proppand Instagram instagram.com/sofiesandell.

Sofie Sandell speaking

Sofie Sandell giving a talk in Belgium

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Social media, innovation and the digital dragon

Digitalization is making us ask ourselves new questions; what, how, who, where, when and why? It’s has slowly but surely been spreading it’s impact in even the smallest corners of all organisations. The digital dragon fly fast and brings new power. It can be both big and small, but most of all, it’s challenging us. Thanks to the challenge we ask ourselves new questions about strategy, leadership, management, employee branding and one billion other things.

How do social media stand next to innovation? Is social media an innovation, or just human beings communicating? An innovation is defined* as a knowledge intensive process of seeing and doing things differently. Social media is defined as helping people connect and communicate using digital devices.

At the moment over 40 per cent of the world’s population are connected online, more will be in the next few years. I’m a member of several online communities where we interact and share knowledge all the time. The discussions we have often help me to see things differently and as a result I do things in new ways. Social media is helping me to look at life and challenges in different ways.

Thanks to the centillion (it has 303 zeros) of connections in the world we share knowledge and thoughts in a way that have never been possible before. Where will this lead us? What does this mean to us?

In one of my workshops in December we discussed what you can control in social media. How much can an organisation really control what is shared about them online? Not that much is the answer. One person argued that they could control what everyone in their organisation shared about them online. My reply was: ‘If you are lucky you can do that by training everyone to behave and act responsibly online. And the opposite might as well occur.’

It’s possible to use our collective knowledge in new ways thanks to all new online connections. How to do this well is one of the most interesting organisational challenges at the moment, we all have so much to learn. Using social media in a smart way can lead to amazing inventions.

To build trust in social media takes time, sometimes years, but it can only take one click to destroy it. Professionals and brands must consider how they are interacting and what kind of traces they leave behind. You might have noticed that you remember comments that are nonrespectful for a long time and nonemotional comments and updates just pass by.

I’m going back to Shanghai in a couple of days to run a workshop in digital leadership and I am looking forward to learn more about the current digital challenges that organisations have there at the moment. Let’s hope I get the chance to get the know the Chinese digital dragons a bit better.

If you would like to read about my thoughts about leadership you can read more in my book Digital Leadership: How Creativity in Business Can Propel Your Brand and Boost Your Results’ and check out my website www.sofiesandell.com.

Please also connect on Twitter: @Soffi_Propp

* I used the definition by Harri Jalonen in his academic paper DANCING WITH THE PARADOX — SOCIAL MEDIA IN INNOVATION THROUGH COMPLEXITY LEN

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Sofie Sandell portrait

Photographer Sandra Donskyte

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My online brand. Will I be judged?

Question: Will my potential customers judge me by what I write online?

Answer: The answer is short and neat: Yes, they will judge you by what you say on online.

Before anyone does business with you they check out your credibility online and they will Google your name and your brand name. What you write and say about yourself will help them to make up their mind about you, who you are and if they like you.

We tend to choose to work with people we like when we meet them, and if their online messages connect with us then it’s even easier to make up our minds. We want to work with people we can trust, who come across as authentic and competent.

We all have an OBD—an Online Bullshit Detector. We can see immediately if anyone shares something online and doesn’t mean it. You are better off showing who you are, with your flaws, and keep being authentic to your values.
(From my book ‘Digital Leadership’)

Google rank Twitter high and will show off your Twitter account among the first results when someone searches for your brand, so Twitter is very important. All content that is shared on websites and blogs with high credibility will be ranked higher. Here is a page rank checker.

Audience

Doing well in your digital branding is not about having thousands or even millions of followers, it’s more about connecting with the right people who want to connect and listen to you. So go out and find them.

What you need to know:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do they want to hear from you?
  • Where is your audience online?

When you know more about who your audience is you can compose a better message and use the right channels.

Humour

Humour is a funny topic. It can be great in the right context with people who understand your humour, and it can be a disaster if people don’t. What kind of humour content works depends on who you have in your network.

Being cynical and ironic in a rude way will most likely not impress your social media network, but friends who have known your for years might understand you perfectly. So it’s depending on where online you share your ideas – in public or private networks.

Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression is an interesting one. What does that really mean? Can I use my voice on the internet in the way I want to? Will it be safe – for myself and others? While you are finding your voice online you must check in with yourself on a regular basis and make sure that your words are not insulting anyone else, you want to use social media to build relationship and not ruin them.

If you are at a party with someone you would probably not try to start an argument just because you can. On social media we have similar rules, if you would like to keep the respect of others you need to manoeuvre your tone of voice in a good way.

The safety filter

When you are engaging online you must engage your safety filter before you post, comment or reply. Here is a quick safety list:
1) Will people understand what you are saying?
2) Will you insult someone? If your message is unclear or you risk insulting someone you must change your message. You want to build friendships, right?
3) Never feed an aggressive discussions, ever! Trolls need no more food. Better starve them.

For some people it’s only important to win the battle and you might be left feeling hurt. If you feel like it you can chat with them privately and it will not effect your other relationships online. You don’t want your Twitter wall to be filled up by a draining discussion.

Be yourself

Don’t try to sound like someone else when you share your ideas online. It’s better to be innovative and use your own voice. You can borrow ideas from others, but you will always come across better if you use your own language and expressions.

It’s very easy to share other people’s content and thoughts. We all have seen far too many inspirational quotes online and it’s not feeling that up-lifting. If you are trying to develop your own voice you should immediately stop using other people’s quotes and expressions. Your own voice will only develop if you are using it.

All people have ideas, thoughts, knowledge and experience worth sharing, and your message might inspire others.

Social media is a gift and should be used wisely.

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Dear mini-trolls, please stop snotting in my social media networks

I spend a lot of time online in my social media networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook – and especially the groups. Sometimes I get to know people in a way that is disturbing our ’in real life’ (IRL) relationship.

You see, I have to read snotty comments made by mini-trolls to follow what’s happening in the groups… and as you know when nobody stops a mini-troll from writing snotty comments they continue and their snot is suddenly all over us. Here I am not talking about internet trolls hiding behind a fake identity. No, I’m talking about people who use their real identify and I now call them mini-trolls.

If we were having the same conversation IRL someone would have told them to go and blow their nose somewhere else. And in the UK you would have said: ‘I beg you pardon, the toilet is over there…’

These people are clearly suffering from snotty comments syndrome. It’s as if they can’t help but share their snot publicly on posts in social media. Their comments can be sarcastic, painful to read, cynical or it might take the message in the post out of context.

This kind of mini-hate can be both hurtful and harmful, and I’ve seen people who are acquaintances, friends of friends and people outside my networks doing it many times. It seems to be a pretty big problem online.

When someone says something nice and kind we tend to forget it, it doesn’t really stick for long, but snotty comments we remember forever and there is no way to delete them from our memory, even if the comment itself is deleted online. Okay, if you make one rude comment, as we have all done, you are forgiven. But when you have made a few we put you in the category of “annoying mini-trolls”.

The experts’ view

I asked Mihaela Stroe, PhD in nonverbal communication, for her view and she said:

‘Even though we communicate more online now, the basic rules of human communication apply there too. In real life you will meet people who make rude comments and you have several ways to stay away from them. Online you have the same right, you can use your personal power to disconnect with online rudeness. My tip is to stick with people (and comments) that make you grow, not with those who make you feel low. And remember: online communication is still the same as real life: – you have the power to be a great communicator, or to be a lousy one‘.

…online communication is still the same as real life: – you have the power to be a great communicator, or to be a lousy one‘.

I also had the chance to speak to celebrity psychotherapist Marisa Peer about why people make rude comments online and she says:

‘It’s all about power, all relationships in life are about power and if you feel as if you have no power you think you can get some and embellish yourself by diminishing other people. People who are happy and at peace with themselves would never behave like that.’

…all relationships in life are about power…

5 snotty comments protection tips:

To give mini-trolls a package of tissues might not be enough to get them stop blowing their nose online, but I can share some tips with those of you who are exposed to their snot.

1) Mini-trolls have issues with themselves, they are not happy. Their aim is to gain a higher status by making other people feel low. When you read a snotty comment just keep calm and remember that it says more about them than about you.

2) If you read a rude comment added late at night the mini-troll who wrote it might have been drunk and not entirely sure of what they wrote – when you are drunk you don’t have a “safety filter” in your head, or at least not the same kind of filter as when you are sober.

3) We all have different boundaries. I was once very active in a group on LinkedIn in which a male member felt compelled to make a snotty comment about almost everyone’s posts. Maybe he thought he could change people’s view of a subject by doing this. What happened in this case is that I blocked him on LinkedIn. We used to be connected, but why should we be when we have very little in common? If we were hanging out IRL I would have left the conversation or asked him to shut up – so I brought the rules of normal life online.

4) You can try to be sarcastic and just say that you totally agree with a snotty comment (most people will understand that you are being sarcastic), or say that that is a smart point of view, or just say “WOW!!!”.

5) You can also choose to be silent. This is a powerful way to show that you are above these kinds of comments and won’t stoop to the same low level of communication.

Karma and snot

One last point: if you “like” someone’s snotty comment, that person’s karma and snot is reflected onto you and who you are. So liking and agreeing with snotty comments might be as hurtful as making them.

Be nice. Be kind. Be helpful. In that way we can create an online world we will all want to be a part of.

Thank you, Sofie

****

Download 13 tips how to protect yourself from internet trolls and other nasty people online. 

Sofie Sandell

Photographer Katja Rangstam

 

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Press release: searching for stories for the new book ‘Digital Leadership in Action

‘How ready are we for the digital change that’s needed to serve our customers and communities?’ asks, Sofie Sandell. Where can we find inspiration and stories from?

Sofie Sandell is searching for stories for her next book “Digital Leadership in Action” where people, organisations and companies have uses new digital technology and social media to build relationships, create an impact and connect in an inspiring way.

Digital Leadership is about:

  • being creative with digital tools and dare to be innovative
  • creating a sustainable future
  • helping others to understand the power behind the internet
  • serving your customers and your community
  • better communication internally and externally
  • using the language of creativity that helps people do things they believed were impossible.

The story can feature a person or a team in an organisation. Some of the talents and skills that they probably have are:

  • inspiring leadership skills
  • they understood their customers need
  • the ability to inspire others
  • knowledge how to build communities online
  • the skills to create power from almost nothing.

About Sofie Sandell

Sofie Sandell is an international speaker and in the last year she has been giving talks about Digital Leadership in the UK, Belgium, Kuwait, Sweden, Denmark and China. Her book ‘Digital Leadership: How Creativity in Business Can Propel Your Brand and Boost Your Results’ was published Sept 2013. The title of her second TEDx talk at TEDx IslingtonWomen in Dec, 2013 was ‘Digital Leadership in Action’. Sofie is guided by her belief that the world needs more leaders who know how to embrace technology and creativity.

Quotes from the book Digital Leadership:

“Creative leaders attract talented people. They are likely to get the best to work with them.”

“Digital creative leaders let go of the old and make space for the new to expand.”

“Being able to connect with others and build rapport is key if you want to make an impact and build sustainable relationships”

“Creative leaders stick their necks out in critical situations. They challenge decisions and want to understand how they will influence the future.”

“Leadership is about looking for better solutions for the people around you. Continual improvement can only happen when leaders show the way and dare to take on conflict”

Do you know any stories we all can learn from?

Sofie Sandell wants to get to know the people behind the stories, what they did, why they did it and how they used digital technology to connect and reach further. Digital Leadership can happen in an organisation that has a long history, it can be a new organisation challenging status quo and it can be one person starting an initiative and inviting people to participate.

If you would like to submit your story or tell me about an inspiring case please reply to the questions:

(copy and paste into a document an send it to hello@sofiesandell.com): 

Name of the organisation / project / company:

Website:

Names of people involved:

Contact details – email and mobile numbers:

What does your organisation do:

Share the background story:

Describe the problems you have overcome by using digital technology?

What are the outcomes?

How has your initiative helped and supported your customers or communities?

How did you come up with the ideas?

What did you do differently compared to before?

Who were your biggest supporters in achieving the results?

What was the three biggest problems in leading change?

What did you do to overcome them?

 

For more information please contact Sofie Sandell at hello@sofiesandell.com

Sofie Sandell portrait

Photographer Katja Rangstam

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40 ways to use Twitter and finding your voice on social media

I’ve been using Twitter since January 2009. The day I started to use it was the snowiest day of my London life, and no tubes, trains or buses were running. I was working at home and I decided it was about time I signed up to Twitter. Late in 2008 Stephen Fry had made headlines for being active on Twitter, and I think that this in combination with being interested in social media prompted me to join.

The journey

I’ve used my Twitter accounts very differently over the years and can look at my use of Twitter as a journey. I’ve had three personal different accounts and I’ve managed some corporate brand account as well.

In my personal accounts I’ve shared professional knowledge and inspirational thoughts, I’ve used Twitter to connect with people at events, I’ve live-tweeted from events, I’ve built up many interesting lists of people to follow (some lists are public and some private), I’ve been inactive for some periods and I’ve also been hyper active. Sometimes I’m more random in the thoughts I share and sometimes more targeted.

A few years ago when I decided to be more focused with my Twitter communications I got a lot more followers very quickly. One of the secrets behind getting more followers was that I was thoughtful and shared ideas that were both provocative and emotional.

And I guess this is part of the secret how to create a feeling of shared human conditions. This is something that many writers and storytellers do very well.

Is Twitter for everyone?

Yes and no. I think the answer is in a grey area and you need to decide whether you would like to use an extra communication channel. We all have different communication styles, but I think we can agree that our communication styles have changed over the last few years and that Twitter can be worth exploring.

Twitter for networking

I’m a keen networker and I freely share knowledge and connect with the people I meet, so for me being on social media enriches my network and helps me to keep my network alive. Even as an experienced social media user I sometimes find online tools confusing. There is a lot to take in and our online behaviour changes all the time – not to forget the random design changes that occur every now and then.

It’s about learning and exploring

If you want to tweet like a pro you need to start building your communication muscles and be open to learning new things. We all feel a bit blocked when it comes to sharing our thoughts, feeling and emotions online.

In my experience it is when we are more personal and get others to engage with both their brain and their heart that we connect. But of course, that’s not to say that you have to share all of your stresses and every emotional experience of your life online.

What you say and share is very much up to you and it reflects who you are. If you compare an experienced leader and a young student, they both have unique voices and their online voices sound and feel very different. What matters is that you find what’s best for you.

I train and teach lots of different groups of people about how to use Twitter and other social media networks, and below is a summary of some of the different ways you can use the service. All in random order.

40 ways to use Twitter – you can:

  1. Share a news piece written by someone else (you show what you stand for by doing this)
  2. Research the latest news, events or gossip
  3. Show empathy to people who are going through a time of suffering
  4. Retweet interesting information
  5. Reply to a tweet
  6. Reply to someone’s reply to your tweet – an online conversation with short sentences
  7. Promote yourself as an expert
  8. Build your personal brand
  9. Get a new job by researching what’s out there
  10. Be found by someone who would like to employ you
  11. Connect with new people you’ve just met
  12. Recommend to someone that they check out a tweet you think they would like
  13. Meet the love of your life (some lucky people do)
  14. Humblebrag about what you are up to
  15. Openly brag about your life to make your followers feel jealous (this might not engage your followers if you do it too much)
  16. Connect with others during an event with the help of a common hashtag
  17. Have a live Twitter feed on the wall at events (I think this is fun)
  18. Check out people who went to the same event as you by searching for the event hashtag
  19. Complain about a brand and use their hashtag or @brandname (you may receive better customer service by doing so – this has happened to me several times)
  20. Share a photo from a memorable moment
  21. Write a short poem of 140 characters – maybe even a Haiku?
  22. Share your latest blog post
  23. Share a funny cartoon and write a witty comment
  24. Ask a question and hope that some kind individual will share their knowledge with you
  25. Do an ‘ask any questions’ hour for everyone and use your Twitter wall to share all answers – many brands and experts now do this
  26. Share best practice tips – I’ve done a top ’10 top Digital Leadership tips in 10 tweets’ several times
  27. Share photos of cool art you’ve seen
  28. Run a competition with a special hashtag
  29. Write short diary entries and let others see what you are up to
  30. Build lists of experts in different areas
  31. Tweet about your latest meal
  32. Highlight your concerns to a politician
  33. Campaign for equality or a better community / world / school / healthcare service – whatever you are interested in
  34. Follow celebrities and get a snapshot of their lives
  35. Use Vine and share videos in six-second bites
  36. Connect to your Instagram account and share images
  37. Promote your tweets
  38. Embed tweets in your blog – many newspapers do that now
  39. You can reinforce your branding and message with help of the top banner
  40. You can say #thankyou in public to someone who has helped you or inspired you. That’s very appreciated.

This list shows that you can tweet in an endless variety of ways – and that there are many options to find your voice and style with help of Twitter.

Share your thoughts, knowledge and ideas

Don’t let any judgmental thoughts, your own or others, stop you from exploring what you can do with online communication. We all have the inner critic talking to us in our head, and there are ways to acknowledge that, and become a better online communicator.

The good and bad sides of social media

As with all tools and inventions, you can use Twitter for good purposes or bad. I’m not a moral compass for you in your life, but I recommend that you are careful about how, with whom and where you share your thoughts. I think this is good general communication advice. Both the context and content matter for all of us online.

New course on how to use Twitter

If you are new to Twitter, or would like to explore how to find your voice on a deeper level, there are a few steps that will put you on the right track.

I run online courses for professionals on ‘How to use Twitter and tweet like pro’and if you are interested in the next one starting later in October please get in touch via email and I will tell you more: sofie@sofiesandell.com.

The course is run online with interactions over two weeks and we will be a group of like-minded people learning about Twitter together.

Thank you for tuning in.

Sofie Sandell

P.S. My list is not exhaustive and I’m sure that Twitter users will invent many new ways to use the service

Sofie Sandell

Photographer Katja Rangstam

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Finding your voice on social media

We all have a voice and ideas that are worth expressing. In social media we have hundreds of opportunities to do so and share our knowledge and develop our wisdom with others.

List of your language

My first tip to you is to learn more about language and how you can use it to express yourself with the help of words. This is one way of to find your own voice. A creativity exercise you can do is to write down a list of words that you use all the time – this is your own pocket of words. Then when you’ve done that you write down a list of words you know but never use.

This will give you an idea of words and expressions that come naturally to you. If you would like to expand your language you need to start to use new words as well.

What annoys you!

It’s super effective to write down a list of all things that annoy you and make you angry. It may be the slow service in a shop, inequality or bad education systems. They give you an idea what you value and where you stand.

Write down what you love

What you love is also a sign of who you are and stand for. Write down a lift of at least 50 things you love.

What you love and what annoys you can be used as a passion-compass and will give you direction for what your next social media update can be about.

Your social media nemesis

Who do you like to follow online? And what do they do that make you follow them? How do they use their voice and share their opinions. By just following people you admire you will learn what makes your thoughts tick. What they do to you and your thought process is something you in turn can do.

Hashtags

Social media channels are often used by celbs who want to connect with their fans, and it is natural for their fans to find them. For those of you who are not that famous yet, you can use the power of hashtags # to connect with people who have the same interests as you.

A while ago I was searching for a hashtag on Twitter that a friend used in a project in 2011 and I was happily surprised that I still could find it in a two second search. So at the moment it seems as if it will stay online.

By using and creating new hashtags you can connect with people who have similar ideas and interests as you have. I’ve used #DigitalLeadership on both Twitter and Instagram and it has helped me to connect with people with similar ideas. If you have any special interest areas you can go in and see what other hashtags people are using and then see if you can use the same or invent your own. In networks such as Instagram and Twitter hashtags are a great way to express yourself.

Humour

Humour is a funny topic. It can be great in the right context with people who understand your humour, and it can be a disaster if people don’t. What kind of humour content works depends on who you have in your network. Being cynical and ironic in a rude way will most likely not impress your social media network, but friends who have known your for years might understand you perfectly. So it’s depending on where online you share your ideas – in public or private networks.

Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression is an interesting one. What does that really mean? Can I use my voice on the internet in the way I want to? Will it be safe – for myself and others? While you are finding your voice you must check in with yourself on a regular basis and make sure that your words are not insulting anyone else, you want to use social media to build relationship and not ruin them.

If you are at a party with someone you would probably not try to start an argument just because you can. On social media we have similar rules, if you would like to keep the respect of others you need to manoeuvre your tone of voice in a good way.

The safety filter

When you are engaging online you must engage your safety filter before you post, comment or reply. Here is a quick safety list: 1) Will people understand what you are saying? 2) Will you insult someone? If your message is unclear or you risk insulting someone you must change your message. You want to build friendships, right? 3) Never feed an aggressive discussions, ever! Trolls need no more food. Better starve them.

For some people it’s only important to win the battle and you might be left feeling hurt. If you feel like it you can chat with them privately and it will not effect your other relationships online. You don’t want your Twitter wall to be filled up by a draining discussion.

Be yourself

Don’t try to sound like someone else when you share your ideas online. It’s better to be innovative and use your own voice. You can borrow ideas from others, but you will always come across better if you use your own language and expressions.

It’s very easy to share other people’s content and thoughts. We all have seen far too many inspirational quotes online and it’s not feeling that up-lifting. If you are trying to develop your own voice you should immediately stop using other people’s quotes and expressions. Your own voice will only develop if you are using it.

All people have ideas, thoughts, knowledge and experience worth sharing, and your message might inspire others.

Social media is a gift and should be used wisely.

Thank you,

Sofie

 

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Book about digital marketing campaigns I recommend

I had the chance to read ‘The Best of Global Digital Marketing: The Storybook‘, a few weeks ago, by Mike Berry and Hando Sinisalu

It’s an amazing collection of digital marketing case studies.

In my presentations I sometimes use Volvo Trucks as an example and I’ve done that since 2012.

I am very pleased to share the Volvo Trucks case study with you as a PDF download. Just click here.

Watch the epic split on YouTube.

Digital marketing case study Volvo truck epic split

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Social Media Q&A

Do you have any questions about life in relation to social media?

Send an email with your question to Sofie Sandell for a chance to get it published here.
Email: sofie@sofiesandell.com

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12 practical tips for how to use social media to build your reputation and share your key messages

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Digital Leadership with Sofie Sandell