Category Archives: Social Media Q&A

Q&A: Question from the audience ‘We have too many ideas – what should we do with them?’

I’ve been asked this question many times when I’ve given talks. It seems to be common for organisations to feel as though they have to turn down lots of ideas because they don’t have the resources to deal with them.

My first tip is to give people space to express their ideas. Maybe you can have one team meeting per month in which you discuss new ideas. If there is no formal forum in which to express ideas some people will hold them back. If your problem is too many ideas, have one person take notes at meetings and keep an idea-diary for your team. Then, you can review the diary on a regular basis and see which ideas are progressing. Structure and administration are needed to make this work, but it is efficient.

Provide training for people in your business about how idea development works. They may no longer feel the need to discuss ideas with everyone and will know how to bring an idea forward themselves. Ideas need time to mature and strengthen.

When someone comes to you and would like to discuss an idea always smile and listen. This will make you more attractive to work with. In general, people don’t go and discuss new ideas with someone who is stressed and not a good listener.

I once had a boss who told everyone to put their idea in a PowerPoint document and send it over to him. This was a great way to kill enthusiasm and inspiration. If your business does this too often, stop doing it! Always discuss an idea first, give it life and add a bit of creative honey to it. Then, the bees will come and you can build on it. [Click to tweet]

Idea development needs to be structured so that people know how it works. If they don’t they may not share their nascent ideas with anyone. We need great ideas today. The world has a lot of problems waiting to be solved, and for you to stay in business you need new ideas now more than ever.

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Q&A: Will my potential customers judge me by what I write on Twitter?

Q: Will my potential customers judge me by what I write on Twitter? 

A: The answer is short and neat: Yes, they will judge you by what you say on Twitter, and online in general. 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.

Google rank Twitter high and will show off your Twitter account among the first results when someone searches for you.

Bloomberg—a trader’s best friend—has pulled Twitter into its terminal since April this year. This is a sign that the stock market is taking information published on social media seriously. Read an article on this topic published on Mashable.

You have to make a decision about whether you would like social media involved in every aspect of your business, which makes it more effective, or if you are happy to send out a message every now and then.

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.

Doing well on Twitter 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.

From my book ‘Digital Leadership’

Sofie says: “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.” 

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Q&A: Why is it so hard to introduce new ideas?

Q: Why is it so hard to introduce new ideas? It seems as though I have my whole team against me when I suggest new ways of doing things.

A: We often feel as if nobody is buying into our ideas and it can be frustrating. Many people judge an idea too early. They have their auto-pilot on and they think that it doesn’t make sense to do something in a new way. This is because they interpret the idea using the knowledge and experience they have stored from previous projects and work. We have had many years to learn what we believe is possible and how things work…

To open up the minds of others you first need to acknowledge that many people don’t know the language of creativity and do your best to work around that. They might have very limited experiences working with new ideas, creative ideas and innovation.

  • My first tip is to become more positive to other people’s new ideas yourself. For example, always say that you would love to hear more when someone is telling you about a new idea. This will make them more open to your ideas in return. You need to say: “Yes, please tell me more”, “That sounds brilliant, how can we explore it further?” This will change the whole conversation and you will work better with the resources you have available. Often we say “Yes, but we tried that before and it didn’t work” or “Yes, but there’s no budget for that”. These “buts” put people off and can make them stop working on their idea.
  • My second tip is to let ideas grow on their own terms before you evaluate them. Far too often we judge an idea when it’s just born and before we can truly say in which direction it will take us. Many great ideas have been dismissed to early and are judged without any proper development work going into them. So let ideas grow and develop more freely.
  • My third tip is to identify who your champions are. Who naturally gives you positive and valuable feedback? This is the kind of people you need to talk to more often. In the past I presented my new ideas to negative people first and, of course, that didn’t help my confidence and I would become convinced that my idea was flawed. Now I know who my champions are and I use them to help me to develop and improve an idea so that it will go the distance and this creates the extra support the idea needs early on. Then, when I present the idea to people with a more critical attitude, it’s more likely to survive. Do you have any questions?

Never underestimate the power of saying yes to new ideas in a forceful way. It works. And find your champions and start to nurture your relationships with them.

You can control your attitude to new ideas, and you can influence the people you meet by being an idea champion yourself.

Let me know if you have any questions about digital/social media or creativity! I will do my best to answer them. Contact me at sofie@sofiesandell.com 

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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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