In this economic climate it’s not surprising that many people are feeling pressured on several fronts. Social media needn’t be one of them. In fact, shifting gears or taking a breather is often healthy and allows you to recalibrate your level of engagement and return renewed. So here are a few tips on how to survive the demands of social media.
1. DON’T CHECK IN to all your social media platforms till 11am in the morning. Nothing that happened at 9am (your time) that can’t wait to 11am.
2. BLOG LESS until you have something you really want to write about. A long creative haul can get anyone down.
3. STAY UNDECIDED about Facebook or Google+ and embrace both. There is no right or wrong, only relationships to invest in.
4. WORRY LESS about whether Facebook, Apple, Google, Zynga or Microsoft will win the next round in the battle for celestial supremacy. This is tag-team wrestling match of unlimited rounds.
5. ACCEPT that the moment you buy your latest iPad, iPhone, tablet, app or game it will be promptly followed by a vastly improved and sleeker looking version.
6. REFUSE TO ACCEPT the belief that your professional relevance, career success or financial security turns on the next update on the latest technology. Sometimes it’s good to put the paddle down and just let the canoe glide.
7. REFRESH yourself rather than your browser. Schedule weekly unplugged engagement with nature where you do absolute nothing except be there.
8. LEAVE the phone behind. You won’t hurt its feelings. It will be there when you get back as will all the bleeps and zings that warn you about what you missed.
9. SLEEP more. Right now your computer gets more than you do. Power down. Your computer needn’t be the first thing your see in the morning and the last thing you see at night.
10. RESIST the temptation to remind me that it’s ironic that I’m writing this as a blog post. I promise to take a break straight after.
Summer is fading and work is about to return in full swing. Social media demands a lot of us on top of our already demanding lives. So let’s disconnect as we need to and renew our interest and ourselves.
Any other tips you would give?
I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the Utenti Pubblicita Associati (UPA) conference in Milan where the theme was the future of language and its role in shaping advertising. The other presenters were UPA President, Lorenzo Sassoli de Bianchi, and Paris Kafantaris, VP for Babycare in Western Europe at Proctor and Gamble. The former’s speech was in wonderful Italian (just a warning) and the latter in English (after a brief Italian introduction) with some powerful case studies of the social contributions that P&G is making including the partnership between Pampers and UNICEF to provide tetanus vaccinations. I hope this is useful, the slides for the presentation can be found here and fire away with any questions.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Blake Canterbury, founder of BeRemedy.org, which is a smart new idea for using social media to enlist community support to solve problems within that community. here’s what he had to share.
SM: Blake, real pleasure to meet you. Tell us, what is BeRemedy?
BC: BeRemedy is the simplest way for you to help other people. We go into local communities, partner with non-profits, then use crowd-sourcing to drive donations of time, money and items to these non-profits.
SM: What inspired you to start BeRemedy?
BC: It started with an internal struggle. Growing up, I saw people who had a lot, and saw people who had nothing. So as I grew up I wrestled with that struggle. Then social media came along. I looked at this and said, “We have the potential to send a message to millions of people at one time. If we could create a sustainable model to do connect those people in need, then we can figure out a solution to some problems.”
SM: What are some of the results you’ve got and how many people’s lives have you effected?
BC: In just about a year and a half, we’ve helped over 115,000 people.
SM: Give us a specific example of what that might look like. How does it work?
BC: We use the example that a remedy can come in the form of a six-year-old kid, or a multi-million dollar organization. One day, we posted a need that a single mom needed a car seat to bring her baby home from the hospital. So we posted that need, blasted it through Facebook and Twitter, and it came up in a Facebook stream in a Mom’s house. Her six-year-old daughter walked up to the computer to play on it, saw her post and said “Mom, somebody needs a car seat. What about mine?” So literally a six-year-old was a remedy for somebody else.
SM: You’ve had some recognition on CNN which is pretty exciting. What happened there?
BC: CNN ran a couple stories on us. The second one they ran was on Twitter’s five year anniversary. They said that there were three reasons that Twitter is here to stay. One was the Egyptian uprising (how they used it to overthrow government). Two was Charlie Sheen (how he generated two million followers in 24 hours). Three was BeRemedy.
SM: What can we expect from BeRemedy in the future?
BC: We’re building a social tool to take what we’re doing in Atlanta to take it nationwide, and worldwide eventually. It’s going to interact people, non-profits and business practices to create long-term solutions.
SM: If people want to support you, how can they do that? Where can they find you?
BC: Yeah there’s the basics like Twitter and Facebook, which is a great way to stay in touch with us and see the needs. But on our website there’s an email sign-up form and if you’ll go there and sign up, as we get ready to launch other cities, we’re going to notify other people through that email sign up. We’d love to have you help us bring BeRemedy to your city and be the advocate so you can be the remedy for somebody else.
SM: Fantastic. Blake it is such a pleasure to meet you. Congratulations on the work. Anyone watching, if you could, follow them on Twitter and Facebook and sign up on their website. Thanks a lot, Blake.
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Simon Mainwaring is founder of We First, a social branding consulting firm that helps companies, non-profits and individuals use social media to build communities, profits and positive impact.