Tag Archives: Social Networking

Evoking online trust

icn.seths.headby Seth Godin

Interactions rarely happen with people we don’t trust.

How is it that someone sees your website or your social media presence or your email and decides to interact? The decision to interact happens before someone actually listens to what you have to say. Here’s a way to think about the factors that kick in before the browser even hears what you have to offer them today:

  • Word of mouth
  • Direct interaction
  • Graphics
  • Tone of voice
  • Offer
  • Size of leap
  • Fear
  • Social ranking/metric
  • Tribal affiliation
  • Perception of transparency
  • Longevity
  • Mass acceptance

Word of mouth: The most effective, by far. If I’ve heard good things about you from people I know, the entire relationship changes. You get the benefit of the doubt.

Direct interaction: Have you previously touched me or interacted me in some way beyond the passive? The way I feel about that ping will alter our interaction. If this is the first time you’re reaching out, you can bet a piece of spam is read differently than something that comes via mutual introduction.

Graphics: What do you look like? What does it remind me of? With so few clues online, we read an enormous amount into every pixel, every typeface…

Tone of voice: A variation of graphics, it has to do with your copy, with your video, with the urgency of your offer. Urgency rarely leads to trust.

Scarcity: Is there a perception that early birds gain? This also hooks in with metrics, like the progress your Kickstarter has made so far, or the number of social links you display.

Offer: What’s in it for me to listen to what you have to say? Do I gain more if I listen with a sympathetic ear?

Size of leap: What are you asking me to do? It’s significantly easier to earn the trust that is required to with follow you on social media than it is to get me to give you my credit card. When you hook your new idea to an old idea I already trust, you benefit.

Fear: This is related to the leap. Big leaps are scarier, requiring more trust, and thus more skepticism.

Social ranking/metric: Results on the first page of Google are more trusted. People with a lot of Twitter followers as well, which is one reason both metrics are aggressively coveted and sometimes gamed.

Tribal affiliation: Are you one of us?

Perception of transparency: When I can see the metrics, or understand your intention, or when the message carries with it the hooks to those ideas, I’m more inclined to trust you. (This is a cultural, not a universal, bias).

Longevity: How long have you been showing up?

Mass acceptance: When I sort of hear of you from my friends, when I recognize you from a hashtag or the logo on a shirt or from a TV show, you come out ahead. TV celebrities walk in to the room with a lot of trust.

You will be judged, best to plan on being judged in the best possible light.


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How To Ensure You Make The Most Of Each Conference You Attend

Plone Conference 2009 Group PhotoHow To Ensure You Make The Most Of Each Conference You Attend

Whether you have been asked to attend a conference by your boss, or you are attending one, or more, off your own back, it is important to make sure your time is not wasted. The following tips will make sure you always make the most of the conferences you attend.

1. Make a plan before you go

One of the worst things you can do when attending a conference is to not have a plan. Conferences tend to be extremely hectic and busy and if you arrive having not looked at the conference layout, looked up the guest speakers or checked the delegate list, you will not go far.

You should make a plan about which speakers you want to see, which delegates you want to meet, which stands you want to visit and so on. If you have been given the delegate list, try and get in contact with the people you’d like to meet and make an appointment with them, perhaps arranging to meet them for a coffee during one of the breaks in the conference speeches.

2. Do your research on those attending

If you’ve been lucky enough to get a delegate list and know who you want to meet, as well as knowing who the guest speakers are going to be, make sure you do your research on them all. Look them up online, read their twitter posts, visit their blogs and so on.

It will be a lot easier for you to make contact with these people at the conference if you have a way in and can show you’re interested in them. They will feel flattered you have done your research on them and are much more likely to give you the time of day.

3. Make sure you interact with the people around you

There’s nothing worse at a conference than being sat next to someone who is totally ignoring you, even more so when they are quite obviously alone there too. It’s a good idea to make the most of the opportunity to meet new people, after all you never know who you might be talking to and if they might be able to offer you a viable business opportunity, or even a personal one.

Try to start conversations by arriving before speeches are due to start and asking people about why they are attending the conference. It’s always a good idea to ask them a lot of questions because, to be honest, people just love to talk about themselves. It will also help you break the ice and encourage other people, who are also there alone, to join in the conversation.

4. Don’t spend all your free time on your phone or other mobile device

As in point 3, it is terribly rude to sit next to someone throughout an entire guest speech, or to keep bumping into the same people throughout the conference and then ignore them during the breaks because you’re texting, calling or tweeting.

You should be using the free time between speeches and presentations to meet and greet others in order to advertise your business, discover new work opportunities or to generally just have a nice conversation with other people.

5. Always make sure you follow up with those you’ve met

This is incredibly important, firstly because it is just polite to do so and secondly because it is likely people at the conference have met so many people that they will forget who you are unless you remind them quickly. This is especially important if you feel they can help your business in any way. Just think how impressed your boss might be with you if you bring in some new business.

There are a number of ways in which you are able to follow up such conference leads, whether through writing them an actual letter, sending them an email or even getting in touch with them via the phone. Just make sure you follow up within 48 hours, that you have got their details correct and that you tell them just how much you enjoyed meeting them and how much you would like to follow up on the discussions you had at the conference whenever they have the time to do so.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned

James writes for Cranfield Tech Park. When not blogging about Cranfield’s serviced offices in Milton Keynes, he can often be found discovering new ways to attend conferences.



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Do I Really Need Social Media Training?

So you’ve heard about Facebook and Twitter and the difference it can make to your business. You’ve heard from friends who say orders for their products have increased five fold since someone tweeted about them, and you decide to get a little of the social media action for yourself.

But just how simple is it? Admittedly it doesn’t look like rocket science and although you may not quite understand all the terminology or what it all means, you probably assume that you’ll just pick it up as you go along. You see an email pop up about “social media training” but you dismiss it on the grounds that if you didn’t need training in how to send a text you are fairly sure you’ll be able to manage 140 characters in a tweet.

And so you begin.  You open up a Twitter account and start following people. People follow you back. You message them personally to thank them. They message you back and thank you for thanking them.  You tweet to them, they reciprocate. You start asking your friends if they will follow you.  You follow your friends followers. Soon, acquiring new followers seems to have taken over your life. You realise you are checking your phone for tweets much more than you ever used to for texts. You have thrown yourself into the world of social media and wonder what on earth you used to do with all that “spare” time you had before.

You can’t eat out in a restaurant without posting a photo of your meal.  You retweet anything you’re asked to, building up an online karma bank which you hope will one day pay dividends.  It used to be that the last person you said goodnight to before you turned off the light was your loved one, now it’s Twitter. You’re in love.

But then real life kicks in, and one day you’re in a meeting and you can’t tweet at all.  Never mind, you say, you’ll make up for it the next day. But the next day there is a crisis at work and the day after that you have more client meetings and before you know where you are a whole week has gone by without you even checking on Twitter.

So what went wrong and how could social media training have helped you do things differently? Firstly, media training is about understanding the medium you are about to engage with. Any social media course worth its salt will require you to look at devising your own social media strategy, so that you have a plan with objectives to follow. Training would also have helped you plan a sustainable approach to posting – consistency is key when it comes to social media.

So although it may look like child’s play, social media is a minefield and like any other part of marketing your business, training is key to ensuring that you get the most out of it, 100% of the time.

Attached Images:

Karen Ainley is an experienced trainer and ex-BBC reporter, who provides social media training to help people understand what social media is all about.



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Avoiding Computer-Related Timesinks at the Office

Technology has brought as many new ways to waste time as it has to save it. Even some applications that are meant to help things run smoothly in the office have a way of sucking up valuable minutes.


E-mail can be an integral part of inter-office communication, but when you find yourself checking messages several dozen times a day, it becomes problematic. The minutes you spend sifting through spam or replying to notifications that aren’t work-related add up fast, decreasing your productivity. Interrupting your work to check e-mail is also distracting and can make it difficult to pick up your train of thought when returning to the task at hand. Instead, pick two or three set times during the day to check your e-mail and stick to them.

Social Media

Unless it’s part of your job, engaging in social media at work is bad news. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Digg are full of links to things that have little to do with your job and will almost always suck away more time than you intend. Taking a few minutes to check your Twitter feed during your lunch break may be okay, as long as doing so is acceptable under the policies of your workplace. Otherwise, wait until you get home.

Viral Videos

Every office has a co-worker who is always e-mailing bizarre Internet finds to everyone else. The next time he sends you a link to the latest viral video, resist the urge to click. One short video may not seem so bad, but many video sites suggest other things to watch based on your tastes, and before you know it you’ve been watching for an hour. If you absolutely must see the video, e-mail it to yourself at home to view at a more appropriate time.

Addictive Games

It’s easy to get caught up in the variety of addictive games on the Internet. You may tell yourself you’re only going to load up your favorite puzzle game while you wait for a co-worker, or that you’re taking five minutes to check out a Facebook application. These “quick breaks”often turn into lengthy distractions, and your high score isn’t likely to impress your boss enough that he won’t notice you’ve gotten nothing done. When it comes to games, it’s better to avoid them entirely while at the office.

With all the distractions of the Internet, it can take some willpower to disengage. But by managing your time with productivity in mind, you can avoid wasting your day and get your job done without worrying that you boss might catch you goofing off on YouTube when you should be working.

Miles Walker writes feature articles on car insurance quotes for He recently wrote about Tennessee car insurance.


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Twitter for business? What a no-brainer, literally!

I’ll have to admit, I was one of the early haters.  I had friends that would twit in the morning because they brushed their teeth.  The one historical entry “ coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, (about 10 more times, then…)  yes please!” is still number one on my Darwin list.  I digress.  Despite the initial rather juvenile applications that the twit-o-verse seemed to attract, practical Malthusian laws were soon to prevail.

The “my dog’s breath smells” postings (who’s authors were soon hidden or “un-followed”) began to give way to posts like:

INTERNET: Jajah, the internet phone company that was snapped up by Spanish telecom giant Telefonica for … [NYTimes]  from my good buddy @andressilvaa in Santiago Chile

I can click on this link and learn all about it.  I can click on links for company press releases, for job hunters and hiring managers alike.  I can send tech links for product releases or schematics and drawings to my field engineers… the list is endless.

In preparing a course for a group of executives I found the true power of this tool, and it is amazing.  I use it to broadcast my blogs and I never even have to touch the platform. It is linked automatically to my WordPress account, tweets to my flock, and posts automatically to my LinkedIn updates.  With this simple platform I feel like I have the communication power of a Super Cray (remember those?) on my iPhone.  No company should do business without tapping into this!

If you would like a copy of the slide deck, please email me at: and I would be happy send you the link.   Better yet DT me @steveulrichmktg.


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