Friday, 29 June 2012

How to Achieve Success in 6 Thoughts

The Wright brothers are credited with the first controlled, manned, powered flight on December 17th, 1903. Although they failed hundreds of times before they succeeded, they never gave up on their dream. Had they done so, invention of the modern aircraft would have been attributed to someone else.
This example illustrates the power that exists in the human mind. In the Wright brothers day, no one had ever seen an airplane fly. It would have been easy for them to conclude that their goal was unachievable. Today, we know it wasn’t. For the Wright brothers, believing was the first step.
Our minds have the ability to convince us that something is impossible long before we give it our best effort. If we’re not careful, we can formulate a mental surrender that says, “I can’t do this. I’ll never make it. It’s not possible.” Those who let themselves think this way are sure to fail because they stop trying to succeed. How can you make sure that your own mind doesn’t get in the way of your dreams?
Know Your Limits
There is a difference between obstacles and limits. Obstacles can be overcome, whereas limits cannot. For example, a blind person cannot drive a car. Real limits are few – obstacles are many. Knowing your limits will keep you from striving for the unachievable and ending up disappointed. Once you understand your limits, everything outside of them becomes a possibility.
Have a Plan
A good plan is the secret weapon for combating mental obstacles. When you have a plan and are determined to stick to it, it doesn’t matter what you are feeling at a given time because you can simply ‘proceed as planned’. Conversely, if you are plagued with negative thoughts and a lack direction, it’s easy to become complacent.
Visualize Your Goals
Once you’ve spent so much time thinking about a goal that you can see it, touch it, taste it, and smell it with your mind’s eye, you won’t easily give up on it. The desire to achieve it will give you the fortitude to overcome even the most daunting of obstacles. Before you ever become successful, you should already be successful in your mind. Doing this will convince you to push through any temporary pain you might experience on your way to achieving your dream.
Ignore the Doubts of Others
At 21, while interviewing for an $8.00 per hour position, I told the interviewer I expected to be earning six figures within fie years and be semi-retired by 35. “That’s a little farfetched,” he said with a chuckle. It may have seemed farfetched to him, but where he saw obstacles, I saw opportunity. I knew the obstacles were there. I simply chose to ignore them.

Embrace Positivity
Stay away from people, places, and things that bring you down. Immerse yourself in as many upbuilding activities as possible. Choose positive reading material and positive friends. Listen to the prodding of fellow optimists and ignore the criticism of pessimists.
Understand Fear
Fear creates imaginary obstacles. Fear can prevent us from introducing ourselves to people (fear of rejection), starting profitable business ventures (fear of failure), and experiencing wonderful things (fear of the unknown). The key to overcoming such fears is to:
  1. Recognize them in yourself.
  2. Identify their root.
  3. Make a plan to deal with them.
The next time you have an idea you are hesitant to pursue, ask yourself if fear might be the only thing holding you back.
Success and failure exist in the power of the mind. Take control of your thoughts and you will take control of your success. - The Best in Social Business

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Twitter Usage Data

  • There are 106 million total users – 27% of those log in every day, 37% by way of a mobile device
  • 300,000 people join Twitter every day and 60% are from outside the US
  • 52% of logins update their status every day
  • As of June 2011, users on Twitter are now averaging 200 million Tweets per day
  • 41% of Twitter users have not Tweeted since they created an account
  • 50% of Tweets come from 0.5% of Twitter users
  • It’s currently unclear how many Tweets come from bots. In 2009 it was estimated at 24%.
  • 24% of Twitter accounts have no followers at all – 19% have at least 10 followers
  • 81% of users are following less than 100 people
  • 97% have less than 100 followers
  • 25% of users follow brands
  • Thursday and Friday are the most active days on Twitter, with 16% of all Tweets
  • Last year it was reported that in a study of 1.2 billion Tweets, 29% generate a reaction (71% do not generate a reaction).
  • Of those reactions, 6% are ReTweets and 23% are @ Replies. And interestingly, 92.4% of ReTweets and 96.9% of @ Replies happen within the first hour.
  • Only 1.53% of Twitter conversations are three levels deep - after the original tweet, there is a reply, reply to the reply, and reply to the reply of reply. Of all tweets that generated a reply, 85% have only one reply. Another 10.7% attracted a reply to the original reply - the conversation was two levels deep.
  • In the UK, 36% of users are female and 64% are male
  • Contrast this with the US who shows 62% of users are female, and 38% are male
  • In the UK, the largest age group is 25-34, with 36%. In the US, it’s 35-44 with 26%.
  • The second largest age groups follow closely, 35-44 with 27% in the UK and 25-34 with 24% in the US
  • Age 45-54 is the third largest group of users in both countries
  • In the UK, only 3% of users are under 18. In the US, 6%.
  • Age 55-64 represents only 6% of users in the UK (7% in the US)
  • 65+ represents the smallest age group with 2% in the UK (3% in the US)

  • - The Best in Social Business

    Monday, 18 June 2012

    How Social Media Is Changing CRM

    It’s big news these days for tech watchers: CRM software stalwarts are rapidly acquiring startups that enable businesses to manage the increasing number and variety of social media platforms better. In May, Oracle (ORCL)bought Vitrue to help it publish and manage social media campaigns, and the company just announced the acquisition of Collective Intellect to help it monitor social chatter. (CRM) purchased social media performance and sentiment tracking companyRadian6 last year and now is acquiring Buddy Media, a Vitrue competitor.
    What’s prompting the shopping spree? According to Laura McLellan, a research vice president at Gartner (IT), technology spending in the next five years will be directed more by chief marketing officers than chief information officers—a remarkable prediction. I predict those CMOs will be spending much of that money on CRM systems that integrate social media.
    That’s good news for businesses that don’t have seven- or eight-figure technology budgets. Big, deep-pocketed early adopters of what is being called Social CRM are paving the way for smaller companies with limited resources to adopt the best new methods quickly, affordably, and with fewer of the missteps that have plagued CRM programs over the years.
    It’s not that traditional CRM (telephone, mail, and e-mail communications from company to customer) hasn’t helped businesses that have used it. They’ve employed it to lower their costs and increase profitability, and their customers have benefited by receiving custom offers, product recommendations, timely resolutions to their complaints, and other rewards of data sharing. But there have also been notable downsides to CRM that have made it, according to my colleague Emily Griebel, “like an acronym for a disease.”
    Haven’t we all experienced times when poorly executed CRM programs have made us a bit nauseous? Sometimes you could swear CRM means customer relationship manipulation, such as when clever marketers print customers’ names on a postcard, as if to fool them into thinking it was personally addressed. I smirk when I receive a mailer that says, “Just for you, Stephen” or something similarly pithy. Nobody calls me Stephen, other than my mother (and then only when she’s angry). It’s even funnier when it’s addressed to Stphn Mrkey or some other butchered version of the name with which Mom blessed me.
    Other times you’d think CRM means customer relationship minimization. That’s never so much in evidence than with automated telephone answering systems. Tone-deaf corporations love them, but I’ve never met a human who doesn’t view them with contempt. Sure, they lower a company’s costs, but they do so on the backs of customers who are forced to navigate their way through a frustrating forest of options, only to end up at a dead end or repeatedly entering their account number because the customer service system isn’t compatible with the customer complaint system, which itself isn’t compatible with the customer service person speaking broken English who finally comes on the line after the customer screams “AGENT!” into the receiver 17 times.
    Sometimes CRM seems to refer to customer relationship mechanization. I appreciate Amazon (AMZN) making suggestions based on my reading interests, but the fact that I bought a baby book for a friend doesn’t mean I’m pregnant.
    Perhaps most stomach-turning is when CRM refers to cold, hard customer relationship monetization. A few years ago I was struck by the number of mailers I was receiving from the various divisions of a large credit-card company, so started to collect them. I found I was receiving an average of three to five per week—an annoyance to me and an immense waste of money for them. And in the past year alone, one of my favorite brands has e-mailed me 38 times (yes, I’ve been counting). I’m sure the content and frequency of e-mails is somehow based on my purchase activity (or lack thereof), but it comes across as insensitive and somewhat desperate. Good customers want to be courted, not cashed in, and courtship requires careful pacing and rhythm.
    That’s the thing traditional CRM systems don’t account for well. Customer relationships aren’t built on information, they’re built on trust. And relationships are reciprocal; I’ll share with you my deep thoughts if you’ll share yours with me. When one party focuses too much on acquiring and leveraging information, trust can’t help but be compromised, if not breached. The problem with traditional CRM is that it turns people into data and relationships into rules of engagement. But technology has no empathy, and a database will never be as responsive as a living, breathing person.
    That’s why social media is of such keen interest to CRM companies. Two-thirds of American consumers use social networking sites, and they’re talking 24/7 about great service and insolent reps, smart branding, and shameless attempts at manipulation. The data (and the power) are increasingly in their hands, which represents a 180-degree pivot from traditional CRM. That has added a whole new dimension to the term: CRM could now just as easily be called company relationship management, as consumers use the power of the Internet to amplify their voices. I think that’s healthy.
    If you’ve been pondering how best to use CRM in your business, you may want to begin with where it’s headed (two-way communication) rather than where it has been (one-way messaging). Start by listening rather than talking and responding rather than pitching. One service I’ve been intrigued by lately is Nimble, and there are many others with evocative names such as Shoutlet andSproutSocial. A quick Web search using the term “social CRM tools” will turn up dozens more. But don’t wait—the sooner you begin, the more effective you’ll become.
    For decades CRM has been one-sided, and that has produced a variety of maladies beyond even the ones I mentioned above. Now that social media is enabling company relationship management, the delicate balance of trust between a company and its customers can be better maintained. Call it relationship equilibrium. And call it good for business. Enlightened companies have always understood that by focusing on relationships, customers will manage themselves. - The Best in Social Business

    The 5 traits of radically successful people

    Ask yourself how badly do you want to do more. And what are you willing to give up for it?
    Shortly after graduating high school, Steven Spielberg began reducing the time he spent at college and increasing the time he spent hanging within the Hollywood inner circle. “[Spielberg] was going off to Sony and Cher’s place all the time,” said Don Shull, Spielberg’s childhood friend. In a personal letter to Shull, Spielberg revealed that he would directly approach directors and Hollywood stars on the studio lot and ask them to lunch. And keep in mind—Spielberg was only nineteen years old at the time.

    “Spielberg arranged his class schedule so that he could spend three days a week at Universal, watching filmmakers at work and trying to make useful contacts,” writes Joseph McBride in his detailed biography on Spielberg’s career. “He frequently slept overnight in an office at the studio where he kept two suits so he could emerge onto the bustling lot each morning looking as if he hadn’t slept in an office.”
    “Steve knew at that early age that filmmaking is not just filming—it’s a people game. And he played it well,” said producer William Link.
    While he definitely had talent on his side, so did handfuls of other aspiring directors. What helped Spielberg become the youngest director signed to a long-term studio deal was his focus on building relationships. This has nothing to do with “networking”; this has to do with making friends and focusing on people.
    What little changes can you make in your life, starting today, to put a greater focus on people? What investments can you make, in both time and money, to hone the way you play the people game?
    Success can come in different fields, but the principles behind it are one. From Sugar Ray Leonard chasing the school bus to Peter Guber’s corkboard, these stories show the unique personality traits that tipped the scales in favor of the world’s most successful people.
    Success—while defined by everyone on their own terms—is something that truly manifests itself once you make that mind-set shift and tell yourself it’s go time. Are you ready to make that shift? - The Best in Social Business

    Facebook CTO Bret Taylor departs

    Tech chief to leave social network later this summer to work for a start-up.

    Facebook Inc.'s high-profile CTO Bret Taylor is leaving the Silicon Valley social networking giant later this summer, with future plans to work on an undetermined start-up.

    The move is likely to be of concern to some over the newly public company's ability to hold onto entrepreneurial leadership, especially in the wake of continued intense media and investor scrutiny over its rocky IPO last month.

    That's especially true since Taylor has been in charge of both platform and mobile efforts at Facebook, a critical arena for it.

    Click here to find out more!A pair of Facebook execs under Taylor--Mike Vernal and Cory Ondreijka--will be taking over platform and mobile, respectively.

    Vernal joined Facebook in 2008 from Microsoft Corp., leading the original Facebook Connect project and also working on platform efforts and the development of Open Graph. Ondrejka arrived at the company in 2010 through the acquisition of Walletin and has previously worked at Linden Labs on Second Life.

    While well qualified, they have big shoes to fill. Named to CTO two years ago, Taylor has also been a strong public figure at Facebook events, including its recent developers conference. And he was front and center at Apple Inc.'s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this week at the announcement of Facebook integration into its newest iOS.

    In an interview Friday, Taylor said that he understands that his departure will be perceived as a disruption, although he noted that Facebook had a deep bench of talented technical staff under the leadership of CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

    "I had always been upfront with Mark that I eventually wanted to do another start-up," he said."And we felt it was the best time after the IPO and the launch of some recent things for me to do that."

    That includes the Apple deal, Facebook Camera and also its App Center, which helps users find mobile and desktop apps their friends like.

    Facebook is also reportedly working on a major effort to create its own smartphone, a project known as "Buffy."

    Taylor, who had previously worked at Google Inc., has a strong start-up background. He left the search giant to found FriendFeed, a once-popular social aggregator. FriendFeed was acquired by Facebook in 2009.

    Noting that his time at Facebook "has been the among the most fulfilling times of my career," Taylor said that his departure was only part of life as usual in Silicon Valley.

    "Cross-pollination among companies is what drives so much of innovation, so I would not project a lot onto this event," he said."I am really confident that the mobile and platform leaders at Facebook can deliver what needs to be done."

    When asked about the worries he had for the company, Taylor said the challenge of becoming public was top of mind internally.

    "We are dealing with the cultural change of increasing attention, from going from a private company with a lot of scrutiny to a public company with a lot more scrutiny," he said.

    But he maintained that Facebook's ability to remain nimble as it grew was strong, noting that the tech side continues to work in small teams."These details really matter," he said.

    As for his own future, Taylor said he had not decided the area that he was going to focus on, but that he would be starting something with another former Googler, Kevin Gibbs.

    Taylor said that he would probably focus on an industry he does not understand well as a consumer, as he did when he was working on Google's mapping efforts.

    "People said we had no sense of direction, so making maps better made sense," he joked. "That turned out pretty well." - The Best in Social Business

    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    Retail Expert Jeff Marker Lists Ways Retailers Can Immediately Achieve Social Media and Mobile Success by Improving their Value Chain

    In today’s blog post on retail thought leadership site What'sNextRetail.Com, Jeff Marker, much respected retail expert and vice president at Junction Solutions, discusses how by tightening the Retail Value Chain retailers can see significant improvement in their social media and mobile efforts

    Atlanta,GA (PRWEB) June 14, 2012
    In his latest blog entry posted on retail thought leadership site today, Junction Solutions Vice President Jeff Marker listed strategies retailers can immediately implement to achieve better social media and mobile success. Marker is a well-known and respected expert on the retail value chain and has submitted numerous blog posts on What’s Next Retail about ways retailers can grow their business by optimizing the value chain.
    “What we’re seeing with social media is that customers today are not going to the retailer to get all their information,” Marker said. “If consumers want to find something, want to buy something, or want to go somewhere, they are using their phones to get info about that purchase decision. So if you’re a retailer, that means your customers are using their phones to look at reviews, to do their research about your product, about your company, check in with their friends, and making their purchases.”
    In the blog post, Marker, who is an acclaimed expert on multi-channel management and business solutions for retailers, wrote that this evolution compels retailers to understand completely where the connection is happening with the customer. “If the connection is happening in a store, you manage that experience. If that connection is happening online or through mobile or through social media, you need to put processes in place to monitor, measure, and evaluate the connection with the consumer.”
    Jeff Marker is Senior Vice President of Multi-Channel Retail at Junction Solutions and a regular contributor to, a thought leadership site led by members of the Retail Industry Partner Community, a network of Microsoft Dynamics partners.
    Fred Diamond
    DIAMOND Strategic Marketing
    703.628.6910 - The Best in Social Business

    Monday, 11 June 2012

    Burberry celebrates one million Twitter followers with thank you note

    Burberry has been one those brands that has done some really interesting things with Twitter and social media more generally so no surprise to see that it has celebrated passing the one million followers landmark with some special thank you notes to both brands and individual users alike.
    The @Burberry account, which now has 1,039,679 followers and rising, has bought the #thanksamillion promoted tweet and is replying to the many congratulations it is receiving today directly.
    It is a great idea that is really well executed and they are turning the thank you notes around very quickly.  Brand Republic sent its a  few minutes later we got this back.

    This all underscores the change at Burberry, which ten years ago was a brand in trouble. Today the story is very different. Much of the innovation has come under Christopher Bailey, the brand’s chief creative officer.

    Bailey has said that he believes the company is now “as much a media-content company as a design company”. That shows a sharp recognition of what it means to be a modern brand and how success is as much in the places where it exists as its clothes.
    This has led to a string of digital innovations. Notable among these has been Burberry’s Tweetwalk which saw it partner with Twitter to post backstage Twitpics of every look before they were sent down the runway.

    This allowed the brand’s Twitter followers to see its runway looks in advance of fashonistas in the front row. A great little innovation.
    It also allowed Mike Kus, the most-followed Instagram user in the UK, to take over its Instagram account during the Tweetwalk extending that democratisation of the fashion world a little further.
    In addition to its Twitter success, Burberry has done very well on Facebook too. The Burberry Facebook Page now has a whopping 12 million fans and the brand was mentioned in Facebook’s recent IPO documents for its fragrance launch campaign.

    Read more: - The Best in Social Business

    Tuesday, 5 June 2012

    Facebook Just Opened Its Mobile Ad Network

    Facebook has added its mobile-only "Sponsored Stories" ads to the list of ad products buyers can purchase via the ads API and Power Editor, without going through its sales force, the company announced.
    The move makes buying ads on Facebook easier and quicker for clients interested in only targeting users via their smartphones and mobile tablets, like the iPad, through the Facebook mobile app's News Feed.
    The move isn't a surprise—Facebook already signaled that it was opening more of its inventory to automated buys that don't require a call to an ad sales exec. But the addition of mobile-only sponsored stories as a standalone suggests that Facebook is responding to clients who have grumbled that its ad sales are too inflexible, and behind the curve in the mobile arena.
    One source tells us this is "quite a bog deal" in terms of targeting, as ads in the News Feed perform better than display boxes on the right hand side of the page.
    Here's Facebook's statement:
    Today, Facebook announced that marketers will have the opportunity to buy sponsored stories in News Feed separately from other placements through the API and Power Editor. Now, marketers can choose which placement (independent of any right-hand side buy) they would like whether it be in News Feed on desktop, News Feed on mobile, both, or in combination with the right-hand side.

    Facebook is always looking for ways to improve products and has responded to requests from marketers to control the placement of their sponsored stories. As companies are promoting services more frequently on mobile, this option gives them the opportunity to focus on specific placements that will impact them most directly.  

    A quick rundown on the various placements Facebook will allow advertisers to choose from in the API and Power Editor:
    • All placements: this option includes right-hand side +News Feed desktop+ News Feed mobile
    • All desktop placements: this option includes right-hand side + News Feed desktop
    • News Feed (desktop and mobile): this option includes News Feed desktop + News Feed mobile
    • News Feed desktop: this option includes News Feed desktop only
    • News Feed mobile: this option includes News Feed mobile only 

    Read more: - The Best in Social Business

    10 Brands Doing Instagram Right

    In a world that is weary of ad gimmicks, Instagram has provided brands with a creative new medium through which they can reach as many as 50 million users (turned amateur photographers) in an artistic and engaging way.

    After Facebook's $1 billion acquisition of the startup in April, at this point if you haven't heard of Instagram you probably still use dial-up, have a flip-phone the size of a chinchilla, and aren't reading this site; but for the uninitiated: Instagram is a photo sharing site that allows users to share snapshots of their lives through artistic sepia filters.

    Many brands have taken advantage of the opportunity to give consumers an intimate look at what their products have to offer. 
    Brands have flown highly influential Instagram users (with 100k-plus followers) to Abu Dhabi to shoot sailing races, given consumers behind-the-scenes looks at fashion shows or sporting events, organized "Insta-walks" ... Playboy has even shown a surprising, nostalgic side of the magazine by sharing vintage pics of their models wearing clothes.
    Business Insider Advertising has compiled a list of the brands who are doing this in really cool and surprising ways that make people want to share. 

    Warby Parker (see below for explanation)

    Trendy glasses company Warby Parker has hosted "Insta-Walks" in NYC. Fans were invited to chronicle a walk from the company's headquarters in Soho to the rooftop of the Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District on Instagram. This resulted in awesome photo promotions and happy fans, drunk off of Warby Parker-themed drinks.

    Red Bull

    The energy drink maker Instagrams with gusto. Red Bull posts a "daily awesome" photo, celebrates "Flying Fridays," and has other traditions to keep its high octane-loving fans engaged. A spokesperson told Mashable that Red Bull does more than just force its own content onto its followers. Red Bull often "Likes" other users' photos "that illustrate people's ideas of getting wings."


    Well, people can't say that they go to Playboy's Instagram feed for the articles.
    Having to steer clear of NSFW photos, Playboy features images of clothed models and evokes a sense of nostalgia.


    Puma's Instagram doesn't only celebrate shoes, but the awesome places that shoes take you.
    Puma has taken to sending influential Instagrammers (with 100,000-plus followers) to awesome events and take pictures. The company gave a lucky few powerful Instagrammers all-inclusive trips to Abu Dhabi to photograph Volvo Ocean Race. Puma doesn't have a huge following, itself, so this tactic ensured that a lot of people would see the pics.


    Burberry Instagram
    The 155-year-old fashion company has stayed very social media savvy. Burberry adopted Instagram very early on and has developed a following of over 350,000 people. The fashion company does more than just display clothing and advertisements with unique filters. Photographer Mike Kus presented Instagram followers with a real-time photo feed during its September London runway shows, getting fans pictures before it was available anywhere else.

    The Boston Celtics

    On Twitter, the Celtics incorporate everything from Boston's history to individual players' accounts to behind-the-scene moments. The team's social media presence includes Instagram as well. The Instagram feed shows fan insider moments before the game (see the picture above), interviews, locker room scenes, and pictures of awesome plays.

    The Boston Bruins

    I don't know what it is about Boston, but their sports teams really have Instagram down. The Bruins really know how to give fans a bizarre look at what goes on when the team is off the ice.


    Tiffany's incorporated the photo-sharing app into its January campaign about (what else but) true love.
    The jewelry company hired fashion blogging couple Scott Schuman (the Sartorialist) and Garance Dore to document snapshots of love stories in New York and Paris on Instagram. Couples could submit their own photos using Tiffany's downloadable Instagram filter.
    Tiffany's has also given fans an inside look into how the jewelry is actually made.

    NH Hotels

    NH Hotels might not have the most followers, but the global hotel chain is engaging in Instagram in a really creative way. At the beginning of 2012, NH has gave its followers a challenge: to "capture a moment when something is beginning, a zero instant" on Instagram and use the hashtag #WakeUpPics. (The hotel's slogan is "Wake up to a better world." The winners received luxurious vacation packages.


    No one should be too surprised to see Starbucks on this list. The coffee giant's photo feed primarily focuses on featuring product shots and giving viewers intimate, behind-the-scenes looks into the company's headquarters and shops in which the coffee is actually made. 
    But Starbucks' page is only the beginning. Fans use the #Starbucks hashtag to create a rich array of user-generated content.


    Sharpie is an example of a relatively ho-hum brand that has used Instagram to its full potential. Sharpie's quirky Instagram feed is anything but boring. It's all about how consumers' passions and inspirations are unleashed with a simple permanent marker. Drawings range from funny to breathtaking. This is a really cool feed to follow.

    Read more: - The Best in Social Business