Category: Strategy

The Positive, Insatiable Driving Hunger Of Social Media –– And Why It Should Matter To You ……

It would be true to state in a matter of fact manner that social media can have a real impact and hold on us in our day to day lives. Not just personally but professionally too. Wouldn’t you say?

It would be fair to also say, that for some this can be a time-consuming cause which can then impact our focus and drive in our appetites for work; after we are done checking our profiles. Can’t it?

I thought it would make a great blog post to look at the insatiable hunger we have for social media; its positive impact within our businesses and brands, it’s beneficial use, how technology can help you plan for it, and when to book in a break for your well-being.

So, without further ado let’s break it down and take a closer look….

The insatiable driving hunger and force of social media within business: do you need it?…

 It’s not about asking if social media will make you happier. Although there are some that may be quick to agree either way. But it’s about knowing how impactful its use can be for your business and brand.

Answering, do you need it professionally then the answer has to be –– yes. It has reach beyond your local borders. It has the ability to offer you impact, opportunity, and to build something with an audience you may not otherwise have known.

In an article released by Marketing Insider Group they go on to detail why social media marketing is important to you and your business, ‘It doesn’t matter if you run a small local shop or a big national company. Social media is an essential piece of your business marketing strategy.

Social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales. With more than three billion people around the world using social media every month, it’s no passing trend.’

Social media is here to stay and if strategised correctly; aligning with your company values, goals, and direction: it can open up a great amount of opportunity and success for you as both a business and brand.

The positive impact of social media for business and branding: strategise…

Social media has the ability to connect people, to allow people to engage, to be social where otherwise perhaps they may not be. It offers us the opportunity within our businesses and brands to build an audience, to showcase our credibility and expertise. Social media can see businesses produce interesting insights and build weight in authority in their niche.

But, to cut through the noise it’s much better to strategise than to dabble. Dabbling is fun, but it wastes your time, effort and impact.

Interestingly, a survey carried out by sprout social that was emailed to me by Social Media Today brings to light that 77% of people that were surveyed would buy from a brand that they had followed online.

Fifty percent of marketers surveyed in the same report say that they find that engagement and inspirational style posts are the most effective with audiences. Which is a useful metric when you think of how to plan the structure and basis of your posts.

You can still address issues, create awareness and boost your business and brand, but with an approach that your audience doesn’t feel like it’s under attack with sales bombardment.

You’d much rather that your audience feels that they can get involved with you as a business and brand. And one that they want to interact with. If they understand what you’re all about, they can then choose to engage and follow your journey’s direction.

It’s worth setting aside time to plan a strategy not just for what you will put on social media but how often you will post, what you will say and what you want your posts to achieve. Make it work for you and your audience. But be honest with how much you can give to any given social platform.

Don’t swamp yourself if you can’t maintain the flow of expectation with social platforms. Seek advice if you have the budget to do so, and certainly do your research. Know when is best to post for your sector and what your audience likes and dislikes. Will you utilise paid ads alongside organic posts? Where is your audience coming from, where do they hang out?

Finding a strategy that works alongside your business and brand goals but that can equally be reflected in your social media presence is key. As is knowing and understanding your audience. As they are the ones you want to hold onto and attract overall.

You can still be social and plan for social media: use technology to plan ahead…

The clue is in the word. Social media is meant to be social, which can feel like a big statement when you are trying to think of it in terms of your business and brand. What does that mean and how can you apply that?

Well… try looking at it like this: when you write for social media, write as if you are having a conversation. Write knowing that your audience will respond to the language, the emotive intent, the message and the tone.

You want to be informative and insightful, but not pushy. You want to add authority and expertise and invite interaction. You don’t want to sound like you’re dictating. More trying to involve and relate. And you definitely don’t want it to sound like a sales pitch.

Looking at your social media plan from the perspective of your audience helps to keep a clear picture of how you can reach your reader and how you can grip their attention. You can then align this with your overall aims and objectives as a business and brand. But you also don’t want to be spending all day on each given platform. So, using technology to plan your schedule and times for your responses and engagement is logical and practical long-term.

You can plan your schedule and posts with online tools such as Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Loomly and Buffer etc. To help to get you started or as a part of your ongoing plan.

It’s worth also thinking about your response times too. Not only do you naturally want to place importance on what you are posting and when. But you also want to let your audience know that they are the focus of your clear intentions.

With this is mind it is prudent to schedule time for engaging with your intended audience. Respond to their social comments, their emails, their queries. Set aside purposeful time to do this. You don’t have to be hanging out online all the time.

Be mindful of your audience when considering your social media marketing. Using technology is a great tool at your fingertips to make for effective use of your time when you are short of it; especially when planning and strategising for your social media.

Knowing you and knowing when to take a break: your well-being…

Social media is an amazing tool and evolution of technology. It has a multitude of benefits and is a useful and necessary element to your business and brand marketing toolkit.

That being said, setting healthy boundaries for when you don’t need it, or for when you need a break is equally as beneficial. We all need time-out, to readdress our boundaries, our focus, our attention, to give us room to think. Much like when we book a holiday.

Be kind to yourself. You don’t have to go to sleep with your company page still open. You don’t have to wake up and even before you’ve had time for a coffee, to check your business social status.

You don’t have to cut it out, it is a fantastic tool to be used and harnessed. But setting parameters where you too can step away and regroup is advantageous to us all. It’s not reserved for the few. Time out is good for you. So, plan a break. Plan for regular breaks. Schedule your annual leave.

Your well-being is a thing. It’s not a taboo. Be mindful or your mind. Don’t buy into the hype. Social media for your business and brand is a strategy. It doesn’t have to dictate your life.

Like Looney Tunes always used to end with…. ‘That’s all folk’s’…

Conclusion and summary:  be strategic with social media and decide on what you need as a brand and business…

 At its core this article is addressing the insatiable hunger of social media, and its benefits;

  • Let’s get social: the sizeable impact to you as a business and brand…
  • It’s not boring: why planning and scheduling is crucial to satisfying your stomach rumbling social audience…
  • You’ll get square eyes (errrr… that’s a myth) but you don’t have to be glued to the screen all the time: use technology to schedule and plan for your social planning.
  • It can creep up on you in stealth mode: your mental health and social media can be linked to your well-being. Plan for time out away from social media for your balance of mind, but also to allow your mind to see its focus and purpose of plight with what you’re trying to achieve.

As Seth Godin in This Is Marketing says, ‘treating people with respect is the best way to earn their attention.’

Has this got you scratching or nodding your head?

Are you ahead of the curve and fully in flight with your social media planning and creating?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or you can contact me directly below…

You don’t have to say goodbye…let’s keep the conversation going…

You can leave me a comment, or you can find me at; and on LinkedIn: @Amber L Smith, plus you can send me an email at:

Harness your unique….

I looked back over my shoulder….

…..and admired the beauty in the row of differing houses down the road. They were all unique. They all were of differing heights, size, style of brickwork, different windows, some with chimney’s and some without, maybe with a glimpse of the life that goes on inside. Driveways with cars and driveways with front gardens.

Each had its own identity. Each home said something about the person or people within. And it struck me in that moment that we’re all as different and unique as our very own fingerprint. And that is something to be celebrated. A strength to be harnessed and used.

Wonder of the day article #458 written in states that,

‘Your fingerprints are unique. That means that no one else in the world has the exact same ridges and lines that you have on your fingers. Not even identical twins have the same fingerprints.

Your fingerprints stay the same from the time you’re born until death. Their uniqueness and lasting quality make fingerprints one of the best ways to identify a person.’

Which then led me to thinking that when I was at school, (and I’m sure many of you can identify with this) you tended to want to be the very opposite of unique. Being unique was not seen as a positive from the point of view of a teenager.  You wanted to blend in. Dress the same, have the same haircut, same shoes, even down to the same mannerisms. My parents must have been delighted! Fitting in was very much the aim.

Give or take 20 plus years and I’ve come full circle as I’m sure you have too. You want to embrace what makes you unique and what makes you well-you. You want to stand out amongst the competition and create your own edge.

Being wholly yourself defines who you’re and you define how you want to be portrayed. Standing out amongst the crowded competition and showcasing not only your skillset but also your personality is part of your appeal.

Being authentically you is an attractive trait particularly within the workplace. People can tell if you’re not being you and they can sense when it’s fake. By being present and comfortable in revealing who you uniquely are, you’re able to connect with others and gain trust. Trust allows you to grow and to nurture your relationships. It breeds loyalty and can be the difference between a potential consumer using you or paying for products or services elsewhere.

“To be irreplaceable one must always be different.” Coco Chanel

How unique do you feel? 

Telling your tale takes your customer or potential customer on a journey. A journey where through repeat engagement – it brings you interaction. Interaction brings you opportunity. Opportunity gives you dialog. And dialog brings you possibilities with your audience.

Your unique qualities are as unique as your fingerprint. Your edge is you. Just be you.

Follow me, like my posts and share my content. Why not connect and engage with my on LinkedIn or Twitter?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Get in touch today and email me at;, or message me directly on LinkedIn at Amber L Smith or Twitter @simplyamberlou.

You can also visit my website for more posts of both past and present blog articles.

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Triumph through failure (and practical tips on how to persevere)

Quite some years ago in a field sales role within the hospitality sphere, part of my role was to present talks on the services we provided. A lot of the presentations were to businesses whom used our services or a business which sold our service onto other companies that would potentially use our services.

It was a competitive field but a fun one. Standing out and being unique yet professional was important. On this one occasion, I decided I would tell a joke. Note now that this wasn’t my joke.

My boss then had told me a service based joke around one of our products that she thought was a good ice breaker and really funny. Not thinking too much on it I thought it would be good to incorporate it into my usual patter.

Arriving at the location it was a gloriously sunny day and I felt confident in what I was about to deliver. I met with several of my counterparts from other locations and we all ordered ourselves according to who would deliver their presentations at what time.

When it came to mine I started off with confidence and then I came to my joke… It’s safe to say that it was a tumble weed, a lead balloon, an absolute bombshell.

No one laughed, no one giggled, no one even stifled a noise of any kind that showed support of humour. The room fell deafly silent for what felt like an eternity.

Of course, in reality it wasn’t an eternity and whilst it probably would have been advantageous for me at least had the ground have opened right up and swallowed me whole right there and then­­- it didn’t. Plus, that’s the stuff of a fantasy story. Isn’t it? This was real life and the show must go on. Right?

I powered through. I was mortified but I didn’t have time to think as I had to finish my speech and then let others do the same after me. After the presentations were finished it was time to mingle.

Do you know what I did? I put my game face on and I went and mingled amongst those that hadn’t laughed at my joke. I chatted with my co-workers (who also hadn’t laughed) and I made my way back to the office at the end of it.

My boss and I talked through the event and had a good giggle at my faux-pas. I mean I should have thought it through. The joke wasn’t mine. It wasn’t natural. The audience could sense the lack of authenticity at that moment.

You see really it was clear as the light of day if only I’d thought it through. The joke was a good joke but it wasn’t the joke I had created. Actually, had I have been myself, it would have allowed people to relate to me, gain trust and rapport.

I wouldn’t be remembered for my humour that day but I realised that through my perceived failing came triumph. Lesson learnt, patter adjusted and I would gauge my audience better in future.

My practical tips (they may be useful to you too) that I’ve learnt through my experiences good and bad are;

To push through the barrier, pushing on and persevering creates resilience, it encourages a mindset of growth (which means learning even if things don’t go to plan).

Minor errors such as my joke blunder will be forgotten- move on and don’t let it impact your confidence. Such instances provide the opportunity to laugh about it as I did with my boss and to adjust the path which you navigate as you progress.

Don’t see failing, see potential for growth and new opportunities. Smile your way through, shield your feelings, acknowledge them but don’t let them stop you moving forward and progressing.

Gain strength from mistakes, and triumph through failure. Build the blocks to your path. Success blossoms from us falling down and getting right back up again. Take it like water off a duck’s back, like learning to ride a bike. Be your own motivator.

Be grateful for the small things, take up activities that help you to step away and enable you to gain perspective. Such as taking a walk, running, going to the gym, a change of scenery, the coffee shop or taking the dog out.

Meditation or finding a quiet space to be, may be of benefit or it could be as simple as turning up the tunes and rocking out to your favourite music. let negative feelings wash away and allow positivity to seep back in.

Nothing can ever replace getting a good night’s sleep or if it works for you and around your job, like the greats in history such as Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Albert Einstein you can take a power nap. Everything appears brighter after sleep and when you’ve had a chance to truly recharge, unwind and relax.

Have you had a workplace blunder or two and want to run and hide?

Hands up- I have! You’re not alone, at times we want to cover it up and forget that it’s happened. But by acknowledging your blunders you can learn and grow and adapt for future circumstances.

Life wasn’t created perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist as a natural being. We are all fallible as humans. How would you tell your story so far? The medium of storytelling is a progressive marketing strategy. Storytelling through content marketing, blog articles, imagery, video posts, social media and web content can be advantageous in engaging and attracting your audience.

Telling your tale takes your customer or potential customer on a journey. A journey where through repeat engagement it brings you interaction. Interaction brings you opportunity. Opportunity gives you dialog. And dialog brings you possibilities with your audience.

How do you tell your story to your audience?

You can let me know by emailing me at;, or you can message me directly on LinkedIn at Amber L Smith.

You can also follow me on both Twitter @simplyamberLou and LinkedIn Amber L Smith alongside my website for past and future articles.

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The new secret and unknown tale of the 3 little pigs: A plan built like straw, sticks and bricks….

Once upon a time their lived the 3 little business pigs….

This is a tale of the 3 little pigs and their business planning like that of a house made of straw, sticks and bricks. The 3 little pigs discover the importance of planning and setting appropriate goals in alignment with their company’s purpose.

1.The First Little Business Pig: A plan built like straw

The first little pig was a professional in business and needed to create success in order to be able to expand and grow. She had big dreams, but struggled to keep a track of her plans and didn’t really set actionable goals or achievable ones.

This in turn meant that first little business pig’s employees could find themselves somewhat demotivated and confused as to where they were headed. The company’s vision could feel blurred and so objectives could prove tricky.

The first little business pig had put together her business planning as if she was building a house made of straw.

One day along came the big bad wolf. She huffed and she puffed and she blew down first little business piggy’s straw plan. The first little business pig was crestfallen but knew ultimately that the planning had gaping holes in it and had much room for improvement in order to succeed.

The first little business pig fled to help second little business pig. Surely planning like you were building a house of sticks would have much more success?

2) The Second Little Business Pig: A plan built like sticks

The second little business pig was another professional in business and wanted weatherproof, obtainable goals. But she wanted them right now and had little patience to sit and brainstorm and to work a full plan of traceable action as to how these would be ascertained.

She was very busy and thought it was ok to have it in her head as she would remember and all of her employees would intuitively follow suit by her lead. She had taken on a new employee first little business piggy to help progress the company and take them forward.

The planning was like building a house made of sticks. Breakable, untraceable and no clear guide as to where they were going.

One day along came big bad wolf. She huffed and she puffed and she blew down the second little business piggy’s stick like plans.

Second little business pig was disappointed. She knew she should have planned better and allocated time to dedicate and understand the company and its vision and objectives. She took all of her employees, and first little business pig to start business with the third little business pig.

Building a plan like you were building a house made of bricks would surely have longevity?

3) The Third Little Business Pig: A plan built like bricks

The third little business pig was a professional in business. She had also had the unfortunate dealings with failing plans but had come to the wise decision that planning goals would lead to a progressive and stable business.

The third little business pig used a SMART method to plan for her business and she was keen to communicate and demonstrate with relevant individuals such as first little business pig and second little business pig to ensure the plan was delivered as per the agreed strategy and put into actionable steps.

She wanted it to be broken down into short and long terms goals with periodic meetings to ensure everyone was on track. To compliment the meetings a Google sheet table or Excel spreadsheet would be designed to help keep everyone on target.

All of her goals would be in alignment with her company vision and objectives. It was important to her too that her employees all felt a sense of achievement as she knew it would help to motivate them which would mean a greater sense of satisfaction and work efficiency.

The third little business pig had built a plan as if she was building a house made of bricks. One brick at a time, a clear foundation that would be sturdy enough to withhold a growing structure on top.

The big bad wolf had followed the first and second little business pigs and decided she would try to huff and Puff and blow the brick built house like plan down. But….

This time the plan stuck. It was a solid plan and had many merits. It had a clear path. She would have to try and get in from the roof!

Strong winds came and the big bad wolf crouched down and she fell through a skylight on the business roof into the building where the three-little business pig’s and their colleagues worked.

The big bad wolf saw the well thought out and considered plans and decided that this was the opportunity she had been holding out for. She would join the pigs on their business adventure.

To Conclude: The moral of this story….

Plan well, don’t overlook this phase, it’s the foundation to which successful businesses are built on. Plan short and long-term goals. Good communication should always feature in any implementation of any plan. Well motivated staff achieve well and mentally feel engaged and fulfilled in their roles.

Your success story isn’t a story if there’s no plan. You need a path to follow. It’s your journey and it’s your path but you need to build it with solid foundations.

What’s your success story? Has your business taken you by storm and now you’re in need of assistance?

 Need a little help in kick-starting your blog, articles or content curation? 

Get in touch: Let’s chat.  I offer a free no obligation consultation to discuss your needs and can put together a tailor-made package to suit you and your business needs both now and in the future.

Email me: . Visit my site, send me a direct message and follow me on LinkedIn: Amber L Smith and follow me via Twitter: @Simplyamberlou .

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