The psychology behind Facebook and Twitter

The explosion of social media over the last decade has been astounding; remember Facebook was only launched in 2004! How brands interact with customers has been transformed, never before has there been such direct access into people’s lives. Now we all know the Fortune 500 companies such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s attract millions of followers but many small business owners are left feel frustrated and confused on how to leverage social media.facebook

There are hundreds of free guides on the internet on how to use the profiles, discussing different tools, tips and tricks. (Visit HubSpot) Maybe you need to understand the psychology behind why we use social media in the first place to gain a greater understanding of how to engage with your followers.

The psychology behind social media.

If we go right back in human history we  have always existed in tribes, we are hard-wired to operate in a community. In ancient times we needed to bond together for survival, today we still have a deep seated need to belong to a community. We exist in different social groups from the workplace, church, sport teams etc this is why we are so compelled to tweet and update facebook, we crave connection!

If you think of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs once our basic physical needs are met such as water, food, safety and warmth. We move onto to higher level needs which become increasingly psychological and social. The need for love and friendship, personal esteem, feelings of accomplishment, growing and developing as a person become more important to us. Feeling connected to people on social media helps to fulfil these needs, as we feel accepted and cared for when people like, comment and share our content.

“To ask why would anyone think people care about their updates is to ask why do people want to talk andand communicate with others. We’re, after all, social beings who wish to connect with the rest of the world.”

Another interesting point is that we often post updates, photos; make check-ins as a  form of impression management. We portray a certain image of ourselves in a manner we want others to see us in, usually to get people to like us!

“What they post and say is a projection of themselves, their beliefs, their interests, their entire identity.”

How does the psychology behind social media help your business?

Once you understand why so many of us use social media think about why someone would interact with your business? Why do they care? To many small businesses fall into the broadcast trap, businesses first need to listen to their audience, what are they talking about and in what context? Likes and dislikes?  People want to feel connected to your business, ask your audience questions, get the involved, show some personality!

“Too many organisations fail to step away from the brand and look objectively from the outside in, as if through the eyes of the punters they wish to reach….. Understanding what drives, rewards, motivates, entertains and generally stirs an emotional response from people and content marketing can flourish. If you fail to understand what motivates your audience, then you will most likely be left scratching your head.”

Further reading:

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/psychology-of-facebook/

http://blog.thoughtpick.com/2009/08/why-do-people-really-tweet-the-psychology-behind-tweeting.html

http://www.laymanpsych.com/the-psychology-of-twitter-facebook-and-other-social-networking-devices/

 

10 actions you need to do for yourself!!

How is the year going so far? We are mid way through, are you still on track or are you letting life get in the way? It’s all too easy to get side tracked and weighed down with the day-to-day routine of life. Take some time this week and review the first half of the year, here are 10 actions you need to do for yourself to give you a nudge in the right direction!

smile-sign

1. Spend time with people who will challenge you and help you to grow.

It is said that you are a reflection of the five closest people around you in terms of values, affluence and behaviours. Take a look around you are the people you spend the most time with supportive of your dreams, do they embrace who you are? Do they love you unconditionally? Can you learn from them?  People change and grow over time and growth is often reflected in who you choose to spend time with. Do not let feelings of guilt trap you in friendships that you have outgrown, be grateful for the time you have spent together and move on, it’s a natural progression of life!

2. Start making your own happiness a priority

It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary. -Mandy Hale 

Great quote! It sometimes strikes me that especially in the UK we seem to have this view that putting ourselves first is selfish. Remember that it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. In fact once your needs are met you will be far more capable of helping those who need you most!

3. Give your ideas and dreams a chance! Dream big!

People are sometimes held back by fear, fear of the unknown or fear of failure. If you never take a chance or try something new you will never grow as a person or achieve your dreams. Anything is possible you just have to believe in yourself and your abilities. If things don’t quite work out as planned, great learn from it, move on and do it better and bigger next time!

4. There is a silver lining in every situation, look for it!

When time are hard, take a break and look for glimmers of hope, they are there! Remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right.  Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

5. Start taking notice of your stress levels

Stress is not always bad, stress can make us perform at a higher level but its prolonged state of stress that will take its toll on our bodies. The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it. Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. If you are feeling stressed take some time out and practise relaxation techniques.

6. Work towards your goals every day!

“The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”, start make small steps towards your goals everyday and don’t give up!

7. Build your willpower muscle

Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals. To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do.

8. Using Emotional intelligence to progress towards your goals

So what it comes down to it – anything we do , anything we think, – there is always a feeling involved, something we are avoiding or something we want and moving towards. Fear and Desire are our two strongest and most powerful emotions.

People either invest time, energy, and resources moving ‘towards’ or ‘away’ from something they find enjoyable, or something they wish to avoid. The something is our values, which we use to judge whether an action is good or bad. Emotional states such as anger, sadness, depression and joy can be influenced and even directed by us.  Therefore using ‘practised exercises over time ‘we can change the way we feel about things. Read my blog series on Emotional intelligence.

9. Notice how wealthy you are right now!

Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective.  You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.  You didn’t go to sleep outside.  You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning etc Remember to be grateful for all things you do have.

10. Start helping those around you

Givers gain! The more you help others the more they will help you, how can you help people, be on the lookout for opportunities for others, who can you connect? It will come back tenfold!

Why would you be a small business owner?

 

Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere.

Paul Ryan

I’m a big fan of small business ownership. I think it’s the backbone of American innovation. But to be successful, you first have to have the courage to go for it.

Bill Rancic

Read more at Brainyquote 

Business women, why would you run your own business

600,000 new businesses are founded every year, even in this economic climate people still have the courage to go for it! That needs celebrating! What makes people leave the security of a monthly paycheck and go it alone? For some it’s not even a choice they were always going to work for themselves but for others it’s a huge leap of faith.

“I think the hallmark of a really good entrepreneur is that you’re not really going to build one specific company. The goal – at least the way I think about entrepreneurship – is you realize one day that you can’t really work for anyone else. You have to start your own thing. It almost doesn’t matter what that thing is.” – Max Levchin, Cofounder PayPal

The statistics for businesses to succeed aren’t great, it’s something like 8 out of 10 small businesses don’t make it past the first year. Small business owners believe they can beat the odds, otherwise they wouldn’t start! I think that shows huge strength of character and optimism so here are 5 reasons why you should be a small business owner!

 

1. You Can Find Your Own Work/Life Balance 

This can be the biggest reason to start your own business, if you want more flexibility in the hours you work running your own business can be the way to go.

2. You Can Challenge Yourself

Some people thrive on the routine of their job – performing the same tasks day after day. As an entrepreneur, you can bet that each day will be filled with new opportunities to challenge yourself, be creative and learn something new.

3. You Control Your Own Destiny

You may struggle to take orders from someone else, being in control of your own business gives the chance to make your own decisions, how to operate on a day-to-day basis and build a brand with your own ideals.

4. Follow your passion

When you run your own business its said that you can choose the 18 hours that you want to work!! But because its your passion it doesn’t feel like ‘work’. The journey of building a business can be as enjoyable as the destination.

5. Get to know your customers.

Small business owners have the opportunity to get to know their clients/customers. Around 80% of your business will come from existing clients, either repeat business or referral. Personalized attention is very much appreciated and remembered in the modern high-tech.

Why did you become a business owner?

Part 2 – Things Successful People Do Differently when achieving their Goals!

Hi welcome to Part 2 of my goal setting tips! Hopefully you can use these to set your goals in 2013! Make sure you check out Part 1 first!

#Focus on getting better, rather than being good.

Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

#Have grit.

Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking …. well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

#Build your willpower muscle

Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

#Don’t tempt fate

No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

#Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do

Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behaviour — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.

If you want to change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

It is my hope that, after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along. Even more important, I hope are able to identify the mistakes that have derailed you, and use that knowledge to your advantage from now on. Remember, you don’t need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It’s never what you are, but what you do.

Reading book list for 2013! Self-help motivational books – a must read!

With Christmas fast approaching I thought I would suggest a must read book list for 2013 to inspire and help you achieve your goals for the coming year. You may even have time to get people to buy them you for Christmas!! The book list below focuses on self-help/motivational books on how to deal with stress and different emotions; how to perform at your best everyday with increased confidence and energy.

Don Colbert- Deadly Emotions

This is an easy to read book that speaks plainly, simply, and directly regarding how the emotions and physical responses when running unchecked make you sick and dysfunctional. It is also very good about pointing out realistic answers.

“In his book, author Don Colbert, M.D. discusses the vital link between emotional well-being and physical well-being. Most Americans do not realize that scientific evidence has proven that stress can contribute to heart disease, migraines, asthma, pneumonia and many other physical problems. Stress can even be deadly- Deadly Emotions offers solutions to the problems facing us. Dr. Colbert battles anxiety, tension and stress with powerful concepts of forgiveness, joy and peace. Deadly Emotions has the ability to help people from the suffering induced by stress, good news for mind and body.”

Don Colbert- Stress Less

Interesting information on all the stress hormones such as cortisol; teaches how to break unhealthy habits.

What we think about creates most of the stress in our lives. Don teaches us how to combat this and some insights into where stress related illnesses come from, from all aspects – emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally.

Let’s enjoy living longer!

Neuro-linguistic Programming for Dummies –RomillaReady and Kate Burton

The book is entertaining, practical, and included easy to understand principles. For someone who does not use NLP in their everyday life- this gives them the insights to practise with themselves or friends.

I use NLP with my clients with great results- this is the 1st book I recommend if people want awareness on the subject. Lots of practical examples of challenges which can be turned around easily and effectively.

Awaken the Giant within– Anthony Robbins
Very easy it is to apply the lessons that Tony Robbins suggests in this book.

I am very privileged to be one of Tony’s Trainers, travelling the Globe with him and supporting at his events. This was the 1st book I read 20 years ago to start me on my personal development journey. A big book to read- yet very powerful and thought provoking.

He demonstrates many Neuro associative Conditioning techniques – which are simple to use, and offers fast and permanent change.

Thank you Tony for your great work.

Instant Confidence – Paul McKenna

This book provides simple, yet very effective, exercises to boost your self-esteem, confidence, and motivation. Using hypnosis, NLP, and some very intriguing acupressure techniques (Thought Field Therapy), McKenna gives you the power to completely overhaul your limited self-beliefs.

The book has material to address the most important areas where we all need confidence: self-image, relationships, business, public speaking, dating and sex, and leaving bad situations.

Permission to Succeed– Noah St John

The author has taken a very fresh look at success and why we deprive ourselves of it. His viewpoints are enlightening and ground-breaking.

Read the entire volume and you will see how he comes full circle to help us understand what has caused us to make certain choices in the past. Defining our own success, becoming responsible for ourselves (rather than the entire world), these are things that help us clarify what we want.

The exercises in the book were more valuable than lots of seminars. The simple writing allows the profound ideas to leap from the page and into your soul. This is more than just a book, it really resonates inside.

This is a well written book that takes you by the hand and leads you to answer the question of ‘why you need permission to succeed’.

Change Anything– Kerry Patterson

If you apply the principles of this book to your life you will produce sustainable change in your behaviour that will noticeably improve your life.

“First, the authors free us from a powerful mind trap: the simplistic belief that if only we had more willpower we’d succeed in changing our lives. The reality the authors argue for (persuasively) is that while willpower is still important, changing behaviour turns out to be as much about “skill” as it is about “will.” And the truth is that certain skills for changing our behaviours can be taught. The authors also point out that that often (for example when you go to Las Vegas into a casino) you can’t see what’s controlling. However, “If you can see it, you can change it.” “Change Anything,” then, is a book about seeing the hidden influences in our lives and using them to change our behaviours from ones with negative to ones with positive consequences.”

This is an impressive book that has brought together in one place a simple, powerful, and reasonable means of changing our lives.
Overall, Change Anything is an insightful and practical guide to making personal changes stick.

Emotional Intelligence– Daniel Goleman

Goleman is an excellent writer and presents a great deal of thought-provoking content.

Goleman, psychologist and science writer for The New York Times, explains how the rational and emotional work together to shape intelligence, using intriguing new information from neuroscience and psychology of the brain. It details why IQ is not the sole predictor of success, and it reviews powerful academic studies that show how emotional intelligence impacts important life outcomes. Goleman shows how the brain can easily succumb to an emotional hijacking, where emotions overpower your reason.

Goleman’s book successfully educates us the reader on the importance of emotional intelligence and provides some insight into how our society has gone wrong in raising our children. It explains why youth are more depressed, violent and aggressive than ever.

I highly recommend this book to parents and educators and anyone else who thinks we as a society can do a better job raising our children.

Get the Life You Want– Richard Bandler

This book introduces new advances in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). The new methods are so advanced, they are really easy to use and benefit from. You get, see and feel the results immediately.

Whether you are totally new to Richard’s teachings or whether you have learnt some NLP, or /and really experienced in NLP, you’ll learn a lot and really benefit.
This is not a book, but a workbook, techniques you can use straight away.
You read a bit and then do what Richard teaches you. Follow the instructions and you’ll get instant, immediate results.
If you want to have a life that works in a world that works, this is the book to buy now. No NLP experience required.

A New You– Nicola Cook

This is an excellent book. Well written, good content and fun! I have shared it with friends and colleagues and all of them found it useful.

I have enjoyed reading it more than once differently getting better results!

Good practical exercises to work with straight away!

Hopefully everyone will find a book to help them in the above list! Have you read a good book this year that’s helped you? Why not list it below, you never know who it might help!!