Category Archives: Social Networking

Is it in the Cloud?

For some, the cloud provides flexibility for learning and teaching while on the move but for many large companies they see this as unsafe and systems are locked down so tight you feel your hands are tied.

For example, this weeks episode of CSI (Season 14 – Episode 21: Kitty) has a severe case of identity fraud leading to murder which makes you wonder how much of us is out there for everyone to see and access?  The more we do online the more information there is for the unscrupulous to possess, you can see why some are cautious.

For many who may be in the middle of expansion and are recruiting heavily this can bring many challenges.  A continuous flow of new recruits who require training in their first weeks means that often courses are ‘thrown’ together.  A steady stream of training requirements with limited resources often means that there is little time to develop new content so it becomes a necessity to establish alternative learning solutions as quickly as possible.

In many areas of learning and development, technology has been embraced and is already well established as acceptable learning aids but when there are secrets at stake what is appropriate?

In some situations the classroom scenario has become either obsolete or reduced to a minimum so alternatives need to be found, this could mean combining the classroom with other modes of study.

Meanwhile, the learning environment is changing and technology is rapidly evolving.  One minute you’re ‘keeping up with the Jones’s the next, it’s old news and you feel you’re being left behind, what you know is no longer relevant.

So what should you do?  Be objective and ask yourself the following:

  1. How do you develop new content with limited resources?
  2. How do you develop yourself to deliver this training?
  3. How do you maintain your experience?
  4. How do you keep abreast of what’s happening in your chosen field?

Sharing ideas with ‘the outside world’ is one of the best methods of discovering what’s new and what’s happening today.  The learning community are excellent listeners and make great sounding boards, bouncing ideas around and testing principles.

Developing possible solutions to tricky learning situations is what it’s all about, we learn from others experiences and can take that into our own situations to produce very effective and appropriate learning solutions.

While smartphones make it easier to keep in contact and network, not everything in the World Wide Web is worth spending lots of time on so accessing bits of information quickly and easily while on the move is essential, you never know where the next great idea will come from.  Use whatever resources you can, network with the learning community, pilot learning solutions and just see what happens.

For example, some of the worst training I have seen delivered proved the old adage of ‘death by powerpoint’ as the presenter had well over 120 slides!  Some of the best and most engaging have been delivered using http://www.pechakucha.org/ and Prezi.

Finally, it doesn’t hurt to try something out, what’s the worst that can happen – it doesn’t work, so what, try something else – you never know your solution may be the one that everyone else adopts.

21ST CENTURY WORD OF MOUTH

For sixty years after the Second World War if you were a local business there were only really three things you had to do to market yourself effectively. Life was very straightforward. You took the biggest ad you could afford in Yellow Pages, relied a lot on word of mouth and, if you were very ambitious or a little bit flash(!), then you took an ad out in the local newspaper.

That was pretty much all you had to worry about as far as marketing was concerned.

Oh how times have changed.

Yellow Pages are dying now. They are getting thinner every year, fewer and fewer people are using them and, within the next five to ten years the old printed yellow books will have disappeared altogether.

Right across the country local newspapers are seeing circulation fall and, each month, different titles are shutting down the presses and going out of business.

And, of course, society has become much more transient and mobile than it ever was in the ‘good old days’. Neighbourhood communities are now a real rarity for most people.

For businesses right across the country this has forced a seismic shift in the way they market and promote themselves. New, all encompassing, marketing services like thebestof have come from nowhere to provide a myriad of different services to businesses. The internet is now an integral part of the fabric of modern life and, within that, social media has emerged to fulfil the role of 21st Century word of mouth.

If you think about it, that’s all social media is, word of mouth.

People sharing with other people (some whom they know and others who they don’t know) what they think about things and places, what they’re doing right now and what they are planning to do.

The fact is, that wherever you live in the country, within a few miles of where you are right now there will be thousands of people online, right this minute, on social media sites. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or Linked-In, the reality is that these people, in your area, are using social media today. It’s where the people are. And that’s why, if you are a business then you have to be in this space as well and you can’t do it just by buying an ad or writing a cheque.

You have to engage and get involved.

You have to continually update and input.

It’s not difficult and, when you do it right, it can be even more powerful than word of mouth was in the old days because social media allows everybody to communicate with everybody else – and people do.

You don’t really have a choice as to whether you get involved with social media or not – only when. It’s beginning to transform the way people do business in the UK and the opportunities for those businesses sharp enough to see that and adapt to it is immense.

If you would like help with your social media strategy then we’d be delighted to oblige. We understand this stuff, we’re good at it and we love to make it happen. Happy to have a chat……….