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Showing posts from April, 2015

Reverting to Emails: Confusion and the Indian English Language

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In workshops about global email many people focus on their issues communicating with colleagues in India. Partly this is related to some deeper cultural differences that lead to misunderstandings. But many problems are also caused by the different ways in which Indian people use English.

There are some "English" words that you will probably only hear in India, like "stepney", their word for a spare wheel. A hundred years ago this term was coined in the UK and was exported to India where it survived. Back home only a few antique vehicle enthusiasts have any idea what it means. There are also many English expressions that are peculiar to India, like "What is your good name?". But in both cases an English speaker from elsewhere would just see an unfamiliar expression and either ask what it means or google it.

Most problems are caused by another kind of difference: where a standard US or UK English word is used but with a different meaning. Recently someone …

How to Build a Social Media Presence With Little Effort

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In a previous post I explained why businesses can no longer afford to ignore social media, but the next concern is how to use social media with limited resources available. Fortunately it is possible to begin with a very modest effort and gradually increase commitment as you become more confident and efficient.

For most small and medium businesses there is no need to be constantly tweeting and sharing photos like celebrities. Much of the time it is sufficient to be present, to watch what is being said and to participate in the discussions from time to time. Just like a few pencil lines can evoke a picture, a few well-chosen posts can give the impression of a solid social media presence. But concretely how should a small business get started?

Start By Just Being There. In social media just like in many other places simply turning up brings a noticeable return. Begin by creating an account and profile page on several top social sites including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, with the addi…

Five Reasons Why Businesses Can’t Afford to Ignore Social Media

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Many small and medium-sized businesses underestimate the power of social media. This is especially true in highly-technical business-to-business fields where the customer is another business rather than a consumer. 
Talking to entrepreneurs I hear many reasons for this. Some say that their stakeholders don’t use social media – which is almost certainly not true, they just haven’t noticed. Others say that they have tried using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other social sites but nobody responded to their posts. This could be true because it takes time to build up this interaction. 
But even if there is little direct response to social media posts there are some indirect effects that make social media something that a business or organization can no longer ignore. Here are just five of the most important:
SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY INFLUENCES SEARCH. Whatever you do people are going to Google you to see who you are. To most people you are exactly what Google says you are, so managing your onli…