Category Archives: Uncategorized

Telling your story with social media

Whether you have business or personal stories to share, the best time to reach your audience is when they are active and using the tools.  So many things are posted every hour that a post will quickly get lost in a flood of messages and be missed if people are not active for a long period of time.  Consequently, timing is an important element of social media strategy.

It used to be said that the three most important things in business are Location – Location – Location.  That is not true in the global world of social media and these days it might be said that the most important things are Timing – Timing – Timing.  Below is an interesting graphic with guidelines about when to post in various social media to get the greatest level of engagement.  The source is on the bottom of the graphic.

Share your stories when you can most effectively meet your intended audience.  Of course, these times just offer guidelines and don’t account for different time zones.  You might have to post your message to reach several time zones.  Also, it would make sense to try to asses the validity with your target audience, which might have different usage patterns than the average.

More tomorrow – probably between 1 and 4 pm AST.

 

What do you think of the times indicated?  I was surprised that Twitter traffic fades so early in the afternoon – I would have expected it to be busy late afternoon and early evening.  I seem to get lots of tweets at that time of day.

Do you have favorite times that you have found especially effective for your personal or business messages?  What tips do you have about timing of your social media postings?

Preparing to ‘let it go’

Letting go

There are some stories that we need to let go.  Or more accurately, some related baggage that should be discarded.  It’s important to keep the lessons but unproductive, even unhealthy, to cling to all thoughts of would’ve, could’ve or should’ve.

You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.

This is a tough one for me. I’m always reviewing, reliving and reprimanding myself over things that almost certainly are minimal or forgotten by others involved.  My husband, who is much more able to put things behind him, has come to accept that I do not easily move beyond a perceived error. He once told me that the difference between the two of us on that front is that I always think that I can still fix things. Pretty insightful really (he doesn’t have to know I said that). That idea definitely gave me something to think about as I strive to become [more of] a free spirit unfettered by regrets.

Today’s challenge

Strive to let go of stories that hold you back by prompting feelings of anxiety, anger, jealousy, regret, envy or any of a myriad of other draining emotions.

Take what  learning you can from the experience then let go of the rest.  Admittedly easier said than done but start today to find ways to begin that next chapter.

  • Get a realistic picture of the situation that you are reliving, one that is not focused only on what you did / didn’t do and wish you hadn’t / had done.  Name at least one positive outcome or lesson or identify some progress that was made toward a goal.
  • Name the event so you can catalog and let it go (some strategies on how to do that next time)
  • Describe the event / situation. Try to be objective. Use as much or as little detail as you like.  This can be just for you or something that you choose to share.
  • Identify what you did wrong (by your reckoning) AND what you wish you had done differently.  Sometimes you might want to check your perception with others.
  • Try to objectively consider whether it would truly have resulted in a ‘better’ outcome, with ‘better’ meaning one that would not have caused you to have regrets.
  • Consider how other parties would feel about the situation Try to be realistic. How did they react? Would they even still be thinking about it? It is quite possible that they didn’t notice or place the same value on what you said or did.

With practice, you’ll soon be able to do these steps quickly.  Although it might be difficult, try to check your perceptions with others at least occasionally to help develop more realistic assessments.

Next time – strategies for helping move past the lingering negativity.

Write a new story

On my last post Preparing to ‘let it go’, I wrote about approaches to get a realistic assessment of a situation in preparation to let go of lasting regrets or self-recriminations.

Easier said than done

If I express regrets, friends often advise me to ‘just let it go’ or ‘move on’.  Unfortunately, I have  that suggestion rarely, if ever, is accompanied by any strategies for doing that.  Those of us with the tendency to hang on know that ‘just letting go’ is easier said than done. It isn’t like you can hit the delete button or even more simply, just stop thinking about it. I wish that I could easily do that. Believe me, I have tried! But my success rate is, at best, mixed and usually short lived.

I have tried asking people what they do, how they ‘just let it go’.  The usual response is “I don’t know, I just do”.  Not really too helpful as a learning tip.  My husband, who, at least on the surface, is able to put things behind him, expressed some confusion at the question.  When I asked him how he moved on from something, he replied with “I don’t understand how you can’t.” He did have interesting observation though.  He said the difference between the two of us is that I still think that I can fix it while he feels that it is past and finished. Hmmm. Actually makes sense, though might not get me closer to a strategy.  I do hate it when he makes me think like that.

I did get some more direct responses to asking people what they do. One friend told me, she repeats this little mantra to herself: “quack quack – like water off a duck’s back” to help gain perspective.  It might sound to simple but that is the beauty of it. It doesn’t have to be a complex solution, just something that reminds you of the goal to let go of the negativity and prepare to move forward with more positive energy.

Rewrite your story

I have used some of the information that I gathered to create my own simple 3 Step Strategy:

STEP 1: Describe the event. Be realistic.

Be realistic and objective about the event / issue / comment.  Give it a name. Get more detailed steps in Preparing to let it go.

STEP 2: Replace regrets with positive action.

Can you ‘fix’ it? Should you try? Is there something that can or should be said or done now?  Would it be possible to clean up or backtrack?

This is not the time to do something that will stir up old anxieties, regrets or rivalries so before you say anything, ask yourself is it true? is it kind?  is it helpful? If you answer no to any of these questions, do yourself a favor and make it part of what you are letting go.

If you believe you can still do something positive, do it.  Don’t hesitate.  Take action now. Pick up the phone, write a letter, send a text  or extend a hand. Make the first move. You’ll feel better for taking action, especially if it has the potential to make a difference.  Even if you are not successful at driving change, you can tell yourself that you did what you could and accept it as done.

If there is nothing that can change the source of regret, learn from it. What will you do differently the next time or with the next person? How can you share with others and help them avoid the same mistake?

Replace regrets and self-doubt with something more positive. How can you break the pattern? Try to move from regret to learning, from a holding patter to action, and from recrimination to forgiveness  -of yourself AND others.

STEP 3: Create a ritual.

Give yourself a signal that it is time to let go. Don’t worry if it seems silly or too simple or a waste of time. It is just for you and if it makes you relax, forget or laugh, all the better. Here are a few ideas.

  • Write it down using the name you gave it in Step 1. Tear or shred and recycle it, throw it to the wind or burn it.
  • Write your story in a journal – and literally close the book on it.
  • Write it on sand and let it go as the waves wash it away.
  • Talk or shout it away.  Tell your persistent issues that you are through thinking about them and are moving on.   You might want to do that on your own where nobody will hear you or you might decide to share it with friends. Maybe share a meal or a few drinks and make it an event.  Needless to say, don’t make a public showing if it is later going to cause you regrets.

Today I close the door to the past,
Open the door to the future, 
Take a deep breath
Step on through
And start a new chapter in my life.

Author Unknown

Those are my three steps. The process is still evolving so let me know how it works for you. And please feel free to share any suggestions for modifications.

Good luck.  And here’s to fresh starts and new stories.

Welcome to [the new] Keep The Stories

WELCOME

Welcome to my new – or more accurately new again – blog where I plan to challenge you to keep and share your stories while simplifying life by reducing the amount of stuff.

I originally started this blog a few years ago and was generating content regularly for almost two years when other projects took priority and this was put on the back burner. I continued to integrate the core ideas of Keep the Stories with other projects, always with the thought of turning this idea into a more vibrant entity. A couple of months ago, I decided that it was time to build on this foundation and get back to this idea that has continued to be a passion.

It is time to take action.

 

 

To begin, I have cleared the previous content.   Some of the posts are no longer relevant to my goals for this site.   Others will be archived or used in a different context.  Still others will be revisited, revived and republished with new content.

I’m looking forward to new adventures and learning and I hope you will join me on the journey.