How do you Make Brands to be More Social?

This is the behind-the-scene interview with Simon Mainwaring, the author of ‘WE FIRST,’ at the Social Good Summit. At the Summit, Simon talks about ‘Building a Private Sector Pillar for Social Change.’ Got a few more Q&As with Simon, which I’ll put it up soon.


How this First Lady Uses Social Media

It’s fascinating to learn what other politicians or the spouse of a politician uses social media for. We know for a fact that President Obama enjoys a social media celebrity status, because he’s one of the few politicians who have millions of followers! What about on the other side of the world?

There is the First Lady of Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez, a celebrity politician in her own right.

When she made a surprise appearance at Social Good Summit, she talks a bit of how she uses social media. She says that “she is both a follower and user of social networks, Twitter, Facebook.”  These tools give her the ability to be connected with the youth and people from around the world.

In her capacity as a First Lady, she uses ICT (short for information communication technology) to empower women, improve literacy rate, economic development. If you want to connect with her, the twitter handle is @margaritacdf.

Check it out.

A Preview to Social Good Summit 2011

Next week, we will be at the Social Good Summit, a four-day summit hosted by the good guys at Mashable, UN Foundation and  92Y. This is a second year of a four-day event where technologists, influential minds, government officials, and activists will hob nob and come together to find the solutions for the world’s most pressing problems. Problems like education, health, malaria, etc. That and in addition, there will be 8 startups (that are changing the world!) competing for a $10,000 prize in a ‘Startup Challenge.’

The lineup of speakers include Ted Turner, Lance Amstrong, Muhammad Yunus, Pete Cashmore (in case you’ve been hiding in a cave, he’s the founder of Mashable – the most visited side for all things social media), actor Geena Davis, Ami Dar (if you’re looking for non-profit jobs, his site ‘Idealist’ is the go-to source), Scott Harrison (the Charity:Water guy), and many many more. You just have to see it yourself, here.

Continue reading “A Preview to Social Good Summit 2011”

When is the Best Time To do Your Social Media, Email and Blogging?

Sometime last week Dan Zarella, the social media scientist with Hubspot, gave a webminar on the science of timing. He’s looking at the best practices of when is the best time to do your social, email and blogging by analyzing data from hundreds of thousands and millions of bits of data. (note: all the graph presented in his data are EST standard).

Best practices for Social Media, Email and Blogging

> The best time to gain retweets is in late afternoon and week.


The contrarian side, based on data of click-through rates of links among the highest users of Twitter, weekends are also considered as one the best time to get retweets. In fact, weekends are better than Mondays or Tuesdays.

Other findings:

– Links to Facebook pages that posted every other day, gain more likes.

– If you tweet to gain more followers & reputation, tweet a lot more. For example, Guy Kawasaki tweets on average 23 a day! And he has some 331k followers. However, if you tweet links to your ‘own’ content, you want to do it randomly. Give space if you want to tweet it again.

> Weekends are best for Facebook sharing

Since about 54% of companies blocked access to Facebook, articles published early in the morning tend to do better than those published later in the day. Take note of this, unlike Twitter – where frequencies don’t matter much – Facebook is more frequency sensitive.


Dig deeper into 5 Questions and Answers of Facebook marketing

> Send emails very early in the morning.. like 6AM.

Send them in the morning. Emails are getting more attention either early in the morning or on weekends. If you’re sending “good” emails, open rates higher on weekends because your email are getting more attention from your readers. And new subscribers are your best friends. This is when you can experiment with timing. The best time to talk with your new subscribers are few days after they signed up. Don’t be afraid of unsubcribes, because they actually can help you to have a clean list.


This data is very interesting: unsubscribes are actually highest if you only send once a month email. Good email, that is. That means, you can send more emails to your list.

The key here is sending good, relevant information.

> Blog published between 10-11AM tend to get the most views. 

More people read blogs in the morning and during the week. You also want to know your audience and understand them. If you have more men that read your blog, they tend to read blogs in the evening. So you can experiment by posting later in the day. On the contrary, to get comments, weekend is your best bet.


> To get the juice out of links, published your blog post early in the morning…like 7AM.

This is the time when most bloggers are looking for ideas on what to write. Blog posts that are published very early in the morning tend to get the more read and links.


Bottom line: experiment with your own social media, email, and blogging and measure it to get the most out of your marketing dollars.

Dig deeper here.

Happy Birthday, #Twitter

Happy 5th birthday, Twitter!

What’s happening?

Bloomberg Game Changers did a segment on the three Twitter founders – Jack Dorsey (the earlier inventor), Biz Stone, and Evan Williams this month. It’s pretty fascinating story and has some true-tried lessons for entrepreneurs. Yeah, they’re big company now, but “the flight is not always smooth.” If you need a pick-me-up, check out the video

There are 4 big lessons for wannabe entrepreneurs (that you can learn from them): 

#1. Never never give up.

Great entrepreneurs never give up. Evan Williams never gives up in his dream, even when the company he co-founded with Meg Hourihan ran out of money. The company was struggling. He had: NOTHING. And he was the last employee on Blogger, but he carried on. Until Google came calling.

#2. Believe (and keep your dreams alive).

The three founders didn’t started Twitter not because “they knew where it’s gonna go.” But because they believe that this is a good thing. They’re driven by that belief. Update: Brian Solis (in his Facebook) writes a comment “..we cannot undervalue Jack Dorsey’s original idea.” Yes, indeed, he is the original/ earlier inventor. And how he keeps his dream alive until he met the other two founders, with whom together they founded Twitter.

#3. Be nice. Even if you’re a competitor.

Evan Williams and Biz Stone worked at competing businesses. Blogger vs. Xanga. Who knew that one day, they’d be working together as founders of the company?

#4. Failure is part of success.

If you never fail, you never learn. That’s just come with it. It’s part of the process. So expect detour.

Eventually, when you keep plugging away (and focus on ) in light of failures and challenges, through life’s twist-and-turn “opportunity will find you.” Detour means, that it’s not your time.. yet. You’ll need to practice a little bit more. Because “practice makes perfect.” 

Kick-off Ecotwist Radio

RESCHEDULE TO NEXT TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23: So my guest didn’t call in. That prompted me to reschedule the show.

UPDATE: He just called in (tied up in a meeting) and we agree to do it on Tuesday the 23rd. (There’s some learned lessons to improve the show for next time).

President Obama announced that tomorrow, November 19, 2010, is as National’s Entrepreneurs’ Day in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week. Each November, GEW connects people everywhere in the world through activities to help them unleashed their idea by exploring their potential as self-starters and innovators. 

Connects the dots. I’ve been kicking around with the idea of hosting an educational radio show on business and sustainability for a while. So today is the day. The kick-off of my show, Ecotwist.

My first guest is Andy Shallal, an Iraqi American, who is an activist, artist and restauranter. Andy is a successful entrepreneur. His flagship restaurant, Busboys and Poets, has been a success from the opening. He is someone who is recipient of multiple awards on sustainability, activism and business. I met Andy a while back in the summer through a networking group, Net Impact. NI hosted their event at his restaurant. So after the event, I approached Andy to be on my show, then still in the thinking process. 

Busboys and Poets is a local DC restaurant chain. The restaurant chain is an example of good business practice of the triple bottom line – people, planet and profit. It’s a certified B Corporation. They have a number of sustainability initiatives in place, i.e. uses renewable energy via wind energy, recycle their oil for biofuel, uses 100% recycled products, copy paper, carry-out items, serves sustainable seafood. And believes that ‘transparency is an important component of their environmental agenda.’

If you happen to be around, you can listen via your browser at You can also join the conversation at 323-693-3030

Steal this Presentation! Seriously.

Doing a lot of presentation? Make it a CRAP.


Text and images are all the same size and style is extremely boring and not communicative. Add some contrast to make it interesting.


Repeat colors, fonts and images throughout your presentation for a cohesive feel (remember color mix?). Each new topic slide should have related styles so that your audience knows you are moving into a new point. 


Text and alignment on each side should be visually connected. Nothing should be out of place.

P= Proximity

Related elements should be grouped together.

And finally..