Try something new with your hashtags.

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Hashtags are also great for automating business efforts. Support is one example (and alluded to in the article) where you might tell your customers to use #support when contacting you for help via Twitter.


Then using automation software (like Zapier) you can automatically detect messages that reference your Twitter name that include the #support hashtag. Using Zapier, you can then do any number of things such as opening a ticket using something like Zendesk, or send that support message to a support channel in Slack.


The important part is that using social media for more than just broadcasting is important — be sure you have a good method for staying on top of growing inbound messages too.


Feel free to try it out on us… just send a tweet to @ideaspringbiz and include the #tangocard for your chance to win a $25.00 Tango Card gift card. (We’ll randomly pick someone on July 31st, 2015 and let you know by Twitter if you’ve won.)

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By 2030, technology will have become so deeply integrated in our lives and ourselves that we simply won’t notice it anymore

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Interesting article on how the Internet of Things (IoT) and predictive analytics may make our lives easier and actually push technology into the background.

We can see small snippets of this in our apps already. For example I have apps on my phone that are contextually aware of when I’m driving, and when I’ve stopped driving.  One app I use, MileIQ automatically detects when I am driving (versus walking around with my phone.) It tracks each start and stop, and provides a list of my drives, showing me dates, times, geo location, and best guess as to the actual location name.

This makes it incredibly easy for me to categorize my personal and business trips. Applying the type of artificial intelligence @randhindi mentions would mean integrating additional data to make things even more automated.  In the ubiquitous computing paradigm my calendar, e-mails, and other points of data would be used to automatically categorize my trips for me. So I would have the app technology… but it would disappear into the background, maybe even automatically posting the entries into our accounting software.

Of course there is a long way to go, but we can see how some tools are already making things easier. Look at sites like (think Twitter for devices sending data) and which can visualize data sources.  As a quick test, in a matter of minutes I connected my phone to the the dashboard, and made a quick map of my wandering around the house and backyard.

Taking the transportation examples even further, one of our clients Spangenberg Partners is providing solutions under their Roadwise Systems brand for trucking industry that are really quite amazing. Products such as MobilEye that uses amazing artificial intelligence to alert drivers (and what I believe is the future of technology for driver-less cars vs. Google’s approach.) And MacoPoint that automates load tracking and tracing. And with shortage of long-haul drivers we’re going to need as much automation and efficiency as possible.

It is truly an exciting time for technology, data, and connectivity. But as much as I love technology and data, that passion is driven by using technology and data in a way that positively impacts lives. So I really do welcome the ubiquitous computing world where the technology gets pushed to the background, and we can focus more on what matters — human interaction.

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Sometimes the breakthroughs that really count are about your leadership style and skillset

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It’s often easy to focus on technical innovation, but in my experience, addressing the human aspects (people and processes) is critical for success in implementing any change in technology.


Even more importantly, documenting processes is a great way to help small businesses grow – even if they’re not quite to the enterprise CEO level yet.  Once you understand the processes, and can document them, then you’re able to start working on your business instead of in your business.


One way to think about out to scale and grow your business and dive, and get into the right mindset is to start thinking about what your business would look like if you were to turn it into a franchise.


The goal (in most cases) isn’t really to turn your business into a franchise, but to think through all of the processes and documentation you’d need to have someone else run the business successfully.  Once you can document how to market, manage, and run your business it becomes easier to actually grow and hire people when you’re ready.

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Differentiation — at its core — means to constitute a difference between or specialize in structure or functions to acquire a distinctive and separate character. That sounds intriguing, right?

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I have met with clients and prospects who have resigned themselves to believing that their industry, and by extension themselves, are just a commodity.  They look for silver-bullet tactics to help get ahead, rather than take the time to build a solid strategy built on differentiation.

I believe part of the resistance in spending, what Stephen Covey would call Type II time (the important but non-urgent), is because often those tasks feel like mental exercises great at generating cool slogans, but not so great at delivering immediate results.

Unfortunately this goes back to everyone looking for the easy way to make quick sales. As the saying goes, marketing is really a function of knowing your client so well that your product sell themselves. To do that, one must take the time to really know their clients needs, figure out how to message and produce results in a way that resonates.

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