Twitter: Making Your Business Feed Better

Every day more and more businesses are adding Twitter to their marketing portfolio. Along with Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter is a great way to reach potential customers, share industry knowledge and connect with experts (or become one). But Twitter is more than sharing what’s on your mind or spreading a link to your webpage six times a day. There are proven ways to make your business Twitter feed better – and here they are.

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When you create your Twitter profile, pick a communication objective. What kind of information do you want to share with your audience? And what kind of audience do you want? Some industries can be very specific and coming up with tweets might seem pretty difficult. In that case, try and create a broader objective. For example, a company that sells cloud technology to other businesses could pick a wider topic like office efficiency and productivity. These topics apply to virtually any professional, including the ones in your target market.

Along with your objective, it’s crucial to have a strategy. There are specific times that are best to tweet, when you will get the most viewers, interactions and shares. Since this varies by industry and location, there’s no blanket time to tweet, but a quick Google search can provide a good guide specific to your sector. With that information, plan when you are going to tweet and what you are going to say. Also decide how many tweets will link to your website and how many will link to other industry websites. It’s important to share both types of links so you aren’t seen as completely self-serving. Again, there is no magic answer for every industry; you will need to plan, execute your strategy, review what works and what doesn’t and make changes along the way.

When you’re at the next step, which is creating your content, remember to make it readable and relatable. Even though it’s a company account, it can still have personality. Ask questions, make comments and even crack jokes if it’s appropriate. In other words, be human! Try to create content that you think your audience will want to share. Why? More exposure for your company from peers instead of via advertising. Don’t tweet at people, tweet to them. With your objective and strategy, this will be easy and you’re sure to see results.

My secret weapon when it comes to making the Twitter feed better is social network scheduling services, like Hootsuite. This service will let you create and schedule your tweets in advance. Instead of meticulously watching the clock and tweeting every hour on the hour, you can plan days, weeks or months in advance. This also allows you the opportunity to focus on interacting day-to-day instead of creating and sending content. These platforms can also help with your Twitter analytics.

Tracking retweets will help you gauge how shareable your content is. In Hootsuite, you can use one of your columns to do this, it’s called My Tweets Retweeted. Keeping an eye on how your follower base increases (or decreases) will give you an accurate feel for what you’re doing right (or wrong). You can even count the amount of favorites your content gets so you can create similar content. While ‘favoriting’ a tweet isn’t as impactful as retweeting it, it still shows that a member of your audience liked the content, agreed with the content or at the very least appreciated it. Implementing these tactics is a step in the right direction, towards a popular, well-followed, retweeted Twitter account, which really results in leads, sales and increased profit for your company.

If you are in charge of the Twitter account for your company, remember, people connect with humans, not logos or brands. While the strategy for a business Twitter account should be an intregal part of an overall marketing and business strategy, it still needs to have a human voice and interact with followers as a person, not a business.

What Twitter tips would you offer?

Facebook Privacy Basics

In an effort to make their terms and policies easier to understand and to control, Facebook is rolling out Privacy Basics on January 1, 2015.The post, in it’s entirety is featured below.

Updating Our Terms and Policies: Helping You Understand How Facebook Works and How to Control Your Information

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Over the past year, we’ve introduced new features and controls to help you get more out of Facebook, and listened to people who have asked us to better explain how we get and use information.
Now, with Privacy Basics, you’ll get tips and a how-to guide for taking charge of your experience on Facebook. We’re also updating our termsdata policy and cookies policy to reflect new features we’ve been working on and to make them easy to understand.
These updates take effect on January 1, 2015. As always, we welcome your feedback about our policies.
Privacy Basics
Privacy Basics offers interactive guides to answer the most commonly asked questions about how you can control your information on Facebook. For example, you can learn about untagging, unfriending, blocking and how to choose an audience for each of your posts. This information is available in 36 languages.
Along with our privacy checkupreminder for people posting publicly and simplified audience selectors, Privacy Basics is the latest step we’ve taken to help you make sure you’re sharing with the people you want.
Helping you get more out of Facebook
Every day, people use our apps and services to connect with the people, places and things they care about. The updates to our policies reflect the new products we’ve been working on to improve your Facebook experience. They also explain how our services work in a way that’s easier to understand. Here are some highlights:
Discover what’s going on around you: We’re updating our policies to explain how we get location information depending on the features you decide to use. Millions of people check into their favorite places and use optional features like Nearby Friends (currently only available in some regions). We’re working on ways to show you the most relevant information based on where you are and what your friends are up to. For example, in the future, if you decide to share where you are, you might see menus from restaurants nearby or updates from friends in the area.
Make purchases more convenient: In some regions, we’re testing a Buy button that helps people discover and purchase products without leaving Facebook. We’re also working on new ways to make transactions even more convenient.
Find information about privacy on Facebook at the moment you need it: To make them more accessible, we moved tips and suggestions to Privacy Basics. Our data policy is shorter and clearer, making it easier to read.
Understand how we use the information we receive: For example, understanding battery and signal strength helps make sure our apps work well on your device. We ask for permission to use your phone’s location when we offer optional features like check-ins or adding your location to posts.
Get to know how the family of Facebook companies and apps work together: Over the past few years, Facebook has grown and we want to make sure you know about our family of companiesapps and services. We use the information we collect to improve your experience. For example, if you’re locked out of your Instagram account, you can use your Facebook information to recover your password. Nothing in our updates changes the commitments that Instagram, WhatsApp and other companies have made to protect your information and your privacy.
Your information and advertising: People sometimes ask how their information is shared with advertisers. Nothing is changing with these updates—we help advertisers reach people with relevant ads without telling them who you are. Learn more about adsand how you can control the ads you see.
Giving you more control over ads
We’ve heard from some of you that it can be difficult to control the types of ads you see if you use multiple devices and browsers. In the past, if you opted out of certain kinds of advertising on your laptop, that choice may not have been applied for ads on your phone. We know that many people use more than one phone, tablet or browser to access Facebook, so it should be easy for you to make a single choice that applies across all of your devices.
That’s why Facebook respects the choices you make about the ads you see, across every device. You can opt out of seeing ads on Facebook based on the apps and sites you use through the Digital Advertising Alliance. You can also opt out using controls on iOS and Android. When you tell us you don’t want to see these types of ads, your decision automatically applies to every device you use to access Facebook. Also, we’re now making ad preferences available in additional countries, beginning with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK.
We hope these updates improve your experience. Protecting people’s information and providing meaningful privacy controls are at the core of everything we do, and we believe these announcements are an important step.

So what does this mean to the average Facebook user?  More simple controls over your privacy, right at your fingertips. This has needed to happen for some time now, and Facebook is finally responding to requests for a more simplistic and easier to understand policy system.  BUT, as with all terms of service within the digital world, these privacy controls are only as good as the user. So take this opportunity to review Privacy Basics and to review your own privacy settings on Facebook and other social platforms.

Lunch N Learn with ZAAR Design Center

One of the great aspects of social media is the opportunity for strangers to connect through a shared interest, platform, hobby or need.  My plans to speak at ZAAR Design Center, as part of the Spring High Point Furniture Market is an example of a need, someone reaching out and plans set in motion thanks to social media.

Ruth Olbrych, the owner of ZAAR Design Center contacted me on February 12th after her friend, Alicia Connolly forward to Ruth a conversation I had on Twitter with Dana Helms, Social Media Manager at Social North. Dana is also involved with an amazing organization, WithIt.  Due to our open conversation on Twitter about WithIt, Alicia mentioned to Ruth that I may be interested in speaking to a group at the Spring Furniture Market in High Point.

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The subsequent emails and phone conversations with Ruth, has led to the ZAAR Design Center hosting a Lunch and Learn on Sunday, April 6th at their showroom in High Point. I will talk with their guests about How Best Maximize Your Social Media Presence as a Designer.  You can pre-register for the event here:   Lunch N Learn + Jewelry/Accessory Sale

How Do I, as an Interior Designer, Maximize My Social Media Presence?

The Social Media map changes at such a rapid pace it can be daunting to know where you should be focusing your energies for maximum impact for your Interior Design business. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz, Google Plus, Linked In. Which portal serves you best?  Hint: Might not be what you think. What are the keystones for a Social Media plan? Yes, it can be manageable.

For me, this Lunch and Learn is an opportunity to talk about my passion, social media, as well as network with professionals within the furniture and design industries. For Ruth, it is an opportunity to showcase her Design Center and to provide the Designers in attendance with valuable information that can help their business and industry.  Truly a win-win; something I see every day within social media.

If you are attending the High Point Furniture Marketing this April, we hope you can join us for our Lunch N Learn at the ZAAR Design Center!

Update Your Social Bio’s

A few weeks ago, I asked the following question on my Facebook Page:

“How often do you update your social media bio’s?”

Responses to the question ranged from, “not often enough” to “not lately” to “just last week.” But the response that made an impact to me was from Amanda Wright, CEO of Learning Connections. Amanda stated that she updated her bio’s the first of every month. I thought, what a great idea! Now normally I update my bio’s every month or two , but thanks to Amanda, I have actually scheduled it as a task on my calendar  month.

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Used under Creative Common License via Flickr

So, how often do you update your bio’s? I suggest you follow Amanda’s suggestion as I have, schedule the update on your calendar!

Why would you want to update them monthly?  Here are three quick reasons as to why:

1. You gain new followers and friends on a monthly basis, so make sure they have the updated information about what is important about you.

2. You may want to attract a different group of followers. As an example, if you work in education, you may want to focus your bio on your field of study to gain followers or connections in education.

3. Hobbies and interests change. If your new hobby is sailing, then use some keywords that related to sailing in your bio.

Social media, just like business, changes on a daily basis. You gain new followers, you lose followers, interests change, or your market can change. Change with your market and your interest; update your bio’s monthly.

Let me know in the comments below when you last updated your bio’s!  In the meantime, please excuse me; I need to update my own bio’s!

25 Blogging Tips on List 25

Thanks to my friend Misty McPadden, (@mistygirlph) I was recently included in a terrific resource post: 25 Blogging Tips You Need to Learn Today.  List25 was started by David Pegg (@iamdpegg) and Syed Balkhi (@syedbalkhi). The site compiles lesser-known intriguing information on a variety of subjects.

John-Lusher

My tips for this post encourages bloggers to  “Use Your Voice” when writing.  Allow me to expand on what I submitted for the article.

  • Write as you speak. When you write, make sure you are writing the same way you speak, using your words and your manner of speaking. For some reason when most of us sit in front of a screen to prepare an article or blog post, we try to write as someone else, not as ourselves.  Think about how you speak; how you carry on conversations with your friends or colleagues. Write in the same manner and vocabulary that you use daily.
  • Write for one person. As my manager told me when I was a new DJ at a radio station; picture yourself talking to one person, or having a conversation with one person. Obviously you want a lot of people to read your blog, but write it as if you were writing for just one person. This goes along with writing as you speak; if you write your posts in the same manner that you would speak in, the readers will get to know you.
  • Record yourself.  Yes, we all hate to listen to ourselves, but this can be a very valuable process. Recording yourself talking about the blog topic will help you to write as you speak and can help you avoid writers block. Relax and talk about the topic, then listen back to the recording and write your post! This can also help you to make sure you are not forgetting an important point in your post.
  • Don’t Post Just to Post. Regular blog posts are essential for your business and can greatly improve your search engine rankings; however, posting just to post is wasted time and space. It can also potentially alienate your readers.

Those are some of my tips; what are your favorites? Thank you again to Misty for asking me to be part of List25!

#OCSMS: A Resounding Success!

If you are a regular reader or subscriber, you know about my trip to California for the Orange County Social Media Summit – OCSMS. The event was amazing; a combination of learning, teaching and networking. Is it just a coincidence that Facebook scheduled their IPO for the same day?  I don’t think so; I believe they were trying to draw attention away from the OCSMS!  :)

700 people registered for the summit, another 750 + watched via a streaming service, and Pastor Rick Warren watched via his iPhone while getting his teeth cleaned! I would call that a major success for a first year effort.  A special thank you volunteer organizers Rochelle Veturis Coles, Haley Veturis, Chelsey Veturis and to Saddleback Church; plus a very special thank you to Pastor Warren for stopping by and speaking to the audience for a few moments.

OCSMS was a success due to the incredible network that the organizers, keynote speaker and panelists possess.  This event was conceived and designed by people in social media for people that want to learn more about social media. I believe that is why it was so well attended; a thirst for knowledge. I was honored to have honorary Orange County status bestowed upon me and to learn from some true thought leaders in social business! Not people that call themselves experts, but individuals that work in this medium every day. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram; these are tools we all use. The OCSMS helped thousands to learn more about how to proper use these tools for their businesses, non-profits and individual lives. 

Final statistics thanks to Rochelle Veturis Coles:

From Friday, May 18th alone, there were 4,625 #OCSMS tweets, created by 615 Twitter users, which reached more than 1,433,956 people – creating more than 11.4 million impressions.

We trended No. 1 on Twitter (in the Southern California area), and had more than 750 people join us, from all across the globe, via the livestream.

Event Post Coverage:

OC Social Media Summit at Saddleback Church

OC Register

 O.C. Social Media Summit Draws 1,000 for Interactive Day of Social Good

Ted Nguyen USA

Connect, Teach and Share at OC Social Media Summit Today

Marcie Taylor’s Blog

 Review of the 2012 Orange County Social Media Summit

My Old Towne Orange

 ORANGE COUNTY SOCIAL MEDIA SUMMIT

From our viewer in Australia – Potential Extractors

 VISUAL SOCIAL MEDIA YOU SHOULD BE USING NOW

Bad Redhead Media

 WAIT. I’M A ROCK STAR? #OCSMS

Rachel In the O.C.

Thanks to participants voting, OCSMS is going to help the Orangewood Children’s Foundation.

Connect. Teach. Share. 

 

 

Infographic: A World Without Wikipedia

In light of this weeks 24 hour blackout against SOPA, we thought it would be a good idea to explore what the world would be like without WIkipedia. Check it out below:

 

Online World Blacked Out<br />Created by: Online University

 

Want to connect with me?  That is easy, I am always on!  You can Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, add me to your Circles on Google+ and connect with me on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

Insignificant? Not at all!

I was blessed today to have another morning on this earth, and to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee on my deck as the sun started it’s journey across the sky.  I snapped this photo of the moon agains the backdrop of the blue sky and clouds and started pondering our significance in the universe.

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         Watching the final Space Shuttle mission and the landing of Atlantis took me back to my childhood; like most boys, I wanted to be an astronaut!  I still want to fly into space and look down upon the earth.  That would be so cool! Alas, that is not an option at this point, so I will just keep looking towards the Heaven’s and keep that dream alive!Looking to the stars and the vastness of the universe, or even our own lives, it is easy to feel insignificant, but that is not the case. We all touch countless lives as we live our life.  The people we see each day and interact with, our family, friends, co-workers, we impact them all.  Are you impacting those lives in a positive manner?  Am I?  That is the constant question.Working in and spending a considerable amount of time in social media, I communicate with thousands of people. I am always aware of this and strive to make a positive impact in those lives.  I hope I do.  If you spend time in social media or social networking, you have a similar opportunity.  You have the opportunity to  make a significant impact or difference in the lives of others. Before you send that next Tweet or post something to one of your profiles, think about that.  Think about how it will impact your friends and followers, as well as your own reputation.  Will it be positive and supportive or negative?  However you choose to impact others, just know you do, and treat those “virtual” relationships with care; these are real people on the other side of the screen.How do you make a significant difference in the lives of others? 

Facebook Changes: Improvements?

Facebook announced exciting changes during their live video conference today.  Do you believe these are improvements?Announced today:

  1. Video Calling with Skype
  2. New Chat Design, complete with Buddy Lists
  3. Group Chatting

The partnership with Skype was something necessary and a natural next step for the two companies.  It solidifies Skype’s place in the social environment and it helps Facebook to continue to grow in the wake of Google + 1.Do you see these changes as improvements?  For businesses that use Facebook to connect and stay in communication with their client and potential clients; this is HUGE!  Imagine interfacing with fans and clients directly off of your Facebook Business Page!  Holding a Group Chat Session with employees in other locations!  It’s all about being connected, being responsive and humanizing business.How will these compete with Google + 1 ?  Too soon to tell; and in reality, it is two different situations; but it does raise the bar for both Facebook and Skype in our social environment.

Roll With The Changes

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At the outset, I apologize to the readers of my blog; my updates and posts have been very sporadic lately and I committed to blogging more frequently.While life sometimes throws us curve balls that we don’t see coming,  most likely these pitches allow us the the opportunity to knock one out o the park! That’s a good description of what has been happening in my life and in my business.  Changes that I will explain more completely soon, but opportunities for partnerships and strategic alliances have arisen that otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to embrace; trust me, it’s all good!So, while we may not always expect the changes; we should roll with them and embrace what is going to happen next!  We should Roll With the Changes.Saddle up friends, it is going to be a fun ride!Oh, and if you love classic rock, you know why I used the REO Speedwagon album cover; if not, click on the  link in the picture to listen to the song.As my Twitter brother @VincentHunt would say, et’s GO!