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?

It’s About Time

Several years ago, a business owner and sales manager uttered these words that have resonated with me throughout my life: ” I can give you all of the training and tools you need to succeed, but I cannot give you more time.”

Image used under Creative Common License

When you stop and think about it, that may be one of the truest statements ever spoken because we can never give ourselves more time. I chuckle when I read or hear advertisements that claim, “we can save you time.”  Really?  How do you actually save time?  Do you have a special box that you put time in so that I can use it later?  Of course not, we can’t save time; we can only make better use of the time we are given.

[Read more…]

Self Promotion Is A Social Turn Off

n Sh I enjoy working closely with the team at The Social Buzz Lab; true professionals that know their stuff! I recently published this post on their site and wanted to share it here. Do you know people that constantly promote only themselves via their social channels? Does it turn you off as much as it does the rest of us?

 

Self Promotion makes me sick! Doesn’t it you?8

If you will indulge me just a bit, this post is going to be a combination of ranting against something that irritates me along with thoughts and action steps on how to “not be that person.” Because let’s face it, no one wants to be that person!

me Self Promotion is a Social Turn Off

 

[Read more…]

The Negative Effects of Social Media to Teenagers

Do you have a teenager?  Do you police their use of social media or limit how much time they spend on social sites?  We are pleased to provide this guest post by Agnes Embile Jimenez, a blogger that does work with The Family Compass

The Negative Effects of Social Media to Teenagers

Whether we choose to admit it or not, social media may produce a plethora of negative effects on teenagers today. With the Internet and smart phone, they have constant access to social media networks. Although many parents dismiss their teenager’s issues as part of the adolescent stage, they need to accept the fact that their teens may be going through more than they let on. Here are a few of the possible adverse effects that social media may cause on teens.

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Image courtesy of Flickr via Creative Common License.

[Read more…]

Power to the Online People

Where were you when news of the tsunami hit Japan in 2011? How about when Michael Jackson died? Probably online, according to many experts who claim that social media has become the main media source for hundreds of millions of people. Not just in the U.S., either; Facebook alone has more than 900 million users spread across the globe as of 2012. Other social media giants like Twitter have facilitated revolution against unjust leaders and warned people of impending natural disaster. In fact, so many people regularly interact online that if the Internet were a nation, it would exceed the Americas, Europe and the Middle East combined in population. No wonder more than 13 million members of the online community used Reddit and other media platforms to protest SOPA, a proposed Internet censorship bill. Keep this graphic in mind next time you log on, because knowledge is power — and a little knowledge goes a long way in the Internet Age. [Read more…]

You Can’t Please Everyone….So Stop Trying!

During a recent weekend getaway, I received a Twitter DM from a follower that stated, “Bye u ignore me so gone.” My first reaction was lthe same as most people, scratching my head and wondering why they felt like I had ignored them Since I was away for the weekend and taking an unsual break from Twitter, I decided to not respond until my rest and relaxation was over; and until I had time to think through my response to this person. In pondering how to respond, I decided to not respond at all. Why? Because if that person felt like I had ignored them, were my words going to change their mind? Probably not. At least in my opinion.

Photo

[Read more…]

John’s Law

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If you are a regular ready of my blog, you know that I recently participated in the Orange County Social Media Summit.  The cornerstone of my presentation at the #OCSMS, and my business in general is promoting others more than I promote myself.  I still promote my own business through various channels and communities, but promoting others is more important to me. 

I believe in promoting others so much that I have developed a scheduled activity to ensure it is part of my business. I call it John’s Law.  The basis of the law is this: spend one day per week promoting others more than myself.

Let’s take a look at how I approach this:

John’s Law

  • One day per week, I promote someone from my network or community.
  • This promotion focuses on their business or a cause they are passionate about or possibly an upcoming event.
  • I enlist others throughout my network and communiites to re-share and Retweet.
  • I ask permission first, and then ask if there may be areas of their business that needs more attention or more promotion.
  • I follow up by asking them who they need to meet.

This is old-fashioned, referral based marketing. I am promoting others, after gaining their permission and finding out what they need or want promoted and then I further the promotion by introducing these professionals to my network and communities. 

You may be asking yourself, “what does he get out of this?” I’m glad you asked. I get the satisifaction of promoting others; or doing something that’s not about me. It provides my friends and associates with an opportunity to gain new contacts and potentially business opportunities while building my relationship with the person that is being promoted.

So, I ask you; Who Are You Promoting Today?

Cellular Jerks: Where Are Your Manners?

We have all witnessed people with terrible cell phone manners; in a restaurant, at the movies, and virtually everywhere else.  I wonder if this behavior is symbolic of our manners in general? Have we become so relaxed with our manners that we throw decorum and decency out the window?  I think in some ways we have. Not sure what the answer is, but it is a growing and noticeable problem. I believe change should begin with us; the more we watch our own manners, the more we can potentially influence others.

This sponsored Infographic provides some interesting stats on those Cellular Jerks.

 

Cellular Jerks: Where Are Your Mobile Manners<br />Presented by: OnlineCollege.org 

An Insider???s Guide to Social Media Etiquette

Thank you Chris Brogan for this post and for graciously letting me share it with my readers.

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I receive a lot of questions about various points of etiquette with regards to social media. I also observe instances where I wish people knew some of the more common etiquette, because they seem like wonderful people, who maybe have made a mistake because they didn’t know better. To that end, I thought I’d give a brief set of ideas around social media etiquette. You’re very welcome to add to these in the comments. There will be a mix of do’s and don’ts, and remember this above all else: you’re doing it wrong.

Social Media Etiquette: Your Appearance

  • Your avatar picture shouldn’t be a logo. We don’t meet logos at parties, do we? You can include a logo, but make it you.
  • Unless you’re a fictional character, more often than not, your avatar should be you. Amazing Simpson-like renditions of you are interesting for about four hours.
  • Your Facebook profile pic can be not you, but it often means that others might not accept your friend request. It feels creepy friending a four year old kid (avatar).
  • Your picture can be you from 10 or 15 years ago, but that first face to face meeting is going to be jarring.
  • It doesn’t take a lot of work to take a decent pic. Why use those “me cut out from posing with someone while I have red eyes” photos?

Social Media Etiquette: Friending

  • You’re not obligated to follow/friend anyone. No matter what. Not even your mother. (I follow my mother, btw).
  • If you decide to unfollow someone, don’t make a big stink and announce why. Just leave.
  • It’s okay to let the competition follow you. It’s okay to follow the competition.
  • Famous people don’t always want to follow back. I’m looking at you, Justin Bieber!
  • You can set your own rules on Facebook. I’m in the process of moving everyone to a fan page and just keeping VERY close family and friends.

Social Media Etiquette: Conversation

  • Commenting about other people’s stuff and promoting other people’s stuff is very nice.
  • Retweeting people’s praise of you comes off as jerky. Just thank them.
  • If you retweet something interesting, always give credit for who found it first.
  • Facebook wall comment streams can get long. Don’t grumble. If you’re along for the ride, it’ll end some day.
  • Promote others more often than you promote yourself. My long-standing measure is 12:1. (If it doesn’t work at first, it’s because maybe you’re not sincere in your promoting of others).
  • Listening is important and commenting is important. Be the #1 commenter on your blog. (See next one)
  • It’s okay to NOT comment back for every single comment you receive. It’s nice when you can respond, but don’t litter the comments with a bunch of “Thanks, Judy.” People know you care, if you’re doing it right.
  • If you are talking about someone in a blog post, link to them. Steve Garfield is a pro at this.
  • If you’re really nice, you’ll think about link text and help them even more by linking to Internet video expert Steve Garfield. Make sense?
  • Links do matter to Google and to the people you care about. When you can, give them a link.

    Social Media Etiquette: Disclosure

    (Note: I’ve written about disclosure before).

    • If you’re writing about a client, add (client) to the tweet/post/update.
    • If you’re selling me something with an affiliate link, disclose that in the tweet/post/update.
    • If there’s a material reason (or perception of such) that you want me to take an action or click a link, tell me.
    • Tell me once in the post, and once again on a disclosure page. I use part of my about page for disclosures. See also: one of my other favorite disclosure pages (for cheekiness).
    • Make sure your audience comfortably knows your motives, and everything goes better.

    Social Media Etiquette: Promoting

    • Promote as if you’re at a cocktail party. It’s not the same as your email blast list.
    • Promote others, and it’s much more likely people will help promote you when it’s your turn.
    • Leave room for retweets. Writing 139 characters won’t get you anywhere.
    • Promoting on Facebook is MUCH nicer on my wall than in my private messages. (Do you agree?)
    • It’s probably okay to promote something 4x a day on a social network, so that you hit all the time zones appropriately. In the last hour, you can always give it a couple more pushes, but that’s about it.
    • Direct messaging people for promotion help is often annoying. It happens much more than you know.
    • Your cause isn’t always our cause. If we don’t want to help, don’t badger.
    • Things where you have to get 1,000 tweets to raise money are litter on Twitter. Things to get 1,000 “likes” on Facebook are fine. (Remember, however, that a “like” gives your demographic data to the thing that you’ve liked, plus permission for that page to message you privately.)

    Social Media Etiquette: Content Production

    • You can post as often as you want on your blog. It’s your blog. Monthly will probably fade from our memory. Weekly could work. Daily is my favorite. Some people post many times a day. It’s up to you.
    • You can tweet as often as you want, but people unfollow “noisy” tweeters (I get unfollowed often).
    • You can update Facebook often, and if you’re running pages, you might want to update 3-4 times a day, I’m starting to observe.
    • Depending on your blog’s purpose, be wary of over-selling. (I ran into this personally.) Make sure you’re still providing great community value.
    • If you find great content from other places, use it only after you understand whether you have permission to do so, and under the terms that the people have set.
    • If you’re linking and sharing someone else’s blog post (which is good to do), it’s also wonderful when you add something to it. Add some commentary. Add a thought or two as to why it matters to your community.
    • If someone’s work inspires your own post, it’s a nice thing to “hat tip” them with a link to the post that inspired you, somewhere in the post (usually down at the bottom).
    • If you go a long time between blog updates, don’t write a “sorry I haven’t written lately” post. No one cares. Just publish something good.

    Social Media Etiquette: Sharing is Caring

  • Every blog I know has a share/like/tweet/stumble button at the bottom or somewhere. They’re there for a reason. If you like the article, pushing those buttons is a “tip jar” for the artist. Push it. It doesn’t take long.
  • If you’re reading in Google Reader, sharing is as simple as “[SHIFT] S” and that goes to everyone who reads your shared items.
  • Tell the blogger when you love something they’ve done. People’s #1 complaint to me when they’re starting out blogging is that they lack any feedback. It’d take you 30 seconds to do, and would change a person’s perspective for a whole day.
  • Comments in Twitter are temporary moments in a stream. Comments on the blog post itself are forever, in the best (and worst) of ways.
  • The web thrives on links and social sharing. The more YOU do to participate, the more people will create material for free for you to enjoy.

    Your Mileage Will Vary

    For every idea above, there’s an exception. For every idea above, there’s a great reason to do the opposite. If you’re doing it differently than above, you’re not wrong. You’re doing it your way. Okay, I lied: you’re doing it wrong.I look forward to your thoughts, disagreements, counter-posts, additional thoughts, sharing, and more.

  • John’s Thoughts

    Chris nails the topic of Social Media Etiquette; and if you think about it, most of what we are talking about here is common sense.  I believe one of the powers of social media is the fact that we can support and promote each other.  It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take effort!What are your thoughts?

    An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette

    Thank you Chris Brogan for this post and for graciously letting me share it with my readers.

    I receive a lot of questions about various points of etiquette with regards to social media. I also observe instances where I wish people knew some of the more common etiquette, because they seem like wonderful people, who maybe have made a mistake because they didn’t know better. To that end, I thought I’d give a brief set of ideas around social media etiquette. You’re very welcome to add to these in the comments. There will be a mix of do’s and don’ts, and remember this above all else: you’re doing it wrong.

    Social Media Etiquette: Your Appearance

    • Your avatar picture shouldn’t be a logo. We don’t meet logos at parties, do we? You can include a logo, but make it you.
    • Unless you’re a fictional character, more often than not, your avatar should be you. Amazing Simpson-like renditions of you are interesting for about four hours.
    • Your Facebook profile pic can be not you, but it often means that others might not accept your friend request. It feels creepy friending a four year old kid (avatar).
    • Your picture can be you from 10 or 15 years ago, but that first face to face meeting is going to be jarring.
    • It doesn’t take a lot of work to take a decent pic. Why use those “me cut out from posing with someone while I have red eyes” photos?

    Social Media Etiquette: Friending

    • You’re not obligated to follow/friend anyone. No matter what. Not even your mother. (I follow my mother, btw).
    • If you decide to unfollow someone, don’t make a big stink and announce why. Just leave.
    • It’s okay to let the competition follow you. It’s okay to follow the competition.
    • Famous people don’t always want to follow back. I’m looking at you, Justin Bieber!
    • You can set your own rules on Facebook. I’m in the process of moving everyone to a fan page and just keeping VERY close family and friends.

    Social Media Etiquette: Conversation

  • Commenting about other people’s stuff and promoting other people’s stuff is very nice.
  • Retweeting people’s praise of you comes off as jerky. Just thank them.
  • If you retweet something interesting, always give credit for who found it first.
  • Facebook wall comment streams can get long. Don’t grumble. If you’re along for the ride, it’ll end some day.
  • Promote others more often than you promote yourself. My long-standing measure is 12:1. (If it doesn’t work at first, it’s because maybe you’re not sincere in your promoting of others).
  • Listening is important and commenting is important. Be the #1 commenter on your blog. (See next one)
  • It’s okay to NOT comment back for every single comment you receive. It’s nice when you can respond, but don’t litter the comments with a bunch of “Thanks, Judy.” People know you care, if you’re doing it right.
  • If you are talking about someone in a blog post, link to them. Steve Garfield is a pro at this.
  • If you’re really nice, you’ll think about link text and help them even more by linking to Internet video expert Steve Garfield. Make sense?
  • Links do matter to Google and to the people you care about. When you can, give them a link.

    Social Media Etiquette: Disclosure

    (Note: I’ve written about disclosure before).

    • If you’re writing about a client, add (client) to the tweet/post/update.
    • If you’re selling me something with an affiliate link, disclose that in the tweet/post/update.
    • If there’s a material reason (or perception of such) that you want me to take an action or click a link, tell me.
    • Tell me once in the post, and once again on a disclosure page. I use part of my about page for disclosures. See also: one of my other favorite disclosure pages (for cheekiness).
    • Make sure your audience comfortably knows your motives, and everything goes better.

    Social Media Etiquette: Promoting

    • Promote as if you’re at a cocktail party. It’s not the same as your email blast list.
    • Promote others, and it’s much more likely people will help promote you when it’s your turn.
    • Leave room for retweets. Writing 139 characters won’t get you anywhere.
    • Promoting on Facebook is MUCH nicer on my wall than in my private messages. (Do you agree?)
    • It’s probably okay to promote something 4x a day on a social network, so that you hit all the time zones appropriately. In the last hour, you can always give it a couple more pushes, but that’s about it.
    • Direct messaging people for promotion help is often annoying. It happens much more than you know.
    • Your cause isn’t always our cause. If we don’t want to help, don’t badger.
    • Things where you have to get 1,000 tweets to raise money are litter on Twitter. Things to get 1,000 “likes” on Facebook are fine. (Remember, however, that a “like” gives your demographic data to the thing that you’ve liked, plus permission for that page to message you privately.)

    Social Media Etiquette: Content Production

    • You can post as often as you want on your blog. It’s your blog. Monthly will probably fade from our memory. Weekly could work. Daily is my favorite. Some people post many times a day. It’s up to you.
    • You can tweet as often as you want, but people unfollow “noisy” tweeters (I get unfollowed often).
    • You can update Facebook often, and if you’re running pages, you might want to update 3-4 times a day, I’m starting to observe.
    • Depending on your blog’s purpose, be wary of over-selling. (I ran into this personally.) Make sure you’re still providing great community value.
    • If you find great content from other places, use it only after you understand whether you have permission to do so, and under the terms that the people have set.
    • If you’re linking and sharing someone else’s blog post (which is good to do), it’s also wonderful when you add something to it. Add some commentary. Add a thought or two as to why it matters to your community.
    • If someone’s work inspires your own post, it’s a nice thing to “hat tip” them with a link to the post that inspired you, somewhere in the post (usually down at the bottom).
    • If you go a long time between blog updates, don’t write a “sorry I haven’t written lately” post. No one cares. Just publish something good.

    Social Media Etiquette: Sharing is Caring

  • Every blog I know has a share/like/tweet/stumble button at the bottom or somewhere. They’re there for a reason. If you like the article, pushing those buttons is a “tip jar” for the artist. Push it. It doesn’t take long.
  • If you’re reading in Google Reader, sharing is as simple as “[SHIFT] S” and that goes to everyone who reads your shared items.
  • Tell the blogger when you love something they’ve done. People’s #1 complaint to me when they’re starting out blogging is that they lack any feedback. It’d take you 30 seconds to do, and would change a person’s perspective for a whole day.
  • Comments in Twitter are temporary moments in a stream. Comments on the blog post itself are forever, in the best (and worst) of ways.
  • The web thrives on links and social sharing. The more YOU do to participate, the more people will create material for free for you to enjoy.

    Your Mileage Will Vary

    For every idea above, there’s an exception. For every idea above, there’s a great reason to do the opposite. If you’re doing it differently than above, you’re not wrong. You’re doing it your way. Okay, I lied: you’re doing it wrong.I look forward to your thoughts, disagreements, counter-posts, additional thoughts, sharing, and more.

  • John’s Thoughts

    Chris nails the topic of Social Media Etiquette; and if you think about it, most of what we are talking about here is common sense.  I believe one of the powers of social media is the fact that we can support and promote each other.  It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take effort!What are your thoughts?