Category Archives: Twitter
While many believe that Christmas cards are becoming a tradition of the past, I say we all need to send more Christmas (holiday) cards. It’s important that we send cards of Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa) blessings, include family photos, and most of all, send a letter journaling what you and your family (and pets) has been involved in the past 12 months. People who care about you really want to know and appreciate hearing from you. (especially out of town family) This is typically the only time of year that it is culturally accepted to send one family letter to hundreds of people. So just do it!
Please, please don’t use the excuse that Christmas letters and stamps cost too much money. It’s almost always a question of priority. Ask yourself; what is value of nurturing your relationships versus sacrificing a couple of 6 packs, or a few of those fancy coffee drinks, or not buying that new outfit with shoes that you will only wear once? Families and friends should always come first!
In this new age of information, too many of us are inundated with digital, quick to the point messages through Instant Chat, Text & Twitter. It’s easy to see why email is the preferred form of communication in today’s workplace and at home. However, digital, impersonal, often short, email messages can never bond relationships.
If we really want to stay connected, it’s imperative that we spend more REAL TIME with family & friends throughout the year. In addition, send a REAL SendOutCard.com/loryfabian 3 panel Christmas letter to your friends and family updating them on your tough times as well as your family’s achievements and happy times over the past year.
Send a warm, humorous, and genuine letter about yourself and your family. Remember, none of us live edited lives, so never feel like you have to write one. Share the good, the bad & perhaps only a little nugget of the ugly. A lot of times, your letter will prompt others to send a letter back to you.
Another idea for this year; think about writing a letter to Yourself. Send a letter journalizing your celebrations over the past year. Document the tiny changes you made that have made a big difference in your everyday life. Include a paragraph or two on what you are grateful for over the past year and who you are grateful to have in your life. Choose from pages and pages of beautiful blank cards to write your letter on.
And lastly, write a second letter, dated this time next year, in which you describe how your dreams came true. In it, outline your ideal life in detail – exactly what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, who’s doing it with you.
Write these two Christmas letters for your eyes only. This is a letter to not only the world, but to the Universe declaring your aspirations in concrete form. It’s the same as writing down your goals. It can be the most powerful of motivational tools because it engages your emotions increasing the pulses of creative energy your subconscious mind needs to transform a reverie into reality perfected. (idea source – Sarah Ban Breathnach)
SendOutCards.com recently sent out their 100,000,000th (100 millionths) card. There is magic in card sending. If you want to create your own magic this year, visit my website at:
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy Kwanzaa, To You All!
What do you use as your daily Social Media dashboard every day?
Most likely not Twitter.com I am guessing.
Yet, in recent months, there were a great number of browser extensions released, specifically for Twitter.com. They help you create a much greater experience right inside Twitter.com.
What I like best about this is that you are in charge regarding how many bells and whistles you are adding. You can basically fully customize your own Social Media dashboard.
So here are my top 5 finds you can use to make Twitter.com a truly powerful Social Media tool for you:
Tool #1. Klout for Chrome
Function: Find top users more easily
There has been a lot of discussion around Klout in the last few months. One aspect, where it helps me greatly to make my daily Social Media life more efficient, is deciding how to best interact.
When I only have a few minutes at hand every morning, being able to glance through my Twitter stream with everyone’s Klout score next to their Tweets is a great filter. It helps me make better decisions and at the same time deepen my most important connections:
Tool #2. Buffer
Functions: Optimal timing, multiple accounts posting and old school retweets
Another extension I am using every day is Buffer’s Chrome extension. It puts a brand new Buffer button right into Twitter.com next to your Tweet button. If you click it, you can conveniently add any new Tweet to your Buffer to be posted later on at a better time:
The extension also allows you to Buffer your retweets, either posting them now in old school retweet style or later on, when more of your followers will be online.
There is plenty of more places you can now Buffer from on Twitter.com. Personally, I love going through my Twitter lists of top Social Media experts, Buffering everything that’s handy, without flooding my followers.
Tool #3. Pocket
Function: Save your best article finds to be read later
How often does it happen to you, that you come across a terrific article, but can’t read it right now because you are just too busy? From now on, instead of letting it go into Twitter’s limbo, just save it to be read later on with Pocket’s browser extension:
This way, you can save any article you are finding on Twitter to a reading list available any time later on for you. Personally, I found this to be a terrific way to just spend a few minutes browsing, and “pocketing” everything worth exploring later on:
Tool #4. Tweet Filter
Function: Unclutter your Twitter stream from the noise
One problem I have on Twitter is that it often takes lots of Tweets to glance through, until I spot one that is worth reading. And a lot of the time, it’s not even the people, it’s just that I am looking for certain things throughout the day.
With Tweet Filter, you can easily customize this for your own Twitter stream, getting rid of those Tweets that don’t add any value for you at that moment. Filter out words like “4sq, twitpic or award”. Whatever happens to add little value to you:
Tool #5. Embedly
Function: Get full media previews right inside Twitter.com
The last goodie I have for you to really make Twitter.com as powerful as it gets is a neat extension called Embedly. It allows you to expand any Tweet to show you the full article or video view right inside Twitter.com:
I find this to be a huge time saver. You don’t have to click through and see if the headline is really what you expected, but you can just read the first few paragraphs right where you discover that content:
5 Quick Workflow Tips To Optimize Your Day On Twitter
Adding those 5 lightweight solutions to your Chrome browser have saved me hours of time every day. In case this helps you at all with your personal workflow, here is how I approach every morning on Twitter with just 20 minutes per day:
1.Glance through Tweets spotting the best ones using the Klout extension.
2.Previewing the articles I like best with Embedly right on Twitter.com
3.Saving those I want to go into more detail with Pocket to read later on
4.Adding the best Tweets straight to my Buffer as old school retweets.
5.Filter out any words that annoy me with Tweet Filter (this is something I don’t do daily though)
Hugs and Peace to Jeff.. Jeff Bullas is one of my Fav Tweeters. If you’re looking for a short cut to growing your business, be sure to follow Jeff Bullas on Twitter!
As all bloggers know, blogging doesn’t only come down to just writing your post,
publishing it and waiting for reactions.
It is much more than that, but let’s focus on the post-publishing stage…
You have finished writing. You have also come up with a compelling title. What else needs to be done? Which are the steps you need go through after having published your new blog post?
The following article is a simple blog checklist to some of the more important, but often neglected blogging tasks that will ensure maximum exposure for your newly written article:
Have You Added ALT Tags to Your Images?
As you probably know, ALT tags actually the only way of telling the search engines that you have an image in your blog post. If you don’t add an ALT tag, describing what’s in the image you’ve uploaded, then the crawlers will see the post as plain text and nothing more. Having the tag and of course using it properly by adding relevant keywords can help you improve rankings. It doesn’t take more than two minutes, so just fill in the blanks after adding the images!
Further reading: “4 Reasons Why You Must Add Images to Every Blog Post You Publish“
Did You Choose a Category for Your Blog Post?
That is probably the one I forget about the most. Adding your posts to categories is a great way to organize them so that they are easy to find.
The best thing to do would be to get that one sorted out right from the start. Choosing a relevant category before even starting to write will ensure that you don’t forget that step. It’s good for search engines, it’s good for poeple, so make sure you get it done.
Did You Notify Your List Subscribers?
What about the ones who have signed up for email updates? Your list subscribers are the ones who have the highest chance of taking action. These are the folks you can really count on.
Email lists are mostly there to provide subscribers with exclusive content. That does not at all mean that you should not keep them informed about what’s going on with your blog.
Connecting an RSS feed and following the required steps doesn’t take more than ten minutes and it’s well worth the effort. I would advice you to use your post title and a prefix such as “New article” or “New blog post” as a subject line.
I discovered that messages like “New Content from *blog name*” don’t work that well. It is a bit annoying when the visitor needs to click on the email and wait for it to load in order to see the title of the post.
Did You Share it on the Blogging Networks?
The good old blogging networks are still worth submitting to. The concept behind such sites is voting on blog posts also known as stories. The stories that reach a certain threshold of votes get featured on the main page thus receiving additional exposure.
All in all the traffic you can get is not huge, but submitting takes no more than 15 minutes so it’s not a big deal. The 4 blogging networks I submit every one of my articles to are BlogEngage, Blokube, BizSugar and Inbound. The process is straight forward, you just need to paste the story’s URL in the desired box and fill in some additional details.
Did You Add a Keyword or Two to Your Title?
Catchy titles are a must if you want high click-through rates on your tweets (see “Titles that Get Retweets“), Facebook and all kinds of other shares. However you should also always think form SEO perspective.
I myself never put too much weight on SEO when creating content, but a keyword or two, clearly showing the direction of what you are going to present won’t hurt at all. After having finished with the writing part, check and double check if your title follows some basic SEO rules. Best, especially for longer headlines, would be to include the most important keyword right in the beginning of the title. Don’t aim for too generic terms such as blogging tips or social media, but rather try some more long-tail phrases.
Have You Pinged it?
It is always a good idea to ping the post after publishing it. This is a sure way to let search engines, RSS feeders, etc. know that you have new content ready for them. Pinging immediately updates such services so your have a better chance of your new article getting indexed faster.
This is also good if you have published the post, and done some modifications to the title. If you don’t ping it, it might take a ton of time for RSS feeders to update to the new title, while doing it will update it instantaneously.
The service I recommend is Ping-O-Matic. Once you set it up to work for your site, you can just save the link as a bookmark and click on it whenever there’s new content to be pinged. Super simple! Pingler (download as Firefox or Chrome add-on) is another great tool I use after editing an already published post.
Did You Share Your Post on Facebook?
An obvious one. What I do is share the post both on my personal wall and on my fan page right after publishing the article. I used to do it with Buffer (see “5 Great Twitter Tools“) but now I switched to just copying and pasting the link manually. The thing I didn’t like about the way Buffer does it is that the footer of the message is modified with some elments being placed differently.
For the two months of using that approach, I came to the conclusion that people don’t want posts from 3rd party apps on Facebook.
There is also something else you can do to get more attention and likes on your fan page. Clicking on the date of the post will load it separately from your stream. That way you can copy that link, shorten it with bit.ly and post it on Twitter. Doing so will get people to first visit your Facebook page rather than your blog.
And What About Twitter?
Apart from tweeting the post on your Facebook page, the best way to get initial retweets on your new article is to be the first to tweet it. Add something like “New blog post: *Article title and link*” and tweet it. Doing that once doesn’t cut it though.
If you want to get as many visitors as you can, you need to tweet the post throughout the first day of publishing it. That doesn’t mean bombard your followers with hourly tweets. However 3-4 times in the span of 24 hours definitely won’t be a problem.
StumbleUpon is Also Worth a Try!
I have been using StumbleUpon for almost two years now and I have received thousands of visitors throughout the months.
My advice after submitting there is to tweet the post from within StumbleUpon’s toolbar. Doing the tweeting from StumbleUpon will post the tweet with the su.pr shortener, which is a good way to get additional visitors. Then you need to share the post (again via the toolbar) with your mutual followers. Make sure to write a message, encouraging poeple to like, share and retweet the post. Keep in mind not to sound too promotional.
Hug and Peace to Reviewz & Tips.
In May 2012, a new free social media tool called Klouchebag hit the web. If you haven’t played around with it already, it’s a tool that tells you how … uh … annoying you are on Twitter. Yeah, we’ll just go with “annoying” for the sake of this blog post. But it got me thinking: social media can be chock full of valuable content, but it’s often buried among the mundane and useless social media updates, or hidden behind poorly constructed social media profiles. And this makes a marketer’s job mighty hard.
So this post is going to outline all of the worst offenders we’ve seen in social media. If none of these apply to you, congratulations! Use these as entertainment over your lunch break. Otherwise, consider these cautionary tales to help protect your own social media strategy.
13 Ways to Make People Hate Your Social Media Presence
- Launching a Private Social Media Account
Social media is about talking with and meeting new people. It’s right there in the name — social media. So why on earth would you set up a social media account and then set it to, gulp, private? That’s exactly what CVS did when they launched its CVS_Cares Twitter account. If you had tried to follow them around launch time, this is what you would have seen:
Seriously? Well, luckily they learned their lesson and now have a fantastic, active, public account! Remember, the benefits of using social media for your business are virtually wiped out when your social media accounts aren’t public — it prevents you from growing your reach, getting visibility for the content you publish, and growing referral traffic and leads back to your website.
- 2) Having a Disproportionate Follower:Following Ratio
Have you ever seen an interesting tweet or gotten an alert that someone new is following you on Twitter, open up their profile to learn more about them and see if they’re someone you’re interested in following, and see one of the following screens?
Let’s break down each scenario, starting with that first set of data. This particular tweeter is following 825 people, but only 21 people have decided to follow him/her back. Why might that be? Well, the account only has 8 tweets. That’s not enough content to convince people you’re a worthy account to follow. Instead of maniacally following hundreds of people with the hope that one follows you back, spend time writing interesting tweets, linking to great content that you and others have created, and retweeting others’ tweets to build relationships and earn your followers.
Now let’s take a look at the second set of data. 4,044 people are following this person, and he/she has only returned the favor for 5 people. What gives? We just got done talking about how social media is a social platform … and that doesn’t sound like a two-way conversation to me. In this particular scenario, there are enough tweets to back up the large followership, but a lack of reciprocation such as this can rub many people the wrong way and prevent you from growing your social media reach at the highest rate possible.
- 3) Writing Updates That Are Too Long
Did you know that Facebook lets you post an update that is 63,206 characters long? Nokia did. In fact, when Facebook expanded the character limit this past February, they took it as an opportunity to test the limits with this expansive status update on their Facebook page. If you’re counting, I cut it off a little less than halfway through.
Obviously, this was a joke (and a great marketing move!) by Nokia, but it certainly proves a point. Is anyone going to read so much text? If your updates are even approaching the length of the update in the screenshot above, get yourself an editor stat. In fact, data from Buddy Media shows that the ideal length for a Facebook update is less than 4 or 5 lines — posts under 80 characters receive 27% more engagement.
- 4) The Airing of Grievances
You know what no one cares about? This.
Late last year, a Boloco employee tweeted about disliking her job at Boloco. Bad move, but pretty common. What ensued was a dramatic Twitter firestorm from the Boloco CEO, a truncated version of which is pictured above. It all started when he took to firing the employee over Twitter, and then tweets shot back and forth about the situation, attracting horrified onlookers.
The lesson? Keep your personal business to yourself and off of social media — whether you’re an employee, or an employer. If your brand, or employees representing your brand, go on a rant like this, you look petty, unprofessional, and offer nothing of value to your audience. There’s not much else to say on this one except if you’re thinking about using your social media presence as a soapbox to rant and rave, step away from the keyboard and walk away. Your PR team will thank you for it!
- 5) Talking Smack About Competitors
It’s not just public rants that make you look petty. Attacking your competitors on social media makes you look just as unprofessional, and gives your more sensitive customers another place to send their business. Does anyone remember the Whole Foods case from the early to mid 2000s? For 7 years, Whole Foods CEO assumed an online identity completely unaffiliated with Whole Foods, visited forums and blogs, and posted complimentary comments about Whole Foods while smack talking a smaller direct competitor — who they then ventured to purchase. Aside from an SEC investigation when this was all uncovered, this type of behavior makes your organization look extremely unprofessional. Even if you’re tempted to draft a snarky Facebook update or pointed tweet, hold your tongue and rise above!
- 6) Making Off-Color Comments
Finally, the last in the series of reputation management disasters. You’d think it would go without saying that joking about or commenting and capitalizing on sensitive news is the wrong way to go about newsjacking. You’d think. But for some reason, every few months we hear about some brand or spokesperson making off-color comments to propel their Twitter following or make a few extra bucks. Remember this tweet from Kenneth Cole?
When considering popular topics in the news to discuss in your social media updates, remember that everyone has a different sensitivity level. Sure, pushing the boundaries is alright, but defer to your common sense; if you’re on the fence about whether you should post something, you probably shouldn’t.
- 7) Publicly Solving Customer Service Issues
Whether you like it or not, people will take to social media for customer support. Which is why more and more brands are being proactive by maintaining a social media presence (some have set up accounts dedicated solely to customer service, in fact) so they can handle questions and complaints expeditiously. Where some brands fall short, however, is failing to direct customers to an offline or private channel to actually solve their problems. Take a look at how KLM handles a customer service issue correctly on its Facebook page.
See how they sent Ali a private message to handle the details? That’s the right method — nobody wants to see how Ali is going to get a replacement card through a series of back-and-forth comments. The value is in seeing that KLM can handle all manner of customer service issues on its Facebook page, not how they solve them. Don’t clog up your fans’ and followers’ feeds with customer support, and show them that you’ll handle their problems quickly and professionally over email, the phone, direct message, Facebook message, etc.
- 8) Hijacking Hashtags
What’s hashtag hijacking, you ask? Here’s an example from HabitatUK, courtesy of Social Media Today.
Notice all those hashtags called out in red? At the time, they were very popular hashtags (some still are) that indicate lots of people on Twitter are talking about that particular subject. So if your tweet includes the hashtag, it will appear in that popular conversation. Great! More visibility for your content, right? Well, yes, but it’s not good visibility, because those hashtags have absolutely nothing to do with what
HabitatUK does — sell home furnishings. When you hashtag hijack, you’re putting irrelevant content out to the masses and frankly, spamming. That’s not the reputation you want to have in the social sphere.
- 9) Piling Your Tweets With Too Many Hashtags
Speaking of hashtags … Twitter has forced a certain kind of social media shorthand on us all. People r used 2 writing n reading updates in a dif way to fit everything into 140 characters. We’ve also all gotten used to reading through tweets interrupted by a hashtag — an annoyance, yes, but one that lets us piggyback on trending topics and find content related to our field more easily. But there’s such a thing as hashtag overload, as evidenced in this tweet:
I’m thrilled that this user shared my content! But including four hashtags — pretty generic ones, at that — make this tweet hard to read, give it a spammy feel, and doesn’t really contribute to the conversation around the subjects of social media, marketing, Google+, or Pinterest. Instead, choose one or two hashtags to include in your tweets that will really contribute to the conversation happening around those topics.
- 10) Insulting Your Customer Base
Seems obvious, right? It wasn’t to online pawn show Pawngo. After the 2012 Super Bowl, Pawngo dumped a huge pile of Butterfinger candy bars in the middle of Boston’s Copley Square a day after New England’s heartbreaking loss. The reference was to New England Patriot’s receiver Wes Welker dropping the catch that sealed the team’s Super Bowl loss. Take a look at one of the tweets Pawngo sent out leading up to the PR stunt:
Pawngo ✔@Pawngo We’re giving Boston a late morning snack to get over Sunday’s loss #butterfingers
7 Feb 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Seem like a low blow? Customers certainly took it that way — and they took to social media to let them know. Quite a different hashtag than the one above, eh?
PROPER @plymptonproper 8 Feb 12 @Pawngo You’re venture capital group shouldn’t be impressed by PR stunt. Good business is a game of addition, not subtraction. #Customerlost
Pawngo ✔@Pawngo @plymptonproper Sorry we lost you as a customer. If you live chat w/one of our reps on the site, u might realize that we’re not that bad
8 Feb 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Thing is, Pawngo really meant it to make Boston fans feel better; but it didn’t feel that way to Boston residents. Make sure you know your customers well enough to joke around with them before getting so familiar like Pawngo did.
- 11) “Targeting” Poorly With Automation
Otherwise known as spamming people. That’s what happened to AT&T back in March when they were trying to capitalize on the March Madness hoopla for which they had set up a promotion. The goal was to get the word out about their contest to those who would be interested, but what actually happened was poor targeting. Take former HubSpot employee Brian Whalley, for example, who was the recipient of one of AT&T’s tweet. Brian doesn’t follow AT&T, he has never been their customer, he doesn’t tweet about basketball, and there is no indication he is even a sports fan, according to his biIn fact, the only thing Brian had in his profile to indicate he might be interested in the March Madness promotion was the fact that he lives in one of the many cities in which the promotion was happening. And it wasn’t just Brian Whalley who noticed this problem, either. Thousands of spammy tweets had gone out to unsuspecting tweeters that had little or no interest in such a promotion. Which brings us to our next cringeworthy social media activity …
- 12) Posting WAY Too Frequently
Another result of AT&T’s social media automation snafu was a barrage of tweets that clogged up people’s news feeds. Take a look at this posting frequency:
That’s multiple tweets a minute. And nobody has that much remarkable, relevant content to share. Every social media network has a different optimal posting frequency. In fact, Twitter lets brands get away with the highest frequency of all the social networks because content is buried so quickly. But tweeting more than once an hour has shown to decrease the click-through rate of your links by over 200%, according to HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella. And if you’re using Facebook or Google+ for your brand’s social media presence, shoot for 3-5 updates per day.
- 13) Retweeting Instead of Generating Original Content
Okay, so I did a little photo editing of my own Twitter account to prove a point for this one, but it did come from a particularly RT-heavy week for me. See those green arrows in the top right corner of every tweet? Those indicate the tweet was written by another user, and retweeted by me to my followers.
Retweeting is a way to share someone else’s content — a good thing! But doing it to this extent is going too far. That’s because people have followed you to hear what you have to say. That means they want to hear your original ideas, see links to your content, and get access to the content others have published that you find valuable. If your balance tips too heavy on that last part, back off the RT button and start creating more of your own content that you can publish to your fans and followers.
Shout out to Corey Eridon @ HubSpot
Twitter has been around for a couple of years now and is now receiving over 50 Million unique visitors a month. It’s use as a tool for business has never been seen before in the history of the web. Twitters credibility has increased in recent months as it has struck deals with Bing (Microsoft’s search engine) as well as Google to provide real time search feeds. In this video we look at ten different ways you can use Twitter for business to increase revenue and traffic, improve service and reduce costs.
10 Reasons Why Twitter Is Great For Business
- You can monitor real time conversation about your brand that can assist your marketing and management teams to see what is really being about your company today (not tomorrow or next week as would be normal on Google or with Media and the Press) and modify marketing campaigns based on the monitoring.
- Perform real time searches about your industry including your monitoring your competitors and seeing what is being said on Twitter about them. Some tools that can be used for this are Tweetdeck (columns can be set up for each type of keyword or phrase) and Google alert amongst many
- Broadcast links and headlines that can drive traffic to your website, blog, landing pages and YouTube channels
- Improve customer service (A good case study on this is “ Zappos” an online shoe retailer) by picking up conversations about your company that you might not be aware of and respond quickly to shut down any impending service or potentially damaging PR disasters.
- Communicate and engage within your buinesses marketplace, sector or niche through direct messages commenting on their blogs via twitter and retweeting their tweets (You will be surprised how easily it can be to connect with someone that would not take a phone call or respond to an email).
- Run special deals and promotions on Twitter that you can use to drive traffic or move slow moving stock (exanple Dell)
- Build your your company’s and or personal brand through positioning yourself as a thought leader through posting great tweets and embedded links leading back to your blog or website
- Share your ideas internally in a very efficient manner through the latest feature from Twitter called lists that can be private or open
- It can be used to humanise a faceless conglomerate (see David Meerman Scotts Video at General Motors) and remove the company ivory tower persona by Tweeting about the real issues and responding to other people’s tweets within your industry.
- Connect to leaders in your industry through following other thought leaders and commenting on their tweets (Twitter etiquette usually means if you follow someone they follow you back)
So how are you using Twitter for business?
Note: I have also summarised the video’s content above in text format so that those who can’t view it due to slow internet connections or prefer reading to viewing can do so.
Thanks and shout out to Jeff! / http://www.jeffbullas.com/2009/11/18/10-ways-to-use-twitter-for-business/
Is your Twitter activity feeling stale?
The good news is that you can easily revitalize your Twitter experience!
Here are 16 ways to bring new life and renewed business purpose to your Twitter efforts.
#1: Organize whom you follow with lists
There are many people you need to follow on Twitter for business reasons such as customers, suppliers, neighboring businesses, peers and competitors. As the number of people you follow grows, so does the noise. It gets harder to hear the important messages among all of the others.
So how can you make sure you don’t miss anything important? Use Twitter lists.
Twitter lists are its most powerful and least-used feature. Lists allow you to group the important people you follow so they don’t get lost in the noise of everyone else.
You can create separate lists for:
- People in your industry
- Social media teachers
- People in professional organizations
By creating and using Twitter lists, you can focus on tweets from groups of people and decide when you want to see them, so tweets from important people don’t get lost.
You can create up to 20 different Twitter lists with up to 500 accounts in each list. You can monitor each list separately using Twitter.com or Twitter tools like HootSuite.
Tip: You don’t have to put everyone into a list.
#2: Create a conversation list
Whom you follow determines your daily experience of Twitter. If you follow people who inspire you, people who say intelligent things and challenge you to think differently, Twitter becomes a joy.
One smart way to focus on the people who inspire you (without ignoring everyone else) is to create a private conversation list.
Include in this list:
- People who inspire you in business
- People who inspire you personally
- People who are fun to talk with
Jump into the list when you are looking for inspiration or encouragement during your workday.
You can make your conversation list public or private. By creating a private list, you are the only person who knows who is on your list and when you make changes to the list. However, everything you say to people on this list is still public, so watch your words.
#3: Update your profile picture
Your Twitter profile picture appears next to every tweet you send. It’s an opportunity to associate an image with your business in the minds of everyone who follows you.
The challenge is that your Twitter profile picture is very small and square. For most businesses, your logo or personal headshot isn’t the right size or shape to represent you well.
If your profile picture is your logo:
- Make sure your logo fits into the square size. Cropped-off logos look unprofessional and give the impression that your business doesn’t care about the details.
- Make sure your logo is readable. If your logo contains words that cannot be read, you are wasting the space. Create an image without the words that captures the essence of your logo.
- Consider switching to a headshot. People connect with faces, not logos. If you are the driving force of your business, why not use your face to make your business seem more human and approachable?
If your profile picture is a photograph:
- Focus on your face. People don’t want to see you standing on the beach and they don’t care what clothes you are wearing.
- No animals or kids. Even if your business is directly related to pets or children, you should be the focus of your photograph. You want to make a human connection with potential customers.
While a professional photograph is ideal, you can have a friend use a camera to take a great shot of your face. Make sure you are photographed against a plain background, and don’t forget to smile. Take 20 or more shots so you can choose one that really captures you.
If you don’t have the skills to change your logo or crop your photo to the right shape, ask a friend or hire a graphic designer for an hour. The small investment will pay huge dividends in having a professional presence on Twitter.
#4: Change your visual branding
Twitter allows you to customize the look and colors of your Twitter profile page. This gives you an opportunity to provide additional information about your business to everyone who checks out your profile.
You can create a custom graphic and use it for your Twitter background.
Here are some great examples of Twitter backgrounds and instructions for how to create your own.
After you create the image file, you upload it to your profile. While you are there, you can adjust the background and link colors so they coordinate with your new background image. You will need the hex codes for the colors in your image if you want the background and links to match.
#5: Rewrite your Twitter bio
Your Twitter profile bio tells your business story in the length of a text message. That’s a lot of information crammed into just a few words.
The best Twitter profiles include these components:
- Tell people what you do
- Explain how you help people
- Show a little personality
Look at your business Twitter profile with fresh eyes. Then rewrite it so it tells potential customers how you can help them and what benefit they can get from connecting with you. And don’t forget to share a little of your passion!
Mark your calendar to review and update your Twitter bio again in 6 months, because even the best bio gets stale over time.
#6: Create a Twitter landing page
Are you frustrated by only having 160 characters for your Twitter bio? Then consider creating a special Twitter landing page.
Most people use their Twitter profile web link to drop people off at their website front door or their blog. But you can create a special Twitter landing page and use that page as your Twitter profile web address.
A Twitter landing page is a special page on your website designed to introduce people from Twitter to your business. It’s like having a greeter there to help people get the scoop on your business and how you use Twitter.
Your Twitter landing page could include:
- A personal message from you
- Details about your business products and services
- How to become a customer
- What you tweet about
- The people behind your Twitter account
Even though you have more space, keep your Twitter landing page short and to-the-point to make a great impression on your visitors.
#7: Rethink your follow strategy
Many Twitter accounts are not run by real people. They are automated programs called bots. And some of them are spammers.
There are bots that provide useful information. However, most bots are spewing out tweets from other people and other sources that are not on target for your Twitter business goals. They clog up your Twitter stream and don’t provide any business value.
You may not have known you were following a bot. Bots gain an audience by following many people and taking advantage of people who automatically follow back.
In general, it’s better not to follow automatically everyone who follows you if you want to avoid having your Twitter stream fill up with garbage.
So how can you spot a bot or spammer or someone whom you should not follow back?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Don’t follow people with an egg picture. If they haven’t bothered to upload a real profile picture, chances are they are not going to say anything worth hearing.
- Check their numbers. An account that follows many people but has only a few followers is probably a spammer.
- Review their tweets. Are they all retweets or quotes? Did they send the exact tweet to many users over a very short time? It’s probably a bot.
- They say it’s a bot in their bio. Yes, some bots will tell you they are bots in their bio.
- No favorite tweets or lists. A bot or spammer doesn’t mark tweets as favorites or create lists.
#8: Listen carefully and follow
Social media is all about conversations, and conversations mean that you talk and listen.
On Twitter, you can listen by:
- Reading tweets. This is the best way to find out what is on the minds of your Twitter community.
- Look for replies and mentions. Every time you check Twitter throughout the day, you should first check for direct messages and mentions. Mentions are public messages that include your Twitter handle and direct messages are private messages sent directly to you.
- Search for your business name. Sometimes, people talk about your business without using your Twitter username. You should regularly check Twitter for people who mention your business name by creating a search and saving it.
You should follow everyone who talks to you on Twitter. So as you find people talking about your business or talking directly to you, follow them.
#9: Publicize your Twitter account
Make it easy for people to find your business on Twitter by adding your Twitter username to all of your business materials.
For example, you should give your Twitter username in these locations:
- Your website (with a link)
- Your email signature (with a link)
- Your email newsletter (with a link)
- Your business cards
- Signs posted in your business
- Paperwork you give customers (receipts, invoices, statements, etc.)
- Menus and product information sheets
#10: Make sure you are following your customers
Twitter is a great place to talk with your customers. However, this means that you have to connect with them.
It’s impossible for you to know which of your customers are on Twitter. For that reason, it’s important for you to advertise your Twitter account to your customers. This way, your customers can find you.
How can you tell who is your customer on Twitter? Here are a few tips:
- They talk to you. Some customers may start a conversation with you using your Twitter handle. You should follow everyone who talks to your business.
- They mention your business. You should set up a saved search on Twitter so you can find people talking about your business. Always reply to people who mention your business and follow them.
You can also search for your customers using their email address from your address book.
#11: Stop following people who don’t tweet
In general, don’t worry about trying to control who follows you. But it’s a good idea to prune out the followers who have stopped using Twitter.
A great free tool for finding people who haven’t tweeted for a while is unTweeps. After you authorize the app, it allows you to create a list of your followers based on how long since their last tweet. You can use the free account three times each month.
Start with people who haven’t tweeted for 6 months (or even 9 months) and review the list. You can mark individual accounts to unfollow.
Tip: If you have a large number of people who are no longer tweeting, don’t unfollow them all at the same time. This action can signal Twitter to suspend your account for aggressive and spammer-like behavior.
#12: Put Twitter to work solving your business challenges
Sometimes, the best way to improve your experience with a tool is to ask more from it. If you’ve been casually using Twitter and allowing the results to unfold, maybe it’s time to give Twitter a real job.
It takes some time using Twitter before you’ll be ready to put it to work on your business goals. But after you understand Twitter and have built a community, it’s time to take your Twitter use to the next level.
Twitter can help you meet your business goals. Think about a challenge you face in your business today. How could Twitter help you solve that problem?
- Offer a Twitter-only special. If your restaurant or store is a ghost town on Tuesday nights, why not promote a Tuesday night event on Twitter? Offer a special deal (free dessert or a special discount) for everyone who knows the secret code you tweet out Tuesday at 5 pm.
- Reward people who retweet you. Is your blog a little lonely? Twitter is a great tool to drive traffic to your blog. Set up a contest or a reward for people who retweet your messages about your blog posts. You might give away an ebook, a seat at an upcoming webinar, a free 30-minute consultation or a product discount. Explain the terms of the offer in a blog post or on a special website page and link to that page in your tweet so people understand your offer.
- Organize a tweetup at your business. Have you been chatting with local people whom you have not met in real life? Or has it been a long time since they have visited your business? Why not organize an informal tweetup? Set a date and time, offer refreshments and give people something fun to do or learn and they will come.
The best way to make Twitter work for your business is to try something new. Learn from what happens and try it again with improvements.
#13: Add photos to your tweets
People love pictures. And this year, social media has really expanded to give people more of what they want.
Statistics show that people are more likely to read your stuff online if you include pictures. This means that just by adding photos to your tweets, you can greatly increase the amount of attention they get.
The best part is that your photos don’t have to be professional-quality to be effective on Twitter. You can use your smartphone camera to snap a picture, and then use the Twitter mobile app for your phone to tweet and upload your picture.
#14: Bookmark tweets you want to keep
Did you know that every tweet has its own web address?
You can save important tweets using the Favorites feature. However, many businesses use the Favorites as part of their Twitter strategy, and so they need another way to save tweets.
To get to the web address of any tweet:
- Display the tweet on your screen.
The Expand command displays more tweet options.
- Click Expand. Twitter provides more tweet options.
The Details command displays the tweet in its own web page.
- Click Details. Twitter displays the tweet on its own page using its unique web address.
An example of a tweet displayed on its own page using its unique web address.
- Bookmark the tweet using your browser or bookmarking tool.
You can bookmark important tweets using your browser’s bookmarking tool or a web-based bookmarking service like Delicious. Now you have a way to keep track of important tweets so you can use them in the future.
#15: Review (and renew) your tweet topics
When most businesses start using Twitter, they experiment for a while. As a result, they often tweet about random topics, or don’t tweet very often because they don’t know what to say.
After mastering the basics of Twitter’s message types and building out your online community, it’s time to get serious about your conversation topics. Or to use marketing terms, it’s time to develop a content strategy.
Every business has a core group of topics around its products and services. These are things that you know because of your business, and things that your customers and online community want to learn from you. Often, you educate your customers about these topics.
Many businesses struggle to find these topics because they take their knowledge for granted. With a little effort, you can start to see your business knowledge through the eyes of your customers and figure out the topics that really spark interest in your community.
These are the topics you should focus on with Twitter and social media in general. In fact, if you have a blog, these should be your blog categories.
Brainstorm a list of 5 to 7 conversation topics, and then create a list of 10 or more specific things within each category. These will help you organize your Twitter conversation and will spark ideas when you can’t think of anything to say.
Note: The best Twitter topics for your business are things that provide practical solutions to problems your potential customers face every day.
#16: Expand the Twitter conversation to your blog
When you have a great conversation going on Twitter, or you find a topic that people respond to on Twitter, why not expand the conversation to the people who read your blog?
Twitter now makes it easy for you to embed a tweet into a blog post so it looks like a tweet and has the same interactive features it has on Twitter. In other words, you can write a blog post around a tweet and your blog visitors can interact with you on Twitter through your blog.