Category Archives: Twitter

5 Tips from Getting the Most from LinkedIn by Dr. Misner

I had the honor of meeting Dr. Misner a couple of years ago at a BNI Convention in St. Louis, MO.  Only minutes from going on stage  that day, I learned firsthand that Dr. Misner is the real deal.  Dr. Misner not only took the time to shake my hand and look me in the eye, 5 or 6 elevator speeches rolled off his tongue for use in my SendOutCards.com/loryfabian business as well. How awesome is that?

 Dr. Misner is called the “father of modern networking” by CNN.  He is the Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization and a New York Times bestselling author.

Just as E.F. Hutton use to be the voice of the financial world, Dr. Misner is the voice of the networking world today. The article below was written back in 2011.  Dr. Misner’s tips were true in 2011 and still hold true today.

What I’ve learned from years of using this social media platform.

 If you had any lingering thoughts that social media was just a “fad,” you may want to let those go, particularly in light of LinkedIn’s recent IPO — with a valuation of $4.3 billion. (2011)

I’ve been following the development of online business networking for several years, particularly the inception of sites like Ecademy.com, Ryze.com, and of course LinkedIn. While there are many competitors to LinkedIn, for now it has risen to the top of sites devoted primarily to business networking.

I use a variety of social networks to interact with colleagues, associates, and friends, but LinkedIn has some features that set it apart from the rest. In fact, many BNI members have used it to stay in touch with each other. As a person in the “500+ connections” category, I use LinkedIn as a way to disseminate the many articles I write every month, as well as to promote books and publications. Here’s how I use it and what I recommend to others.

1. Connecting with More People

I’ve spoken to countless entrepreneurs who have doubled or tripled their business because of the relationships they are able to make on LinkedIn. With the ability to view detailed profiles, become connected to people via a shared acquaintance, and post updates about one’s business or career for these connections to share, a huge number of the barriers to connecting with people in different geographic locations simply don’t exist to members of LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is also a well-known resource for both job seekers and recruiters. The site lets businesses pay to post jobs and sells enhanced profile and services to jobseekers. Successful recruiters rely heavily on networking and LinkedIn to find candidates for open positions.

2. Participating in Groups

LinkedIn Groups is a wonderful way to meet others who share an affinity, whether an industry, cause, or an employer, and to have an online arena for exchange. Being a member of a group removes the barrier that LinkedIn ordinarily imposes that you must personally know someone to send a message or invite him or her to connect.

LinkedIn Groups is most valuable when used effectively to build influential connections. Participating in a group — by asking questions, suggesting topics, answering questions, or recommending another member’s answers — is a way to build a more personal connection. For example, I mentor a large number of BNI members, entrepreneurs who want to better their business writing skills, meeting with them on a regular basis via telebridge. These “mentees” have also formed a group on LinkedIn, where they can share writing opportunities, and receive reviews of their work.

Participating in groups can take as much or as little time as you choose. For maximum impact, choose group discussions that are highly popular, judged from the number of responses.

3. Capitalizing on Search Engine Optimization

LinkedIn profiles show up very high on search engine results. The more links you add to your profile, the higher one’s ranking may be in search engine results. LinkedIn allows you to incorporate two very important links to a profile: web sites and a blog. Adding these to your profile not only builds your profile’s link count, but also lets you promote your site(s). I use this feature to highlight my own web site, BusinessNetworking.com.

4. Tying in a Twitter Connection

LinkedIn dovetails with Twitter. Indeed you can adeptly integrate Twitter with several social networks using Twitter’s application programming interfaces: I cross-promote content I have written across my various social networking accounts. Every article I write can be seamlessly shared via my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn status postings.

Tying your Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile (achieved by clicking a box), allows you to promote your Twitter profile easily through LinkedIn.

5. Building and Enhancing Credibility

LinkedIn may well become the first place everyone will look to determine the business profile of an individual. LinkedIn allows a professional to showcase a collection of printed works or publications, recommendations from other LinkedIn users, company affiliations, and work history. When I want to know more about someone I’ve just met, I can learn quite a bit of information about them by reading their LinkedIn profile. I can see where they’ve worked, or what they’ve done in the business world, and I can see what others think of them by reading recommendations that others have written about them.

Since most professionals do not stay in the same job for a lifetime anymore, their LinkedIn profile can continue to capture their work history narrative.

LinkedIn also allows for profiles of companies and brands, which can be cross-connected with the profiles of the “humans” associated with those organizations – including executive management, the founders, and the employees.

These days, a professional’s worth is frequently judged by the quality of his or her network. So LinkedIn is particularly vital for today’s entrepreneur, demonstrating knowledge, expertise, experience, social capital, and the breadth of one’s network.

 

5 Reasons To Stop Cold Calling And Start Networking | Written by Tim Tyrell-Smith

Are there really people that still cold-call?  Most states have a National No-Call Registry to get rid of those annoying time sucking pests.  Tim Tyrell-Smith’s article shares great information and also targets the last of the hold outs not using networking and social media to build their business.  Remember, if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you will eventually lose a percentage of your business, if you already haven’t by not changing what you are doing.

Tim writes:

Can you imagine what happens to people when you call them cold? Well, no surprise, they stiffen up. They get uncomfortable. And they wish they hadn’t answered the phone. So what options do you have. Uh . . . how about networking?

All across the world right now, people are dialing for dollars. Insurance salesmen, consultants, recruiters, packaging suppliers, SEO providers and hundreds of other types of folks looking for a new client.

Why? Because their boss told them to do it. “100 calls a day, please.” The numbers game.

But cold calls are bad for business. They are a bad use of time and aren’t a smart way to begin a new relationship. Oh, and nobody likes making these calls either.

And for those of you who want to disagree right away (maybe you’ve had some success blowing cold air on people), I don’t care. I’m sure there are exceptions to the “cold calls don’t work” argument I’m making. But I don’t care.

Because the world has changed so much. And the tools to meet people more effectively are plentiful. Here are 5 ways to connect with new people without them freezing up right away:

1. Start blogging

While establishing a blog takes significantly longer than making phone calls, it is a superior strategy for introducing you, your company and its products to others. You can learn about mistakes bloggers make and some tips for getting started with blogging. But once you get up and running, a blog makes your website more interesting to Google, more dynamic to get return visitors and (very important) helps you build relevant awareness and subject matter expertise. In other words, people get to know and trust you in advance of your first contact. (ALL TRUE)  Need help getting started, contact Ken Tucker at ken@changescapeweb.com.

2. Use LinkedIn

This one seems awfully simple. You need to meet Mike (purchasing manager at target company x). Bill (your old coworker) used to work with Mike at a prior company. You go on to LinkedIn and learn this news. That the person you need to know already knows someone you know. Now what? Well, you ask Bill to introduce you to Mike. Sounds simple. But so few people do it. So many people are lazy on LinkedIn and don’t personally create and nurture LinkedIn connections. They just collect them like postage stamps. Don’t do that. You are smarter than this. (TOTALLY AGREE MOST POWERFUL AND UNDERUSED TOOL)

3. Join groups and attend events

There are industry groups aplenty, local community networking groups, and meetup.com groups all over. So there’s no excuse. You can develop your personal brand right now in front of real people. They can see that you are a good person, that you are patient and have the needs of others on your mind as well. And if you are smart, you’ll find a group or two and sponsor them. Or get involved in their board. That’s good networking. (CHECK OUT THE BNI CHAPTERS IN YOUR AREA. BNI IS ONE OF THE LARGEST AND FASTEST GROWING INTERNATIONAL NETWORKING GROUPS THAT GIVE YOU THE TOOLS TO SUCCEED WITH LIKEMINDED & SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OWNERS. MEETUP.COM IS ANOTHER POWERFUL GROUP TO CONNECT WITH.

4. Use Twitter or Create a Facebook Page

Not everyone is comfortable on social media. And if you need help, ask me. Or hook up with a smart social media agency to help you establish a strategy and keep up a great, engaging relationship with new fans and followers. If you want to do it on your own, make sure to have a Facebook content calendar and learn the golden rules for new Twitter users. Oh, and if you are wondering whether it’s weird that sales people use Twitter, you’re wrong. Use these tools to create, establish and maintain a friendly and helpful relationship with current and potential customers. (DEFINITELY SOME OF THE BEST ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED FROM VIRGINIA MUZQUIZ. GET YOUR BIG TOE WET, DIVE IN, AND DO IT. IT’S ALWAYS BETTER TO DO SOMETHING, THAN NOTHING.)

5. Offer to speak or lead workshops

When you stand up in front of a group of people you get instant credibility. Until you screw up. But you probably won’t. Especially if you model your style after people like Thom Singer. He’s someone who can teach you how to speak with a purpose. You can learn how to engage an audience as a speaker. While its not a bed of roses (audience can be cold too), it is a great way to also build social credibility (credibility that lets people feel more comfortable with you). And the business will come in so much more quickly. (JOIN TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL; IT WILL CATAPULT YOUR BUSINESS OR CAREER FASTER AND FURTHER THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE.)

So try these ideas instead of cold calling.

Unlike a slow moving glacier, these “warming up” techniques will thaw the corporate ice cubes and create a fast moving stream of business to you and your company.

Shout out and hugs to Tim Tyrell-Smith.

P.S. Try sendoutcards.com/loryfabian to help build relationships & stay in touch with the customers you have.  Farming is always easier and less expensive than hunting.

SEND MORE not LESS SendOutCards.com Christmas & Holiday letters

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:

www.sendoutcards.com/loryfabian

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy Kwanzaa, To You All!

5 Ways to Turn Twitter into Your Most Powerful Social Media Tool by Jeff Bullas

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! 

Big Idea 2013: Be the Head Marketer of You by Linda Coles

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”   Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

Entering 2013 with a tight economy, restructuring, and new ways of doing business, the competition for a position or sale has become intense. Who shines out above everyone else in those situations? Those people who are spending time developing their own personal brand.

We all recognize great brands by their logos such as the Nike flash or the Starbucks face, but how do we recognize you? How do we know that you even exist? And when we do, what are you known for? You need to become the head marketer of You.com, and 2013 is a good time to make a start if you haven’t already.

10 simple ways to work on your own personal brand

Back in 1997, Tom Peters wrote a great piece about working on your own personal brand, which was way before any of the online networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook had even started. Now that we have these tools available, promoting your personal brand has become a whole lot easier.

  1. Have the best-looking LinkedIn profile that you possibly can and use it. People are checking you out online.
  2. If you are happy for others to see into your Facebook life, switch on the subscribe button.
  3. Tweet and re-tweet what’s relevant and interesting, keeping away from gossip.
  4. Apply some etiquette when replying to emails and online posts. Always start with a salutation or greeting and finish with a valediction or sign off.
  5. Look closer to home with your personal presentation such as ensuring your shoes are always shiny. Dress “just a little bit better” than those around you.
  6. Develop your own online soapbox by way of a blog or personal website where you share relevant content, your thoughts, perspective and encourage discussions.
  7. Buy the domain http://www.yourname.com
  8. Use your media contacts to get published in the press and on air.
  9. Write and publish a great book.
  10. Speak at industry events.

Make a start now because it takes focus and time to build a great brand. Seth Godin published a very famous book called “Purple Cow, transform your business by being remarkable”. How about applying some of those principles to the business called you?

Linda Coles is the author of “Learn marketing with social media in 7 days” (Wiley) and is a speaker and trainer on building relationships. She lives in New Zealand on a fig orchard. You can get a free sample of a chapter of her book by registering for her newsletter.

Shout out to and Peace & Love to Linda Coles

13 Ways to Create a Cringeworthy Social Media Presence by Corey Eridon

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

5 Reasons To Stop Cold Calling And Start Networking by FixBuildnDrive

Can you imagine what happens to people when you call them cold? Well, no surprise, they stiffen up. They get uncomfortable. And they wish they hadn’t answered the phone. So what options do you have. Uh . . . how about networking?

All across the world right now, people are dialing for dollars. Insurance salesmen, consultants, recruiters, packaging suppliers, SEO providers and hundreds of other types of folks looking for a new client.

Why? Because their boss told them to do it. “100 calls a day, please.” The numbers game.

But cold calls are bad for business. They are a bad use of time and aren’t a smart way to begin a new relationship. Oh, and nobody likes making these calls either.

And for those of you who want to disagree right away (maybe you’ve had some success blowing cold air on people), I don’t care. I’m sure there are exceptions to the “cold calls don’t work” argument I’m making. But I don’t care.

Because the world has changed so much. And the tools to meet people more effectively are plentiful. Here’s are 5 ways to connect with new people without them freezing up right away:

1. Start blogging

While establishing a blog takes significantly longer than making phone calls, it is a superior strategy for introducing you, your company and its products to others. You can learn about mistakes bloggers make and some tips for getting started with blogging. But once you get up and running, a blog makes your website more interesting to Google, more dynamic to get return visitors and (very important) helps you build relevant awareness and subject matter expertise. In other words, people get to know and trust you in advance of your first contact.

2. Use LinkedIn

This one seems awfully simple. You need to meet Mike (purchasing manager at target company x). Bill (your old coworker) used to work with Mike at a prior company. You go on to LinkedIn and learn this news. That the person you need to know already knows someone you know. Now what? Well, you ask Bill to introduce you to Mike. Sounds simple. But so few people do it. So many people are lazy on LinkedIn and don’t personally create and nurture LinkedIn connections. They just collect them like postage stamps. Don’t do that. You are smarter than this.

3. Join groups and attend events

There are industry groups aplenty, local community networking groups, and meetup.com groups all over. So there’s no excuse. You can develop your personal brand right now. In front of real people. They can see that you are a good person, that you are patient and have the needs of others on your mind as well. And if you are smart, you’ll find a group or two and sponsor them. Or get involved in their board. That’s good networking.

4. Use Twitter or Create a Facebook Page

Not everyone is comfortable on social media. And if you need help, ask me. Or hook up with a smart social media agency to help you establish a strategy and keep up a great, engaging relationship with new fans and followers. If you want to do it on your own, make sure to have a Facebook content calendar and learn the golden rules for new Twitter users. Oh, and if you are wondering whether it’s weird that sales people use Twitter, you’re wrong. Use these tools to create, establish and maintain a friendly and helpful relationship with current and potential customers.

5. Offer to speak or lead workshops

When you stand up in front of a group of people you get instant credibility. Until you screw up. But you probably won’t. Especially if you model your style after people like Thom Singer. He’s someone who can teach you how to speak with a purpose. You can learn how to engage an audience as a speaker. While its not a bed of roses (audience can be cold too), it is a great way to also build social credibility (credibility that lets people feel more comfortable with you). And the business will come in so much more quickly.

So try these ideas instead of cold calling.

Unlike a slow moving glacier, these “warming up” techniques will thaw the corporate ice cubes and create a fast moving stream of business to you and your company.

Shout out to Tim Tyrell-Smith

10 Ways To Use Twitter For Business | Jeff Bullas

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. Broadcast links and headlines that can drive traffic to your website, blog, landing pages and YouTube channels
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Run special deals and promotions on Twitter that you can use to drive traffic or move slow moving stock (exanple Dell)
  7. 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
  8. Share your ideas internally in a very efficient manner through the latest feature from Twitter called lists that can be private or open
  9. 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.
  10. 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/

16 Creative Ways to Use Twitter for Business | By Charlene Kingston Published July 10, 2012

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:

  • Customers
  • People in your industry
  • Social media teachers
  • People in professional organizations
good lists exampleYou can create Twitter lists to organize the people you follow so you can focus on the most important people and conversations.

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
good convo list exampleA conversation list helps you save time by pulling together the most important people and conversations into a single list.

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.

bad logo example blurredAt full size, this company may have a beautiful logo. However, it’s too small to be effective on Twitter.

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?
bad pic example 3 blurredThis is an example of what not to do with your Twitter profile picture because you cannot easily see the person’s face.

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.

twitter background example jaybaerHere is an example of a custom Twitter background that highlights important company information and provides additional details.

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
good bio exampleA good Twitter bio explains what you do and shows your personality at the same time.

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.

twitter landing pageA Twitter landing page gives you more space to talk about your business and about your Twitter use.

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.

example botBots usually have low numbers they follow with high numbers following them back like this account.

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.
save a search arrowWhen you see the search results page, click the gear icon to save the search.

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.

social media passportMake it easy for people to follow your business on Twitter by posting a Twitter Follow button on your website or blog.

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.

untweepsThe unTweeps screen allows you to create a list of people you follow based on the number of days since their last tweet.

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?

For example:

  • 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.
nasa tweetupNASA has started using tweetups to reward key followers in its social media community.

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.

tweet photoAdding a photo to your tweet increases the number of people who will interact with your message.

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.

olive barEvery mobile Twitter app makes it easy to attach a photograph to a tweet from your smartphone.

#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.
    click expandThe Expand command displays more tweet options.
  • Click Expand. Twitter provides more tweet options.
    expandThe 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.
    tweet urlAn 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.

Pay special attention to tweets that are retweeted, get replies or are marked as favorites. Those tweets hit a nerve, and you should talk more about those topics.

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.

tweet exampleAn example of a tweet conversation-starter posted in a blog.
Thank You Charlene