Tag Archives: Twitter

How To Adopt A Social Media Lifestyle

While most small business owners are starting to realize that social media is a necessary part of any marketing strategy, as a social media coach, the question I get most often is how to add social media to a day that is already way too full.   For those of us working as solopreneurs or small business owners, it may, at times, feel like we are working virtually around the clock so when are we really supposed to tweet, post or blog?

I’ll admit, creating a social media plan that will stick is like starting an exercise program.  You just have to take that leap and do it. You need to look at it, not as a series of social media tasks that need to be done during the day, but more of a lifestyle change that you need to incorporate into your entire way of thinking. Here are 5 tips to make the social media lifestyle change:

  • Coffee and Twitter: For most of us, a morning cup of coffee is sacred. Without one, our day cannot get off to a good start.  Try to incorporate tweeting with your morning coffee, Instead of reading the newspaper, read your stream to find interesting articles to share with your followers.  If you still need to read the paper, know that most publications these days are online and make sharing with your networks very easy. In addition to coffee first thing in the morning, take a moment or two to tweet during your mid-morning or mid-afternoon coffee break as well.
  • Change the way you look at the world: Instead of walking through your day with blinders on, as most of us do, focused on the tasks we need to get done, try looking at the world with a different set of eyes.  Examine everything — images, articles, conversations you have with co-workers — and use it as fodder for posts, blogs and tweets.  This doesn’t mean that you need to be online all day, it just means changing the way you think to include a social media aspect to your day. Taking mental notes to save for your social media coffee breaks.
  • Blog on the weekend: We all know that blogging for business is one of the most important factors to getting found online. It improves our SEO, increasesour professional credibility and lets our audience know who we are and how we interact.  Blogging can also be the most time consuming part of any social media plan.  During your busy workday, as your taking in everything that is going on around you, take mental notes and save the blogging for the weekend when our schedule is more open. Most social dashboards will allow you to schedule posts to go live at a later time.
  • Set an alarm: In adopting a social media lifestyle, it works to break your social media plan into bite-sized chunks, making it more manageable during the course of a busy day.  At first, it may take some time to incorporate the social media lifestyle into your work day so setting alarms to remind you to take social media breaks – which are just as necessary as a coffee or bathroom break, can help at the beginning.
  • Be mobile: I can’t stress enough how being mobile – whether it’s with an iPad, smartphone or laptop, can help integrate social media into your lifestyle. Whether it’s waiting in line at the bank, riding the bus or taking a 5 minute water cooler break, being mobile help you to stay connected, with the ability to tweet or post right at your fingertips.

When you decide to include social media into your business and marketing strategy, it is important to be consistent and be present in order to truly engage your audience and increase your online visibility.  By adopting social media into your lifestyle, by taking short social media breaks to tweet or post, by leaving your blogging to the weekend and by looking at the world with a “social media eye,” it prevents you from feeling spread too thin – a feeling that most small business owners know all to well. 

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My Top 6 Social Media Pet Peeves

Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve made a commitment to myself to post at least three times a week.  I’ve been pretty good at sticking to my goal but I’ll admit, on some days, it’s hard to think of something to write about. Not today.  Today, the topic hit me while I was sitting down at the computer first thing this morning to check on some accounts.  As part of my routine, I took a look at my Twitter account and saw that I had several new followers.  Not wanting to alienate anyone by forgetting to acknowledge them, I checked out who the new followers were.  Eggs.  Eggs with no bios.  I knew right then that my topic for today was Social Media Pet Peeves.

We all have things in life that bug us. Nails on a blackboard, people who are late or people who crack their gum.  The social media arena is no different.  While most of us try to follow the simple rules of common courtesy and etiquette, there will always be those who, like in the offline world, are loutish, annoying and just not fun to be around.  Here are the top 6 things that drive me nuts online:

  • No picture or bio on Twitter: Social media, by nature, is about connecting with other people, for friendship, business or to pass time.  If you’re going to set up an account and actively tweet and follow people, why on earth would you not put up a picture and bio to let others know who they’re interacting with. It still completely baffles me when I see a bio-less egg with 1000’s of followers. I mean, Really??
  • Auto DM: Whoever thought up this marketing tactic should be seriously examined.  I don’t know about you but I hate getting those automatic messages in my inbox telling me I can make millions by following this link.   These messages are completely impersonal (thanking me for following you with an auto DM? Not cool). I’d rather not receive anything than a promotional message or a canned message telling me how excited you are that I’m following you.
  • Spammy @ or #FF tweets: I’m a firm believer in Social Media Karma.  I always thank people (personally) for following and for mentioning me online. I think #FollowFriday is a great idea to thank people you’ve interacted with during the week and to let others know about really interesting and helpful people to follow.  However, I do find it annoying (and puzzling) when people I’ve had no contact with at all — ever, include my name in a @ list that keeps going around and around. Especially when the instigator isn’t even following me in the first place.
  • No contact information: Last week, I retweeted one of Chris Brogan’s tweets that read: “Just didn’t give someone business because their G+ page didn’t have contact information.” I do find it very frustrating when someone doesn’t include at least an e-mail address on their website. One of the main reason we are all online is to connect. How are we supposed to do that if I can’t get in touch with you?  No info, no new business. It’s as simple as that.
  • Links with great titles that don’t take you where you want to go: How often have you read a really catchy blog or link title, whether on twitter, G+ or Facebook and when you click through, it isn’t to the article that you really wanted to read but it’s to a web or promotional page?  While I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt, I will unfollow for repeat offenses.
  • Virtual Chain letters: How many times did you freak out as a kid when you got a chain letter in the mail? Nowadays, the online versions are all too commonplace. I’m here to tell you now: You will not be cursed forever, you will not have 99 years of bad luck, you did not win the Ugandan lottery, your mom will not die in 4 hours and there is NO WAY that sending an e-mail to 10 people will make an image or video appear. So before you consider whether or not to pass a chain e-mail on to me, take this advice and please don’t!

Now that I have that out of my system, I’m open to hearing what your pet peeves are so come on and share your favourites!

20 Twitter Tools To Simply Your Life

As a small business owner, I definitely realize how powerful Twitter can be for my business. It helps me to create and maintain relationships with those both in my niche and outside it. It helps me forge strong connections, engage with my audience and is a bridge to help me get the word out about what I do and how I can help others. That being said, I realize how much of a time suck Twitter can be.  It’s easy to allot 15 minutes or so a day to Twitter and then (40 minutes later) realize you’ve gone over your time allotment.  Way over.  I find that using Twitter tools and Apps for business can help keep my Twitter usage under control.

I know that most small business owners are familiar with the likes of Hootsuite, SocialOomph, Tweetdeck and Buffer but I have recently found some other Twitter tools and apps that have made my life much easier and I wanted to share them with you.  So here is my list of 20 Twitter tools that will definitely help you use Twitter efficiently and effectively:

  1. Twhirl: Similar to Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, Twhirl allows you to post updates, follow friends and search for specific tweets. You can also tweet, reply and retweet messages.
  2. Monitter: A real time twitter search tool that enables you to monitor a set of keywords on twitter. It also allows you to narrow your search to a particular geographic location so you can see what’s going on in particular areas of the world.
  3. TwtQpon: A tool that allows you to create and share exclusive coupons to your Twitter followers.
  4. Twitpic: Twitpic lets you share photos or videos from your phone, from your computer or through e-mail and tweet them through your Twitter account.
  5. TweetMeme: Useful for tracking popular links as well as recent news from a variety of categories on Twitter. Has the Retweet button to publish on your blog or website.
  6. Twtvite: Allows you to invite people to an event and keep track of responses to your invitations.
  7. WeFollow: With WeFollow, you can find Twitter users based on interests and you can list yourself using keywords and categories in your niche and may interest your audience.
  8. WhoUnfollowedMe: With a few simple clicks, you can find out who unfollowed you and see who isn’t following back.
  9. Twellow: A search directory of people listed by area of expertise, profession and geographic location. You can create your own listing on Twellow, similar to the yellow pages.
  10.  Smartr: It pulls news from your Twitter feed and displays it in a much easier way to consume.  It also filters out spam so you are presented with top news only.
  11. Twylah: Similar to Smartr, this app turns your Tweets into a Brand page filled with categories and rich media display. It makes it easy for your followers to understand what you are tweeting about and whether you are a good fit to follow.
  12. WhoTweetedMe: WhoTweetedMe will analyze your URL and show you how many retweets the post got, at what time and the reach of the tweet. You can also get a list of the top 20 people tweeting your post and you are able to thank them with one click.
  13. Timely: Analyzes your tweets to determine the best times for you to tweet, based solely on your own data.  Similar to Buffer, it provides statistics about click through rates and retweets and has a bookmarklet that makes it easy to schedule tweets.
  14. Twimbow: It allows you to add color to your stream to separate what you are seeing much easier. You can color code @replies, mentions retweets etc. Twimbow also allows features to help you connect with others in the Twimbow community.
  15. Tweriod: Sign in with Twitter and the app will tell you the best times to tweet, displaying the results on a graph, also showing you different optimal timing for different days of the week.
  16. Nurph: This App lets you invite friends into a private chat room via a Tweet. This is great if you want to take a brief connection to a new level and have a longer conversation. A great example for using Nurph is to keep your Twitter community engaged in longer talks.
  17. TweetStats: A great tool to measure all your Twitter behavior in one place. It shows you your Twitter timeline to understand how much you are tweeting each day and month and lets you know your best times to tweet.
  18. Twilert: Similar to Google Alerts, Twilert helps you monitor your brand or search terms on Twitter. It can be set up for any term and you will be notified about any activity on Twitter related to that term.
  19. TweetLevel: When you are building your network, TweetLevel helps you search other Twitter users based on different parameters like influence, trust, engagement or popularity.
  20. Formulists: Allows you to create your own lists and group them by location, topic, interactions or any other criteria. It helps those with large numbers of followers and can help you send specific brand messages to specific lists.

While this list isn’t exhaustive, it is a sampling of the many tools out there that can help you manage your Twitter experience.  So organize your time, connect with the right people and find tools that will allow you to be the most effective Tweeter that you can be.  What tools do you use to help you maximize your Twitter experience?