TWITTER TAKES ON 2013

INTRODUCTION
It has been known for sometime that images enhance social media the way the talkies transformed the film industry. It was a long time coming but visual design finally caught up to social media. Or did social media finally wake up to visual design? That does not matter. What does matter is that they finally got together and their marriage is one that was made in heaven, for the most part.

@MariSmith twitter page © Mari Smith

@MariSmith twitter page © Mari Smith

@JoyLynskey twitter page © Joy Lynskey

@JoyLynskey twitter page © Joy Lynskey

Social media has embraced the visual and has been benefitting from it ever since. Facebook posts that contain images get a greater percentage of Likes and comments.

Statistic Number 1: “…photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more Likes than the average post.”
Statistic Number 2: “…photo posts attracted 104% more comments than the average post…”

Source: Hubspot Blog

Twitter page of @LamourSupreme

@LamourSupreme  twitter page © Lamour Supreme

@WildmanSteveBrill twitter page © Wildman Steve Brill

@WildmanBrill twitter page © Wildman Steve Brill

THE DUOS
Every major social media tool has a visual component:
• Facebook bought Instagram
• Google owns YouTube
• Yahoo flaunts flickr

Pinterest is social media’s grand dame having risen to fame and fortune faster than any other unit of the social media toolkit to date. So far it seems to have no desire to take a mate. It is doing quite well without one.

@FindandConvert twitter page © Find and Convert

@FindandConvert twitter page © Find and Convert

@CraigEYaris twitter page © Craig Yaris

@CraigEYaris twitter page © Craig Yaris

TWITTER TAKES A MATE
Well, Twitter has joined in. Twitter has the ability to connect Instagram images through tweeted URLs. Even better, it has developed a method for some serious customization of its pages. Twitter now allows its members to say, ‘Hey, this page is mine and no one else’s. I am cool. I am serious. I am funny. I am creative. I am unique.’

@ManOneLA twitter page © Man One

@ManOneLA twitter page © Man One

@AmyPorterfield twitter page © Amy Porterfield

@AmyPorterfield twitter page © Amy Porterfield

EASY AS ONE-TWO-THREE
It does not take very long to figure out how to create a completely customized page or one that is a combo of twitter template and original design. There are three components involved:
• the image
• the header
• the background

@BasilPuglisi twitter page © Basil C. Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi twitter page © Basil C. Puglisi

@MktngBytesMaven twitter page © Alison D Gilbert

@MktngBytesMaven twitter page © Alison D Gilbert

Twitter offers all kinds of templates, choices of color and pattern making for the background. In addition, one can take a custom image and tile or repeat it on the screen. In front of that, appears a vertical band containing one’s tweets and other information.

At the top of the band is the header. Twitter allows a very large image to be imported for this area but reduces it quite a bit when uploaded. In front of the header, appear one’s image, name, twitter name, a URL and mini-bio. A 180×180 facebook icon works fine for the image.

@TheEarthDiet twitter page © Liana Werner-Gray

@The EarthDiet twitter page © Liana Werner-Gray

@AlisonsArt twitter page © Alison Gilbert

@AlisonsArt twitter page © Alison Gilbert

CONCLUSION AND QUESTIONS
The results can be very creative and unique as witnessed by the samples displayed throughout this post. What do you think of them? I am eager to hear your thoughts:
• Do you think these samples are creative and unique?
• Do you think they are too much?
• Which one(s) do you like the most and the least?
• Do you have any other thoughts or comments about this post?

SOURCES
The Power of Images on Facebook
Five Reasons Why Twitter Background Is Really Important
Warning: Your Visual Message Is Just As Important
Visual Marketing Book
Twitter Headers and Covers

 

 

 

 

 

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

Top 10 Stories on Digital Ethos for 2012

Top 10 ListThis is it.  The last Saturday of 2012.  I’m not really sure where the year has gone, and I’m sure many of you feel the same way.  As I sit here and reflect on the year gone by, I realize there have been some great moments, as well as some real major disasters within the social media world.  And, there are plenty of lists categorizing these throughout the “interwebs”.  For those interested, I’ve included links to those lists in the resources, below.

But what about this site?  With a large day-to-day increase in visitors and subscribers to Digital Ethos, there may be things that have appeared throughout the year that you have missed, so I thought we would be remiss in not offering you a list of our top stories from the previous year.  So, without further ado, here are our top 10:

1.  Nine Steps to Becoming a Twitter Chat Pro – Have you heard of twitter chats?  Have you been “bitten” by them?  Then check out these 9 steps to becoming a pro.

2.  Beneficial Twitter Strategies — There are actually a few different strategies that seem to be working for businesses using Twitter as a marketing tool. A perfect running strategy can also be custom tailored to your own small business needs by combining a bit of knowledge on social media engagement with a handy tool or two.

3.  A Day at Google New York & Seth Godin – This is a great recap of a day spent at Google through their Google Engage for Agencies program, and a great opportunity to learn from Seth Godin.

4.  Social Media and Hurricane Sandy —  Everyone on the east coast will remember Hurricane Sandy, and the way it changed many of our lives.  Here is a great article on how social media played a part.

5.  More on Logo Design & Branding – This comment to blog post regarding company logos is a great history and discussion on logos and branding.

6.  Consistency is Key in Your Integrated Marketing Strategy —  So, you are “on” social media, but now what?  How do you succeed?  Consistency is the key.

7.  What Digital & Social Media Marketers Can Learn from Business Consultants —  Before even engaging in marketing and social media, you need to know your goals, and you need to find a consultant who believes your goals are important.

8.  Why You Should Be Using Twitter and 7 Random Benefits —  Twitter seems to be a hot topic this year, and this article is no different.  Why should you be on Twitter and what benefits will it bring?

9.  How Important is Response Time to Your Customers on Twitter and Facebook? – Businesses that claim to be active on social media also need to be responsive to posts by clients and potential clients.  But how important is that, and how quickly must you respond?

10.  Top 10 On-Line Social Media Resources (plus one more) – What list is complete without another top 10 list.  Check out these other great resources for social medial know-how.  You won’t be sorry!

So, there you have it.  The top 10 articles that have appeared on Digital Ethos throughout 2012.  Did you have a favorite that isn’t on the list?  Was there one article that really changed your thinking, tactics or plan?  Make sure to let us know!

And my wish for all of you, in 2013, is health, happiness, prosperity, and a very social new year!

Thank you for visiting in 2012!

 

Resources:

Top 10 Media Stories of 2012

Top 12 Social Media Stories of 2012

Top 12 Social Media Stories of 2012 – CIO

The Top 10 Social Media Stories that Shaped 2012

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY

INTRODUCTION
Social media is all about telling stories. Technology continues to make it easier, faster and more appealing to tell, share and even re-share our stories. It has also become about telling our stories in both words and pictures. The bluebird sings the social media theme song, at right, ‘Let Me Tell You a Story’. 

a blue bird sings the social media story

A bluebird singing the social media song, ‘Let Me Tell You A Story’ from an image @ 123rf.com

VERBAL STORIES
Up until about a year ago, the story telling method was primarily verbal. Thanks to the meteoric rise in popularity of Pinterest, Instagram and other visual tools, it is clear that people want the option of using pictures, not just words, to tell and view things.

Look how dramatically facebook’s landscape has changed to include massive visual real estate. See the facebook timelines for business cover page at the end of this story.

VISUAL STORIES
The verbally based social media tools have known this for sometime. Google purchased YouTube. Yahoo purchased flickr. Facebook acquired Instagram and no one has been able to buy Pinterest.

It stands heads above most other social media, has done so in record time and is believed to be the first visual application to accomplish this. In addition, there is ground breaking news that the White House will start using Pinterest on December 17, 2012.

SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
Both verbal and visual apps have unique characteristics and value. Amongst the most popular are: • facebook • twitter • LinkedIn • WordPress • Google • Pinterest • YouTube • Instagram

WordPress sharing bar

Sharing  is  a click away.

STORY TELLING
Users have their preferences and loyalties for story telling and sharing. There are formulas for sharing stories that vary with users. As one becomes more proficient in the use of social media, these formulas develop into personal systems.

There is no one system that is the answer to sharing for everyone. But certain apps and combinations of them work well. In time, we each discover what fits our style. WordPress makes this very easy with their sharing button bar shown at left.

STORY SHARING
For example, let’s say a story is written in Word. It then can become a blog post in WordPress with still images, video and even audio. Once the story is written, it needs to be shared. Certain venues have proven to be most successful at this. In fact, in order to make sharing a breeze, sharing buttons are installed right on blog post pages.

Why is sharing so important? Sharing attracts attention, engages an audience, allows one to stay connected manually and automatically, fosters the development of  trusted relationships and ultimately can increase business or establish a personal, professional presence.

CONCLUSION
One may not be looking to provide a service or even a product in the traditional sense of business. Providing and sharing information is the essence of social media. Just think about how much we know, how easily we can learn and share things compared to a generation ago. It is all due to social media allowing us to tell our stories.

Do you have a story that you would like to share, one that social media has enhanced or caused to go viral? Would you like to share or comment about this blog post? Your comments, suggestions and feed back are all part of the story. Please share with us in the comments area. Thank you from the author.

The Social Media Marketing Graphic Design page

facebook’s new timelines for business has given tremendous opportunities for visual real estate as shown in the example here. ©http://www.MarketingBytes.biz and http://www.facebook.com/PageCoverMastery

 

SOURCES

Amy Porterfield’s FB Influence 2.0 Webinar

Bringing Your Marketing To Life Through Video by Dr. Marc and Charlie

Obama White House joins Pinterest


About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

Inside Facts and Data for Twitter

While Twitter has gotten high praise for being a powerful journalism tool and has, in some ways, garnered a small cult like following, businesses have started to benefit from it as a promotion and customer service tool. This leaves business owners and leaders asking, “is it relevant to business?”

Lets a take a look at some of the recent data to discover how twitter is being adapted by who, when and how you might want to use it!

Research from Pew clearly shows that while Twitter’s overall usage is still slowly growing, those that have adopted to its use are using it more and more each day.

The Pew Research data uncovers that African Americans have had the largest increase in adoption and use. It also uncovered that young adults are also still the largest growing adopters as most of us would expect.

If you are trying to justify Twitter for business, you just uncovered that it’s a communication tool that is clearly on the rise and two very specific markets exist to develop a targeted marketing plan.

A Hubspot Study of 7,000 companies found that a business with just a 100 followers on twitter, generates 106% more website traffic then those with 25 or fewer. In fact with more than 40% of businesses on twitter reporting that they have acquired a customer from Twitter, it’s no wonder that 99% of the Top Not-For-Profits are using it, more the 40 Heads of State use it and every professional sports team is on twitter (NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL).

In fact bit.ly, a company that uses links to track activity reports for Twitter, has found that posting in the afternoon earlier in the week is your best chance at achieving a high click count (1-3pm Monday through Thursday). Posting after 8pm should be avoided.

The peak traffic times for Twitter are 9am through 3pm, Monday through Thursday. Posting on Twitter when there are many people clicking does help raise the average number of clicks, but it in no way guarantees an optimal amount of attention, since there is more competition for any individual’s attention. An optimal strategy must weigh the number of people paying attention against the number of other posts vying for that attention.

In another article Bit.ly also looked at the question, how long is a link “alive” before people stop caring? Bit.ly looked at East Coast earthquake: 5.8 magnitude epicenter hits Virginia, first shared by the Washington Post on Twitter.


Rate of clicks per minute on “East Coast earthquake: 5.8 magnitude epicenter hits Virginia

The scale of the traffic to this link is larger and it had a fast rise, and a relaxed drop-off. Noticeably though this link has a half-life of only 5 minutes: after 5 minutes this link had seen half of the clicks it would ever see. This link is associated with a timely event (an earthquake on the US East Coast) as opposed to a link that had evergreen content about data, visual images etc. When bit.ly looked at the half life of 1,000 popular bitly links the results were surprisingly similar. The mean half life of a link on twitter is 2.8 hours.

Your Data

There are a lot of ways to track your data, and while there are new companies popping up every day to automate this for you, as a novice or small business I suggest the free services offered by StumbleUpon or Bit.ly. Both link services shorten your link and will help you track it.

While these are two great services for your links, you also need to keep an eye on site data using things like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. When you’re creating content you’re going to have social shares that are generated from third party users that are not tracked by your links. Google Analytics can help you track additional data about referring sites, time on site and page views. The referring site information can help you track down places that might be performing better then you anticipated and provide you with some direction on where to spend your time and resources to generate site traffic and conversions.

Data plays an important role in creating efficiency in your Twitter activity and marketing. By reviewing your data monthly, you can get accurate snapshots on your overall social activity. This will help you target your content and make better use of the limited time you have on social sites, like twitter.

Here is a sample of my StumbleUpon (su.pr) for @BasilPuglisi

Here is a sample of my Bit.ly links stats for @BasilPuglisi (rare use)

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

The Very Basic Twitter Guide

Twitter allows you to post up to 140 Characters (this includes spaces,  for best results and to allow retweets keep under 120 characters)

Each Post is called a Tweet! (This is referred to  as a micro publication)

Mentions – When You want to mention someone we use the “@” and then their name i.e. @dbmei this notifies them that you have tweeted about them. The “@” is telling others that this person or business is significant to you or the subject. It is the primary tool to get action and growth on twitter.

Search – When you want to add a subject or search topic we use a hash tag “#” sign. This would be followed by the subject, place or thing without spaces separating the words. i.e. #sagharbor #iloveyou #realestate (We try to add at least one to each tweet, but never more then 3)

Example of an ideal tweets:

  1. I had a great meeting and #lunch with @basilpuglisi today. @BSmiths still has the best lobster in #sagharbor.
  2. Check out this wonderful 8 acre estate in #Bridgehampton that I just listed on http://myhamptonhomes.com #realestate
  3. Looking forward to seeing @kellybensimon @Jillzarin and my friends @hamptons for the #hamptonsclassic this weekend

Retweet – The action of repeating what someone else said because you agree or support them.

Retweets are second to mentions for quality of networking, however repeating someone else to your network is considered important should you want someone else to do the same. You want to have celebrities or influencers retweet for you if you have a call to action tweet.

Messages – aka Direct Messages are private tweets sent directly to and only to the person you have chosen. It is not searchable and private so there is no need for @ or # but links are still great.

Follow – You can follow anyone you can find, you will see their tweets in your stream, only you see their tweets. Others only see your tweets if they follow you, search you or a subject you have used # or a keyword. You public tweets may also popup in search engines.

Pictures – Add pictures to twitter by selecting the picture icon on the web version or attach on mobile versions (phones and tablets). These pictures now show up as recent in your profile view on the right.

Links Any link in twitter may be shortened by twitter and show up as a t.co/whatever, you can avoid this by using a third party app or tweet deck.

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Pay With a Tweet – Buying with Influence

Pay with a tweetHappy Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  What if we could pay for our Black Friday purchases with a simple tweet (or a like)?

Although we can’t pay for our fancy new DVD player simply by tweeting, a new company aptly called “Pay with a Tweet” has started a new service where anyone who is trying to grow their reach can offer their products for the simple price of a tweet.  They call themselves the “first social payment system” where “people pay with the value of their social network.”

Their premise is very simple.  Simply create a “Pay Button” on their site, where you enter the name of the file to be downloaded, the location (they don’t host files), the tweet you want, and the shortened link to include with the tweet.  They provide the code for your new download button.  That’s it.  Then when someone tries to download your item, they first need to send the tweet you have prepared.  Nothing more.

And big brands are getting on board.  Kellogg’s used this service in a “Tweet Shop” Kellogg's Tweet Shop Menuto launch its latest Special K range of cracker crisps in Soho, London.  All you had to do is visit the store for your “free” package of chips, and tweet out that you were doing so.  They even displayed the tweets on their “tweet wall”.  Kellogg’s gets your influence, and you get products.  It seems like a “win-win” for everyone.

But, is it ethical?  This isn’t a question I could answer, but in my opinion, it is.  All you are asking people to do is tell their network that you received the item.  Although many people may feel that this is an implicit endorsement, it is no different than people following brands on Twitter or liking them on Facebook.  After all, by liking a brand on Facebook, we are telling our network (we have an average of 229 friends, according to Pew Research Center) that we trust that brand.  Is paying with a tweet any different?  And this may just be the perfect way for local musicians to get their new music to the ears of more people, or a great way for a new author to get his books into the hands of people he may never have been able to reach.

In the end, all we are doing is asking people to leverage their network to help.  And isn’t that what social media is all about?

What do you think of this new marketing tactic?  Will you give it a try?

 

Resources:

Pay with a Tweet

Brilliant. Kellogg’s Opens Pay-with-a-Tweet Pop-up Shop in Soho

Pay With a Tweet – Inc. Magazine

Is “Pay With a Tweet” an Ethical Marketing Practice?

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Marketing Lessons from the 2012 Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates

Nationwide the “conversation” in October centered on the three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate.  From the perspective of a business person involved with public relations, media relations and social media, the debates were extraordinary spectacles.  When taking the time to analyze them from a marketing standpoint, each provided perfect examples of effective marketing, communication and branding techniques.  It is worthwhile revisiting the debates and look at the techniques that were validated by each of the candidates.

It was clear the candidates were, for the most part, well prepared for each debate with clear, concise and consistent messages created for the sole purpose of winning over voters.  For example, Gov. Romney’s five point plan was repeated in all the debates to reach his base and the pool of undecided voters.  This was an effective approach for the candidates and it can be effective for you too.  A business marketing plan with a well formulated message about your products and/or services when repeated by you enough will resonate with customers and prospects.

President Obama, as the incumbent, went into the first debate with the advantage of having been in office for nearly four years, but despite this, his performance in the debate allowed viewers to see how vulnerable he could be.  In the following debate he was prepared to deliver his message with conviction.  By his own admission, he was “awake,” enough to get credited with winning the 2nd debate.  In the business world, a CEO who appears to be a leader unwilling to face business challenges and competition could be branded as weak.  Many today consider the brand of a CEO a mirror of the business’s brand.  So if the CEO doesn’t recognize his/her shortcomings and is lackadaisical about taking action to improve it, his career and/or the business can suffer, perhaps even fail.

It was interesting that FOX News introduced the “Twitter Box” for its social media minded audience watching or listening to the debates and election results.  Seeing tweet numbers fluctuate with highs and lows indicating favorable and unfavorable answers to questions or reactions to candidate gestures during the debates was telling. The idea of following tweets was novel but reasonable considering the impact of social media on the presidential campaign and the outcomes as to who won or lost each debate.  In our everyday lives and in the business marketplace Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook and YouTube have earned their keep by proving they make an impact on our daily lives and businesses.  If you are in business and you’re ignoring or unwilling to adopt appropriate social media vehicles, your business growth and vitality can be stymied.

According to dailycaller.com, the first debate, on Oct. 3, 2012, set a Twitter record. 10.2 million Tweets were sent during the event, the most sent during a U.S. political event in Twitter’s short history.  7.2 million tweets were sent during the the second presidential debate on Oct. 16, according to Twitter’s official count.  The third and final presidential debate appeared to spark less interest among Twitter users than either of the previous two debates.

People who listened to the debates and did not see the candidates drew different opinions as to debate winners, on style and content.  As mentioned, messaging is extremely important.  Radio listeners didn’t see Vice President Biden’s smiles that were interpreted as rude and  inappropriate or Paul Ryan’s “nervousness” attributed to his “gulping water” from a glass ever so often.  Viewers interpreted their gestures and actions. Listeners did not have to deal with the gestures.  Their opinions of who won or lost was based on the substance of what they heard – the messages.

Following the vice presidential debate columnist Charles Krauthammer on FOX News gave his perspective on the candidates’ performances. Krauthammer said, “If you heard it on radio, Biden won. If you watched it on television, he lost.”

What does this tell us about marketing?  Presentations you make related to your business, professional practice or services and products or areas of expertise, must be well prepared.  The way you present yourself at all times must not be off-putting.  When conducting a seminar, making a speech or networking at a business event, it is essential to convey a sense of openness to others.  You want to be a “likeable” and “approachable” person.  Looking stern, hammering the podium, pointing at someone to make your point, interrupting or talking over someone will not come across very well in a business circle.  How to overcome these and other pitfalls to public speaking and interaction with business peers? Practice and practice again and again.  That’s precisely what the candidates did, but under pressure even they had moments when they fell short of their “likability” goals.

According to www.business2community.com “Your professional image can be greatly impacted by the way you interact with others. Portraying your best self is critical for preserving your reputation and establishing likability. Pay attention to the way you interact with others, no matter who they are—or how much you may disagree with them. Whether you’re a politician or an office worker, your personal brand matters if you want to maintain credibility. The presidential debates show that even the smallest elements, like articulation and body language, matter when it comes to promoting your best image.”

There is no question that business people can learn effective marketing, communications and branding techniques from the success and shortfalls from these debates.

Sources:

About Bill Corbett Jr.

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm. For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com. He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

Twitter [INTERNSHIP]

It is clear to see how Twitter can be part of our daily lives. Some people feel the need to keep their followers updated on their lives, and some people use it to educate people. The good thing about twitter is that there is a personal use, and a business use. Twitter allows people to engage on all different kinds of levels, from fun random facts to hard breaking news.  This social site makes it easy to connect and stay connected with everyone around the world.

At times, Twitter can be like one big chat room. Twitter chats can be initiated by a common hash tag. Chats are not private, so everyone can say what people are talking about. This can be a good thing because it can be used as a business tool. A great advantage to non private chat rooms can be onlookers checking out what you’re talking about. For example if you are talking about a specific or topic, you might be able to segway into your new retail business by explaining  what you offer how it solves that need and perhaps some cool deals. Onlookers will see this and be informed about your business and you may gain a new group of followers. Use the twitter chat to your advantage. However, treat Twitter like a social event not a sales floor, talk about the things around your product or service before you even mention something that’s for sale.

In order to chat with people on a certain topic, hash tags (#) are the way to go. For personal use, when someone wants to talk about the recent political debate on twitter all that person has to do is hash tag a keyword. For example, you might want to use “#politicaldebate” or even “#presidentialdebate”. This will allow users to engage with people besides their followers.

For a business use, one might want to get their company’s name out there. A good idea for the business is to tweet something about their business that will appeal to people and hash tag their company’s name. To even go a step further, you can hash tag keywords that describe your company and their products or services. For example, if a new car dealership opens locally, a good idea is to hash tag the town they are located in and hash tag keywords like the type of cars and offers.  If a business owner believes they have a great idea, twitter is one of the ways to put it out there and test it. Just like anything else, make sure your topics are about issues, stories of solutions, tweets that just talk at the public tend to do poorly compared to ones that are there to start or participate in a conversation.

Twitter has great marketing potential. Your twitter page is a spinning image of you. You want to come off as professional as you can. Your twitter background and avatar are canvases that allow you to be personal and reflect yourself on the page.  For personal use you want to use this space to describe yourself. It is a proven fact that people make judgments within a second. The same goes for a company trying to brand themselves on twitter. Making their page unique and constantly updating will stick out in people’s minds. The twitter bio allows users to describe who they are and what they do. For personal and business use, overlooking the twitter bio would be a huge disadvantage. This is the time where you should be personable and make someone want to be your follower.

An easy way to gain and keep followers is to produce content. Not just any content however, but content that is interesting, educational, and appealing to a wide variety of people. You want to reach a wide range audience, so make sure that your content isn’t directed to just one group of people. Producing constant content will keep your twitter “alive” and gain followers daily. When there is content, there is feedback. With a single hash tag you can grab a worldwide audience. Feedback is important for any business because it tells you to either continue what you’re doing, or improve on a certain aspect. Good feedback can be an advantage for your twitter because other people can see that people like your content. However, there is always bad feedback. It all depends on how you handle the bad feedback that will allow you to come out once again stronger on top.

Twitter has become part of our daily lives. It would be a company’s huge disadvantage if they didn’t use twitter to brand themselves. Twitter is a great marketing social media site. It is easy to use and interact with people from all over the world. Once you figure out a keyword to represent yourself or your company, you’re sure to succeed on Twitter.

Sources:

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Social Media – The Great Equalizer?

Wikipedia defines social media as, “… web- and mobile-based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals.”  And, I would think that social media organizations would be looking to foster an “interactive dialogue”, regardless of opinion and personal feelings.

I would be wrong.  As I was searching Twitter the other evening, I came across a bunch of tweets from a local organization, and was sorry that I couldn’t attend their meeting.  I then tried to follow the Twitter account, when to my surprise I was immediately informed that:

I was confused.  I visited the organizations Twitter page and was able to see all the tweets, and could follow along with the hashtag they were using.  I just couldn’t follow them.

Why would an organization interested in fostering interactive dialogue on the topic of social media take the approach of blocking users they don’t agree with.  Would they also prevent me from attending one of their meetings?

But, and more to the point, why would you choose to engage on any social media platform and then proceed to prevent people from engaging with you.  Social media’s primary purpose, whether for business or personal, it to increase engagement, and to allow others to connect with you when situations don’t allow in-person meetings.

I certainly understand the need to be able to report and block users for spam (I’ve discussed that previously in my article How Not to Market on Twitter), and Twitter makes it fairly easy to do so.  But shouldn’t you have a reason to block someone before doing it?  I would never block someone just because their opinion differs from mine.  I would not block someone that has a different affiliation, whether it’s political or religious, since I don’t have to engage in the conversations with them.

Is social media the great equalizer?  I thought so.  At least until I was blocked.  Have you found that you were blocked by a user or organization?  Have you done the blocking?  Why?

Sources:

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Too Much Sharing Going On – A Case Study

I share an office with my wife and as I was heading out for a meeting, I noticed she was tagging something in Diigo, a social bookmarking site which allows you to store articles with descriptions and tags for later retrieval. I inquired why she was still using Diigo, and not Evernote to keep track of all things important.  “I never learned to use Evernote,” she replied.  Simple enough reason.

This got me thinking about why we use certain tools to accomplish our on-line tasks. Be it Diigo instead of Evernote or TweetDeck instead of Hootsuite, what makes a person choose one tool over another?  Why do people not always choose the more highly rated or more efficient tool for the job?

Very often it comes down to time and effort.  My wife uses Diigo and TweetDeck because she doesn’t have time to learn a new tool, and TweetDeck got there first. It’s the tool that, today, requires no extra learning.  After all, social media isn’t her business.  While she’s using it for business, if one tool does the job, why look at another?

One of the things that we social media people have a hard time understanding is that not everybody embraces the available tools for connecting with the zeal that our community does.  When I probed my wife’s social media habits further and inquired whether she shared the articles she saved to Diigo, she said no.  No? “Why,” I asked her and her answer surprised me more than I expected.  Very calmly she replied, “There is too much sharing going on.”

Really???  Too much sharing?

She went on to explain that her business Diigo group only had a few followers, and that her intention was to reach a wider audience.  That is why she shares to Twitter and Facebook, and not to LinkedIn.  There was no real purpose to sharing to her Diigo group. In her mind, it was more efficient to send an email newsletter summarizing her favorites.

So, have we reached a limit to the amount of sharing we are going to tolerate?  After all, for small businesses, they can share to several social networks, including:

(check out the Big List of Social Bookmarking and Networking Sites on Squidoo)

 

So, how much is too much?  As you saw from the conversation with my wife, too much is going beyond Facebook and Twitter.  But, maybe your target audience is also on LinkedIn.  Then you have no choice but to be available there, as well.

The moral to the story is simple – share where you reach your audience.  Because, after all, you can’t share everything everywhere.  It’s just not possible.

Where are you sharing?  Where have you been most effective?

Social Bookmarking Sites explained:  Social bookmarking sites allow users to organize, manage and store any resources that they discover on-line.  It is like an on-line filing cabinet for everything internet.  They do work very similar to Evernote, in that you add websites to your account, and can tag them with keywords and descriptions, which are then searchable.  Evernote has an advantage, in that you can send items from your e-mail, desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Sources:

 

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

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