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Saturday Social: What is Twitter and How to Work it?

 
I have always thought of Twitter as a cocktail networking event, only online. It’s a place filled with lots of varied people and diverse conversations. Just about anything under the sun is discussed on Twitter, from traveling to teleporting.

Imagine a room full of on-going conversations, the place filled with chatter so indistinct, it’s noise and noisy when you first walk in. It’s also overwhelming and disconcerting like a a real room full of people you don’t know.

But if you squared your shoulders, took a deep breath, smiled and stepped up to the bar, things would start to change. Take a sip of that cocktail and look around, listen to talk around you.

As you listen the indistinct babble will start to pop words. Some may be interesting to you and you’ll gravitate towards the conversation that most catches your ear. After hanging around on the fringes slowly you’ve venture an opinion and before you know it you are a part of the conversation.

Soon another word in another part of the room catches your attention and you move on to the new conversation. And so on the evening goes, talking and meeting new people.

Working a networking event takes time and patience. It also requires listening skills as no one wants to only listen. These rules apply to Twitter too.

When trying to figure out how you can use twitter personally or for your business, the best way to start is to sign-up and then sit back and listen. Let the conversations come to you, get a feel of the pulse of the space, and then say what you’d like to say.

Follow people because you genuinely want to follow them, not because they are celebrities. Interact with those you follow. Be genuine in your conversations. Be yourself.

P.S. – I’m going to be talking more about Twitter as the weeks go by. I’m taking this on my chin, so please let me know what you think of this post. Did it help you? And leave me questions you have in comments and I’ll try to answer them. 🙂

 
P.S. – Day Nineteen of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

May 23, 2015   1 Comment

Saturday Social: Does Your Small Business Need Twitter?

 

Twitter is one of the networks that should be in your top 5 when you think social media, however it’s placement on that list is based on your type of business.

If you run a small business, managing your own social media makes sense financially and for branding. But when you are doing everything yourself, you have to choose carefully what you spend your time on.

So, how do you know if Twitter is for you? Before you decide to launch your company on twitter you should sit back and figure a few things out.

 

Objective

Evaluate what is your objective is to use Twitter for your company/product and what you would like to achieve from it. Being clear at the start makes it easier to decide what you will do on Twitter and how much of it. You’ll be able figure out whether you need a company profile or a personal profile. It will also help to measure ROI.

 

Audience

Twitter is quite a popular network in India but not everyone is on it. For example you may not find a lot of retired folk on it but you will find a lot of celebrities and young people. So gauge your audience carefully and see if they hang out on Twitter. Twitter is the network for you if it’s users are your audience.

 

Relevance

A good place to start is with some searching and reading. Look up keywords that are important to your business and assess how much people talk about it. For Example, if you are into a herbal products business, search for words like hair, shampoo, herbal, etc. and see how many people are talking about the topic. If you find enough chatter, Twitter is worth getting into as you can make relevant conversations.

 

Activity

Look for others doing similar business to you on Twitter and study the activities they do on their news stream. Make note of the things that have worked for them and the mistakes they have made. These learning will help you chose your activities well and make them a success.

 

Time

Remember that your time is limited. Also remember that becoming successful on Twitter takes time. With all the information you have gathered you can now figure out how much time managing your twitter profile will take. Can dedicate that much time consistently?

 

With all this in mind, now look at Twitter and see where it fits in your Top 5. For that matter you could use this same yardstick to measure any other network too.

After all this assessment if you know for sure that Twitter is the next network to add to your social profile, go to Twitter.com and click Register. All the Best!! 🙂

P.S. – If you are wondering what to do next, I’ll be covering that and more as the weeks roll by. Leave me any questions you have in comments and I’ll try and answer it. 🙂

 
P.S. – Day Twelve of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

May 16, 2015   No Comments

Why Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Must Use Social Media

A couple of days back I received some Marketing Charts from HubSpot. Here are some stats I found very useful for small businesses and entrepreneurs to know. Keep in mind that most of these numbers are from U.S. web users but with the internet aren’t you selling/offering services to the world? 🙂 (and India is headed here in the future so better start early!)

  • Social media site users spend an average of 5.4 hours a month engaged in networking sites.
  • 53.5 billion minutes per month spent on Facebook
  • The average Facebook user spent seven hours, 46 minutes on the site monthly
  • 734.2 million unique visitors to Facebook.com globally in June 2011, an increase of 33% from the previous year. Twitter.com comes second reaching 144.4 million visitors (up 56%). LinkedIn.com is fourth with more than 84 million visitors
  • Facebook, has an average monthly audience of more than 140 million vs its nearest competitor Blogger with 50 million. That means Facebook reaches 70% of active internet users.
  • From 9% of US market share of visits, Facebook has now reached about 65%. YouTube has gone from 9% to 20% and is steadily climbing. Twitter and LinkedIn seem to be staying constant at 2 to 3%.
  • Globally Europe leads in the average hours spent on social networking sites by 38.1%. N. America has 21.4% and Asia-Pacific has 16.5%.
  • According to the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index Facebook scores the lowest satisfaction score. Google on the other-hand was one of the highest scoring companies.
  • In just one week, Google+ went from ranking as 54th most visited site to 8th place.
  • Women make up majority of visitors to social networks, and people aged between 18-34 have the highest concentration of visitors among age groups.
  • Mobile users accessing social networks on the phone in the older generation (+55) have doubled since last year.
  • 41% of both video and search ad viewers have taken some type of action from an, while only 28% of social media ad viewers were inspired to act.
  • 63% of Facebook users what something in return when ‘Like’ing a page.
  • 80% of social network users prefer to connect to brands via Facebook.
  • 6 in 10 online shoppers say user-generated customer product reviews have a good impact on their buying behavior
  • An average of 29%, that’s 3 of 10 consumers seek buying advice.

That’s a lot of numbers but it’s clear that for now Facebook cannot be ignored. Customers are talking and connecting on Facebook and companies need to be there engaging with them or they will be missing out! YouTube and videos are a great way to engage with your audience and its steadily growing in usage. Not to be left out is Google+. I’d like to see how it fares a year from now; instinct says it’s just gonna keep climbing the usage charts – so get your Google+ Corporate Page Now!

You can download the entire report at Hubspot.

November 23, 2011   No Comments

Review: Conducting Twitter Contests by Tony Eldridge

[This post has been posted on the BookBuzzr blog too! For those who may not know I am a Social Media Marketer. I also represent BookBuzzr as the Author Community Manager.]

Phew! I’ve just gone through Tony Eldridge’s Conducting Twitter Contests and first reaction; Wow!

It’s been a quick skim but I already know that I’m going to go back for more. Tony has used a novel way to present his topic; he uses text and video so, you can read; absorb, and then watch and reinforce.

In this course Tony covers –

• Selecting the audience
• Planning a contest
• Pre-contest promotion
• Selecting prizes and setting rules
• Creating a tracking system and contest page
• Launching the contest and promoting it
• Contest end

Saying his course is about Twitter Contests would be limiting it! The course has nuggets of information that will benefit your outcome of twitter even without conducting a contest.

Summation – Tony Eldridge’s Conducting Twitter Contests is a must read for anyone planning a twitter contest!

Read more about Conducting Twitter Contests and order here. Tony Eldridge is a noted Book Marketer; creator of the Marketing Tips for Authors blog and has a free Video Marketing Tips For Authors newsletter. Tony Eldridge is the author of The Samson Effect, an action/adventure novel that Clive Cussler calls a “first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure.”

March 26, 2010   2 Comments

Twitter Lists: A Power Tool for Authors

Recently I was invited to be guest blogger on Tony Eldridge’s Marketing Tips for Authors Blog. Being such a fan of Twitter my post is about how Twitter has proven to be a great marketing tool and ‘Lists’ their latest feature only enhances its potential. Read my post: Twitter Lists: A Power Tool for Authors to learn how you can increase your productivity on twitter and engage better with your audience.

February 17, 2010   3 Comments

Review: Sendible – A Multi-Platform Social Media Scheduler

I am constantly on the lookout for good social media sites and here is my latest find.

Sendible helps you to connect with your friends, family, customers and co-workers by sending all types of messages from one place – now or in the future. I took a quick look around and liked what I saw though it still can do better.

The sign-up was pretty easy and clean. Had to wait a while though for the confirmatory email. The welcome page has a listing of all the sites you can schedule on, and there are quite a few. You can post on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter among others. You can also schedule Blogs, Email and even Flickr.
sendible12 Before being able to use any of the services, you will have to enter details of the networks you want to use. You can connect not only to your Facebook profile but also your Facebook pages. That’s a nice touch!

You can import your contacts from most emails services. Sendible supports Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo or you can use a .csv file. The process is simple and easy and you also have the option of selecting which contacts to import. The Address book is well spaced out and easy to navigate.

The email setup is easy to use and even lets you blind copy everyone if you are mass mailing. The Multi Message allows you to send/schedule on multiple platforms and when scheduling you can also make messages recurring to act as reminders, however the scheduler right now only lets you go upto 30 hours. Hope they soon include days, weeks and months.

The sms scheduler allows only 160 characters and lets you get all replies to your sms as an email. A great marketing tool! However you have to buy credits to use the sms feature, hence not free 🙁

Sendible seems to be the only tool I have come across recently that allows multi-social network scheduling/posting for free. (I use SocialOomph quite a bit and I hate the fact that Facebook scheduling is not free). When scheduling status updates you can include URL’s and images too!

Sendible also lets you setup reminders for yourself by email or sms. Though am not so kicked by this as I can do this on my phone or outlook as reminders anyway.

On repeat login you will get to your homepage which is quite nifty. At a glance you can see scheduled messages, tasks and birthdays. You can also send out quick emails and status messages.

Something to note is that all messages will have ads in them unless you have a Sendible Pro account. The paid service also offers an newsletter sign-up widget for your blog. The widget adds the customer data to your Sendible list and so you can schedule and send out your newsletter right from here. You can even customize your newsletter and send them to select groups.

On the whole a great social media scheduler! It caters to almost everyone’s needs.

Photo Credit – Sendible

January 21, 2010   1 Comment

Who and why do I follow on Twitter…

Twitter BirdUntil a few weeks ago I had an auto-follow set-up, and I would randomly check and weed-out from these auto-follows. (Auto-follow is offered by many twitter apps and what it does is blindly follow those who follow you)

Then one day I decided to get off it and see what happens. I had chosen to auto-follow not because I was trying to get more followers but because I was lazy. So it was easy to get off that wagon. Ok, not that easy 🙂

Now that am going to choose who to follow manually, I’ve been giving some thought to what am looking for when following people.

This makes a huge difference I have realized, following authentic people helps connect better, prevents spam and on the whole makes twitter a much better experience.

Here are the things I am going to look out for, (did I miss something, pls add-in).

1. A photo – of a person and not some inanimate object. It so much better to know people by face rather than just an ‘@’ ID.
2. A bio – Helps me get to know the person and also understand what they are about.
3. Last tweet – I want to follow active people, if someone hasn’t posted for more than 3 months – hey! Whats the point.
4. Non-Spammers – I am sick of those spammy direct messages.
5. No-Bots – No place here for robots. I don’t care and don’t want to hear what they say.
6. Connectors – Most importantly people who connect with me or talk to me… People who want to genuinely be friends and not just hit on me…

What do you look for on twitter? Why do you connect with or follow tweeple?

Photo Credit – www.bijusubhash.com

January 8, 2010   1 Comment

Using Twitter for promotion – Part 2: How to engage and interest tweeple with your tweets

Tweeple In my last post on How Twitter is like a Newspaper we talked about choosing a target audience for your promotion and researching their needs and wants. But, just posting what they want isn’t enough. It is important to build variety, connect with tweeple, not spam and balance your tweets along with promoting yourself.

Variety

Don’t limit yourself to what you are doing or your area of work, look at how you can build-in variety. For e.g. Apart from tweeting about what Outdoor Corporate Training you are doing, your tweets can be about –

1. tips on outdoor activities
2. your learning from your programs
3. latest developments in your field
4. quotes on the outdoors and training
5. humor based on outdoors
6. good blog posts
7. recommend others who are good in the field

These are some examples but you should not limit yourself to them either. Look at all that your audience would be interested in; and remember that they would also have varied interests.

Connect

Don’t be a robot and just post headings and links. Share information about yourself and what you are doing; but in an interesting manner. People may not be interested in knowing what training session you are doing but they sure would like to know how you overcame a certain challenge.

Follow and watch what tweeple talk about. Reply and start conversations with people. Make your presence felt but tweet meaningfully not just because you have to say something.

Search on twitter with keywords related to your field of expertise and help tweeple out with answers and suggestions.

If you find an interesting tweet or information, retweet it. Passing on information helps your followers and also builds a connection with the person who posted the original tweet. E.g.

RT @devakishor The best tutorial/guide as to how we can use Linkedin http://bit.ly/okko7

Use the ‘@’ symbol not only to reply but to also draw attention and connect. (Read my post on ‘How to use the ‘@’ on twitter to your best advantage’)

Use hashtags to help people find your tweets. Hashtags are just like tags on blogs only add inline to your tweet. To create a hashtag simply place the ‘#’ symbol before a relevant word. E.g. #outdoor

For finding relevant hashtags being used in your field search hashtags.org or what the hashtag ?! – both are hashtag directories.

Use the #FollowFriday hashtag to recommend people. When suggesting people remember to include the reason for recommending them.

Watch your twitter stream for questions or someone asking for help. If you know someone who can help or answer the question make sure to recommend them. Connecting people is a great way to network.

Spam

No one likes to listen to only one person talk in a discussion room. Hence remember tweet but don’t overdo it. If your tweets clog your followers timelines there is a high probability they will unfollow you. I personally think you should tweet between 10-30 times in a day and no more.

If your tweet is not relevant to everyone and just one person – DM (Direct Message) them as there is no point in telling the world about it.

Balance

The last but most important point to remember is to balance your tweets. A good mix of information, answers, replies, retweets and promotion will keep your followers happy and bring you more followers.

I recommend only one promotional tweet in every 10 tweets and about 5-7 retweets in a day. The rest of your tweets can be a mix of information and replies.

How do you twitter? Please share your best practices in comments. Thanks.

September 22, 2009   2 Comments

Using Twitter for promotion – Part 1: Imagine Twitter to be a newspaper…

Twitter's like newspaper It’s not about what you are doing or what you want… Promotion done right is about what your audience wants and needs.

A couple of days earlier a friend asked me how he could use twitter to promote himself and his work. Our long discussion motivated me to write a series about twitter and how to use it right. With no further delay, here’s the first…

Imagine a newspaper. It has headlines, news pieces, editorial, advertisements, etc. All of this gets divided into local, regional, national and international. Another way it gets split is politics, entertainment, sports, finance, etc. There are a lot of sub-divisions in one newspaper.

If you walked down your street in the morning you would see different newspapers lying at your neighbours doorsteps. There are a large variety of newspapers available and people choose their paper based on the kind of news and reporting they are interested in.

Do you see how twitter is like a newspaper? – Its has 140 character headlines with links to more, a variety of tweets depending on the persons interest, self and other advertising and followers who can choose tweeple to follow depending on interest.

So how does a newspaper decide what news they would run and how they would report it? And how do you think they could increase their readership? Newspapers choose news based on the areas they have experts in and what their audience wants. But if they want to increase their viewership they first need to look into what kind of readers they want. After deciding the target audience they need to find out what their new audience wants and deliver.

Twitter works similarly; if you want more followers you need to first list out the kind of audience you want for yourself and your work. Then research the interests of your audience using a tool like Twitter Search to understand their needs.

Now that you know what information to provide to capture interest and give people a reason to follow you, remember that too much information can also turn people off. So my next topic in this series is how much to tweet and how to balance it.

So what do you relate twitter to?

Photo Credit: Xeni

September 15, 2009   3 Comments