Category Archives: Social Media

Twitter Mistakes

How to Avoid Twitter Mistakes That All Small Businesses Make

Twitter is a great way to increase your followers and build up your name and brand. But it can be a disaster if you aren’t doing it right. Twitter is a viable tool and you can get a lot out of it, but you need to keep a few things in mind. I’m giving out these helpful tips so that you can avoid the same twitter mistakes that so many have made before you.
influence-chart

  1. The first thing you should never do is begin a twitter following with someone else’s username. This is one of the common twitter mistakes that so many make. Say someone tweets your blog and you want to give them praise for doing so. Don’t start a tweet with @username. This is going to prevent others from seeing the kindness and praise that the person gave you. They may have tweeted something about your blog, but others will never be able to see it. If you want to make the twitter name more viable and visible to others, use a period prior to the @username. If you don’t only the person who blogged your stuff and your other followers are going to be the only ones seeing it.
  2. Don’t just follow someone because they are following you. This is another common mistake that some make. Read this classic post from Matt McGee about Popularity vs Trust on twitter. I mean it’s nice to follow someone, but do it only if you liked what the person writes or blogs about. Following someone just for the sake of it is one way to send the wrong message. By following someone, you agree with pretty much everything the person is doing. So be careful when making the choice to follow someone on twitter. Someone may like what you are saying, but it doesn’t mean that you will like what they are saying. And following someone just because they are a celebrity and you like them, is not a good enough reason either. So be selective when following someone on your own timeline. Because if you are following the wrong person, strictly based on the fact that they follow you, is going to also send the wrong message to your followers. And you don’t want that.
  3. Another misconception about twitter is that you need to make the tweets long. Some people get in the habit of either writing a few hundred words or they write an entire book on twitter. This is not what twitter is about. If you want to talk for a long period of time, twitter is not the place to do so. Just stick with the short tweets. They are going to give you the higher engagement rates. They are going to give you the most followers.

    If your tweet is between 100 and 120 characters, this is perfect. The ones with 100-120 word length are the ones who get responded to the most. So keep the tweets short and sweet and to the point. If you do, you will leave space for others to leave their comments. People don’t generally leave a comment on a blog that doesn’t leave room for one. It’s bad business.

    Looking at the charts, you can see that around 30-35% will respond more to those which are between 100-120 characters. Once you start going over that line, you will lose your audience.

  4. Some have gotten in the habit of tweeting the full url. It can be an easy and convenient way of doing things. But please avoid this at all costs. it may be simple, but it will be ineffective in the long run. How you may ask might it be ineffective? Every time you do this, you are missing out on the metrics of your click rate. This may not be a big deal for some of you, but for others it will be. it just depends on what you are using twitter for. So take that into account as well when you make the choice to leave the full url.

    Instead, you might want to try something else. Go into your tools menu and consider shortening your url link. That way you can still send the link, but also keep updated on who is clicking on your tweets. You can find out more by using Google and going in and making the link shorter. You can also log onto bit.ly and find out if this link has already been put out there and who has clicked on it. This is going to save you time and trouble later on.

  5. A final mistake that many make is setting the analytics up too late. If you are on twitter, you need to be looking into your tweets and followers on a regular basis. You also need to be looking into the growth of these numbers. Some don’t care about the numbers and their followers and that is what causes them to not succeed on twitter. So you need to check the number and be familiar with what is going on.

twitter-followers-growth
You also need to look into what your followers and audience wants and needs. You need to pay attention to this, it’s very crucial that you do. If something is not working for your audience, you need to be aware of this. To this end, you need to set up analytics that matter. Choosing settings that don’t function for you or your audience is not going to be a time saver.

Having analytics that work for you and your audience means that you spend that time tweeting and keeping up with your audience’s needs. Another good reason to keep an eye on the stats is that it will help to increase your followers in a big way. It will also help you by knowing what tweets are working for you and which aren’t. Certain tweets don’t work with certain demographics and you need to be aware of this. By knowing what tweets work and which don’t, you will find out the tweets that will drive your brand even more.

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Backup & Download Your Facebook Photos and Updates

how to backup your facebook dataAre you an ardent Facebook user? If so, have you ever thought about Facebook backup? You might be wondering what purpose an off-line copy of your Facebook account serves. The truth is that it may prove to be useful to download your Facebook information in certain situations.

I was concerned with backing up some of the mobile photos I’ve put on my Facebook page within the last year so I was searching for a way to backup and download my Facebook information, photos and wall/status updates. Facebook recently came out with an option to do this. Just in time Zuck!

What if you couldn’t find the information you put on Facebook anywhere else? Let’s say, for example, you took some important pictures on your phone and uploaded it to Facebook. What would you do once you lost your phone? Luckily, you can download Facebook pictures that you uploaded from your phone using the outlined method. Downloading your Facebook information is also useful because it allows you to transfer the information you have onto other platforms, if necessary.

How to Initiate a Facebook Backup

  1. First, open your browser and log on to www.Facebook.com. In the proper fields, enter in the email address that you use to log in with and your password to access your account.
  2. After logging in, you should see three tabs on the top right of the screen that read “home”, “profile”, and “account”. After clicking on the “account” tab, a drop-down menu should appear; select the “account settings” tab on the drop-down menu.
  3. You should now see a page with a list of possible actions you can take, such as changing your email, username, password, etc. Find the heading that reads “Download Your Information” and click the tab that says “learn more”.
  4. On the page that opens you will see a download button. After reading the directions on that page, click the download button.

Your Facebook information will come in the form of a zip file. Keep in mind that Facebook needs time to gather all the information it has that pertains to your account and that you’ll have to wait a little while before you begin the actual download. You will receive an email when you are ready to download your Facebook information . Also keep in mind that before the actual download, Facebook will ask you to verify your account information for security reasons.

If you’re wondering what’s included when you backup Facebook this way the answer is “just about anything you put up”. You can download profile content like your contact information, interests, and associated groups. You can download wall posts and other related content that you and your friends share on your profile. Photos and videos that are uploaded to your account are also downloadable. Friend lists, notes that you have created, sent and received messages, and even events that you have RSVP’d are also among some of the things you can download as well.

It is important to note that through this particular method of Facebook backup it is not possible to pick and choose which information you would like to download; it’s an all-or-nothing deal. If you want to download Facebook pictures , video, and information in one shot, this is probably the best way.

There is one last thing to keep in mind when backing up your Facebook account. Your downloaded file will contain sensitive information. Facebook strongly urges you to keep your data secure and take extra precautions when storing or transferring this data onto other services.
backup and download your facebook account

local-social-media

Successful Ways to Unlock Local Social Media Strategies For Your Small Business

local-social-media

Using Local Social Networking for Your Smal Business

Social media presents today’s small business owner with a wealth of opportunities to find success in a major way. While many claim it’s all just too complicated, the reality is that most successful local social media strategies can be implemented at little to no out-of-pocket cost. You just need to know what works, what doesn’t and how to enter the playing field with your eyes wide open. Soon, you’ll have all of the ammunition and motivation needed to launch a wildly successful local social media campaign without breaking the bank or jeopardizing your sanity.

Quick Social Media Facts

In a moment, we’ll deal with the ammunition and strategies of successful local social media campaigns. But first, it’s time for some old fashioned motivation by way of powerful facts and statistics that should fuel your passion for social media promotion.

  • One in every nine people in the entire planet are on Facebook.
  • That same Facebook eats up 700 billion minutes of our time each and every month.
  • In May of 2011, 190 million Tweets were being posted every single day on Twitter.
  • Google+ was the fastest social media platform to break 10 million users in just 16 days after launch (it took Facebook 852 days to do it)
  • Foursquare boasts 1.5 billion check-ins, with millions more daily.

Obviously, there’s an audience out there. The challenge is devising a customized local social media strategy (across multiple platforms) that stakes your claim in the local market share using new, exciting ways that yield powerful customer relationships and loyalty.

When I sit outside Brew’d Awakening on Market St. I can literally watch the checkins on Facebook and FourSquare, and tweets from Twitter. There’s no question that social media is alive and active in Lowell. I’m even a Mayor at quite a few establishments myself :)

Unlock Local on Facebook: Status Tags

Since Facebook announces new and exciting developments every time you turn around, some fall under the radar. One that did is the Status Tag. Most of you have tagged a friend in a post or mentioned them in a Check-In status update, so you know how that works. What you may not know is that you can do this for relevant local pages and fan pages when you post. What you need to do first is search out groups and “fan clubs” that like things that you talk about, whether it’s religion, marketing, coffee or whatever your business’s specialty might be. When you find relevant groups (especially those that fall in your local market) you can tag that group or fan page in your posts, and your post will also appear on that particular Fan Page as well.

Case Study: How One Restaurant Hit Local Gold with Status Tags

In a small town in southern Georgia, there is an annual agricultural festival that brings in vendors, experts and enthusiasts from all across the planet. One local mom and pop restaurant started doing status tags about 3 weeks prior to the event, and continued throughout the week. Their offer: Bring in your stub from the Ag Expo for a free piece of pecan pie. The results? Folks were literally standing in line for a piece of that pie, and drinks and dinners, too!

Unlock Local On Twitter: Advanced Search

It’s hard to believe that a simple search tool can pay off in dividends, but when it comes to optimizing your Twitter profile for local marketing efforts, it does – every time! Using the advanced search tool, you can search all users by keyword, location, or many other data breakdowns. You can also search for hashtags to find out what people are saying about a particular subject, topic, etc. This allows you to develop a targeted strategy to grow your following and followers.

Bonus Tip: Insight into Your Local Influential Social Media Personalities

Wefollow.com is a great free tool that allows you to gain clear insight into the local Twitter users in your area. Find out what they’re talking about, who is listening and how to influence the influencers.

Unlock Local on Google+: Coming Soon – Brand Pages

As highlighted earlier, Google+ is by far the fastest growing social media site out there. While it offers a very similar end-user experience to what you would get from Facebook, there are distinct differences, especially from the marketers point of view. Fortunately, while you can do your best with complete profiles, in-depth and locally relevant status updates, etc. there is a new development in the works, Google+ Brand pages which will provide business users with significantly in-depth demographic information about relevant market segments.

Unlock Local on Foursquare: The Best Free Thing You’ll Do

Foursquare is a mobile sensation that has turned patronizing brick and mortar businesses into a game, one where you could ultimately be deemed “The Mayor” of your favorite establishment, with all the pomp and glory that may entail. If you haven’t signed up already, it couldn’t be any simpler. Just sign up at the Business page, “Claim” your establishment and create an offer and watch the site work it’s magic. Because it is integrated with Twitter and Facebook, this can translate into an explosion of traffic and interest in your offer and business.

Of course, you don’t have to be a traditional business to make it work. There is another aspect of Foursquare for Brands that work for publishers, non-profits, religious organizations, media and more. One small childcare center in Jacksonville, FL got a number of local businesses to set up as partners who would “contribute” a small amount (usually $0.05 or less) for every Check-In during a one month period and was able to bring in several hundred dollars in funding with very little trouble through the Merchant Platform.

Using Foursquare for local business marketing

How Local Business Can Use Foursquare

Companies are starting to use LBS (location-based services) as the new cutting edge marketing to attract a new crowd. The question is whether they’ll pay for the privilege. Or whether Foursquare, which has 400,000 users now voluntarily “checking in” at locations, and broadcasting that to their followers, will transcend its current “it” status among the technorati and become a lasting consumer phenomenon and a marketing tool.

Co-founder Dennis Crowley puts it this way: I think Foursquare found some kind of sweet spot between the:

  • intersection of social utility (Hey, I know where my friends are)
  • sharing/oversharing (I log everywhere I go/everything I do)
  • and gaming/rewards (every check-in gives you a little piece of candy).

Foursquare is designed with these game dynamics in mind, and it’s the absurd appeal of its reward that makes the service so “sticky” for us. ALSO keep in mind each time someone checks in, it exposes your business to all of their followers on Twitter and Facebook as well. That’s over 300,000,000 people.

Foursquare is available in every city (mostly in the U.S.). Right now, the service has a strictly urbanite appeal, and it could inhabit this niche quite nicely. However, if local offers are incorporated in a compelling way as its coverage area expands, it could certainly head towards the mainstream. I can also see people using it just to discover what’s around them, regardless of telling people where they are. “I’ll get sushi at Ki Sushi since Carter P. tells me it’s the best in the city,” or “I’ll hit up an ATM if I go to Trout when D.M. warns that it’s cash only.”

[pullquote]Keep in mind each time someone checks in on Foursquare, it exposes your business to all of their followers on Facebook and Twitter.[/pullquote]Advertisers, both local and national, would be smart to start thinking about their “location” strategies while there’s still a relatively open playing field. By taking advantage of mobile platforms like Foursquare, ones that engage and offer incentives to consumers within the proverbial “last 50 feet,” businesses can bring all the advantages of the social web to their front door.

Startup Foursquare is showing the early stages of what could be some very interesting things for local marketing and fun for its users.

One of the biggest things to leverage for local businesses is using Foursquare “Mayorships” (which you get when you check into a venue the most times compared to others in the city) as a way to give out special deals, like free beer, 10% off your bill every visit or even a free toy for the Mayor’s kid.

That idea continues to expand. I’ve talked with 2 local companies in the Boston area and one is a custom running shoe store that gives out a free pair of sneakers to its Mayor and another Children’s Dentist that could do a free 30-minute teeth cleaning procedure for their Mayor.

Local business using FoursquareAs Amit Gupta noted, a bar/performance space is doing something similar in San Francisco. But they’re also expanding on the idea. Not only does the mayor of the venue get free drinks, but everyone who checks into the venue on Foursquare and shows proof (on your iPhone or other mobile device) gets $2 off a ticket to any performance that night.

While Foursquare didn’t officially sanction this, it loves ideas like this. And it should be obvious why: It entices people not only to go to those venues, but to use Foursquare when they do. The service loves the idea so much, that it’s building support for these types of deals, or “Mayor Bonuses” as they it calls them, into the next version of the iPhone app.

Want to get your business in on this Foursquare bandwagon? Go here and register your company or venue right from its foursquare venue page. There’s even a premade Foursquare sign you can put in your business’s window.

If you need more help with this or any local social media marketing feel free to contact me.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-03

  • I’m totally burnt out on Microsoft Windows lately. Think I’m going to try working in Ubuntu or god forbid a Mac #
  • going to attend: 7 Simple Steps to Email Compliance Webinar http://is.gd/pGK3 #
  • how do you get around expensive PPC keywords. The main keywords for my company are $16-$32 PER CLICK on Google adwords! and thats for 3 word #
  • OK so now I see the Google content network getting $8+ per click for the same keywords on the search network that are $25+/click #
  • anyone want to start a Microsoft exchange blog with me? We’ll be rich in just over a few hundred clicks. :) #
  • anyone get a weird email from XY7 today? “Please call the XY7 office, Ken” #
  • hey this guy feels the same way I do right now http://tinyurl.com/ycz6l6 #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-27

  • anyone have advice on how to out-bid someone with PPC ads using the same domain? I’m in a PPC direct linking war. #
  • Hey yellowpages.com I”m trying to place an ad on your website and your form sucks. Also telephone salesI gotta leave a message? FAIL WTFPWN #
  • “Bid is below first page bid estimate of $27.00″ but Adwords, I’m getting $3.10 clicks on the front page for the last 5 days already. FAIL #
  • Tracking202 has got their shit together http://is.gd/oLw2 I wonder if the OptimizeMySite guys are going to step up? @PPCClassroom #
  • a casual friend of mine offered to help me achieve something I’m not able to on my own. Why are some people so damn nice? #
  • is there much risk of changing dedicated server IP address if my DNS remains the same? #

Online Marketing Recommendation – David Meerman Scott

David Meerman ScottThe The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott

I’d definitely recommend this and I bought it for a few other people too. Marketing and public relations is vastly different on the Web than in mainstream media. He says that the “old rules” of mainstream media (which he says do not work on the Web) are about “controlling a message” and the only ways to get the message into the public domain using mainstream media is to buy expensive advertising or beg the media to write about you.

The Web is different! Continue reading