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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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Twitter Tips for All

Twitter logo

Tweet! Tweet!! A little birdie told me…

Thinking about using Twitter? Not sure why you would or if it’s even worth it? Twitter is many different things to many different people. It’s a great place for keeping in touch with friends and family, staying current with what’s happening in the world, and informing others about your business’s products and services.

Twitter is like blogging (it started as a micro-blogging service) and instant messaging combined. It is the ultimate in social messaging, as you can connect with lots of people whenever and wherever you want. It is an event coordinator, a business tool, a news reporting service, and a marketing device.

In order to effectively use Twitter, I’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind as you enter the world of Twitter and get ready to “tweet” (or post) a brief message:

MISC. INFO

  • Maximum length of username is 15 characters—the shorter the better. It will be easier for people to find you.
  • Maximum number of characters per tweet is 140. Leave at least 20 characters free as space for people to retweet you.
  • Twitter shortens links with their internal shortener, or you can use bitly.com. Each link uses up 22 or 23 characters.
  • Starting the beginning of a tweet with @username is a reply. It will only be seen by that person and people who are following both of you (it will also show up on your profile page and in Twitter search). If you tag a username anywhere but at the start of the tweet, everybody following you (including the user) will see that message. This is called a mention.
  • Images dramatically increase social media engagement. A picture on Twitter uses up 23 characters.
  • If you make an error in a tweet, to fix it, delete it first and then re-submit. You cannot edit tweets.

USING TWITTER

  • To be social, when you are mentioned (@username), you should respond to that tweet.
  • Retweet, reply to, and favorite other people’s tweets.
  • People who tweet frequently attract more followers. An active Twitter presence can help a business generate more revenue.
  • Link your tweets to interesting articles you find.
  • Hosting a creative contest or sweepstakes is a great way to improve engagement for businesses.
  • Join a worldwide public conversation by participating in Twitter trends (#hashtags). Twitter provides a daily list of trending topics near the top of your Twitter page on the lefthand side.
  • Behind-the-scenes info and photos are a great way to humanize your business.
  • You can live-tweet anything that would interest your followers and friends. Concerts, low gas prices, Elvis sightings, etc.
  • Quotes are always popular no matter what social media platform you’re on.
  • Create an original meme that fits with your company or product. Everybody loves memes and they often go viral.
  • Use one to two #hashtags per tweet for maximum engagement.
  • Become an expert: inform, talk about your company and other things your audience is interested in.
  • Use Twitter daily—search, lurk, post, retweet.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

  • To grow your community, add your Twitter ID to your email signature and other content, both online and off.
  • It’s OK to schedule tweets, but don’t automate anything.
  • Don’t be a salesperson on Twitter. Instead, be informative, entertaining and social.
  • Don’t ask people to follow you. They probably won’t. Some may unfollow you.

REMEMBER

  • Everything you say can be seen by anyone, right from the start.
  • Your tweets can be found in Twitter search and also by Google and other search engines.
  • Search your company on Twitter. See what people are saying about you. Respond whether good or bad—make things right!
  • Follow 20-30 good users.
  • Google search companies doing well on Twitter and check out what they do; follow them.

Don’t be nervous! The best way to learn is to jump right in and as Nike says, “Just do it!”

—Laura

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Is Social Media for your small Business??

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Social media is not for every business. For a small business you might think what I just said is silly but here is why it would be very wise to think and plan things thoroughly before starting social media for your small business.

Before you start

Before you even think of getting a social media page for your business, you should make sure that your product is of good quality and it’s complete. Believe me there are businesses that have gone on social media when they don’t need to be there. You also need to have lunched your product/services successfully, to a certain point because you do not want to be promoting a product/service that people don’t want or like.

Now you are ready

After a successful or an OK launch, you can now create a social media channel for your business. Please refrain from jumping into using a social platform to do whatever you want. If you want to run a successful social platform for your business, you have to think about what type of audience/customers you want to attract and eventually cater to. You should offer valuable information to your customers while having your brand and mission as an underlying factor. Although different platforms cater to different customers that doesn’t mean you should be on every social media platform out there. Pick a couple that you would have time and be able to manage successfully and stick to it.

Having all the social media channel is not likely to lead to fast sales either. But social media does allow you to promote your brand to an audience that is interested in hearing from you. You will need to engage with your customers and this is not going to be easy.

Engaging your customers definitely won’t happen overnight. If you approach social media correctly you would be greatly rewarded with subscribers, followers and friends that understand who you are as a business and what you stand for. Your customers will need some form of engagement from you. Yeah it sounds like a marriage, well it is. What does a marriage need the most? Great communication and connection!

For at least an hour, sometimes it could be more, put aside a day you could work on building a strong relationship with your customers on social media and you would, with some luck, lead your followers to become brand advocates.

Some suggestions regarding social media channels

Business blogs

A business blog is an excellent way of sharing your expertise and knowledge to a wide range of customers. Creating a blog should probably be a starting point for your business on a social platform. There are many great easy to use blogging platforms like WordPress and Weebly which are free or cheap to create a page. This means that you don’t have to learn HTML coding or spend enormous amount of money on a web designer. Although it might be wise to consult a great graphic/web designer if you want to create a specific look for your page.  Overall, if you post remarkable content, instead of just advertising, it will drive traffic to your blog and will eventually lead to more likes and followers. A great example would be Stony Field Farms an Organic Dairy Business. Although their business log is simple, it is also very interactive with its customers.

Facebook

Facebook is the leading social media platform today. With hundreds of other businesses having pages, small businesses might be discouraged about starting a page of their own but have faith because when you grab your customer’s attention you will be on your way to success. Since Facebook is a social space it would be difficult but one thing to think about is how you can tap into people’s emotional side.

Once you have that connection/emotional piece down, you can then try to make your Facebook page interactive and valuable for the user. For example, if your business throws an event, you can get attendees to sign up to join your Facebook page as they leave. Then, make your Facebook a point for everything interesting and connected to your event. This creates publicity while promoting your brand.

Twitter

Twitter is a great way to keep people interested in your business and continue to preserve what you are in their memory. Your followers on twitter will be able to see your tweets on their feed. One of the best thing about twitter is that your followers don’t have to go to your page for them to get your message because once they follow you they have chosen to be received your messages. With clear and informative tweets you have the power to reach your customers and potentially more, while creating huge brand exposures.

Athour: Pep Ol

Bibliography:

Kerpen Dave “Likeable Social Media”

Mylam Mark “Social media for small businesses


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The FCC Could Change Your VIrtual Future

Internet Fate Now in Real Time

While the Internet is still relatively new, Federal courts, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and lawmakers have been discussing how to regulate it. And yesterday’s announcement by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler indicates a change in the Internet as we know it. In a statement, Wheeler suggests the commission will “split the baby” and allow broadband providers to charge what Wheeler called a “commercially reasonable” fee for priority, or faster, traffic. But he also pledged to prevent “acts to divide the Internet between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots.”

Much of the legal murkiness stems from the FCC’s classification of the Internet as an information service, rather than a public service, like telephones, thereby giving itself less authority over how broadband providers charge and provide service. MN Senator Al Franken (D) has been a leading advocate for Congress or the FCC to permanently establish net neutrality by classifying the Internet as a public service. Franken said, It is the free speech issue of our time.” He added, “Sanctioning paid prioritization would allow discrimination and irrevocably change the Internet as we know it. Small businesses, content creators and Internet users must not be held hostage by an increasingly consolidated broadband industry.”

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Most of the Internet goliaths, like Facebook and Google, made public statements in support of maintaining net neutrality because they were once start-up companies themselves. Still the large, established providers would benefit financially without net neutrality by making make it much harder for new web entrepreneurs, like Facebook and Google once were, from business opportunities.

Surfing Without Net Neutrality

What adult’s life has not changed significantly by the Internet? From banking to communicating to reservations to dating and status posting, few people who were adults in the 1990s manage their lives like they did 20 years ago. We rely on easy Internet access, fast connections and instant information to get everything done. And the Internet has changed lives around the world. It’s opened the world for everyone with access, including broadening education and commerce to low-income people and those in remote parts of the world. Now imagine if the Internet was restructured with a kind of toll-road system. What if money bought better, faster access and those who didn’t or couldn’t pay the toll had to wait in Internet traffic jams with slow loads, routine buffering and routine frustrations with delayed web searches?

For the next 120 days, the FCC will allow public input until it decides on new rules for Internet traffic.

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(For those who want to peek at the 5oci4lm3di4101 Twitter page, find us @5oci4lm3di4101 and find my @Skeezix Bratt tweets by searching #SB.) SB

 


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Knee Boots Aren’t Just for Fashion!!!

Bootstrapping is the act of building a business with little or no outside funding. Most all of us are familiar with this as 95 percent of small business owners struggle alone, typically relying on savings and early cash flow to get things going. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s no better feeling than becoming a self made success, elevating one’s self by grabbing the straps of our boots and pulling with great intention. The phrase implies achieving the near impossible. The reality is that we know it can be done. Bootstrapping is akin to “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” When the situation becomes difficult, the strong work harder to meet the challenge and elevate their professional expertise. You can use SOCIAL MEDIA to start your own business; the clients are already there…it’s called a ‘friends list’, ‘fans’, ‘followers’…you get the point!

Be smart about what you are putting on Facebook and treat it as a valuable business tool. If 20% of your posts are how great your business is and then 80% of your posts are for venting and complaining (regardless of what you’re complaining about), you’re making a bad business move. I think about it like this: why would anyone want to work with me and build a business with me if I constantly complain and post negative comments? Be aware of what you’re posting, but don’t be so hyperaware that you don’t post at all. Practice posting different kinds of updates, like photos from events or shout outs to new team members, and see what kind of response you get. Teach your team that social media can be a powerful tool, when done correctly. Your goal should be to post updates that give your friends a taste of where you are going, not where you’ve been (in relation to business).

That being said, keep in mind that even if you “keep it positive” on your profile, using your page to sell, sell, sell is also bad business decision. Your friends can spot a sales pitch a mile away and won’t take you seriously anymore. Your posts will begin to annoy them, and they may go to the extent of defriending you. Use social media to be social, not to sell. Remember Facebook is a way to get conversations started…now strap on those knee boots and get to work!!   -Sweetlaw

 

 


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How To Add Value and Help Your Organization With Social Media Postings

I believe the way to add value to social media  posting would be to include “you” in it. Think about what attracts you to your  favorite sites, links, post or people and grow from that position.

What does Value mean?

Define it!

There are a few definitions  but the two that stick out for me and relate to this context would be the following:

1. the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. or

2. consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of.

As a  organization you will determine and define  how or what your values will look like, if you need help or have drawn a blank,take a look back to your mission statement  and evolve from that point.

Quick Tip:
How I remember what’s possible when I am going through transformation or embarking on a new journey, mission etc.. is that “Evolve” has the word  love in it.

Remember to add what “you”  love (passion aka your mission)

If you go from that point of view and set gentle reminders you cant help but to jump in and enjoy.


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Week 4: How do you best select the right channel (s) for your organization?

http://footstepsmalta.com/which-social-media-channels-work-best-for-which-company/

This article I found is extremely informational…Check it out!

In this article it talks about using a broader customer engagement in how you should best use social media. Since it’s a very effective, and a cost-efficient marketing, sales, service, insight and retention tool. A recent study showed more than 3,000 consumers, identified social media as being effective. They found that customers who engage with companies on social media end up spending 20% to 40% more money with those companies than others. And at large, also demonstrate a deeper emotional commitment to the companies.

Now different types of organizations may use different channels to reach customers differently.

Facebook: Nearly 974 million users worldwide, and it reaches the widest audience. The main targeted use of content can increase new customers, make them aware of their own abilities, stronger loyalty of existing customers to the company.

Twitter: Twitter reaches at the moment, 140 million active users, with 500 million users have an account. The biggest advantage of this channel is that, it delivers a short message instantly. Used to communicate quickly to a vast audience.

Pinterest: Is a social media tool with interactive pieces and has significantly increased usage in the last year. This site lives on the interest of beautiful images and is especially interesting for entrepreneurs for whom the appearance of the products stimulates the purchase, such as Fashion and lifestyle company. Pinterest is also primarily used in the United States of women who are visual people..

LinkedIn: Are job boards for primarily recruiting goals or finding a position with specific skillset or experience. It’s also a way to present your own company’s strengths and goals on LinkedIn.

YouTube: Many experts also include the YouTube video platform to their social media tools. Who wants to play as a self-employed here, you either need a good video marketing agency that produces content. Or you can learn how to do something from watching these videos. Videos often rise to the top of the SEO’s.

Basically it’s matching up the audience demographics with the right tool or channel to reach them and share your content and message.

CHB.


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LEDMN: Social Media Painter III – Using the Broadest Brush

How would different groups/organizations use the different social media channels to reach their customers or supporters?

What I’m learning as a neophyte to Social Media 101 is that if you can indeed relate to the exercise as a painter––whether it be of fine canvas or the more ubiquitous wallboard––the organization that employs you as that painter will expect you to be able to find the tools for the job.  Just like mass communications or marketing, public relations can segment its audiences by the channel in which they prefer to use and stay connected with on social media.

As there are multitudes of sites to correspond with humanities’ voracious appetite for variety, it is important as the public relations artist to chose wisely the channel that will best reach the audience your organization wants to engage.  We’ve learned from our learned instructor that My Space is the web space that teenagers have turned back to because their parents’ generation is largely on Facebook.  Messages formulated for users of the Pinterest channel will not reach the same audiences as those that use the WordPress channel, and neither (or perhaps both) may or may not be using the Twitter channel.

For example last quarter I was tasked with creating a plan for diversity training for middle and high school students in the Minneapolis public schools as a final project.  Recent incidents in the schools indicated a need for more tolerance and understanding between students.  In order for the mass communications training to be successful the plan used Twitter as a channel for both parents and students with different messaging styles.  It also used Facebook to persuade the parents to have their student(s) participate in the training sessions.

Bullying - Cake In Face

No one says being a social media manager will be easy.  What is easier, is knowing that you must be vigilant in your upkeep of your channels.  Remember the painters on the Golden Gate Bridge?  Finished:  No!  Time to start over:  Yes!