Category Archives: Social networking

Ask Ms. Social Networking Manners — Why Won’t They Promote Me?

Dear Ms. Social Networking Manners,

I’ve just started an online business and I’ve heard Facebook is the best place to get the word out about my business. So I’ve been sending friend requests to as many people as Facebook will let me, and once they do friend me, I post on their wall a little ad about what I do. I’m trying to get the word out about my business, and I figured this was a pretty harmless way to do it. The people I friend are all using Facebook for their businesses, so they must understand people trying to build biz connections, right? The problem is, some of them seem to be a little unhappy with me — they unfriend me, and worse, they delete my post from their wall! I don’t get it — what am I doing wrong?

Friendless and Sad Continue reading

Quiz: Which Social Networking Platform is Right for You? Part 2

Last week, I put together a simple quiz you can take to figure out which social networking platform is the place for you. If you want to see the quiz plus the explanation AROUND the quiz (yes, there is a reason other than the entertainment value — it not only helps you use each social networking platform more successfully, but it also helps you structure your time better, so you get the results you’re looking for), you’ll want to check out part 1 right here..

Let’s jump right in.

If you’re a 3: LinkedIn.
You prefer small intimate cocktail parties or dinner parties where you can engage in deep conversations with a few close friends.

You’ve got to hand it to LinkedIn. They were one of the first social networking sites, and unlike a lot of their peers (can you say MySpace?) they’re STILL considered one of THE top social networking sites.

In my experience, pretty much every entrepreneur I’ve run into is either in the Facebook camp or LinkedIn camp. They may have accounts set up on both, but they very clearly prefer one over the other (which means the one they don’t prefer usually gets the shaft).

And while I haven’t personally experienced it (since I tend to prefer the less button-down nature of Facebook), I know plenty of folks who have gotten leads and clients from LinkedIn. So it too seems to be a hot place to showcase your business. Plus, LinkedIn does do a decent job of sending you blog traffic.

In addition, the other thing LinkedIn has going for it is “staying ability.” Who knows if Facebook really will weather the storm of kids thinking it’s “not cool?” But LinkedIn has managed to carve out its own unique category that (at this moment) appears to have some serious staying power.

One of the things I want to do this year is learn how to use my LinkedIn account more effectively. And if this is something you too are interested in then stay tuned — I’m planning to interview a LinkedIn expert on PW Unplugged in the near future!

If you’re a 4: Pinterest.
Continue reading

Quiz: Which Social Networking Platform is Right for You? Part 1

Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Google+ — oh my! If all the different social networking platforms are making your head spin, this quick quiz should help you get a handle on which social networking platform is right for you.

Now while the quiz itself (including the personality types in the answers) are all in jest, there IS a method to my madness. Mainly, know that social networking platforms DO start to take on their own personality as they mature and become more popular. And this is important because it leads to some interesting results:

• There is a definite bias around the social networking platforms each person prefers — and personality types do seem to play into those preferences.

• BUT what’s also interesting is how people will also adjust their personalities depending on which platform they’re on. Just like in real life, we show a different side of us depending on if we’re at work, at a family function, out with friends, etc. We also show a different side depending on which social networking platform we’re currently on.

• AND because each social networking platform attracts a different personality type, what each type is EXPECTING from each platform is different. And why does that matter? Because depending on what YOU want to see happen as a result of your social networking activities, different platforms may make more sense for you to focus on. (I.e. some platforms are better for blog traffic, some are better for networking, and some platforms need you to tweak how you use it if you want to see more blog traffic and/or networking.)

Make sense? Great – now on to the questions!

1. You’re a professional athlete/celebrity/politician who is feeling a bit bored in your life and you want to spice things up a bit with some sort of scandal.

2. You’re over 25 and you love the idea of multi–tasking — a.k.a. keeping an eye on your kid’s social networking activities while promoting your biz.

3. You’re uncomfortable letting it “all hang out” when you’re marketing your biz (and you privately feel like sharing too much personal stuff is just plain wrong). You prefer your social networking platform to be as professional as you are.

4. You love letting your creative side come out and play — and the more visual the better!

5. Ever since you were a child, you knew you were destined to be a movie star, or at least have your own television show. You love nothing better than to ham it up in front of the camera.

6. You love being on the cutting edge of the next “hot” social media platform, because once it catches on, you’ll reap that many more benefits as one of the first to use it.

So today, we’re going to talk about the best social networking platforms for 1–2 above, and next week we’ll discuss the matches for 3–6.

On to the answers!

If you’re a 1: Twitter.

You love being in the middle of it all! On your bucket list is to be in Times Square when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve and, if you haven’t already, you’re definitely going to be a part of flash mob one of these days.

You know, Twitter is sort of the online equivalent of a flash mob. Something happens and everyone jumps to provide their feedback/commentary/opinion – and that leads to topic trending (or Twitter exploding).

And maybe THAT is why it’s also the sole social networking platform people use to get themselves in trouble! There is a flash mob mentality to Twitter; something rises up out of nowhere, and disappears almost as fast. You never hear about controversial quotes from something posted on Facebook or Linked In. But random tweets (or, worse yet, pictures of tweeted unmentionables) are always making the news. And it’s not like it’s any less work to post a tweet versus a post in any other social networking platform.

Alas, you’d think by now people would have figured out that tweets (especially tweets you have no business tweeting) last forever.

Anyway, on to Twitter and your business. My personal experience with Twitter is while it does work, it’s not as good as some of the other social networking platforms out there. Maybe because people aren’t really looking to click on a link to leave Twitter; they’re there to be a part of the action! But even the clicks I do get from Twitter seem to be weaker (i.e. less likely to opt in or take action) than clicks from other social networking platforms.

However, there’s no question it does add to your promotional efforts, so I wonder if it’s a bit of a multiplier – if people see enough of your tweets and start to get comfortable with you, when they do finally click on a link (either in Twitter or a different social networking platform) they may be ready to take action.

The really nice thing about Twitter is it’s the easiest to add automation to in order to augment anything else you’re doing, so it really doesn’t take a lot of time to have it be a part of your promotions.

But if YOU have a different experience — like Twitter is THE place for you to get leads, I’d love to hear your story. Just comment on my blog LINK and let me know (especially if you think I’m just totally off base here).

If you’re a 2: Facebook.

You love a good party — not too big mind you (it at least needs to fit inside a house) but there’s nothing better than hanging out with 200 of your closest friends playing all the fun 80’s tunes you grew up with.

Yes indeed, Facebook has now become “your grandfather’s social networking platform.” That’s right, if Facebook is where you love to hang out, you are now officially old and square. (Oh wait, am I sounding even more dated now?? Does “so last year” work or is that just so “not cool” too?) Kids today between 16 and 25 prefer Twitter and think Facebook is for communicating with their mothers and any of their older friends who aren’t hip enough to be on Twitter. (I guess when your mom sends you a Facebook friend request, it dampens your enthusiasm.)

Of course what’s so ironic is Facebook started as a place for college kids to hook up! Ah, how times have changed.

Anyway, for the moment (and who knows how long THAT will last since the kids aren’t crazy about it) Facebook appears to be THE place to find clients and prospects via socializing and networking (unless of course your ideal clients are the 16–25 year olds – then you should definitely be tweeting up a storm).

Now, while there is no question you can get some decent blog traffic posting your blogs on Facebook, the real gold is the networking. (In fact, if you can fold your blog posting into your networking activities, that seems to work the best.) Facebook truly is the “party” social networking platform, so by augmenting anything you’re doing in Facebook with some personal connection and networking, you’ll definitely see better results.

And stay tuned for next week where I’ll talk about the best social networking platforms for you 3–6ers.

PW Unplugged Radio — Erin Tillotson and Facebook

Play

On today’s episode of PW Unplugged, guest Erin Tillotson and I dig right into the dos and don’ts of Facebook marketing. We cover best practices on using Facebook to grow your list, your biz and your expertise (plus we cover BOTH paid Facebook ads AND free strategies). It was a REALLY hands on call — full of very specific how-tos (including more than a few tips I didn’t know). Facebook is HOT right now as a way to attract prospects to your biz and this podcast will help you capitalize on this awesome opportunity.

At the end Erin offered a free training series all about Facebook Marketing for anyone who wants more. You can sign up for that right here.
You can hear all about it and more on this week’s podcast. Just click here to download or Listen:

Ask PW — Do those puppy pics really work?

This is a question that came up at the event I’m at (Lisa Cherney’s “Be Juicy! 6-Figures On Your Terms”). Does “cute” actually work to promote yourself on Facebook? Does posting puppy pics and talking about what you had for lunch actually translate into clients and sales?

And the answer is (like many things) both yes and no. Yes, cute gets more attention on Facebook (and food too) but if that’s all you do, it’s not going to lead to anything.

I would view puppy pics as the “headline” — it’s the way to get people’s attention and to start the conversation so you can connect and engage. People want to get to know you, and once they know you, they can move to like and trust (and people generally only buy from people they know, like and trust).

But eventually, in order to buy from you, they’ll need to know what you sell. So the key is to move between the cute and the engaging to letting them know about your biz. It’s like a dance — moving between promoting and connecting, and making each seem organic and effortless.

Now it’s important to keep in mind when you do move to promoting, do NOT get into hype-y or sales-y or forcing your message down their throats. Instead view it as an invitation, you’re inviting the people who have connected with you and are resonating with what you offer to take a step toward doing business with you.

And that’s when the magic of Facebook (and social networking in general) really pays off.

So what are your thoughts about this? Do you have any tips that have worked for you? Please share below in the comment section. Or if you have a question about marketing, business or writing copy, feel free to put in the comment section and I’ll answer those in a future Ask PW column.

Ask PW — What’s a good tip for authentically promoting your services on Facebook?

Heather Jernigan asked “What’s a good tip for authentically promoting your services on Facebook? (And not sounding like you have a megaphone in your hand or repeating yourself like a broken record?)”

Great question Heather! This is especially timely as right now 3 of the biggest platforms to market your business are (in no particular order) Facebook, Amazon and iTunes.

So let’s talk about Facebook and how to market your services authentically and without a megaphone.

First off, remember the old adage “do onto others as you would do onto them.” In other words, just as you don’t like pushy, obnoxious people in your face trying to get you to buy their offerings, other people probably won’t respond well to you doing that either. So the name of the game is connection and relationship first, business and sales second.

Now, this is one of those pieces of advice that can be very frustrating if you really could use a few leads right NOW and you don’t want to wait. (Because of course what I’m advocating is NOT a fast strategy — rather this is a long-term strategy because building relationships take time and nurturing.)

So, my second piece of advice is while you’re connecting and building relationships is to be creative about talking about your services.

Is there something you can take on in your industry that’s a bit controversial? Or maybe go on a rant? Or just take a different angle on? Just something that sounds different and new — maybe you tell a story or bring in something you saw on a television show or a current event.

Now, once you know what you want to talk about, then it’s time to shoot a video or write an article or blog post, and post THAT on Facebook. And if you provide solid, powerful content in the article or video it’s perfectly okay to add a little line in the end saying if they want more/go deeper to contact you or opt in for more information.

So what are your thoughts about promoting your services on Facebook? Do you have any tips that have worked for you? Please share below in the comment section. Or if you have a question about marketing, business or writing copy, feel free to put in the comment section and I’ll answer those in a future Ask PW column.

Ask PW — “Auto-Glass biz on Pinterest? Worth time and effort?”

Beth, www.adventureautoglass.com, asks if an auto-glass business should promote on Pinterest.

And actually I think that would be a perfect place for you, provided you can use it in a creative way.

I don’t think pictures of just auto-glass would necessarily be all that interesting. But maybe pictures of what you could see OUTSIDE the window would work. You could even group them into funny or dramatic or famous scenes or whatever. Or maybe there’s some other creative way you could use it.

One thing social media has shown us is that pictures work. People love pictures. So anytime you can work pictures into your social networking is a good thing. I would recommend not only “pinning” pictures on Pinterest but also putting those same pictures up on Facebook and Twitter.

(In fact, my good friend Nancy Marmolejo is doing some really cool promotions right now using Pinterest and Facebook to promote her “Engage and Persuade” telesummit. So in other words, yes even if you’re in the service or information biz you can still use pictures to promote. Here’s the link if you want to check it out: http://www.engageandpersuade.com/meetmichele )

So what are your thoughts about using Pinterest? Please share below in the comment section. Or if you have a question about marketing, business or writing copy, feel free to put in the comment section and I’ll answer those in a future Ask PW column.

 

How to Build Your Social Networking Empire: 3 Tips to Get More Friends

One of the first questions people ask me about social networking is how to find more friends. After all, a big part of social networking (when you’re doing it for business that is) is to find more prospects. And if you don’t get some friends and followers, you’re not going to accomplish that. (Not to mention the fact that the whole point of social networking is being social, and without friends or followers that will be tough to do.)

So how do you find friends and followers? Below are 3 general tips that will work on all social networking platforms.

1. Find people yourself. Yes this is as simple as it sounds. Go out and friend or follow people. Chances are they’ll eventually follow or accept your friend request, and then you’ll start building your list.

The downside is it’s time consuming for you. It takes more time than you might expect to search and check out profiles. (And you don’t want to do this willy nilly. You do want to make sure the people you’re friending or following are in your target market or you’re wasting your time and energy.)

Plus some sites, such as Facebook, have limits on how many people you can friend in one day, which makes the process take even longer.

So yes, this is a good strategy to get the momentum going, but I wouldn’t rely on it as a long-term strategy.

A much better way is to get your target market to come to you. How do you do that? Well…

2. Be visible. In other words, whatever social networking site you’re focusing on, log on and do stuff on it. Post updates, post comments, ask questions, tweet, etc. If people see you around, then they’ll start coming to you.

You can also use many of the automated tools to cross-feed the different social networking platforms into each other. So, for example, you can feed Twitter into Facebook, your blog into Facebook and Twitter, and Twitter and Facebook into your blog. All that cross-pollination means you don’t have to recreate the wheel — you can choose where you’re posting for maximum effect.

3. Be a friend. What does it mean to be a friend? Well, friends help each other out, right? So, make sure you spend some of your time helping out your social networking friends. Maybe you promote one of your friends’ products or services or free teleclass. Maybe you give a testimonial. Maybe you answer a question or give some free advice with no strings attached. Maybe you provide really great content. Think about how you can help someone else and do it.

So, do these tips sound familiar? They should. They also work in the offline world. If you want friends in the real world, what do you do? You go out and meet people. You’re not going to make very many friends if you spend all your nights holed up in your house on your couch watching Law and Order reruns.

You make yourself visible in your community so people will see you and introduce themselves to you. And the more you do for other people, the more that goodwill will come back to you.

This is really important to keep in mind. Social networking is just like networking in the real world. Yes, it looks different online. Yes the tools you use is different. Yes the etiquette is different. But if you come from a place of truly trying to be a good social networking pal, then everything else will fall into place. If you come to social networking looking for a shortcut to building real relationships, then you’re probably going to be disappointed with the results.

Results! Twitter – How to Write Tweets That Get Peeps to Take Action

Probably the biggest question I get asked is if social networking is worth it or a big waste of time. Well, if you’re doing social networking to make money, and you aren’t making money, then it most certainly is a waste of time.

So, how do you make money with social networking? A lot depends on the words you use and how you interact with your friends and followers. Today I’m going to focus specifically on Twitter.

Remember, for Twitter you only have 140 characters including spaces for every tweet. That means every character counts so use them wisely.

Here are 3 more tips to make those tweets as compelling and persuasive as possible.

1. Get your personality in there. The beauty of social networking is it’s driven by relationships. You build relationships by letting people see who you really are. That means showcasing your personality.

The more people can get a sense of your personality, the more they’ll decide if they like you or not. And the more they know, like and trust you, the more likely they’ll become your customers.

In addition, people don’t like to be sold to. If your tweets sound canned or not authentically from YOU, they’ll be turned off. And turned off people are not likely to buy from you.

2. Give and you shall receive. The more you give, and do things for other people, the more it will come back to you. You spend your time helping other people, the more they’ll help promote your products and services, the more likely they’ll go check out what you offer and if it’s a match, the more likely they’ll buy.

If all you do is push your own stuff on Twitter, you’re not going to get very far. You need to spend most of your time doing things for other people. Then, when you do promote yourself, people will take notice and be more likely to act.

3. Be entertaining. There’s an old quote in the copywriting world that you can’t bore anyone into buying something. (I think it was David Ogilvy who first said it.) Same goes for Twitter. You can’t bore people into building and maintaining a relationship with you. You can’t bore people into promoting your products or events. And you can’t bore people into buying your products.

Now this doesn’t mean you have to a stand-up comic. Sure this is easier if writing short, pithy statements comes naturally to you. But don’t forget Tip #1 — stay true to your personality. We’re all interesting in our own way, even if you’re not a stand-up comic.

The key here is to be entertaining in your own unique and personal way. What, you don’t think you’re entertaining? You have friends, right? You go out to dinner with them, right? What do you talk about? You’re entertaining them or they wouldn’t want to go dinner with you.

So entertain your twitter followers the same way. And the ones who respond to that will respond to you. And as they get to know you, they’ll move to like and trust. And that leads to them becoming your customers.

Twitter’s Secret to Success

Play

When I first explained Twitter to my husband, who is a computer programmer, his response was “Oh, it’s just like ICQ.” And he dismissed it.

So what the heck is ICQ? Well, it was a program that was a lot like Twitter. And it was being touted as the “next big thing.” I actually remember it because my husband was using it. I looked at it and couldn’t figure what the big deal was and promptly dismissed it.

Fast forward 10 years or so, and now we have ICQ reborn into Twitter, and Twitter is all over the place.

So what happened? Why did Twitter succeed (although it still hasn’t proven to make money yet but that’s a topic for another article) and ICQ fail?

It’s not the technology. In fact, ICQ might have been more powerful than Twitter. (Note to all of you business owners thinking if you build a better mousetrap they will come. Not true.)

It’s all about the marketing and the packaging. Let me explain.

ICQ looked like some sort of programming forum. I stared at the screen and couldn’t figure out what to do or why I would want to do anything with it. I spent about 5 minutes looking at the screen, didn’t get a handle on it, and left, never to return.

Twitter, on the other hand, tells you what to do. You log into Twitter and what’s the first thing you see — a big question with a box under it. The question is “What are you doing?” The box underneath is where you put the answer.

Ah, so I’m supposed to type what I’m doing right now. I can do that. That gives me a reason to type something.

And once people start typing things, now you have action. And action leads to interaction, which leads to creating a community. And once we have community, now you have the secret for why Twitter took off.

If you don’t get people to start typing something, ANYTHING, then nothing will happen.

The other thing Twitter did was the name. Twitter. It’s a cute name. ICQ, what the heck is that? (Another important note — names are important.)

This is sort of what happened with VHS and Beta. (Remember those? Videotapes?)

Well, Beta was the better, higher quality tape. But VHS became the standard. Why? Because Beta kept talking about features (how good it was in technical terms) whereas VHS explained WHY you wanted to be able to record your shows. You could fast forward through the commercials! You didn’t have to be home to watch your favorite shows! You could watch movies whenever you wanted to! That’s what VHS told consumers. Not technical specifications.

Remember, when videotapes came out, this was completely new to consumers. They didn’t know what they were supposed to do with them. Just like Twitter or ICQ. What the heck is it and why do I care? Why is this going to be good for me? Why do I want to waste my time and/or money with this? If you don’t or can’t answer those questions, you’re going to be facing an uphill battle selling your products or service.

History is littered with businesses that have the best product or service and have gone out of business. Having the better mousetrap isn’t going to sell more products or services. Having the best EXPLANATION as to why your customers should buy your product or service WILL sell more. A lot more.

What Do You Do When PR Goes Horribly Wrong?

Play

Have you ever had done something you thought was a really good idea at the time and then it completely backfires on you?

Well, it happened to my good friend Nancy Marmolejo, Viva Visibility.

If you don’t know Nancy yet, you really need to. She is a social media rock star. However, sometimes even rock stars have days where the guitar is out of tune and the speakers catch fire and explode on stage.

Here’s the story in a nutshell. As you all know, social networking is pretty darn new and Twitter is the brand spanking new kid on that shiny new block. Because it’s so new, things like vocabulary and etiquette are still being hashed out.

It’s better coming from Nancy herself why she got so fixated on this, but she was busy telling people you “tweet” not “twitter” (including yours truly). She also decided to write a letter to Inc Magazine about this.

The result? Inc Magazine called her on it and, well, won.

Now I’m telling you about this for 2 reasons.

1. I’m quite excited I can now use “twitter” as a verb (I just hated saying “tweet” — I felt like I should put a chicken coop in my yard.)

2. Nancy handled the whole situation brilliantly. In fact, I would go as far to say this was actually a really good thing in the end.

So what did Nancy do? Well, to start she owned up to it. She didn’t try to hide her mistake or pretend it never happened (which is simply not possible to do in this day and age anyway.) She ‘fessed up.

Lesson #1 — if you make a mistake, and it’s a public mistake, just suck it up and admit it. It’s when you start lying and hiding that things get so out of control. Look at Bill and Monica. People lied, tried to hide things, and that just made everything worse.

By owning up to it, Nancy completely diffused any negative publicity around it. In fact, if you read the comments, most people didn’t think this was a big deal at all. (Which it isn’t — until you start hiding and lying about it. Then suddenly everyone wonders why you’re lying and hiding and it can blow up into a bigger deal.)

The second thing she did was write a very charming and witty blog post about it. Now, you might not be able to write a charming and witty blog post, but it might be worth it to find someone who can for you. She was entertaining about it, which again helped diffuse the situation and caused all her followers to rally around her.

Now, humor isn’t good for all situations. Remember the Tylenol and Cyanide scare? If the Tylenol CEO had come out with humor that would have been completely inappropriate. However, what he did do was immediately take responsibility, come up with a solution, and didn’t come across as defensive or trying to shift the blame.

Lesson #2 — if you’re going to take a stand, do it graciously. Don’t be defensive, don’t try and shift blame, and for heaven’s sake don’t be a baby about it. Do it with class and people will respect and admire you for it.

The result? Nancy’s post got TONS of comments, pretty much all of them supporting Nancy. She’s back on stage, bigger than ever, with her guitar all tuned up and brand spanking new speakers.

Twitter – How to Write Tweets That Get Peeps to Take Action

Play

Probably the biggest question I get asked is if social networking is worth it or a big waste of time. Well, if you’re doing social networking to make money, and you aren’t making money, then it most certainly is a waste of time.

So, how do you make money with social networking? A lot depends on the words you use and how you interact with your friends and followers. Today I’m going to focus specifically on Twitter.

Remember, for Twitter you only have 140 characters including spaces for every tweet. That means every character counts so use them wisely.

Here are 3 more tips to make those tweets as compelling and persuasive as possible.

1. Get your personality in there. The beauty of social networking is it’s driven by relationships. You build relationships by letting people see who you really are. That means showcasing your personality.

The more people can get a sense of your personality, the more they’ll decide if they like you or not. And the more they know, like and trust you, the more likely they’ll become your customers.

In addition, people don’t like to be sold to. If your tweets sound canned or not authentically from YOU, they’ll be turned off. And turned off people are not likely to buy from you.

2. Give and you shall receive. The more you give, and do things for other people, the more it will come back to you. You spend your time helping other people, the more they’ll help promote your products and services, the more likely they’ll go check out what you offer and if it’s a match, the more likely they’ll buy.

If all you do is push your own stuff on Twitter, you’re not going to get very far. You need to spend most of your time doing things for other people. Then, when you do promote yourself, people will take notice and be more likely to act.

3. Be entertaining. There’s an old quote in the copywriting world that you can’t bore anyone into buying something. (I think it was David Ogilvy who first said it.) Same goes for Twitter. You can’t bore people into building and maintaining a relationship with you. You can’t bore people into promoting your products or events. And you can’t bore people into buying your products.

Now this doesn’t mean you have to a stand-up comic. Sure this is easier if writing short, pithy statements comes naturally to you. But don’t forget Tip #1 — stay true to your personality. We’re all interesting in our own way, even if you’re not a stand-up comic.

The key here is to be entertaining in your own unique and personal way. What, you don’t think you’re entertaining? You have friends, right? You go out to dinner with them, right? What do you talk about? You’re entertaining them or they wouldn’t want to go dinner with you.

So entertain your twitter followers the same way. And the ones who respond to that will respond to you. And as they get to know you, they’ll move to like and trust. And that leads to them becoming your customers.

Social Networking Landing Pages — How to Turn Your Social Networking Friends Into Customers

Play

Isn’t social networking fun? You get to meet all these people and connect with them and spend hours looking at their profiles and videos and photos and…

Okay, so clearly social networking can take an awful lot of time. The question is, is it worth it? Will spending all that time doing social networking lead to an increase in sales?

And the answer is, yes it can. But you need to be strategic about it — just like you need to be strategic with all your marketing. And one way you can do that is to have a social networking landing page.

So what the heck is a social networking landing page? Continue reading

Tweets and Peeps — The Social Networking Vocabulary

Play

A good friend of mine who is also a social networking expert contacted me the other day and told me I had to stop saying “twittering” and say “tweeting.”

Well, she’s right. I was using the wrong term. However, I was actually doing that on purpose.

Before I tell you why, let me give you some background information. Right now, Facebook has 150 million users, Linked In has 34 million and Twitter has 4.4 million. I don’t have the numbers for MySpace, the last I heard it was still the biggest, but at least in terms of business use, a lot of people have moved away from MySpace to the other platforms.

Now, there are thousands of social networking sites out there, but (as expected) a pecking order is starting to emerge. That doesn’t mean things won’t change in a few months, but for now, many business folks are focusing on the big 3 — Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.

Of those 3, Twitter has the least amount of users right now, although it’s growing very quickly. But, the difference between 150 million and 4.4 million, or even 34 million and 4.4 million is substantial. Clearly when you look at all the people at the social networking dance, a lot of them haven’t figured out the Twitter 2-step yet.

Now, that in itself isn’t a problem, but of all the social networking sites, Twitter has the most specialized vocabulary. So, this all adds up to me using the wrong words because I want to make it easier for people new to Twitter to grasp what I’m saying. (Besides, I actually hate some of the Twitter vocabulary — tweets? Peeps? Have we descended to the level of chickens and are now all hanging out in a giant hen house? But I digress.)

However, after considering it, I’ve decided my friend is right and I need to start using the correct terminology. Therefore, I decided to provide a short primer on what you’ll discover when you venture on Twitter.

First, what is Twitter? Officially, Twitter is called micro-blogging. I call it instant messaging on steroids. In a nutshell, you have 140 characters (including spaces) to say what you want to say. Twitter’s prompt on what you should be saying is “What are you doing right now?” While that is still a viable thing to talk about (after all, there’s a reason why reality television is so popular, we’re all extremely interested in other people’s lives) that’s not all you can do with Twitter. You can have conversations with people, provide tips and quotes, promote other people’s products/services/events and promote your own products/services/events.

Every time you type a comment, it’s called a Tweet. When you’re communicating with people on Twitter it’s called Tweeting.

If you see an RT or ReTweet, it means someone is repeating someone else’s Tweet. And, because people on Twitter want to give credit where credit is due, the person they’re ReTweeting has the @ sign with their Twitter name (so, for instance, if they’re ReTweeting me, you’ll see @MichelePW)

You also see that @MichelePW when people are having a conversation with each other. And, it’s not people but Peeps (although this is a little confusing because when people are following your tweets they’re called Followers.)

If you want to have a private message with someone, then you can Direct Message them, or DM them. (Note, I’d still be a little careful with your DMs as there have been times when that feature stops being private and instead turns into being publicly broadcast.)

Lastly, you’ll also notice a great deal of shorthand in those Tweets, for instance “u” for “you” and “r” for “are” because you have only 140 characters.

Hopefully this primer can get you started on the right foot so you don’t embarrass yourself on the Twitter dance floor.

3 Things to NEVER Do With Your Social Networking Profile

Play

So let’s have a heart to heart about this social networking thing.

I’m sure you’ve heard of it. You might even be doing it. But the real question is, are you doing it right?

You see, social networking can be a lot of things. It can be a waste of time or a huge marketing tool. (Note, I’m referring to people using social networking primarily for business.) Whether it’s a waste of time or getting you new business depends on how you’re using it. And one of the ways to make sure you’re using it as a marketing tool is to post effective, results-oriented social networking profiles.

So how do you do that? Well, let’s start with 3 things you should NEVER do.

  1. Not sharing enough personal details. Remember, social networking is about connecting with people. The way we connect as humans is by sharing things about ourselves. Therefore, make sure you add a few details about your life, your hobbies, your preferences, etc. Do you have kids? Dogs? Like to travel? To cook? To read? Whatever it is, make sure you put it on your profile.On that note, Continue reading