Marketing From A Woman's Point of View

Category — Marketing

The Top 9 Truths About Adding Twitter Followers

Without a doubt, one of the questions I am asked the most is,  “How did you get so many Twitter followers?”.  It’s almost like they think there was some magical trick I used to instantly add 23,000 followers.  So, the last time someone asked me this I got off the phone and really gave it some thought.

So, how did I do it?  I will definitely say that Twitter became my social media passion. One big truth many don’t share is that it takes time and effort.  I put every minute I had available into building my Twitter following and reputation.  And, I’m talking a LOT of minutes.

Here’s the top 9 truths I would offer you to help grow your community (I will leave tip number 10 to you, the Reader, to share in the comments section):

1. Your Bio Is Your Favorite Picture - Think of your bio as the one picture of yourself that you really like.  The one that makes you do a double take to make sure it’s you…and yep, it is!  Your bio should describe what you do, who you are and what you offer. Be specific where you can but also add your personality to your bio.  If you’re dull and sound like a textbook you will attract dull and textbook.  You want people that are active and talkative…you know…SOCIAL. (I have re-written my bio at least 20 times and probably about time I spruced it up again)

2. Keywords Are Your Seeds - You plant the “keyword seeds” in your bio and tweets by using industry related words and search terms that will bring your market to you.  Tweets are indexed by both Google and Twitter’s trending engine. As in any SEO, you want to use the keywords naturally in a sentence.

3. Boring Backgrounds Are Bad – Get a custom background for your profile or at least a picture up as soon as possible.  I won’t usually even follow someone that still has the Twitter bird as their profile image.  You can find free Twitter backgrounds with a simple Google search…you don’t have to get fancy.  But, if you’ve got the extra couple bucks or know how to create your own background, it’s a great way to create a recognizable brand.

4. Follow, Follow, Follow - I’ve found that not everyone will tell you this, but it is important to follow as many people as Twitter limits allow… especially in the beginning stages of building your following.   Follow wisely, though.  Do your research to find those that are both in your network niche, but also think about those outside your network that may benefit from your products or your expertise. Use Twitter directories, Twitter advanced search, and industry hashtags of events to promote yourself, find your market and gain followers.

5. Follow Industry Leaders and Get Them To Follow You – Follow people in your niche who have universally recommended expertise. Look for industry leaders who you can engage with and encourage them to follow you. Please don’t be annoying as hell and start spamming them with DM requests.   Be engaging to be engaged with.  When someone with a lot of followers follows you, the aggregate traffic can be huge.

6. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) - Make it obviously easy to find and follow you.  If you have a blog or other site, be sure to let your visitors know how to find and follow you on Twitter.  Make it easy for them by having Twitter “add me” buttons in strategic places on your site.  Don’t be afraid to ask people to follow you in your content.  If you talk about Twitter in an article, include a little “I love Twitter too! Follow me @MarketLikeAChik for more tips & some fun!” It’s simple and fast,  and most people who like your site will follow you on Twitter if you make it easy for them.

7. I’m Here Too!- Wherever you have a social profile set up…Facebook, FriendFeed, LinkedIn… you should connect and cross promote your other profiles.  Most are set up to easily link your Twitter profile.   It not only saves you time, but boosts your overall member rate on both sites.

8. She’s Got Big Balls – I’m borrowing from AC/DC’s song, but the term just fits.  Do not be a wall flower.  Be the person that is first to give an opinion, break industry news, or take sides in a controversial conversation.   Watch for what’s trending and ride the wave by tweeting articles or commenting about the subject.  Put your own spin on it, don’t be a monkey.   Be entertaining and informative, engage with people, ask for opinions on trending topics.  If you don’t know what to talk about check this article out for some Twitter conversation starters.

9. Provide Useful, Relevant and Digestible Information – All of the other 8 tips listed above will only get you so far.  People are busy.  When you provide something that saves time or solves a problem you become valuable to them.  They want to know what other tips you can give to help them in other areas.  Have you ever done a search on how to do or fix something  only to find page after page of confusing and contradicting answers?  People are looking for quick answers and easy to follow instruction.  Give that to your community on a consistent basis and talk to your followers…you will not only increase your following but you will build a loyal community of your own.

Ask me questions.  I know there is more that you want to know and a lot I didn’t cover here, so go ahead and post your question in the comments below.  Or, share a tip of your own that’s helped you grow your Twitter base.

To Your Success,

June 14, 2010   27 Comments

Live Social Media Marketing Events: Are You Attending or Intending?

Social media marketing events are happening all around us and with every one there are new opportunities waiting to be had.  However, without setting your intentions before attending, your mind doesn’t know what to be on the look out for and you will miss golden opportunities right in front of you.

When I say “intention”, I mean much more than just a casual “when I get there I’m hoping to meet so-and-so”.  Intentions are when your thoughts, desires, and focus are all in harmony.  Be clear (focus) on your business objectives (dreams)  and  your thoughts will line up to start noticing opportunities.  They will be attracted to you.  (Be sure to check out  Hardwiring Your Brain for Marketing Success!)

Intentions are important in any area of your marketing success, but especially when attending live events because things are constantly moving and changing.  Your chance to talk or network face to face with a top influencer can be a fleeting moment that you may never see again.

Below are 8 intentions to get you started, but take the time to put some thought into them and make them your own.  Really dig in and you’ll be amazed at how opportunities just appear because your thoughts are focused on finding them.

1. Make a list of questions

Before you go to the event sit down and think about your business goals.  You should already know what you intend to accomplish and have a plan on how to get there.  If you’re really working towards your goals and you’re growing, chances are you will have hit a few forks in the road or may need a little advice from someone more experienced.

Write those questions down that you’ve been holding in the back of your head that’ve been keeping you from taking your business to the next level.  Sometimes you don’t even know what it is that’s holding you back….thinking about it will bring to the surface what the real reason is.  Once you know what it is, think about questions you might ask and who might be the most qualified to answer.  Seek out those experts while you’re there.

2. Plan A Mini-Interview With Your Top Picks

These questions are different than the ones you prepared in step one. Those questions focused on you and your specific business ideas or roadblocks you’re experiencing.  These are about the Speaker and their business success.  You might even consider video taping and posting to your blog as a mini-interview.

Write down who you want to meet while you’re at the event and make a list of all the questions you want to ask them.  If you know someone you admire or respect in your industry is going to be there write their name and some specific questions about their success like, “What are the thee most crucial things you did that got you to where you are today?” Or, “If you were starting all over again what advice would you give yourself?”

3. Research The Event Speakers

Many times you may attend an event that has well known Keynote Speakers, but you may not be familiar with some of the workshop Speakers or Presenters.  Before you go to the event do your homework and find out everything you can about the Speakers: what their latest project is, what’s their specific niche in the industry, who do they associate with, what are some of the latest conversations they’ve been having?

The best place to start is their blog’s “About Me” page to get some background information, then browse the rest of their blog to see what kind of content they are putting out.  Check their Twitter conversations and blog commenting.  You can check Disqus or Backtype to see what comments they have left on other blogs.  Get a feel for what they are all about and where their attention is right now so you have something pertinent to talk about.

Once you get to know each of the Speakers better you may find that, while it’s great to meet the big dogs, one of the other Presenters may be someone more in line with your business desires.   Be prepared when you go….have set intentions.

4. Buddy Up

Find a live event buddy and hold each other accountable.  You may not be able to attend all the workshops at the live event but if you have a buddy you can split up and agree to share notes after the event.  How many times have you taken tons of notes and then gone home to set them on a shelf to never look at them again?  Use the buddy strategy to hold each other accountable to actually do something with your notes.

When the event is over meet with your buddy before you part ways to debrief and set your intentions on what you’re each going to implement,  Write down the action steps for when you get home.  Set an appointment to meet with your event buddy no more than 3 days after the event.  Don’t let the inspiration fade.  Then agree to have accountability chats once a week to see if you you’re completing your action steps.

This may morph into a partnership or a joint venture.  So make sure you find a good buddy!

5. Craft your brand

When you go to a live event you need to brand yourself just like you would online.  Have your 3 minute elevator speech memorized so when you meet someone you can quickly share.  Your intentions should shine through and your brand should be easily understood.  Boil it down to three things:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • Why you are here

For example, if I was going to a live blogging event I may say something like, “My name is Coree Silvera from Market Like A Chick.   I share principles behind marketing with social media and event community management.  I’m here to stay on top of the latest trends in social media and to meet other people in the industry.”

I tell those I meet enough about me so that they can ask some specific questions, like what is event community management, or how did you get started.  Then you can have a meaningful conversation instead of, “Where are you from?” Or, “Man, it’s hot/cold!”

6. Have Business Cards

Give yourself a few weeks ahead of time to order just in case.  Make sure you have your contact information on the front and your brand’s tag line on the back.  Or, if you’re an affiliate marketer, you can put the URL to your top three affiliate links. You might also print a special discount on product/services on the back of the card to encourage them to look further.

Be sure to include your social networking user names so it’s easy to find you.  One of the most annoying things is to go to a social media marketing event and get a business card without the person’s social media info.  At least include your Twitter name.

Remember the goal is not how many cards you give out but how many you get so YOU can follow up with them. If they don’t have a card write down their info so you can follow up with them.  Or, if you are really smart, one of the best ways to exchange social media information instantly is with a Poken!  They are neat little gadgets that just take a click of a button to sync each others info onto a USB stick and save to your computer.

7. Stay Organized

As you get those questions you wrote down answered, cross them off your list and make a note of where to find the answer in your notes.  Many times the Speaker may answer your question in their presentation so cross it off & make a new question that is more in depth.   Whatever questions are left over you can then seek out the proper people to answer them.

Find a system that works for you while taking your notes.  Maybe you want to bring a divided notebook for each topic or each workshop.  At the very least remember to write the date, name of event, name of workshop, Speaker and the Speaker’s Twitter handle.  It only takes a second or two and will save you time later when you’re looking for that tip you heard while you were at the event.

8. Go Early, Stay Late

Some of the best time to network is before and after the event.  I know several people that don’t even go to the workshops, but pay to be there just for the networking and hang out in the exhibitor area the whole time.  Personally, I want to go to the workshops and learn something new to share with my readers or to enhance my service.  So, I don’t have time to network in between workshops.

You’ve probably traveled far and paid a lot of money to come to the event so make the most out of it. Get to the event early and stay late if you can. By doing this you will have a better chance of catching a moment to chat with some of the Speakers. Your time there is valuable there so make the most of it!

Being clear about what your business intentions are and why you are going to the event will make it much more meaningful and you’ll come away with fresh ideas, contacts, and action steps.  This is the difference between merely “attending” an event or “intending” to seize every opportunity at an event.  Your time and money are valuable, go with purpose!

What’s your best tip to get the most out of a live social media event?  Have you ever gone to an event without any clear purpose of what you wanted to get out of it?  How can you line up your intentions with the next event you’re planning on attending?  Share any stories of how you used an event to create a new joint venture, move past a roadblock, or how you may have missed an opportunity because you weren’t prepared.

To Your Success,

May 4, 2010   9 Comments

Social Bookmarking For Backlinks

A common misconception of newcomers to social bookmarking is that all posts you bookmark receive a backlink to the original source.  While the link used on a bookmarking site may provide traffic it does not necessarily mean that the link is a “DoFollow” link providing any SEO benefit to the source.

To receive the SEO benefit along with the traffic you must use social bookmarking sites that have a DoFollow policy.

If you’re not familiar with how social bookmarking works, check out the series I posted on Social Bookmarking 101: What Is It and How Does It Work.  The basic idea behind social bookmarking is the ability to store, index and search all of your favorite articles you’ve found while searching the web.

Like any new skill you’re learning when marketing with social media, once you get the basics down you can begin learning learning new ways to use them to benefit yourself.  If you are a blog owner one of your biggest tasks is building quality backlinks to your blog to improve your search engine ranking.

Most social bookmarking networks will require you to register, then once you have, you are able to submit links to those networks. If you are selective about using DoFollow bookmarking networks then those links will be DoFollow links back to your site.

Spend some time creating profiles on DoFollow social bookmarking sites.  What I would suggest is creating a short template to save time.  Since some of the networks will allow backlinks from your profile description, use your keywords as your anchor text.  For instance, if you are aiming to have your site ranked for content marketing, in your profile description word it so you are hotlinking your keyword phrase “content marketing” and not just your blog title.  I chose several of my most popular articles to link back to when writing my descriptions.

You might want to even create two templates…one html ready with your links and one without.  Not all networks will allow links from your profile and some will require you to use your own html tags. (“a href”).  So, be prepared and make it easier for yourself.

Once you have your profiles created remember to now use those sites to begin submitting your articles and reap the benefits of your work.  Do keep in mind that some networks do not take kindly when you link ONLY to your own site, so be kind and remember to bookmark other interesting articles from other sites.

The best list of DoFollow social bookmarking sites I have found was put together on DoFollow.Info where you can also find some other great resources on DoFollow techniques.  This list give descriptions of the networks and where you will find the DoFollow linking.  I suggest bookmarking this page because you may not make it through all of the sites in one sitting.

Good luck in your social bookmarking for backlinks strategy.  If you have any other tips, comments or questions please share them below.  All your feedback is appreciated and we learn from one another.

To Your Success,

April 26, 2010   10 Comments

Conquering Twitterbutt – How To Lose Your Twitter Love Handles

Oh my, how we love Twitter.  We love Twitter so much that we sit on our soft behinds in front of the computer for hours on end tweeting the latest articles, talking with our Twitter friends, and building our online relationships.  In return we are rewarded with new business, new friends, and new junk in our trunk.

I’m not sayin this is you… but many of us are suffering with what I call Twitterbutt.

If you’re a Twitter addict like most of us social media people are, chances are that you can log in to Twitter at 8am to start your day and the next time you notice what time it is it’s past 1pm when you can no longer stand the grumbling in your stomach.  You just sat there in one spot with your butt glued to the chair (or couch) for 5 hours.

So, what do we do?  Well, we get up and feed our hungry bellies, right?  While we’re snacking we sit back down in front of the computer to “just check in” on Twitter.  We engage and talk and become engrossed in our Twittering until we suddenly realize we can’t see the keyboard anymore because it’s 7pm and it’s completely dark in the room.

Okay…this explains WHY we are rocking our new Twitterbutt handle, but how do we get rid of the extra poundage and still stay engaged?

I became fed up a few months ago and decided to change my sedentary lifestyle before I became a permanent fixture in front of my computer.  Since I’ve begun practicing these few changes I’ve lost a little over 15 lbs.  Not a huge amount, but I can’t tell you how much better I feel when I am going up the stairs and being able to play with my kids without crumbling to the ground in a massive lump of sweaty, hyperventilating, sad sight.

How to Conquer Your Twitterbutt

1.  Set a schedule

Social media marketing doesn’t take all day in front of the computer.  It really doesn’t.  Start your morning by going through your RSS Reader for the best posts to Tweet and throw out a few links.  Save a few and use Hootsuite or another program to schedule others at later times during the day. (Noon to 3pm is busiest). Spend 30 minutes engaging on Twitter, thanking your followers for retweets, asking questions, and paying it forward.

This whole process should take no longer than one hour.  Do this twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.  In between those times, turn off your Twitter platform so you are not tempted.

2.  Get Your Butt Up and Move

Don’t just say you’re going to do it.  Do it.  Schedule it in. Just get up and do it.

I started a MeetUp group to help me stay committed because I know I am a flake when it comes to exercise.  If I tell myself I’m going to exercise my mind and body fight it all day. Rather, I tell myself it’s time to go on my walk with my new friends.  We made this a regular habit at regular spots in our local parks and trails.  We started at 1 mile and have worked up to a faster pace and walking 3 miles.

I also schedule other fun stuff like volleyball, Zumba, Badminton or just throwing the football or frisbee around for 30 min.  Again, I schedule it.  It may not be easy to break your Twitter habit, but it does get easier.

3.  Take Breaks

Go ahead, do it….set the mouse down.  Walk away.  I know you can do it.

Go outside and enjoy the sunshine.  Feel your energy start to return as you get your mind off the computer screen.  These breaks will remind you that you love to be active outside of your Twitter world too.  You need these little boosts not only for encouraging more activity but they are also great to find inspiration for new blog posts or those witty Tweets you are so famous for.

4.  Track What You Eat

Are you a snacker? Or are you like me and just don’t eat at all until 8pm rolls around and then you splurge?  Either way, start tracking what your eating habits are and the nutrition your giving your body.

There are several social networks such as SparkPeople or MyFitnessPal that will help you track meals, nutrition and exercise.  I recently signed up for SparkPeople and have been using their online tools to enter my meals and track my goals.  Some of my goals are to eat 30-40 grams of fiber and around 1400 calories per day.  Yours may be different, but you can set those up and the sites are great at providing nutritional pointers.

5.  Exercise At Your Desk

Right now are you sitting straight up with your belly muscles pulled in?  Are you breathing deeply to expand your lungs or are you taking short breaths?  Just become aware of these things and begin to notice when you are slouching.

Just contracting your stomach muscles, releasing and contracting again while sitting at your desk is a modified crunch.  There are other exercises you can do while at your desk as well.  This blurb was taken from WebMD.com and has some great ideas to get more exercise in when you work at your desk all day:

“We are made to move, not sit at a desk 12 hours a day,” says Joan Price, author of The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book. “As ergonomic as your desk or chair may be, sitting produces back pains, headaches, and listlessness. You become less productive.”

Twitter rocks but with summer nearly here,  don’t you want your glutumus maximus to rock even more??  Get rid of the Twitterbutt and get your groove on with all of us!

What tips do you have for getting rid of Twitterbutt?  How have you fit exercise into your social media filled day?  Share them in the comments below for all to learn.

To Your Success,

April 20, 2010   26 Comments

7 Cross Promotion Ideas To Boost Traffic and Sales

Promoting your online business almost always depends on others. When just starting out, family and friends get the ball rolling and once you have a few customers you depend on their word of mouth. Cross promotion uses word of mouth and partner visibility to boost your sales, credibility and brand.

In a nutshell, cross promotional marketing is working with other businesses both large and small to draw attention to your products or services.

Cross promotion is different from affiliate marketing in that it is an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both people in the same way. With affiliate marketing, the affiliate gets a percentage of the pie based on an agreed upon amount. With cross promotion, both partners are looking to receive the same amount of compensation.

Why Cross Promote?

The easy answer here is that you want to increase traffic to your website or blog, establish yourself as an authority, and to increase sales. That is the goal of business, after all.

Another reason is to increase your visibility among your business peers. When you partner with a bigger more well known business or blogger (Mike Stelzner calls them Firestarters), you increase your credibility. Keep in mind what you have to offer.  The top marketers, influencers and large businesses won’t waste much time with someone who doesn’t bring something valuable to the table.

Types of Cross Promotion

So what does cross promotion look like? The agreement between similar businesses to help one another in their advertising and promo forms a network with new business people and also a way to increase profits for both of you.

Here are a few ideas for cross promotion to get the ball rolling:

1.  Advertisement: Banner or Link Exchange

You can post advertisement links or banners on each other’s sites. Look for people or businesses that share similarities with yours or are at least interesting to each other’s site visitors. For instance, if you sell party supplies, partnering with a party planner makes good business sense. Your goal is to be relevant.

If you don’t have a banner, you can get one pretty cheap at $20 Banners.  Depending on what design you choose, they really do start at just$20.  This gives customers a chance to check you out in a glance so be creative.

Don’t use those free or cheap link exchange services!  You want to build relationships with other site owners and you should be careful about the credibility of those other sites.  Don’t hook yourself up into a “bad neighborhood”

2. Guest Blogging

Write website content and blog for each other. This is something that does take a little bit of your time but the rewards are great.  By contributing to a blog in your same niche you’re establishing yourself as an expert in that field as well as building links back to your site.

Most website owners allow 1 or 2 “do follow” links within the text and a bio with links  so the visitors can click on it for more information.

Share each other’s audiences and tap into one another’s insight.  It’s a win for everyone if done well.

3.  Link It Up

When you are active in the blogging community you are consistently reading other articles and are aware of the topics.  Keep those in mind when you are writing your own articles and link back to them.

Rather than leaving a long comment on a blog post, create an article around it and link back to their post.  You’ll add content to your own blog and you’ll be offering a little link love at the same time.

4.  Comment Club

Another smart idea is to form a group of bloggers in your niche that will agree to leave comments on each other’s articles.  Honestly, I think this should be something we are all reciprocating without forming a club, but it may give us the motivation to kick it up a notch.

It’s like having an exercise partner.  You both want to get fit, but sometimes without that accountability of knowing someone is waiting on you it’s way to easy to put it off.  Having a group of commenters will keep you accountable and actively involved.

5.  Blog or Product Reviews

You see the big guys promoting one another all the time.  You always know when there is a new marketing or affilate product launch coming up when you see the same information coming from a group of people.  They have their own clubs they have created, so you know it works to create a mass viral effect.

You see John Chow, Jeremy Schoemaker, Yaro Starak & Zac Johnson cross promote.  Or, Michael Stelzner, Mari Smith, Denise Wakeman and Chris Garret together.  Recently we’ve seen Brian Clark, Chris Brogan and Sonia Simone form their alliances.  They all understand this concept.

6.  Blog Rolls

Blog Rolls provide your readers and Google a way of figuring out what you’re all about by who you read and look up to.

Much like link exchanges, but blog rolls have a more prominent place than an advertising text link and show your visitors that you recommend this other person rather than took money from them to gain that spot.

7.  Bookmarking Buddies

Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon are great ways to get traffic to your site…IF they are being bookmarked.  Without an active base of friends or subscribers it’s nearly impossible to make it to the front page of a bookmarking site.  There are certain guidelines you must follow in bookmarking etiquette to keep from looking spammy, so don’t go overboard.

StumbleUpon and Digg both offer “do follow” links to your post, I believe.  Delicious doesn’t have “do follow”, but they still provide traffic.  I use Delicious to bookmark those sites I want to have on hand as a reference because it’s simple.

For a better understanding of how it all works, I have an earlier series of articles I’d recommend called Bookmarking 101.

I’m sure there are plenty of other creative ways to cross promote that I may have missed. What have you found to work well?  What new ways can you think of to share here?  Leave your comments below to get some feedback.

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> I am always on the lookout for ways to cross promote and help one another.  If you’d like to band together with me and others in my niche, drop me a line with your idea and we can discuss the opportunities!  You can use my Contact form or direct email: coree[at]marketlikeachick[dot] com.

April 7, 2010   13 Comments

36 Twitter Resources: Advanced Twitter Search for Business

Whether you decide to engage in social networking as a marketing strategy or not, Twitter has become a powerful tool to search and monitor your brand, your competitors, and for lead generation.  Beyond the basic search on the Twitter home page you can use advanced search techniques to produce targeted information not easily found in a normal Google search.

Want to know who’s talking about buying a new TV in Seattle?  How about people discussing the terrible customer service they received from one of your competitors?  Are you a journalist that needs case studies to report on?  Whatever you’re looking for, chances are you can find the answer in real time and target that information for whatever area  you like.

Below I’ve put together some of the best resources on using Twitter as a powerful tool to build and monitor your business:

Twitter Tools To Have On Hand

  • 1. Mozilla Firefox Plugin for Twitter
  • 2. Greasemonkey Script for Twitter Search in Sidebar
  • 3. Twitter Search Operators

Articles for Improving Twitter Search Skills

  • 4. 7 “Secret” Ways to Use Twitter Search – Twitip
  • 5. HOW TO: Use Twitter’s Advanced Search Features – Mashable
  • 6. Using Twitter Search for Business – Chris Brogan
  • 7. 15 Fascinating Ways to Track Twitter Trends – Mashable
  • 8. Generating Quality Marketing Leads With Google Alerts and Twitter – Adam Green, “Mr. Google Alerts”
  • 9. How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business – Copyblogger
  • 10. Using Twitter Search to Boost Local Business – Mediafunnel
  • 11. Twitter Tips: How to Search Twitter Smarter – CIO.com
  • 12. Take Advantage of Twitter Search Operators – Web Worker Daily
  • 13. It’s Time to Start Thinking of Twitter as a Search Engine – TechCrunch
  • 14. How To Use Twitter for Customer Service - Sitepoint

Twitter Research and Monitoring Tools

  • 15. TwitterGradr – Hubspot’s tool for finding “elite” Tweeters based on location and influence.
  • 16. Monitter – Lets you “monitter” the Twitter world for a set of keywords and watch what people are saying in a grid layout.
  • 17. TweetStats – Graphs out Twitter habits based on how often, what time of day, and @ replies for you or any user.
  • 18. TweetBeep – Great for online reputation management, catching all your @replies and @mentions, finding job/networking opportunities.
  • 19. Twitscoop – Full feature Twitter web client with search, trends, and real time buzz.
  • 2. What The Hashtag -The user-editable encyclopedia for hashtags found on Twitter, allows print outs of hashtag transcriptions, Greasemonkey script adds, and Firefox add on.  Track popular and trending hashtags.
  • 21. Hashtag.org – Tracks the frequency that a hashtag is used on Twitter and provides details about the hashtag

Twitter Directories

  • 22. WeFollow
  • 23. Twellow
  • 24. TwitterCounter
  • 25. TwitterHolic
  • 26. Twibs – Directory of businesses on Twitter
  • 27. Just Tweet It
  • 28. Tracking Twitter – A real-time listing of the top media, entertainment, and consumer product feeds on Twitter.

Geolocation Twitter Tools

  • 29. GeoFollow – Large location based Twitter Directory, find and follow by city, state, zip or tags.
  • 30. Trendsmap – Real-time mapping of Twitter trends across the world.
  • 31. LocaFollow – Search by location & follow (allows bulk follow) LocaFollowis powered by Google so  results are shown in the same order that Google shows it. Those Twitter pages that are better SEO optimized will appear on the top.
  • 32. TPS – the Tweet Positioning System, is a geo-location filter for conversations and mentions on Twitter.
  • 33. GeoTwitTrends – Shows real-time trending topics happening in specific places.
  • 34. GeoChirp – Set the location and then search for tweets based on keywords.  All results from that location would be displayed.
  • 35. Twittori – Allows you to follow places in a similar way than you are used to following users on Twitter as well as attach your tweets to a specific location.
  • 36. TweetMondo - Shows Twitter users that have either registered in Tweetmondo.com or were crawled by their crawler and filtered by location.

Twitter’s advanced search is a business owner’s best friend if you just take the time to use it.  Be sure to bookmark this post for future reference to come back to!

What did I miss?  Do you have a Twitter search tip or resource to add to the list?  Share below in the comments.

To Your Success,

April 5, 2010   53 Comments

5 Steps To Rekindle Missed Opportunities

How many times have you let an opportunity fall off your radar, or worse, completely missed an opportunity because you didn’t take the time to ponder the possibilities with a contact?

Don’t write those off as lost opportunities so fast. Like the smoldering wood of a once burning fire, what appears to be a missed opportunity cold from neglect may just need a little attention to rekindle into your next hot business idea.

No one enjoys being forgotten or neglected, yet at one point, we’ve all either had it happen to us or we’ve been the one that has forgotten to follow up.  While it is unfortunate circumstance, it doesn’t have to be a permanent one.  Since we’ve all done it there’s no reason to be embarrassed or uncomfortable about reestablishing a business conversation that fell wayside.

Every business owner wants more business.  So, don’t feel weird.

Here are my top 5 steps for rekindling missed opportunities into new business:

1.  Search Your Calendar, Day Planner, or Journal

Spend  some quality time looking back over the past few months.  How far you go back depends on how long it’s been since you’ve done this exercise.  If this is the first time you may want to look over the last 12 months, otherwise go back at least 3 months.

Take notice of where you spent your time and which appointments you had that did not produce results.

Try to remember the people you met and the conversations you had. Did you follow up as effectively as you might? Did you explore all the possibilities?

2.  Clear Out The Clutter

Go through and clear out all the places you stick your miscellaneous papers and notes:  Your Rolodex, business card file, smart phone, purse, wallet, briefcase, or car.

Don’t throw away or delete anything until you have thought about potential opportunities.  Look particularly for people who’ve slipped off your radar. Which business relationships may benefit from some rekindling?

See that pile of business cards that you set on your desk when you came home all pumped up from your last networking event?  Rekindle that great sense of achievement and gusto you had and go back through the cards now with a fresh outlook.  What was it that was so interesting back then? Did you write any notes on the backs of the cards?

If you use a Poken to exchange social media contact info instantly at events, go back through and check out the profiles of those you spoke with.  Has anything changed?  New jobs? New products?  Find a reason to reach out.

3. Clean Up Your Inbox

I am admittedly one of the worst at returning emails and am making a public apology right now to everyone that I have not gotten back to.  I don’t mean to do this, but I am a confessed multi-tasker that has fallen off the wagon.  Great intentions, lots of ideas (too many ideas…maybe that’s my problem), and joint venture opportunities lie dormant because of lost focus or dizzying distractions.

Regularly clearing your email inbox is a major accomplishment and quite a liberating experience.  Sort, take action and get rid of the rest.

A bit of my own advice:

Don’t leave email sitting in your in box. Organize in folders, when you check your email take action immediately by scheduling to calendar, replying, or moving to your to-do list if it needs more thought.

4.  Get Through Those Files

Ugh, the dreaded deed.  Papers shoved inside slightly corresponding folders, folders sitting in piles on the desk waiting to be organized, mail and notes kept with some intention of follow up still staring at you with guilty eyes.

Picture the stack of money with eyeballs atop from the Geico commercial.  “Hey, this is the money you could be making if you called this contact”

Chances are amongst that junky looking mess there are some golden opportunities waiting for you.  After all, you kept some of that paperwork for a good reason.  Now go find it, take it out of the file, and take action on it.

5. Make An Announcement

Post an article on your blog or and update to your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profile inviting your friends, followers, and customers to point out missed opportunities.  Write and send out an email or bulletin to contacts or staff asking them their thoughts on opportunities you may not have seen or inviting them to kick you in the pants for not following up on what they saw as a great business idea.

Male and female alike, we sometimes underestimate ourselves or fail to see a natural talent we have that could be our profitable passion. So often others see things in us that we cannot see ourselves. Ask for outside opinions, listen to suggestions, and be willing to accept a compliment.

Act on the suggestions and opportunities that feel right.

By taking these 5 steps and applying them on a quarterly basis you’ll have a system to keep you fanning the flames of still smoldering opportunities.  You may never be the super follow-through genius that never misses a beat…but, you don’t ever have to miss an opportunity again.

What are your best tips for rekindling missed opportunities?  Have you ever experienced a business success from sorting through old information or contacts?  Share your thoughts and stories with us below.

To Your Success,

P.S. –> Have I missed an opportunity?  Do you have a business idea, joint venture, or marketing opportunity you’d like to share with me?  Did I flake out and not return your email?  Forgive me…and please contact me to rekindle our business opportunity!  You can email me directly at coree[at]marketlikeachick[dot]com.

March 23, 2010   13 Comments

The Basics Of Forum Marketing For Your Small Business

One of the most suggested means of getting traffic to a site is to get involved in forum discussions (or bulletin boards as they are also called) on your topic of choice.  You can find highly targeted forums that are organized and structured around just about any niche or industry you can think of, such as Internet marketing, web design, and search engine optimization.  You’ll also find that forum users are generally pretty Internet savvy and are open to making online purchases.

Internet Forums

Forums are places where people with similar interests can meet, exchange information and chat online. To become a member of an Internet forum you usually have to sign up on a membership site. This doesn’t involve any money. Sites want to keep up how many members they have.

According to Harvey Segal (Mr SuperTips), author of Forum Marketing SuperTips, there are 4 major reasons why people use forums:

  1. They can get advice: for example − troubleshooting products, hardware or software; to get their site reviewed;  to ask for opinions about a product before purchasing; or about a business opportunity or affiliate program they plan to join.
  2. They can discover new products, ideas, tips, tools
  3. They can make contact with others, and possibly set up joint ventures
  4. Site promotion

Once you join and become a forum member, you can access the forum by creating a username and password. When you log in, you have access to all the different topics and threads (each conversation started by forum members).

The sites include other perks and ways to join in but the forum is where most people go to congregate and talk. You can use these forums to not only promote your website but also get a little extra traffic that can add up to big benefits for your business.

Choosing Forums

Not just any forum will do. You want to find forums that pertain to your target market. For instance, if you sell lighting fixtures, you’ll want to look for DIY (do-it-yourself) forums for a start. Also, look into forums for contractors and builders. They certainly use lighting fixtures in their line of work.

In these forums, half of the work is done for you. You are already accessing your target market, but the rest is up to you. That is why conducting yourself well on these forums is important and makes this type of website promotion one of the most profitable.  Forum marketing is a type of “self promotion” as well as site promotion.

Your goal should be to be seen as an expert in your field, not to get traffic to your site.  If your reason is purely to drive traffic to your site, you probably won’t be terribly successful and people will definitely know what you are up to.

Using the Forum

Participating in forums can provide valuable insight to business owners. Not only for sales, but for some good perspectives from others in your industry as well as potential clients. Before you jump into talking about your business, think about  what would build your trust and what would break it down.  It’s pretty obvious to say that spammers would tick you off, but people who participate and also help others, would inspire your trust.

The same social media rules of engagement apply to forums and forum marketing.  Interact with people in the forum. There is a wealth of knowledge there. You can offer expert advice and get help yourself. Their advice to you can help you implement changes that benefit your business.

Use your signature line to promote your website. Include a link here along with your name. The more you post in existing threads and your own, people whose trust you gain will begin to click on that link and check out your website.  Even if you don’t include a signature with your posts, you can still make a name for yourself and, in the long term, this will prove to be a far more profitable approach.

Internet forums that cater to your target market have a two-fold benefit. First, they help you get in touch with the type of person you seek for your business and second, you can establish yourself as an expert and use your signature line to promote your website.

I just came across an ebook that I’ve found to be very helpful and expect you will too.  Every day across countless thousands of forums on the Net, people are asking questions. Those who can answer them have a great opportunity to build their authority and their business.

Forum Marketing SuperTips, by Harvey Segal (Mr SuperTips) is neatly set out, easy to follow, written without the hype that drives me insane, and not littered with annoying links.  In his book you’ll find out:

  • how to find exactly what forum visitors are looking for
  • how to quickly create a resource that will answer their questions
  • how to make superior postings to get people to visit your resource – with no hype and no ads and no affiliate links
  • how you will profit handsomely from these visits

It’s packed with solid tips on “How to Post at Forums – for Profit” And the cost of this collection of gems ?

It’s free!

Of course, you know there are going to be opportunities intertwined to sell you paid ebooks or programs, but whether you partake in any of those or not, you should have this ebook in your arsenal of Internet marketing strategies.

What success have you had with forum marketing?  LinkedIn and Yahoo! have their q&a discussions, too.  Have you looked into offering your smarts on those groups?  What other discussions or forums have you used?  Leave your comments below.

To Your Success,

There are 4 major reasons why people use forums − or discussion groups or
bulletin boards as they are also called.
1) They can get advice: for example − to get their site reviewed, to ask
for opinions about a product before purchasing or about a business
opportunity or affiliate program they plan to join
·
· 2) They can discover new products, ideas, tips, tools
3) They can make contact with others, and possibly set up joint
ventures
BUT
this book will concentrate on the 4th reason
·
· 4) Site promotion

March 19, 2010   10 Comments

Attending Live Social Media Events – Which Events Are Right For You?

Live events are a great way to network with others in your business field. Human interaction builds strong relationships. Also, you get to practice those networking skills in person. But, what events are right for you?

Live events are going on all around you. The trick: knowing where to look.

Where To Find Events of Interest

  • Visit your favorite blogs for information. If your bloggers are speaking or attending a conference they will want to let their readers know about it. Most of the time you will see a badge or a list in the sidebar or if they’re very busy speakers you may find a separate page with their engagements listed.  Ask for more information if they don’t provide a link.
  • Visit forums. Business forums usually have a place where they list upcoming events both online and offline. Check to see which are close to you and if they are on a topic that interests you.
  • Visit social networking sites. These are great for business connections. If friends are hosting events or attending, they may post an invite to the event for their business contacts. Read the information and attend.
  • See my events list. Since you’re here on my blog I figure you’re interested in some of the same events I am.  You can see my wish list of events I’m looking to be SPONSORED for on my Sponsor Me page.

If you’re a business looking for a professional conference blogger that’s the page to find one!  Whether it be me or another blogger, it’s important to know how to reach out to a blogger and find the best match.  I wrote an article on Branding With Blogger Outreach that may be helpful in your approach.

If you’re a blogger that would like to be sponsored for an event, let me know and I’ll post a few of the tips I’ve learned.

JD Lasica put together an awesome Calendar for 2010 conferences and events that lists best social media, tech­nol­ogy, media and mar­ket­ing con­fer­ences for the upcom­ing year.  It’s a great starting point for your research.

Finding Events For Your Interests or Niche

The live events you choose may interest you in two ways:

  • Professionally
  • Personally

Professionally, choose live events that are relevant to your business. You wouldn’t attend a crafting seminar if you sell gardening supplies. And, you probably would pass on a seminar that highlights how offline businesses can get into online markets if you already own an online business.

It can be hard to decide if you are new to online business. Because you aren’t sure what you need to know, you don’t know what live events will be best for you. Here are some pointers:

  • Check geographic location – Your first time out, you might want to stay close to home to lower costs. Money is often tight when you just get up and running.
  • Look at event registration costs – Now, money is not the only consideration. As the fees get more expensive, your attendees will reach a different caliber as well. And, some events are tax deductible as a business expense. What we are talking about here is to see if you can swing the cost for a highly rated event that will benefit your business in many ways. Or you could consider offering your promotion skills for a brand that can’t attend an event and be sponsored to go.
  • Look at the speakers – Who is coming that you really feel you can learn from? Don’t go just because the speaker is well known…make sure their topic and speaking style is going to be something that you will be able to absorb and implement in your own business.  If the speakers are some of your favorite bloggers or online business owners that you have been wanting to meet, don’t pass up the chance to have your questions answered and gain some insight.

Choosing a live event to attend doesn’t have to be a hard decision. Gather as much information as you can about upcoming events, their location and fees so you can map out your networking strategy. Be prepared with which sessions you want to attend, who you want to meet with, and what you will say when you do meet your mentors in person. (Perfect that elevator speech!)

What events are you planning on attending this year? Why did you choose those?  Have you found any other sites that list upcoming events that you can share? Please leave your questions or tips below in the comment section.  I love hearing from you!

To Your Success,

P.S. –> When you attend events your goal is to network and collect as many contacts as possible to follow up with later.  Show your digital style, save precious time, and stay organized with a sweet little gadget called Poken.  You can collect social network info with one touch of a button and it’s saved forever.  Check out the post I wrote on How To Exchange Social Media Contact Info Instantly at Events for more info on Poken.

March 12, 2010   5 Comments

Social Media Policies and Compliance Software For Businesses

More businesses are beginning to realize the power of marketing with social media and the real time benefits of social CRM on sites like Twitter. However, along with the benefits come concerns regarding compliance, reputation management and employee productivity.

There will always be those times when someone hits that send button and immediately regrets it, but when it comes to a company’s reputation the regrets can be damaging to the brand. An uninformed employee in a highly regulated industry, such as financial services, may create a compliance issue in a Facebook conversation without realizing what she has done.

Can You Avoid The Social Media Journey?

A better question is “should” you.  Brands are realizing that people are talking about them on social networks with or without their approval.  Employers are realizing that they can turn their employees into brand ambassadors.  Social media can strengthen your brand not only as an employer but as a company. Take a look at Dell Outlet who, in a recent article, reported that Twitter has made Dell $1 million in revenue over the past year and a half.

Social networking is quickly becoming as mainstream as email and will soon make it’s way into every communication tool we use. For those companies that have not begun using social networking in workplace communications, Microsoft will soon be assisting you whether you’re ready or not. The new 2010 release of its email application Outlook will integrate with LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace, allowing users to find profiles for people in their contacts as well as view and post updates directly through Outlook.

Those organizations that figure out how to leverage those social capabilities without incurring more risk will be ahead of the game. So, how do businesses govern the social networking wildfire?

Social Media Policies

Most companies have existing communication policies that spell out how they expect employees to communicate via phone or email but few address the recent move to online conversations.  Recent surveys show that seven out of ten American companies have no formal policy in place to address how the company and its employees are to utilize social media.

Any company that has a social media presence these days can benefit from having some type of policy in place to protect the company legally and financially.  How much you say and regulate is up to you.  Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, has a one liner for his policy: “Be real and use your best judgment.” to allow for creativity and informal communication.  While Zappos may be able to maintain the laid back policy, it’s not in every brand’s best interests to follow his footsteps.

If you need a policy in place pronto there is an online policy generator to walk you through and have your policy in minutes.  PolicyTool has created a streamlined process where you simply answer a brief questionnaire and it provides you with a complete Social Media Policy customized to your company.

If you’re not sure where to begin or what to include in your social media guidelines you may want to take a look at what other companies have done. Interactive Insights Group has just put together a social media policies superlist that has load of resources to help you through. They’ve  organized them into a few sections – Advice and Resources, Nonprofits and Associations, and Examples of Social Media Policies.

Social Network Compliance Software

Companies in regulated industries are well aware of the rules governing electronic communications, from correspondence and email to sales materials and advertising. There is little room for compliance goofs and for those companies there are several software options that can be set in place.  Two vendors focusing specifically on social media governance are FaceTime and Socialware.

FaceTime sells an appliance, Secure Web Gateway, which monitors, controls and records content posted through the corporate network to social networking sites. With it you can control social media by setting and banning specific keywords that users may try to post on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users can also configure the product to prevent the post, notify the user it was against policy, record the incident and alert an administrator.

Socialware launched a cloud-based Social Middleware Platform last month which is an application that can filter, tag and archive every social post from the company network.  Once live, posts can be monitored for compliance,  routed for review if necessary, and archived to guarantee compliance with industry or corporate policies.

Needs Based Guidelines

When it comes to your social media policies, every company is going to differ on what type of engagement is acceptable. Even when a company has a clear social media policy in place with specifications as to what employees aren’t allowed to post, there is no guarantee that everyone will represent the company exactly as you want.

Employees can and will make mistakes, whether it be on social media sites or in some other aspect of their job, but the goal is to prevent the same mistake twice. It’s likely that your social media policy will evolve with time and experience.  It doesn’t have to be twenty pages long, just a few bullet points are really necessary.  You do want it to be read, right?

Does your company have social networking guidelines in place?  What has been your experience with social networking, brand reputation and employee productivity?  Did I miss anything that you can share here?  Please leave your comments below.

To Your Success,

March 8, 2010   7 Comments