Marketing From A Woman's Point of View

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

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 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

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 –
  • 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. – 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 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

You Know You Are A Twitter Snob If

There’s been something eating at me lately and I’m going to just say it, because frankly…sometimes I just don’t feel like being Miss Nicey Nice.

Whether you are considered a “social media guru” or are just trying to build your base of followers up, there are several things you can do to really make yourself look like a Social Media Snob.

Warning: this may rattle a few cages.  If you’re practicing any of these traits you may find an uncontrollable urge to leave a retaliatory comment.  By all means, go ahead.  I’d love to hear the ridiculous reasonings behind your skilled strategy.

Here are 10 traits of what I would call a Twitter Snob.  You know you are a snob if:

1.  You have 50k followers but you only follow 100 or so of your other snobby buddies so you can engage in your “We are the group you wish you were in” conversations.

2.  You follow someone only to get them to follow you back then unfollow them to avoid looking like the spammer you are.

3.  You DM someone but don’t have the courtesy to follow them back so they can respond in a DM.  (Hopefully your poor minions respond with a loud @ reply letting everyone know that they can’t reply because you’ve chosen to have a one way relationship)

4.  You never once visit the blog or website of those that follow or mention you to see what they are all about.

5.  You Retweet any post that has your username mentioned (making sure your @username is mentioned again) rather than just thanking the person for mentioning you via a separate tweet or DM.  <—-LAME-O

6.  You use “protected tweets” and allow someone to follow you but don’t follow back.  Seriously? Are you that cool?  How very nice of you to allow someone such a privlege to view your “protected” scrolls of divine tweeting….but if you don’t want to interact, then why approve a follow?

7.  You auto DM your followers to give them exclusive offers to your products that are not selling without a spambot annoying the crap out of everyone. STOP.  Take the time to see if your product might even benefit your follower before spamming…maybe have a two way conversation to ask them.  Wow…what a novel concept.

8.  You send someone an auto DM to say you are different from the rest and promise that YOUR DM is not an auto DM.  They respond to your promise with a bit of info about themselves and you never reply.  Why?  Because you ARE just like everyone else that sends auto DM’s only you’re worse because you are a liar too.

9.  You never answer any of the @replies sent to you…unless it’s sent by someone with over 50k followers or is in your snobby buddy list.

10.  You schedule tweets or hire someone to blast the Twitterverse with your blog posts from the last month without ever adding any conversation to your feed.  Make that 10x worse if your blog posts are all about succeeding in social media.  What is that called again?  Oh, yeah…a POSER.

Okay, I am done ranting.  I think.

We hear it all the time….listen, engage, interact, share…it’s what social media is all about.  Yes, we can drum up business with social media marketing.  Yes, we can sell products online.  NO, it’s not okay to be a one way loudspeaker.  In fact, it is just socially unacceptable.

Enjoy people.  Let your hair down and talk, laugh, and care about others.  You may even build some lasting friendships that carry over to the offline world.  I guarantee you that you will find more business this way and the word of mouth referrals that come from those relationships will far outweigh the spammy crap of a Twitter snob.

Did I miss anything?  What other Twitter snob traits do you find unacceptable?  Share them in the comments below.

To Your Success,

P.S.> You can also test your Twitter snob level by taking the short quiz that Kate Ottavio put together right after I posted this article.  Not sure if my post inspired the quiz, but it’s entertaining none the less.

February 8, 2010   87 Comments

How To Add A Twitter Widget To Your WordPress Blog

Today I’ll give step by step instructions to add a Twitter widget to your WordPress blog.  I was asked a question on LinkedIn recently that I thought I’d share here for everyone to benefit from.

I will try to do this more frequently, so if you have any particular questions about social media, community building, blogging, or something similar, please feel free to send them on over.  You can leave your questions in the comments section or you can reach me directly via email coree [at] marketlikeachick [dot] com, on any of my social networks which you can see in my right sidebar ——>

Here’s today’s question:

“How do I add Twitter to my WordPress blog so that it shows my tweets and is there a way to show my Twitter lists I’ve created on my blog too?

There’s  some nifty applications to use, and some cool looking widgets or buttons to choose from.  If you’re a beginner, the easiest and most basic way is to just use the ones provided by Twitter itself.

Adding Twitter Widgets To Your WordPress Blog

1.  Log in to your Twitter profile and scroll to the bottom of any page.  Locate and click on the “Goodies” link.

2.  On the Goodies page there are 3 options: Applications, Widgets and Buttons. Apps are more for mobile devices, so just ignore those for now.  If you want your Twitter stream to show on your blog you will choose a “widget”.  Use the “button” if you just want to people to be able to click on that and find you on Twitter without anything else showing on your blog.

3.  Click on Widget link, then choose where you would like to display it. For a blog you will click on “Website” (You’ll see the options for adding the widget to Facebook & Myspace as well)

4. Choose your widget and customize your widget.  You will have options to change colors and size to blend with your blog’s color scheme.  Make sure you choose the right size to fit into your sidebar.

  • Profile widget will show your latest Tweets.
  • Search widget can be set to search your chosen keywords and display the results on your blog. This would be a cool feature if you were tracking an event, for instance, and wanted to display all the latest tweets that related to that event hashtag.  Or, in my example, I chose the keyword search term “women entrepreneurs” to display any mention on Twitter for that term.
  • Faves Widget will only show the tweets that you have starred as your favorites.  Only displaying the best or most relevant tweets rather than some of the useless, where did you have lunch type of stuff. This only works well if you actively “favorite” some tweets with the star function. I don’t do that much, but maybe I should.
  • List Widget will allow you to choose a Twitter list you have made with your favorite followers, or a niche group of followers, and display the tweets from that list on your blog.  You can set it up with a title and a caption to personalize the widget and allow for some creativity.

5.  Copy the html code. Once you’ve chosen and customized your widget you will need to click “Finish and Grab Code”. A box will appear with the code.  Click on the box once which will highlight all the code then hit “Control-C” on your keyboard to copy.

6.  Add to your WordPress sidebar.  From your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance, then Widgets. 

7.  From your Widget screen you will want to choose a “Text” widget.  Just click and drag to where you would like the widget to appear in your Sidebar.  Open the Text widget and copy the Twitter code into that box.  Hit “Save” and you’re done.

8.  Go check our your new Twitter widget on your homepage to make sure it looks just like you planned.  You should be up and running!

Hopefully that covered everything you need to know to get a simple Twitter widget into your WordPress blog.  It’s basically the same procedure to add Twitter buttons to your blog, too.  I use a different set of buttons that I found by searching around and had to manually hyperlink them to my social media profiles.  Maybe we can cover adding social media buttons on a later post.

Feel free to leave any questions about adding Twitter widgets to your blog below.  Or, if you’d like me to cover a certain Twitter topic just leave that in the comments as well!  Thanks!

To Your Success,

P.S.~~> I’m still offering several advertising spots on my blog. Take advantage of marketing to a reader base consisting mainly of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and women rocking the social media scene!  My advertising prices are super affordable right now but will go up as my blog continues to grow.  Grab your spot now and secure your rate for the next few months or for best pricing, secure the entire year!  You can check out all the details, pricing and availability from my Advertising page.

January 22, 2010   16 Comments

Ban Twitter: How To Stop Free Speech At Conferences

When should Twitter be banned at conferences?  That’s like asking when does your right to free speech stop.  There seems to be some controversy over whether Twitter use is appropriate at live events and conferences with strong stances from both sides of the camp.  Some see Twitter as a tool and others as a distraction.

In a recent article by Chris Pirillo titled Should Twitter Be Banned at Conferences,  I was surprised to see the reaction from his readers as well as Chris himself.  Chris had just finished up a live presentation at LeWeb and, from Chris’ viewpoint,  his presentation on community was not as widely praised as the presentations made by the guys from Twitter and Facebook.  After the presentation Chris noticed that there we some negative and even what he termed “harsh” comments made over Twitter regarding the conference.

First off, let me say this to Chris:  I wasn’t at LeWeb, but I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation at Blogworld and appreciated the touch of humor and wit you add to your teaching.  It’s nice to break it up a bit and not sit through line after line of boring instructions. With your less tangible talk on what a community really is rather than step by step instructions or breaking news, you were leading people to think about their philosophies.  Anytime you make people think for themselves there will be those that balk.  It’s just simpler to follow the leader rather than being a thought leader themselves.

People Flock Together

That being said, I think we need to realize that there will always be some sort of negative feedback whenever we express a viewpoint or philosophy.  When we are dealing with social communities and the mass effect of a tool like Twitter we are going to see some “me-too’ers”.  Meaning, it’s our nature to want to be like the rest of the crowd…whether it be negative crap or a cheer leading squad.  People flock together.

Don’t believe me?  Have you ever had a friend share their opinion with you on a subject only to do a 360 on their viewpoint when the rest of the gang (usually headed up by an alpha’s nudging) decided they were on the other side of the fence?  It takes courage to be different and stand up for what you believe in. So people take the easy way out and go with the masses. The same holds true for social masses, social media masses to be more direct.

Herding the Flocks

If we know people flock together then our goal is to learn how to herd the flocks.  In any marketing strategy we will always want to be able to influence decisions, right?  The trick is knowing how to gently lead.  If negative feedback comes in our first reaction is to react in defense.  Especially when we have poured our heart and soul into something and were giving our best.  But for more desirable results our emotions need to be taken out of the mix and strategic thinking and response needs to take place.

In the case of the Twitter bashing of the LeWeb conference, at the first notice of negativity the event leaders should have immediately been made aware and responded.  Isn’t this what we teach about customer service?  We praise companies that use social media to respond to consumer reactions.  Why would an event be any different?  If the event is looking to make a profit, it is a business.  If it is a business, it should have a logical system for responding to the attendees (consumers).

By incorporating an Event Community Manager, or at the very least a Twitter Moderator, a negative comment can easily be responded to or taken into a private DM conversation if possible.  The manager would also be feeding the Twitter feed with positive comments during the presentation to counter set any negativity or just lead the flocks to a greener pasture.  Each event should have a major presence on Twitter during all presentations and should be creating a cheerleading section.

Ban Twitter?

Preposterous.  Twitter is a very valuable tool that any experienced marketer will use to influence their flocks.  In event marketing Twitter can be used as a monitor to alert the event staff to potential fires and feedback, good or bad, and allow them to respond, grow and profit.  There are many reasons why events should use social media for their marketing.  There are very few arguments for why they should NOT.

Who is the most important person at the event?  Is it the event producer, the keynote speaker, or the attendees themselves?  If you are looking for profit, then your very most important person had better be your attendee.  They are paying to be there, they are looking for education, and they are the ones that control the word of mouth concerning your event.  I strongly disagree with the statement made by Chris in his article:

There are a lot of important people in the audience, yes. However, the person on stage is the most important one of all.

What are your thoughts?  How do you feel about the thought of banning free speech through Twitter at conferences?  How have you seen conferences use Twitter for crowd control or customer service? Please leave your comments below.

To Your Success,

P.S.~~> Do you want to hire an experienced social media professional to manage your event community?  Here is a shameless self promotion:  I have begun to offer my services as an Event Community Manager and would be happy to offer a free 30 minute consultation and provide rates.  Please contact me via email at coree {at} marketlikeachick {dot} com or use my contact page to send me an inquiry.

December 23, 2009   18 Comments

10 Best Social Media Tools For Brands and Solopreneurs

Tools are meant to make your life easier, so which ones should you have in your bag of tricks to ease your social media monitoring?  When you’re working with social media marketing it’s important to know what’s being said about you and your brand.  It’s also important to keep tabs on what your competition is up to and follow the latest marketing trends.

There are so many social media tools to choose from and brilliant new applications springing up every day but if I had to choose 10 of the best social media tools for brands and solopreneurs these are the ones I’d pick (for now):

1.   Social Mention

With Social Mention you can easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.

2.  Tweet Deck

I can’t say enough about how much I love Tweet Deck and all the features built in to make your Twitter experience much easier.  When I first discovered Tweet Deck it was basically just a way to group your followers.  Then they added Facebook, MySpace and most recently LinkedIn to the platform to monitor updates without ever leaving your Deck.  Now that they have added Twitter lists, spam blocker and several other nifty features I am totally infatuated.  As a matter of fact, I may just have to devote an entire post on getting the most out of Tweet Deck.

3.  Google Blog Search

Google Blog Search is a great tool to track other blogs in your niche and keep up on what’s being talked about by your peers.  By using blog search Google will dish up only blogs and sicn out all the other types of sites out there.  Do a search for your site and if it doesn’t turn up then click here to add your site to Google Blog Search.

4.  Board Reader

Board Reader is a search engine for Forums and Boards created to allow users to search the “human to human” discussions that exist on the Internet.  Forums tend to be where people “let it all hang out” and is a good way to get a real idea of what’s being said underground.  It’s also a good way to get answers.  I know when I am looking for technical help I will usually find my answer on a forum where someone else was having the same issue that I was.

5.  BlogPulse

BlogPulse is a blog search engine that also analyzes and reports on daily activity in the blogosphere.  You will find excellent, up-to-the-minute trend graphs tracking blogging volume and activity on key issues, people, news stories, news sources, bloggers and more.  A pretty cool feature is the Trend Search that allows you to create trend charts comparing buzz in the blogosphere on up to three specific topics. The Conversation Tracker follows and captures the discussion, or conversation, that emanates and spreads from individual blogs or individual blog posts.

6.  Backtype

BackType is a real-time, conversational search engine similar to the conversation tracker on BlogPulse.  Backtype indexes and connects online conversations from across the web in real-time, so you can see what people are saying about topics that interest you. Conversational search is a new way of searching the web to surface what reputable people are saying about topics and websites that interest you.

7.  Blinkx

With an index of over 35 million hours of searchable video and more than 650 media partnerships Blinkx is now the world’s largest single index of rich media content on the Web, delivering more content from a broader range of sources than either Google or Yahoo. If you are looking for video content or just want to do a check on what’s being said about you in the video world, Blinkx is your one stop shop.

8.  Google Alerts

Plainly stated, EVERYONE should have Google Alerts set up to notify you every time your brand, your keywords, or your name is mentioned online.   It is the simplest of all notifications and you can have your alerts sent as they happen to your email or via RSS reader.

9.  Twitter Search

I use Twitter Search constantly to find out what is being said in my niche.  I’ve set up searches for women in marketing, social media, and several others.  The nice thing about Twitter Search is that it saves your last search to your sidebar for easy retrieval.  You can do much more than just search for keywords though. You can even search for the emotion behind the tweet by adding “search operators”.  So, if you were looking for movie that wasn’t scary and had positive feedback you would search: “movie -scary :)”  (Without quotations).  Mashable has an excellent article on all the advance search features of Twitter that I highly recommend.

10.  Yahoo Pipes

You can merge RSS feeds from all of the above mentioned tools using Yahoo Pipes to create your own custom monitoring tool.    I took a look at Yahoo Pipes a couple weeks ago and started fidgeting with it and I see incredible potential.  It’s on my list of to-do’s because I know as a Community Manager it’s the ultimate in organizing everything all together.  You have permission to harp on me until I get it done! Or, better yet…if YOU are an expert at Yahoo Pipes, I invite you to send me a guest post with your best tips!

What social media tools are your favorites?  Any experience with the ones I’ve shared here? Would you be interested in sharing a guest post on creative techniques to use a social media tool?  Leave your comments below.

UPDATE:  Just after publishing this post, TechCrunch broke the news of Ex-MySpace Execs launching a new tool called  Gravity today.  Gravity is focused on building out the Interest Graph for the web to help people connect with their passions and discover people and topics that are personally relevant.  TechCrunch describes the launch:

Today the company, now called Gravity, is launching into private beta. At a high level Gravity is an evolution on forums (vBulletin, phpBB, etc.) and groups (Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, etc.) services, which haven’t evolved much over the last decade.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Gravity is available both as a website service at as well as distributed via widgets and an API. They are also offering compelling analytics services for any service that hosts conversations (think broadly – Twitter, FriendFeed, Google Wave, etc.). That service, called Insights, is arguably a startup in itself.

With Social Mention you can easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.

Please take the time to read the full article on TechCrunch’s site.  They go into great detail and is definitely worth checking out.  You may just add Gravity to your arsenal as well!

To Your Success,

December 16, 2009   39 Comments

Live Tweets at Events – Tool or Distraction?

I published a series on using social media to market your events a few weeks ago and it has stirred up a few questions.  One of them being the debate over whether Twitter should be used at live events.

Now, you probably all know that I am a big proponent of Twitter and using it as a tool for not only event promotion but also to promote yourself using the event itself.  When I hear someone say that Twitter is a distraction it puzzles me.  So, I’m asking you for your opinions.

When you attend live events, do you use Twitter to send out updates to your followers?

I do and they love it.  I usually add a few followers because they know I will give them valuable information from the event. Could I possibly miss some wise tidbit that the speaker says during the 3 seconds it takes me to tweet the update?  Possibly, but chances are that someone else picked it up and sent out an update which I can then pick up and retweet…giving the credit to the source.

What if the Twitterfeed is displayed behind the Presenter on stage, is that a distraction?

Hmm…I guess this could be a distraction.  Personally, I’m a single mom of four and have learned to tune out much more noise and distracting occurrences on a daily basis just to get my work done! But, I can see how displaying the Twitter feed behind the Presenter could steal a bit of attention and if there are unprofessional tweets going on it could become uncomfortable, fast.

There have been times where the Speaker was presenting and the Twitter feed behind them had negative remarks about their presentation or their appearance. Nasty little snickers filled the room and it was very unprofessional. In this case, it would definitely be a distraction. Hopefully, we would not be subject to these high school antics often, but it is possible.

For me, Twitter is a tool that can be used very effectively at events for self promotion, taking notes, staying current with where the crowds are gathering at the event, getting to know the speakers better (Twitter is the best for reaching those you thought you’d never talk to in person), and I can not support the marketing strategy of using Twitter for event promotion enough.

Amy Gahran, of, posted an excellent article on live-tweeting an event that went over the benefits of using hashtags and had this to say about the importance of using Twitter to gauge community reaction:

People live-tweeting your event will do more than report on what’s happening — they’ll comment on it. They may even praise it, or criticize it, or raise questions. And other Twitter users may react to those tweets. If all or most of that discourse includes the event hashtag, it’s easy to follow later and get a sense of what people thought and felt about the event. This is often important after the event as well as during, since people tend to mull things over and debate.

Your opinions on live Tweeting at events?

How do you feel?  Do you see Twitter as a tool or a distraction?  How do you use social media while attending events?  Where do you see the trends heading as far as using social media for event marketing?

Please leave your comments below.  If you tweet your comments this post will seem incomplete without your opinions, so please leave your comments here before tweeting.  Thanks mucho!!

To Your Success,

P.S. ~> I will make a formal announcement post soon, but did you see the new job board that’s been added to Market Like A Chick?  If you or someone you know is looking for a job in social media, marketing, and/or online community management, take a look at the postings.  They will all be targeted to the niche that follows my blog.  There’s no fee to apply, ever!
If you have a job opening you think would fit well with this awesome crowd, then please post it here.  Your add will be displayed on hundreds of other targeted sites like mine and I have a special coupon code that will give you 60 days for $30!  (use code: chicklet) Expires Dec 31st, so hurry!

December 10, 2009   29 Comments

Blog Conversations: Tweets vs Comments Mini-Poll Results

Where is the trend headed for blog conversations and engagement?  I’ve noticed a change in the amount of actual blog comments uploaded here on Market Like A Chick compared to how many times a post is Tweeted.   I performed a quick Twitter  poll to discover the commenting habits of other blog readers. My goal was to find out if Tweeting or Retweeting a post is not more widely done than actually commenting on the blog itself, and if so, why.

In my recent Twitter mini-poll, I asked:

When you find a blog post worth sharing, do you comment on it? Before or after tweeting? Do you ever RT without reading post?

Of those that responded, it seems that when a reader comes across a blog post  they think would provide value for their followers they will first read the blog then tweet the link to share with their followers.  There were two or three readers that said they have Retweeted a post without reading it themselves, based upon the source of the original link and headline.

The general feeling behind blind tweeting was a matter of trust.  Was the source a trusted friend or expert?  If so, then it seems acceptable to retweet a link blindly without reading it themselves.

A few of the responses are below:

“I try to always comment on any Blog post I RT. I figure if I was moved enough to comment others might enjoy it too.”  @reigniteromance

“Always read first, RT, then Comment My twitter peeps deserve my discretion in RT’s before recommending. IMO”@UnKit

“Read first, retweet, and comment. In that order.” - @newkicks

“I NEVER RT w/o reading. But I do comment & usually mention the tweet or linkback in the comment”@TexInTheCity

” I comment first, then tweet. I always at least skim b4 sharing titles don’t always tell if the post is truly worth sharing.” –  @starrstudded

With my next question I asked the readers what mattered to them the most.  It wasn’t meant to be a trick question, but the choice was not so easy.  I asked:

As a blog owner, if you could only choose one, would you rather have your post TWEETED or COMMENTED on?

10 out of 13 people that responded said they would choose an actual comment posted to their blog over having the blog post tweeted.  The reasoning behind the majority were SEO benefits and more engagement.  For those that chose Tweets over comments, their reasoning was to gain more exposure.

Some of the responses are below:

“Commented! It’s sad when they go uncommented ;)” – @JessicaSieghart

“As a blog owner, I’d rather have my posts commented on than tweeted. More interactive & personal (but don’t stop RTing!)” – @QuipsAndTips

“Commented on. I prefer engagement over exposure” – @mattstratton

“Excellent question – different reasons – but for exposure? Tweeted definitely!” - @LinkedInExpert

“Comments are better than RTs. Encourages more dialog and can boost up google/seo rankings” - @TrishSkram

“Tweeted… people can always comment on Tweet!” @SoulfulParent

“I would rather RT’s… RT’s generate spread, spread = reading, reading equals awesomeness.. So RT’s” – @dustinhinton

Jack Humphrey of the Friday Traffic Report wrote up an article titled Blog Commenting Evolution: People would rather Twitter about your posts! which had already got me pondering the subject Tweets vs Comments.  At that time I had already started to notice a difference in the trend and left my COMMENT on his blog saying so.  It’s an interesting post, especially the comment section.  Check it out for more feedback on the subject.

If you have to choose only one to really pursue, I would recommend actual blog comments for the exact reasons that were stated:

1.  SEO Benefits: Google loves when your readers spend time on your site.  A reader would need to read the post, comprehend it, think of a reply, then post the comment…all take time.  The comment itself adds content to your page.  If the readers are leaving RELEVANT comments, then they are probably using some of the same keywords you have used in your content.  That additional content is there for Google to pick up when your site is crawled.

2.  Engagement: Your blog should be used as your hub where everything about you can be found in one easily searchable spot.  The community you build around you and who you are as a brand would be best kept on your blog as well.  This shows anyone who comes to your site that people value your opinions and are engaging with you which in turn adds to your credibility. No need for the visitor to go searching Twitter, Facebook and where ever to find your community.  It’s right there.

As for exposure, I must admit that I receive around 60-70% of my traffic from social networks and especially Twitter.  Without Twitter I would have never been discovered or at least not nearly as quickly or as widely accepted.  So, I agree the exposure is excellent.  It’s a good thing we don’t have to choose between one or the other!

What are some of your thoughts on the subject?  How would you have answered either of the poll questions?  Do you comment on blogs, and if not…why not? Please engage here with us and leave your comments below.  Oh…then be sure to TWEET and bookmark!  :)

To Your Success,

P.S.~> Speaking of COMMENTS…the Top Commentator contest is still going on for this week and every week of December.  Be the top commentator on Market LIke A Chick and receive one of 16 Google Wave Invites I have to give away!  Even if you already have Wave or you don’t want Wave, you will still benefit from the exposure since you name and link is displayed.  Just be sure to follow the rules.  :)
P.P.S. ~> Thanks to all my wonderful Twitter friends that participated in the survey.  My followers are should follow them too!  Just click on their Twitter handle in the post.

Blog Commenting Evolution: People would rather Twitter about your posts!

December 4, 2009   15 Comments

35 Conversation Starters To Share On Twitter

So, once you build your profile with your bio and spiffy Twitter background, how do you jump in?  One of the most often asked questions I hear from those just starting out in social media marketing is, “What do I talk about?”.

During a recent call I presented the basics of Twitter, from setting up profiles,  building credibility, and marketing with value and then did some q & a at the end of the call.  Several questions were about starting conversations and what to talk about without sounding like a sales guy.

One sweet lady, and friend of mine, was super excited to get started, immediately set up her profile, but then sat on it for two weeks without following up.  When I asked her why she said she didn’t know what to talk about or where to find relevant topics to talk about.  She is not alone.

Even for those that have been in social media for a while are always on the lookout for good stuff to talk about or share with their community.  So, I’ve put together a list of topics and a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing again.

Feel free to add to the list by leaving your idea in the comments.  (Commenting on blogs is a form of social media as well and can lead to conversations that will give you more content to use on Twitter so don’t hesitate to leave yours!)

35 Ways To Spark A Conversation On Twitter

1. Your new blog posts (Don’t have one?  Get one.  Blogs ARE social media and should be your hub)
2. Someone else’s blog post
3. An article you’ve written
4. An article from somewhere else
5. A video demonstration
6. A funny or controversial video
7. Before and after photos of work you’ve done
8. Humorous or inspiring photos
9. Client success stories/case studies
10. Free e-book
11. Special report
12. White paper
13. Upcoming event announcement
14. Live reports from an event you are currently attending (There are live web conferences everyday.  Join in & tweet key notes)
15. Book reviews/recommendations
16. Recommended products
17. Recommended services
18. Tips for doing something better
19. How-to suggestions
20. A series of related posts
21. Recent media coverage you have received
22. Inspirational advice (either your own or motivational quotes, but don’t overdo it. Mix it up with other tips)
23. Forward someone else’s update (social media is about sharing…be sure to show love by crediting original user with @reply)
24. Breaking news alerts
25. Leads for opportunities (media, clients, etc.)
26. Requests for participation (guest posts on your blog, speaker for an event you’re hosting, etc.)
27. Interesting photo from a recent event
28. Teleseminar/Webinar invitation
29. Contest announcements
30. Special sales, offers and discounts (delivered sparingly)
31. Request for audience feedback
32. A compelling question you want answered
33. Anything offered for free
34. Insider tips that people won’t find anywhere else
35. Your opinion on just about anything with target audience appeal

Remember to mix it up with a combination of these tips.  Don’t just tweet a bunch of motivational quotes or news flashes.  They are great to read, but provide no credibility for your personal authority in a subject.

The best tip is to just jump in with a giving heart.  Women are good at this and are born with a natural tendency to want to share of themselves.  Just be yourself, appreciate people, and let them know you are listening.

Once you build trust it’s much easier to lead someone to your blog (remember,that’s your hub) or better yet, let your community of online friends refer people for you.  The sales become a natural process built from trust.

Got other ideas for conversations?  What’s your most interesting, amusing, or personal way of stirring up a bit of controversy on Twitter? Please leave your comments…this is another way to show love & I do love to be loved!!  :)

To Your Success,

Image credit: Agent-X Comics

November 11, 2009   16 Comments