twitter en-US 3 Easy Ways to Save Money With Twitter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-easy-ways-to-save-money-with-twitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="tweet" title="tweet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I spend a lot of time on Twitter.</p> <p>And by a lot of time, I mean &quot;my-wife-needs-to-hide-my-phone-from-me&quot; a lot of time. To justify all of my tweeting, I figured that I needed to prove that it could help us save some money. (See also: <a href="">How to Break Your Social Media Habit</a>)</p> <p>With some planning and these tips, you can use your Twitter account to help you save money, too.</p> <h2>1. Search for Deals and Discounts</h2> <p>Before you buy anything online, make it a habit to first search on Twitter for coupon codes for the product or service you are about to order. Use the <a href="">Twitter Search page</a> or search field on your browser or smartphone app to do some basic deal sleuthing.</p> <h3>Find the Vendor on Twitter</h3> <p>Some vendors offer a promo code if you follow them or retweet specific tweets. It is a good idea to also Google if the vendor offers discounts in exchange for following them on another social media channel (e.g. Facebook). (See also: <a href="">How to Make Facebook Productive</a>)</p> <h3>Check on Flash Sales</h3> <p>Some companies use Twitter to promote clearance sales. For example, <a href="">@DellOutlet</a> is well-known for announcing flash sales of refurbished computers and electronics with up to 30% discount.</p> <h3>Keep an Eye on Giveaways</h3> <p>Some companies run giveaways for promo codes or gift cards in the most unexpected places. Take a look at this contest from the Zappos <em>Careers</em> account:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">Let's get this week started off right! Zappos trivia and winner gets a 20% Zappos discount coupon! What year did Amazon acquire @Zappos Zappos Careers (@InsideZappos) April 14, 2014</p> <p>Now that's one account you wouldn't expect to get a 20% coupon code from! (See also: <a href="">Get Coupons for Every Online Store</a>)</p> <h3>Use Hashtags to Find Deals</h3> <p>#deals, #freebies, #coupons are examples of some hashtags that can point you to savings. Remember that companies often release on holidays and special days (e.g. <a href="">Tax Day</a>).</p> <h2>2. Use Twitter for Better Customer Service</h2> <p>If you mail a letter or send an email to a company to file a complaint or request help, only the company's customer care department knows about your pain. But when you share your problem on Twitter, you are increasing the number of people who are aware of the issue. (See also: <a href="">Getting What You Want from Customer Service</a>)</p> <p>Publicly shaming a company on Twitter can be a useful tactic to get your voice heard. Here are some things to consider before sending off your tweet:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Avoid tweeting when you are upset.</p> </li> <li> <p>Focus on facts, not rants. You want your tweet to have the potential for going viral for the right reasons.</p> </li> <li> <p>Include in your tweet the account from the company's customer care department , instead of the general company Twitter account (e.g. @WarbyParkerHelp versus @WarbyParker).</p> </li> <li> <p>Consider including a high-profile and relevant journalist, consumer advocacy group, or local politician that would support your case.</p> </li> <li> <p>Identify yourself via private message (PM) with a case ID or order number.</p> </li> <li> <p>Follow the company so that its reps can private message you.</p> </li> <li> <p>If the company does not contact you within 48 hours, send a reminder tweet that it still has not replied to your original tweet</p> </li> </ul> <p>Does it work? It surely can; just ask <a href="">Aetna</a>, <a href="">AT&amp;T,</a> <a href="">British Airways</a>, and <a href="">Southwest Airlines</a>.</p> <h2>3. Sync Your Twitter Account to Company Services</h2> <p>Some companies are using the Twitter API to provide some high-tech ways to save money. The leader of the Twitter-syncing-money-saving pack is American Express. By connecting their cards to their Twitter accounts, <a href="">American Express cardholders</a> can find offers from brands on Twitter for dining, shopping, and more.</p> <p>As of the time this article is being written, here are some samples tweets that participate in the program:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Tweet #AmexSoup, get $5 back 1x on $25+ in-store purch at Souplantation w/synced Amex Card! RegLtd Exp 6/30</p> </li> <li> <p>Tweet #AmexCrateBarrel, get $10 back 1x on $50+ qual purchs at Crate &amp; Barrel w/cnctd Amex Card! RegLtdExp5/22</p> </li> <li> <p>Tweet #AmexHampton, get $25 back 1x on $150+ purch at Hampton Hotels w/synced Amex Card! RegLtd Exp5/31</p> </li> <li> <p>Tweet #AmexPetco get $5 back 1x on total spend of $25+ @ <a href="" title=""></a> w/synced Amex CardRegLtdExp 6/16T</p> </li> </ul> <p>You upload the offer to your credit card by retweeting from your synced account. Other companies that have participated in the program are Virgin America, FedEx, Whole Foods, and H&amp;M.</p> <p>Who says that all your tweeting cannot help you save money? After getting several coupon codes and freebies (and better customer care for a smartphone replacement claim through our carrier) through Twitter, my wife has become a lot more lenient to my Twitter usage.</p> <p>As long as I keep on looking for discounts for her next shoe buying spree.</p> <p><em>How do you save some money with Twitter? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="3 Easy Ways to Save Money With Twitter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living General Tips deals discounts twitter Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:24:15 +0000 Damian Davila 1137340 at Suze Orman's Approved Card Gets Mixed Reviews and Controversy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/suze-ormans-approved-card-gets-mixed-reviews-and-controversy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On Monday, personal finance expert Suze Orman launched her prepaid debit card,&nbsp;<a href="">The Approved Card From Suze Orman</a>. Suze is putting all her credibility behind this product launch. &quot;I didn't just approve this card,&quot; said Suze. &quot;I created it.&quot;</p> <p>Feedback on the card has been mixed and even sparked a&nbsp;<a href="">Twitter war</a> between Suze and several top personal finance bloggers (<a href="#war">more on this below</a>).</p> <h2>Reviewing the Featues</h2> <p>Suze highlighted several features of the card on her website. Below is an analysis of each feature compiled from reviews from various media outlets and personal finance bloggers</p> <p><strong>The Fees are Competitive</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to <a href="">Fox Business</a>, compared to other checking account alternatives, The Approved Card offers competitive costs that best other celebrity prepaid cards. Cardholders pay a&nbsp;$3 purchase fee for the card and have to pay a $3 per month maintenance fee (which is waived for the first month). Using the card to make withdrawals from a Non-Allpoint ATM costs cardholders $2 per withdrawal and over the counter withdrawals cost cardholders $2 per transaction. For a list of all fees associated with The Approved Card, take a look at the <a href="">Fee Schedule</a>.</p> <p>Suze has faced a lot of backlash due to all the fees associated with her card. As Jeremy Vohwinkle from <a href="">Generation X Finance</a> reminded his readers, Suze Orman is a personal finance expert who encourages people to get out of debt and avoid excessive fees. Throwing money towards debit card fees means consumers throw less money into eliminating their debt. This fact has raised some objections among personal finance experts and bloggers.</p> <p><strong>You Get Free TransUnion Credit Scores</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>For the first year, cardholders get access to their TransUnion Credit Scores for free.</p> <p><a href="">ABC News</a> pointed out that consumers can access their credit reports once a year for free by going to <a href=""></a>. People can also access their credit reports from sites such as <a href="">Credit Karma</a>.</p> <p><strong>The Approved Card is Part of The Credit Project</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Suze has embraced the idea that activity on debit cards should count towards a person's credit score. Since they aren't currently included in your credit report, Suze has set out on a mission to do that. Your activity on The Approved Card will be reported anonymously to TransUnion in an attempt to help Suze accomplish this goal. The Approved Card is the only card available that is part of this type of project.</p> <p>Phil Taylor from <a href="">PT Money</a> highlighted the fact that The Approved Card will have no impact on cardholder's credit scores. He also made it clear that he believes The Credit Project is likely to fail due to the fact that prepaid and debit cards do not demonstrate someone's credit-worthiness.</p> <p><strong>You Can Establish an Emergency Fund</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cardholders have the ability to set up an emergency fund using their card. This way they can be prepared for unexpected expenses.</p> <p><a href="">SmartMoney</a> believes the emergency fund aspect of the card could be helpful, but also pointed out that there are currently no interest rates associated with the emergency card feature. Interest rates are supposed to be implemented later this year.</p> <p><strong>You Can Stay Debt Free</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since the card is a prepaid card, provided you are debt free when you get the card, you will not be able to spend more than what is in your account, making sure you don't go into debt.</p> <p><a href="">MSNBC</a> highlighted the fact that The Approved Card is similar to other prepaid cards in regards to keeping people from going into debt. In an interview with MSNBC, Gerri Detweiler from made it clear that The Approved Card is &quot;a very typical prepaid card.&quot;</p> <p><strong>The Card is FDIC Insured</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Deposits up to $250,000 are insured by the FDIC. Bancorp Bank, the card issuer, is a member of the FDIC.</p> <p>As <a href="">MoneyCone</a> pointed out, FDIC insurance is common among most banks. The fact that this card is FDIC insured doesn't really set it apart from other debit cards offered by other banks.</p> <p><strong>Cardholders get Free Identity Theft Protection from TrustID </strong></p> <p>Identity theft is a huge issue today but with The Approved Card, cardholders will have access to free identity theft protection through TrustID.</p> <p><a href="">The New York Times</a> highlighted Suze's statement that identity theft protection services tend to be costly. This service adds value to the card if cardholders had originally planned on purchasing identity theft protection.</p> <h2><a name="war"></a>The Personal Finance Blogger Community Reacts</h2> <p>One of the main responsibilities of personal finance bloggers is to report on product launches such as The Approved Card and give honest feedback.</p> <p>A few of the top bloggers on the <a href="">Wise1000</a> publicized their thoughts on the card and consequently had a run in with Suze Orman on Tuesday evening. (The Wise1000 is Wise Bread's authoritative listing of the top personal finance blogs.)</p> <p>Here are a few of the highlights from their interactions with Suze:</p> <p><img width="598" height="605" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><img width="598" height="454" alt="" src="" /><img width="509" height="252" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><img width="502" height="180" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Many personal finance bloggers were shocked by the dialogue from @SuzeOrmanShow. Phil Taylor of <a href="">PT Money</a>&nbsp;took the biggest hit in the scuffle. Phil is well-known throughout the personal finance blogging community. He was the organizer behind the personal finance blogging community's first ever <a href="">Financial Blogger Conference</a> and is in the process of planning <a href="">FinCon 2012</a>. Phil has been featured on numerous sites including&nbsp;<a href="">MSNBC</a>, <a href="">U.S News &amp; World Report</a>, <a href="">TurboTax</a>, and <a href="">Fox Business</a>.</p> <p>Phil's blog is the <a href="">26th most respected blog on our chart</a>, and he is the <a href="">16th most active member</a> of our blogger community.&nbsp;Here's what Phil had to say about the exchange:</p> <blockquote><p>First, regarding Suze: I like her and I respect her for her work. No doubt she's helped millions of people throughout her career. I consider her a teammate in helping people to improve their financial lives. She does it through her classes, books and TV shows. I try to do it through my little blog.</p> <div>Second, I'm not one of these people who believes in inherently bad financial products. I actually like prepaid debit cards for certain situations. I even promote them on my site. I realize some people are &quot;unbanked&quot; for whatever reason and can't get a regular bank account, thus, the prepaid debit card comes into play. But only as a short-term solution until a bank account can be opened. The goal, in my opinion, should always be to get the unbanked folks off of fee-based products and into the mainstream banking arena.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>So my review was never about Suze or prepaid cards in general. My review was about how the card is being marketed. It is being marketed as a long-term solution to the unbanked <b>as well as</b> to&nbsp;the middle class (wanting out of credit card debt and&nbsp;disillusioned&nbsp;by big banks) and to the 99% (who've had it with the fees).&nbsp;This attempt to promote the card amongst the banked is what really fired me up.&nbsp;Additionally, the fees on the card actually make it just on-par with the best prepaid debit cards already on the market. So the card is not exactly revolutionizing the prepaid debit card market for the unbanked.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As I said above, I like Suze, but I was obviously shocked and disappointed that she chose to respond to our tweets and blog post the way she did. She's since apologized, and I accept that.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The community response was awesome. I think the dismissive tone of Suze's tweets really rallied the community. It was as if she was telling us all that our opinions didn't matter. That obviously upset a lot of people.</div> </blockquote> <div>Briana from <a href="">20 and Engaged</a>&nbsp;&quot;was completely disheartened&quot; by the exchange but also felt that the fact that the pf blogger community supported each other during Suze's attack &quot;showed loyalty and true camaraderie.&quot; (Briana is the <a href="">top contributing member in our blogger community</a>.)&nbsp;</div> <p>As seen above, Suze did apologize for the dialogue. She maintains her own twitter account, so all tweets from @SuzeOrmanShow are written by Suze. Wise Bread reached out to Suze for additional comments on both her card and the Twitter exchange, but she declined to comment further at this time.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>What do you think of Suze Orman's Approved Card? Will you sign up for it? And what about the Twitter feud? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Suze Orman&#039;s Approved Card Gets Mixed Reviews and Controversy" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Finance debit card prepaid debit card Suze Orman twitter Fri, 13 Jan 2012 00:12:30 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 863364 at 3 Simple Ways Small Business Can Maximize Twitter <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/3-simple-ways-small-business-can-maximize-twitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Woman at laptop" title="Woman at laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="3 Simple Ways Small Business Can Maximize Twitter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>By now you've probably read, &quot;Your business needs to be on <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>!&quot; in one small business marketing publication or another. But you may be asking yourself, &quot;How will Twitter help me improve my local small business?&quot;</p> <p>When we think of Twitter, we often think of celebrities, the media, and businesses with a national brand (and national customers). And Twitter probably makes sense to you in those instances.</p> <p>But maybe you're wondering how a local caterer, landscaper, or accounting firm can <a href="" target="_blank">use Twitter to increase business</a> and referrals on a local level.</p> <p><b>1. Build Relationships First, Business Second</b></p> <p>Remember that Twitter is best used as a networking tool (and later a referral tool) for locally based businesses&mdash;not a sales pitch tool. You wouldn't walk into your local Chamber of Commerce meeting shouting your latest special over and over again every time someone walked up to you and said hello. And you shouldn't do it on Twitter either. Now that's not saying that you should never mention your business, but it shouldn't be more than a single digit percentage of your tweets.</p> <p>The point of Twitter is to network and create relationships like you would in real life. As a small business owner, creating real relationships through Twitter will often lead to more referrals and potential business than tweeting your latest special ever could.</p> <p>Need an example? Someone who follows <a href="" target="_blank">me</a> on Twitter began conversing with me about a movie we both liked after I tweeted about it. We later found out that we also had a love of football in common. After multiple times of conversing back and forth, I ended up following the person back. Occasionally this person made mention that they owned a local fitness studio. About three months ago, a person I know in that locale tweeted saying they needed to get in shape. I tweeted back that so and so had a fitness studio where they lived and they should check it out. They did and ended up purchasing a membership.</p> <p>That's the potential for business generation and referral power by creating real relationships on Twitter.</p> <p><b>2. Make Local Connections</b></p> <p>So now that you know how Twitter can help you generate business and referrals, how do you find your local community on Twitter? A site called <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter Grader</a> has made it a pretty easy process.</p> <p>If you're in a big metro locale, you'll likely find your city in the &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">top cities</a>&quot; list. Let's say you live in San Diego. Click on San Diego from the top cities list and you'll quickly be given a list of the <a href="" target="_blank">top 50 Twitter users</a> listing San Diego as their location in the Twitter bio.</p> <p>But what if you don't live in one of the &quot;top cities&quot; cited on Twitter Grader? Never fear. You can click on any top city link and find the locals in your area by performing a new search at the top of that page for your own location. Say you're on the San Diego page. Simply change out the &quot;San Diego, CA, United States&quot; in the search box at the top of the page with &quot;Your City, Your State, Your Country&quot; and click &quot;Go&quot; and you'll be presented with a listing of the top users in that city.</p> <p>Look at the bios of the users in your city and check out what they're tweeting about. Follow those you think you can find something in common with and/or that you'd be interested in learning more about.</p> <p>Remember that your goal is not to advertise your services to these people but rather to form local connections much like you would at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. I typically tell people to follow those you'd be interested in having coffee with if Twitter were &quot;real life&quot;.</p> <p>You can repeat this process for every city you can think of that your local business serves.</p> <p><b>3. Find Media Contacts</b></p> <p>Twitter is not only great for creating a referral network, but it can also be a great tool for gaining traditional media exposure for your business. Thousands upon thousands of journalists use Twitter. Much like you can seek out your local community on Twitter, you can also seek out the media that are local to you and/or specific to your niche as well. And a site named <a href="" target="_blank">MuckRack</a> makes it incredibly easy.</p> <p>MuckRack tracks the accounts of thousands of journalists on Twitter and various other social media networks. You can view their <a href="" target="_blank">publications list</a> to find the Twitter accounts of all the reporters at specific publications such as <a href="">The Charlotte Observer</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">paid version of MuckRack</a> also allows you to search by &quot;beats&quot; and topics to help you find reporters specific to your niche. While the pricing (starting at $99 per month) may be a bit hefty for many small business budgets, there is no minimum term or contract. So you can always sign up for one month and get as much &quot;advanced information&quot; as you can during that time.</p> <p>As with making local contacts, the point of identifying these journalists is to attempt to create relationships with them and get on their radar long before you have a story idea to pitch or potentially offer up your expertise for their latest story.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Rae Hoffman-Dolan</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center marketing networking small business social media twitter twitter strategy Thu, 05 Jan 2012 18:23:29 +0000 Rae Hoffman-Dolan 844412 at Is Social Media Killing Your Business? <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/is-social-media-killing-your-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Is Social Media Killing Your Business?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Social media isn't always a good thing, and it's certainly not a guarantee that your marketing is in the bag. Are you using social media in a way that builds <a href="" target="_blank">a great reputation and enhances your business</a>, or are you achieving much different results?</p> <p>If one or more of the following statements is true for you, you may be killing your business with social media.</p> <p><strong>You&rsquo;re spending more time &quot;doing social media&quot; than you are on the important work of your business.</strong></p> <p>What an easy trap to fall into. Who hasn't sat down to answer just one email or spend five minutes on Twitter, only to lose a couple of hours? Social media can be a fun, new toy that distracts you from what you need to be focused on, such as, producing things people want to buy, perfecting services, gaining sales, dealing with customer issues, getting better deals from your distributors, training your employees&hellip;</p> <p><strong>You're confusing your customers with a fragmented approach.</strong></p> <p>If you haven't taken some time to develop a unique selling proposition (<a href="" target="_blank">USP</a>) and the core message of your business, chances are you're throwing a lot of different things at your customers. Maybe you emphasize one service on your Facebook page, some other product with your Twitter account, and an entirely different aspect of your business on your blog or Youtube videos.</p> <p>Customers who find you at one social media outlet and like what they see follow you to the next platform, only to see a different message from you. What are you all about? They're getting different pieces of the puzzle at different social media outlets, but nothing that provides a cohesive overview of your business.</p> <p>Confused customers don't become loyal customers. If they can't quite figure out what your business is all about, they won't be ready to but any trust in what you offer.</p> <p><strong>You&rsquo;re failing to provide the basic information people want.</strong></p> <p>You've had this experience, most likely&hellip; You find a cool new site, a great blog or company, and you click over to find something basic: contact information, or a price list, or a description of service. And it's not there. Maybe there's no link, or there's a place holder page.</p> <p>When this happens, whether it's on your business blog, website, Facebook page, Twitter page, or any of the other social media platforms you might be using, it's a huge turn-off for customers. Internet surfers are notoriously short on attention span. They don't need to check back later, and they probably won't, because there are ten thousand other options out there instead.</p> <p>If you lose your potential customers because you're not providing basic information when and where they want it, you've probably lost them forever.</p> <p><strong>You're making your business look amateur.</strong></p> <p>Do-it-yourself works, to a certain point, and part of the appeal of social media marketing is the potential to jump into it and do a great job without a huge initial investment. For SMB owners, it's a dream come true: a great marketing outlet that doesn't cost thousands of dollars you don't have.</p> <p>What isn't a dream, however, is the very amateur image you can produce with a misinformed DIY strategy. Slapping together a color-block logo and a cheesy tagline does not equal good branding. A website that looks like a clip-art explosion punctuated by long blocks of error-filled text does not equal a good web presence.</p> <p>When you carry your unpolished branding efforts into your social media marketing, and then send potential customers to a dated, amateur website, you're not building your business. You're convincing potential customers that you really don't deserve to be taken seriously.</p> <p><strong>You're skipping from one media outlet to another.</strong></p> <p>If you get started on Facebook, decide Google+ is better, abandon Twitter for Youtube, you leave your customers frustrated and ready to find someone consistent.</p> <p>You don't have to be on all the social media outlets. You most likely shouldn't be on more than a few. Too many false starts and a mile-long list of online profiles simply convinces potential customers that you can't stick to something long enough to make it work.</p> <p><strong>You're providing content without direction.</strong></p> <p>All content and no sales funnel means you're not (actively) helping your business grow.</p> <p>Don't get me wrong: free is wonderful, and can be a powerful marketing tool, especially in terms of social media. However, content can't do everything. It can help you establish expertise, and get people to pay attention to you, but you can't leave them there. Once you've gotten their attention, what do you want them to do?</p> <p>To put it plainly, you're not putting that work into social media just so you can make the world a better place or make a lot of neat, new friends. No, you're putting that effort into social media so you can build your business.</p> <p>That means that the end result of successful efforts in social media should be something profiting your business, either in cold, hard cash or in selling potential (mailing list, surveys, opt-in forms filled out by rabidly eager new customers, and so on).</p> <p><strong>You're failing to respond to negative reviews and mentions.</strong></p> <p>The good news about negativity in the form of review and press online is that you have the ability to access it, track down the source (usually), and respond to it publicly in the same sort of forum.</p> <p>An accusation or negative review without rebuttal seems legitimate, even if it is not. A total lack of response says, &ldquo;Um, I really don't have anything to say to make this better...&rdquo;</p> <p>If there are legitimate complaints, it's infinitely better that your potential customers see you acknowledge and correct your mistakes. Trustworthiness doesn't mean your business is perfect; it means that your business has a policy of quickly dealing with mistakes and making them right.</p> <p>How are you using social media in your marketing? Are you actively building your business, or are you wasting your time?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Annie Mueller</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center Facebook G+ marketing online marketing small business social media social media marketing twitter Sat, 05 Nov 2011 20:51:14 +0000 Annie Mueller 772751 at Are Your Tweets Being Heard? <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/are-your-tweets-being-heard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="178" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Are Your Tweets Being Heard?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Twitter. That miraculous, 140 character marketing tool that has the power to both wow and frustrate.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re using <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter for business</a>, you&rsquo;ve probably found that simply acquiring followers does not always equal a boon in your marketing efforts. Perhaps you sense that your tweets aren&rsquo;t being heard or, worse, your posts are ignored altogether. Why? Likely, you&rsquo;ve gathered a mass of the wrong followers&mdash;people who are just tagging along and not really interested in what you have to say or offer in the first place. Finding the right network on Twitter is imperative, and so is keeping them engaged. But, how do you find the right followers?</p> <p>Your profile is the bulletin board that people stop to read when looking for new people to follow. An effective profile will tell people who you are, what you do and why they should follow you. It&rsquo;s a way for like-minded tweeters to find each other. So, use it wisely! Start by fixing your profile in three easy steps.</p> <p><strong>1. Show Off</strong></p> <p>Your face that is. That&rsquo;s right; add a picture of you for the Twitter world to see.</p> <p>One of the first things people look at when considering people to follow is the avatar. Your avatar (or, avi) is the little picture you added to your account when you created your Twitter profile. That tiny little image has big, big power. Essentially, it can pull people in or turn them away. Using a generic image, such as the graphics Twitter gives you to choose from, or a random image that has nothing to do with your business, deflates your credibility. Only other deflated tweeters will follow you, so be sure your avi shows off the real you. Make that personal connection!</p> <p><strong>2. Have a Reason</strong></p> <p>You&rsquo;re allowed a short bio on your Twitter profile. This is your chance to tell the world who you are or what your business is about. Add in your description, a snippet about the things you&rsquo;ll be tweeting about. Perhaps you dish tips and ideas on throwing a smashing party. Or, perhaps your business is centered on quick recipes or meal preparation. Let people know you&rsquo;ll be tweeting about these things by mentioning it in your bio. You&rsquo;re most likely to find followers who are genuinely interested in what you have to say when you let them know what you&rsquo;re talking about in the first place.</p> <p><strong>3. Have a Personality</strong></p> <p>Because we humans are nosey by nature, we want to know the person behind the Twitter name. No matter if you&rsquo;re a hobby business or a thriving corporation, there is nothing wrong with injecting a little of your personality into your Tweets. You want to be personable, relatable and, well, human. People connect better when they feel they are interacting with a live person and not just a computer screen. Don&rsquo;t be afraid to talk a little about yourself, share some humor or interests you may have. When people get to know you, and subsequently like you, they&rsquo;ll look forward to reading your tweets.</p> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve tweaked your Twitter profile to be a better reflection of your business, it&rsquo;s time to engage your followers. Over time, you&rsquo;ll want to start forming personal relationships with your followers. You want them to know you and want to hear from you.</p> <p>How, exactly, do you do that?</p> <p><strong>Share What Others Tweet About</strong></p> <p>When someone you follow tweets about something you&rsquo;re interested in, share it. Retweet your favorite posts from those you follow; share the love. By doing so, you&rsquo;re making other people feel heard and they are likely to return the favor.</p> <p><strong>Post Good Stuff</strong></p> <p>Really, that&rsquo;s all there is to it. No fluff (unless fluff is your main reason for being on Twitter in the first place). Tweet about things that your followers will find valuable-information, how-to&rsquo;s, photos, etc... These things are more likely to be read, appreciated and retweeted&mdash;which builds your credibility and following.</p> <p><strong>Talk to Your Followers</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s OK to drum up personal conversations with followers that you have an interest in. Say hi. Ask about the kids. Form friendships. After all, Twitter is about making personal connections. Those connections are the most valuable piece of the Twitter puzzle. Stay connected and watch your relevant follower base&mdash;and marketing efforts&mdash;grow!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Justine Grey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center small business social media social media marketing twitter twitter avatar twitter user Wed, 02 Nov 2011 18:28:56 +0000 Justine Grey 764354 at Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn: Where Should You Be? <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/twitter-facebook-and-linkedin-where-should-you-be" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn: Where Should You Be?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>More than once, I&rsquo;ve had a new client come to me and say that she wants to be on &ldquo;all the social networking sites.&rdquo;</p> <p>When I dig a little deeper and ask for details, that almost certainly means that the client wants her business on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But the why of the matter is a little harder. Basically they believe that since potential customers are on the big three social networking sites (possibly soon to be the big four with Google+), businesses had better be there, too. The fact of the matter is that there are some major differences between the three sites. Audiences vary widely, and the methods of connection vary, too. Which one (or ones) your business should be active in depends on a few factors.</p> <h3>Facebook</h3> <p>Facebook, as a platform, has many benefits. It is built to allow multiple types of communication and interaction, from sharing messages to posting photos. With its specialized markup language, it is possible for a business to create a Facebook page that gathers leads, offers up free ebooks, and many other strategies.</p> <p>Facebook users cover a broad range of demographics. In <a target="&rdquo;_blank&rdquo;" href="">a recent report from the Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project</a>, it was reported that 92 percent of social networking site users in the U.S. are on Facebook. There is certainly an overlap between Facebook&rsquo;s users and people active on other social networking sites, but at the same time, Facebook offers businesses access to the broadest swath of people online.</p> <p>But there is a drawback for many businesses that might otherwise benefit from Facebook: many users aren&rsquo;t actively looking to buy. They visit the site to communicate with friends and acquaintances, and not to look for purchasing opportunities. This certainly isn&rsquo;t an insurmountable problem, but the businesses that are successful finding leads through Facebook are likely to fall more into the business-to-consumer category, especially lifestyle purchases that Facebook users are more likely to share with one another anyway.</p> <h3>LinkedIn</h3> <p>Where you might visit Facebook to connect with friends and just happen to add some business connections into the mix, LinkedIn is built with business in mind. Because of the nature of networks, many LinkedIn users will look at their own connections as a source for vendors. It&rsquo;s a great place to make connections with customers, especially if you are selling specifically to businesses. The site also offers an incredible number of opportunities to build up your expertise and share information; the result can be establishing yourself and your company's expertise quickly and with people that are regularly looking for experts to work with.</p> <h3>Twitter</h3> <p>Compared to the other two social networking platforms that have gotten big, Twitter is a very different opportunity. Twitter, by its nature, is extremely fast. You can post only 140 characters to the site in a given message and there aren&rsquo;t a lot of other features you can interact with (unlike the wide variety of features on both Facebook and LinkedIn). But those constraints are actually what makes Twitter such a valuable opportunity for businesses looking to connect with potential customers.</p> <p>The site makes it easy to post messages, whether it&rsquo;s a response to someone else&rsquo;s comment or a general broadcast. If you&rsquo;re willing to take the time to build up a following, you will have easy access to an audience that is more likely to act than those in your email list. You can also easily connect with people who aren&rsquo;t already in your network, through tactics like searching for users that mention specific keywords. And unlike Facebook, there are plenty of Twitter users who use the social networking site to search for products and services, making it an easier opportunity for businesses selling to other businesses. However, it&rsquo;s important to note that it&rsquo;s still a relatively small site, <a target="&rdquo;_blank&rdquo;" href="">estimated to have around 200 million users worldwide</a>, and there are many industries that have not enthusiastically adopted it as a method to connect. Depending on your business, you may find that your target market is connecting elsewhere.</p> <h3>Where Does Your Business Need to Be?</h3> <p>First and foremost: Where is your audience? That&rsquo;s where you want to be. That means searching for people that fall into your customer base on each site, as well as surveying the customers you&rsquo;ve already got about where they&rsquo;re spending their time. Unless you have both the time and money required to build a great online presence on all three sites, it&rsquo;s worth prioritizing your efforts. Starting with just one platform is a perfectly reasonable choice for most organizations.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Thursday Bram</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center Facebook LinkedIn marketing small business social marketing social media twitter Thu, 28 Jul 2011 20:29:37 +0000 Thursday Bram 630031 at 5 Ways to Manage Your Online Reputation <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-ways-to-manage-your-online-reputation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways to Manage Your Online Reputation" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Online reputation management is a hot topic lately. That&rsquo;s partly because it&rsquo;s easy to get burned.</p> <p>Ninety-two percent of consumers read reviews online, and a mere 3 percent say those reviews have no affect on their purchasing decisions, according to research from online rep firm RatePoint. That leaves a whopping 89 percent who will either welcome or wave off your business depending on what they dig up online.</p> <p>A wake-up call is long overdue for businesses still coming to grips with the stunning significance of online brand and presence. Managing your online reputation is a nonstop campaign that takes entrepreneurs to all corners of the web, not to mention social media. <a target="_blank" href="">Suzy Frisch</a> recently crafted an excellent overview of the importance of ORM and how small businesses can get a handle on an absolute necessity. She offers some crucial tips, such as being a first responder and replacing good news with bad.</p> <p>Basic steps like tracking mentions via Google alerts and social media monitoring and flushing the web with good news about your company are great starting points. But those introductory stages are often the end point for scores of businesses. The reality is there are other simple, straightforward, and low-cost techniques that can bolster online reputation. Here&rsquo;s a look at five ORM approaches you might be missing.</p> <h3>Using Twitter for More Than Searches</h3> <p>Definitely comb through Twitter for company mentions, reviews, recommendations, and other key communications related to your business. Twitter&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="">basic search function</a> can do the trick, but it&rsquo;s often easier to use an interface like TweetDeck, HootSuite, and their counterparts.</p> <p>Beyond that, utilize Twitter to funnel your original content. Tweets help original content get indexed faster by the search engines, which can prove a competitive advantage when it comes to ORM.</p> <p>And speaking of indexing, remember that pictures and Tweets get indexed; consider that the next time you use a photo or bang out a Tweet about a potentially controversial, problematic, or otherwise unprofessional topic.</p> <h3>Freshen Your Content</h3> <p>Content is still king. But it also has a long shelf life. Content you created four years ago to address then-pressing needs might still be ranking, even if those needs have long since shifted. Businesses and business owners can change a lot in four years, or even four months. Google likes fresh, so revisit and revamp existing content and consistently add new.</p> <h3>Double Down on Domains</h3> <p>Purchase the non-dot-com iterations of your website (.net, .org, .etc.). But don&rsquo;t forget about getting social media hubs in sync, like your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For example, check out the lineup of sites and URLs when you search for online marketing guru <a target="_blank" href=";hl=en&amp;source=hp&amp;q=danny+demichele&amp;fp=1&amp;bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&amp;cad=b">Danny Demichele</a>. That&rsquo;s a pretty rock-solid run that helps keep potentially nasty pages pushed down in the search results.</p> <p>Beyond that, consider defensively purchasing domains that are linked to or in any way touch on your company or personal name. Snatch up sites that include words like &ldquo;complaints&rdquo; and &ldquo;reviews&rdquo; and your company name.</p> <h3>Maximize Public Profiles</h3> <p>This is tied in some ways to the domain approach. Creating public profiles can help bolster your brand and temper any waves when it comes to online reputation management. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are three of the most common ones, but business owners should also check out Google Profiles and information-sharing sites like Google Knol and Quora.</p> <p>An absolute must is <a target="_blank" href="">KnowEm</a>, as in &ldquo;Know Them?&rdquo; This site allows entrepreneurs to better track and manage their brands and fend off misrepresentation and squatting across the web.</p> <h3>Get Help from Affiliates</h3> <p>Affiliate programs can have significant ORM benefits for businesses in the right spheres.</p> <p>Consider the &ldquo;<a target="_blank" href="">We Buy Ugly Houses</a>&rdquo; people, who plaster billboards and telephone poles with those black and yellow signs. This is actually a Dallas-based company that essentially franchises its real estate flipping business model. When you search &ldquo;<a target="_blank" href="">We Buy Ugly Houses Dallas</a>&rdquo; in Google, every site in the top 10 is either one they own or owned by an affiliate.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s a huge ORM advantage. Google is set up to discourage and demote sites owned by the same company to encourage variety. Having an affiliate program essentially provides variety through third-party sites you don&rsquo;t run or maintain. It also drives sales and traffic to your business.</p> <p>You pay a commission to the affiliates, but it certainly beats seeing consumers go instead to a competitor&rsquo;s site or some irrelevant profile, news story, or blog comment that&rsquo;s ranking higher.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Chris Birk</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Extra Commentary Facebook online branding online reputation management ORM small business social marketing twitter Thu, 30 Jun 2011 20:51:34 +0000 Chris Birk 591365 at 6 Ways to Monitor Your Brand on Twitter <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/6-ways-to-monitor-your-brand-on-twitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Monitor Your Brand on Twitter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Twitter is a social media platform that gives small businesses an incredible opportunity to engage with our customers and build our brands. But just tweeting out a bunch of sporadic comments and links won't get us very far.</p> <p>To be truly effective on Twitter, we small business owners have to listen to the online conversation about our brand, monitor the results of our tweeting efforts, and tweak our tweets as necessary.</p> <p>Luckily, there are six awesome tools that'll help you do just that.</p> <p><b>Backtweets</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Backtweets</a> is a simple way to search for links to your website or content on Twitter.</p> <p>In just seconds, a Backtweets link search will show you who's talking about and linking to your brand and content.</p> <p>While the Backtweets free account only offers the link search, the Pro account allows you to receive email notification when someone tweets a link to your website and provides statistics on the reach (how many unique people see it) and impressions (the total of how many times a tweet is seen) of your tweets. You can even connect Backtweets to your <a href="" target="_blank">Google Analytics</a> account to see how your tweets translate to traffic to your website.</p> <p>Backtweets is free. A Pro account costs $100 per month.</p> <p><b>Twitter Search</b></p> <p>On Twitter, there is an endless stream of news and information flowing every second of every day. <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter Search</a> keeps you from drowning in tweets by helping you search and filter Twitter in real time.</p> <p>Much like Google, Twitter Search lets you perform highly advanced searches using <a href="" target="_blank">advanced search operators</a> to narrow and refine your search results. Get specific with Twitter Search simply by entering the words or phrases, people, places, dates and even attitudes that you'd like to watch for on Twitter.</p> <p>Twitter Search is free.</p> <p><b>Monitter</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Monitter</a> is a search tool that allows you to monitor a set of keywords on Twitter.</p> <p>Just type 'em in, hit &quot;add column&quot; and watch the real-time results stream in front of you in no time flat.</p> <p>Want to search more than one keyword? No problem. Monniter will create a clean, multi-column view for you.You can even narrow your search to a particular geographic location if you want to see what's going on in a certain part of the world, which is perfect for business owners who want to focus on local customers.</p> <p>Monitter is free.</p> <p><b>Twilert</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Twilert</a> is a free web app that sends you regular email updates of tweets containing your brand, product, service, or keyword. Like Google Alerts, but for Twitter.</p> <p>Just set up searches for the keywords that you want to monitor and Twilert will email them to you in a daily digest at the time you choose. There are even advanced search options for specific words, language, Twitter account, location, and attitude.</p> <p>Twilert is free and you can use your Google or Twitter account to register.</p> <p><b>Sprout Social</b></p> <p>The mac daddy of Twitter monitoring, <a href="" target="_blank">Sprout Social</a>allows you to manage and grow your social presence efficiently and effectively, across multiple channels, helping you turn social media connections into loyal customers.</p> <p>And Twitter isn't the only thing you can keep track of with Sprout Social. The web application also integrates with Facebook Fan Pages, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Gowalla and other networks where your customers are hanging out and checking in.</p> <p>In addition to communication tools, Sprout Social offers contact management, competitive insight, lead generation, reporting, analytics, and more &ndash; all in a package that's intuitive and easy to use.</p> <p>Sprout Social offers a free 30-day trial and then monthly plans start at just $9 for small and online business owners and $49 for brick and mortar business owners who want to track a local customer base.</p> <p><b>Tweetbeep</b></p> <p>Beep, beep...</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Tweetbeep </a>keeps track of conversations that mention you, your products or your company and sends you hourly updates by email. You can even keep track of who is sharing links to your website or blog, even if they use a URL shortener like or</p> <p>Choose from a free Tweetbeep account or upgrade to their premium account for $20 per month.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Heather Allard</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center Technology backtweets monitter small business social media sprout social tweetbeep twilert twitter twitter search Thu, 16 Jun 2011 19:49:50 +0000 Heather Allard 570957 at 7 Essentials For A Great Social Media Strategy <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/7-essentials-for-a-great-social-media-strategy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="127" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Essentials For A Great Social Media Strategy" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>The key to success in social media for small business does not depend, necessarily, on which online platform you use. It's in how you lay the foundation for your social media strategy, and then how you follow through on that strategy. Before you create your Facebook page, lay your social media foundation with these essential items. Then you'll be ready to use social media to successfully build up your small business. And isn't that the point?</p> <h3>Set Up Your Home Base</h3> <p>All the awesome networking in the world is kind of pointless if, at the end of your great Twitter conversation or Facebook interaction, your new potential client can't click a link and learn more about you.</p> <p>While a social media presence matters, it matters because the goal is to turn those interactions into customer relationships. And potential customers, in order to become real, live, loyal, giving-you-money customers, are going to want to know about you, about your business, your services, your products, your pricing, your reviews, your history, your expertise. In short, they're going to want to know a lot more about you than that last 140-character tweet you sent or what you put in the Info portion of your Facebook page. Set up your home base on the Internet first: your business website, which may or may not include a blog.</p> <h3>Continuity of Message and Branding</h3> <p>We've talked before about how <a target="_blank" href="">to create a professional online image</a>, and if you haven't walked through those steps, go do so now before you start promoting your business through social media. Yes, there's a lot of talk about how people want to connect to a real person; they do. But they also want to know that the real person they're connecting to is a professional, an expert, and someone they can trust.<a target="_blank" href="">Small business marketing consultant Marianna Hayes Chapman</a> advises her clients to work hard on consistency, from their social media messages to the in-store experience they give customers. &quot;<a href="">Consistency is a desired customer experience</a> that makes your customers feel like insiders,&quot; she says, and &quot;...a sure meal ticket to success.&quot;</p> <p><i>[Disclosure: I've worked personally with Marianna and can't recommend her enough as a small business coach, especially for locally owned businesses.]</i></p> <h3>Realistic Demographics</h3> <p>Research, research, research! Know your target market. You've heard this before &mdash; if you're throwing promos and coupons into cyberspace with no idea who is reading your messages, you're wasting your time.</p> <p>Get the information about where your target market hangs out online. Twitter attracts a particular set of people; Youtube attracts another; Facebook has a broader reach, but that doesn&rsquo;t guarantee that your people are there.</p> <p>Research will save you time and ensure that your efforts matter. Remember, you want to connect with the people who will be interested in your business, not just waste time connecting with whoever happens to be online when you are.</p> <h3>Specific Way to Measure ROI</h3> <p>How are you going to measure your success (or lack thereof)? If you don't have some systems for measurement in place, even something as basic as analytics on your website so you can see where your traffic comes from, when it comes, and how long it stays, then your business succeeding in social media is as likely as a blind jockey winning a horse race. It could happen, but if it does, it will be purely by chance. You don't have time for chance.</p> <h3>Defined Level of Commitment</h3> <p>Building a social media strategy depends largely on what you can invest in it, both in terms of time and money. Make some cold hard commitments, on paper, and then you'll be able to see exactly what your business is capable of in the social media world. If you have no money, you can't buy ads on Google or Facebook. If you have no time, and no employee to delegate the work to, you can't post regularly on your business blog.</p> <p>Before you start building your profiles and putting up logos, figure out how much time you can invest on a daily and weekly basis, and how much money you can invest on things like a professional website, graphic design (logos, branding, etc.), copywriting, ghost blogging, ads, and so on.</p> <h3>Designated Owner</h3> <p>Someone has to be responsible for making sure that the regular work of social media marketing is done, and in a way that is consistent with the message and brand of your business. Don't underestimate the amount of time and energy that it will require.</p> <p>At the least, you need to oversee what is being done, measure the ROI, and make decisions about how to adjust your strategy when needed. You may outsource or assign the actual work of social media: the content creation, the posting, the interaction. It will work best if you have one person in charge whose voice and personality can come through consistently across all your social media work.</p> <h3>Reason for People to Interact with You</h3> <p>Social media is a thriving, busy, crowded place. You can jump in and add to the noise, get noticed and then ignored, or you can create and offer something of value to the people already there. Then you'll get noticed, remembered, noted, followed, and appreciated.</p> <p>In short, don't come to the picnic unless you bring your own bucket of potato salad to share, and make sure it's good. Otherwise you're just one more person making noise.</p> <h3>Social Media Strategy</h3> <p>Once you've worked your way through those first seven essential steps, you're ready to create a roadmap to execute your social media strategy. Decide which social networks you want to focus on (it can be more than one, but keep in mind that it takes an incredible amount of time to manage even just one effective). Also, focusing on one main outlet at a time, allows you to evaluate whether your strategy is working. If you see responses, keep putting in the effort. If not, decide if you need more time or if you need to make changes.</p> <p>The most important thing to remember is that social media success takes time. It takes time in terms of time spent, every day and every week, to keep on producing value and getting it out there. It takes time to interact. It takes time to figure out what's working. And it takes time for things to start working.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Annie Mueller</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center branding Facebook marketing small business social media twitter Thu, 19 May 2011 22:34:38 +0000 Annie Mueller 541081 at 10 Ways to Make Your Affiliate Marketing Program Shine <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/10-ways-to-make-your-affiliate-marketing-program-shine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Make Your Affiliate Marketing Program Shine" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Affiliate marketing can be a key strategy for selling products, especially online. At its most basic, affiliate marketing lets you turn anyone into a sales person for your business. You offer a commission for every product an affiliate sells for you. This strategy has become particularly popular as the number of websites and blogs have boomed. There are several software options that let you put up your products for sale and that provide accurate counts of sales made by affiliates.</p> <p>One of the biggest benefits I&rsquo;ve found with affiliate marketing is how far it can expand your reach. When I created an affiliate program for one of my products, it was reviewed and promoted by the largest site in my niche &mdash; reaching more than 100,000 people that I otherwise could not have marketed to.</p> <p>If you're considering an affiliate marketing program, consider the following ten tips that can help make your program a success.</p> <h3>Stay in touch with your affiliates.</h3> <p>If you ignore your affiliates, they&rsquo;ll ignore you. Sending out news about upcoming opportunities helps dramatically, but if you really want to make your program stand out, give some one-on-one attention to your affiliates. Create multiple communication channels, from forums to newsletters, facebook to twitter and then use them.</p> <h3>Create a guide for your affiliates.</h3> <p>You&rsquo;re almost certainly not in a position to give away products to every person who signs up for your affiliate program and, even if all of your affiliates have your products, that isn&rsquo;t going to transform each of them into a fantastic salesperson overnight. But if you can provide tips and guidelines about selling your product, you can help new affiliates get over the hump.</p> <h3>Give your affiliates lots of images.</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s become standard practice for many affiliate programs to provide affiliates with banners that can easily be added to a website, but other images are just as important. Most buyers look first and foremost for pictures of anything they&rsquo;re considering purchasing, so making sure that your affiliates have plenty of images to work with can give them a huge boost.</p> <h3>Make it easy for your affiliates to hold their own promotions.</h3> <p>The point of an affiliate program is to reach as many different audiences as quickly as possible &mdash; and make use of the expertise of the people already working with those audiences. Your affiliates are going to have ideas for promoting your products to their audiences and to make those ideas work, you&rsquo;ll need to offer your affiliates the freedom and support to pull off their ideas.</p> <h3>Offer higher affiliate commissions.</h3> <p>While there is almost certainly an upper limit on the affiliate commission you can offer, there&rsquo;s probably some room to create tiers in what you offer your affiliates. For those affiliates who are particularly good at selling your products, there is little reason not to offer them a higher rate so that they can spend even more of their time on marketing your products.</p> <h3>Bundle products.</h3> <p>For many products that you may sell, there are other products or services that they can be paired with. Some affiliates may look for opportunities to create their own joint ventures &mdash; bundling your products with other vendors' products &mdash; but the more chances to sell packages of your projects, the more opportunities you can offer your affiliates to reach wider.</p> <h3>Bring in a phenomenal affiliate manager.</h3> <p>Hiring even a part-time specialist in affiliate programs can help you take your affiliates to the next level. A great affiliate manager can make technical problems a thing of the past, as well as help you identify truly great affiliates and grow your program.</p> <h3>Learn about your affiliates.</h3> <p>Can you mention any of your affiliates by name? Can you describe the promotions they&rsquo;ve used to sell your products? Can you list what other products they&rsquo;re affiliates for? That information can be crucial. You can educate the rest of your affiliates about the techniques particularly successful sellers are using, as well as come up with specific ideas that are relevant to their websites, blogs or other places they promote your products.</p> <h3>Create a promotion calendar and share it with your affiliates.</h3> <p>In every industry, there are certain opportunities that come up at different points of the year, when you can offer special promotions. Providing your affiliates with this sort of insight into your industry can make a real difference in your sales.</p> <h3>Make yourself available to affiliates.</h3> <p>Your affiliates are going to have questions that you&rsquo;ve never considered &mdash; as well as ideas that you want to hear about. If you just set up an affiliate program and leave it to run on autopilot, you won't hear neither questions nor ideas. It&rsquo;s crucial to make sure that you&rsquo;re accessible, at least by email, to anyone who wants to follow up on your affiliate program.</p> <p>Implementing every one of these strategies immediately may seem daunting. But the beauty of an affiliate marketing program is that you can build up your program in steps. You can add support materials, offer suggestions to your affiliates, and so on over time. Start with the most important piece &mdash; communication &mdash; and keep it as simple as an email newsletter. As long as you contact them on a regular schedule, you won't have any choice <i>but</i> to grow your affiliate program to keep pace with their sales pace.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Thursday Bram</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center affiliate marketing email Facebook marketing small business twitter Wed, 18 May 2011 22:33:42 +0000 Thursday Bram 537275 at Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Woman showing a coupon on a phone" title="Woman showing a coupon on a phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="178" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you &quot;liked&quot; your favorite stores on Facebook? Do you check in on Foursquare at your favorite restaurants? If you're willing to invest a little time into social media, you can make it a useful part of your coupon strategy. (See also: <a href="">6 Ways an iPhone Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <p>Many businesses now share special coupons through social media sites, making it worthwhile to to check Facebook, Twitter, and all the rest of those sites out there for coupons to help you save money. Many coupons are restricted to those people who follow, fan, check-in, and otherwise promote a given company in the terminology of whatever site you happen to be on &mdash; but the benefits can make it worthwhile.</p> <h3>Creating a Social Media Coupon Strategy</h3> <p>If you go through and connect with the stores and businesses you like to buy from on the various social media sites you're active on, you've made a start to getting those coupons. But it's easy for such sites to create too much noise, especially if you're connected to many people. It takes strategy not to lose those coupons in the noise.</p> <p>On sites like Facebook and Twitter, you have the ability to create lists &mdash; groupings of different types of friends. By creating a list of those connections that you made for the specific purpose of getting coupons, you can make it easier to check in on such connections on a regular basis and see what sort of coupons they're offering. That way you can judge if it's a coupon that's worth your while without having to sort through all the updates from your friends.</p> <p>It's also useful to build up social media habits, such as checking in at the places you visit. Many stores now offer special coupons based on the number of check-ins or other statistics, like a virtual punch card.</p> <h3>The Trade-Off for Social Media Coupons</h3> <p>The coupons that come from social media sources do have drawbacks beyond the time that you have to invest in finding them, which isn't all that different from any other <a href="">source of coupons</a>.</p> <p>The real drawback is that you're giving up a good chunk of privacy for the privilege of getting those coupons. With a site like Foursquare, anyone can easily see the places that you go and check into, as well as notice patterns in your behavior. The same goes for how easily anyone can see the actions you take on sites like Facebook and Twitter.</p> <p>It's a personal decision whether you're willing to give up some of your privacy for more (and in some cases, better) coupons. There's a clear benefit to those coupons &mdash; you get to save money &mdash; but it's up to you if that is enough of a benefit. Consider it carefully and, if social media coupons are worth your while, make the most of them.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Thursday Bram</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Shopping articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Technology Facebook mobile coupons social media twitter Thu, 03 Feb 2011 13:00:06 +0000 Thursday Bram 485888 at How to Make Money Tweeting <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-money-tweeting-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Twitter cloud" title="Twitter Cloud" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you use Twitter? Are you popular? Like, really popular? Do you have a whole bunch of followers? Well, if you&rsquo;re nodding rapidly to all of these questions, you could make money some extra money by tweeting. It&rsquo;s called sponsored tweeting, or <a href="!/paypertweeting">pay per tweet</a>.</p> <p>Paid endorsements are nothing new. The advertising world, which I am steeped in on a daily basis, is always looking for new ways to reach an audience. In the past, getting paid to recommend products and services was the domain of celebrities. After all, they had access to media outlets that let the advertiser&rsquo;s message get out to the masses.</p> <p>But we don&rsquo;t live in the past. We live in a society that gives us all the opportunity to reach a mass-market crowd every single day. The internet brought us Facebook, blogs, and then Twitter. The cell phone made tweeting instant, and let us all broadcast our daily lives to whoever wanted to follow us.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve got interesting things to say, you get more followers. And the more followers you have, the more interesting you become to a business looking to spread the word about a product or service. Which in turn means that your tweets become valuable commodities.</p> <p>In a nutshell, if you&rsquo;re tweeting to a crowd, you can get cash for <a href="">sponsored tweets</a>.</p> <p>How much cash? Well, that obviously depends on how many people follow you, and of course, if your fame extends beyond your immediate friends and family.</p> <p>For instance, Khloe Kardashian, who has over two million followers, is currently accepting $2,941.25 to do a sponsored tweet. Her sister Kim...well, that price isn&rsquo;t even listed. But like I said at the beginning, you don&rsquo;t need to be a celebrity at all. You just need reach.</p> <p>Have you heard of Wendy Piersall? She&rsquo;s an entrepreneur who runs <a href="">Woo! Jr.</a> and is considered one of the 16 most influential moms online. Wendy charges $400 per tweet.</p> <p>OK, well, Wendy still had some moderate fame. But how about someone who just does some occasional blogging?</p> <p>Tyler Rogers is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a household name. I had never heard of him until I started researching this article. But he has over 2,300 followers on Twitter, and that makes his tweets, and his product endorsements, valuable. Not in the same league as Khloe or Wendy, but $50 per tweet is not exactly peanuts. With the minimum wage currently set at $7.25/hour, and the average hourly U.S. wage being <a href="">between $15-$20</a>, getting $50 for doing something that takes less than one minute is, well, obscene. And if someone is willing to pay you $50 or more for tweeting that you think some product is worth checking out, then good for you.</p> <p>Of course, this can&rsquo;t last. Product endorsements don&rsquo;t carry a whole lot of weight if you start endorsing everything, all the time. But for the occasional wad of cash here and there, especially for a product or service you believe in, it&rsquo;s a win-win situation.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Make Money Tweeting" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Extra Income articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Extra Income Technology extra cash social media sponsorship twitter Tue, 30 Nov 2010 14:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 347977 at 13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="happy crowd" title="happy crowd" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many businesses are struggling to generate new ideas that will produce incremental sales or replace sales lost to once viable but now irrelevant products and services. According to a recent survey, businesses are having &quot;difficulty incoming up with new ideas to grow their businesses&quot; along with troubles in &quot;marketing and positioning themselves in a highly competitive market.&quot; (See the <a href="">Survey of Small Business Success Index</a> [pdf], sponsored by <a href="">Network Solutions, LLC</a> and <a href="">Center for Excellence in Service</a> at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business.)</p> <p>Some business owners and their management teams wonder if social media may somehow be useful in connecting with customers, bringing about boosts in either real-life foot traffic or online visitor volume, and stimulating sales. But they're not sure if they want to take the time to explore and leverage Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Half of those surveyed say that social media took more time than expected; many were concerned that this approach could backfire, allowing customers to criticize the business via the internet.</p> <p>Meanwhile you've got social-media expertise and loads of great ideas, but can't get anyone to take action on initiatives (such as these <a href="#13ways">13 ways</a>) that come from you.</p> <p>Recently, I spoke with the owner of a small but fast-growing company about methods that employees can use to win support for their ideas. Heidi Kallett runs <a href="">The Dandelion Patch</a>, a retailer specializing in custom stationery and gifts.</p> <h3>Methods of approaching your boss about new ideas</h3> <ul> <li>Choose the right company. Figure out if your organization values innovation. Heidi is enthusiastic about new ideas and approaches but other business owners may not be.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Know what the company owner (or your boss) wants to accomplish in all areas, particularly social media. Understand the target audiences, appropriate methods of interacting with customers, and results desired.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Find out what the boss holds sacred. Heidi, for example, is fiercely protective of her brand. She values positive customer experiences and community relationships.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Consider your mindset as a customer, how you like to interact with businesses, and behaviors that you find pleasing as well as those that may seem inappropriate. Let your boss know that you understand the need to reinforce the company's brand image.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Propose sample messages, campaigns, updates, etc. for the boss's approval, rejection, or tweaking to make sure that you are going in the right direction.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Set priorities so that social media doesn't take over your day-to-day work. Heidi asks that her managers engage in social media before and after hours only so that face-to-face interaction is given No. 1 priority.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep up with the latest trends in social media. Expand your knowledge and widen your perspective by taking classes (such as these <a href="">special events</a> offered by Network Solutions) and doing your own research.</li> </ul> <h3><a name="13ways"></a>Ways to use social media in business</h3> <ol> <li>Make announcements about changes in the business: new product lines, new store hours, and new locations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Offer limited-time discounts on certain products or custom items placed before specific deadlines.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Link to media coverage and press mentions of your business.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Educate customers on the everyday and innovative uses of your products.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Alert customers to seasonal changes in the business, which may mean new merchandise suitable for the season or sales in off-season items.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Embed videos with customer testimonials that share how your business differentiates itself from the competition.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Build bridges to new communities by sharing positive experiences that your business, its customers, and its employees have had with outside groups, such as non-profit organizations, professional associations, vendors, and area universities.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Issue invitations to special events hosted by the company.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tell customers where they may be able to connect with you in real life, such as community festivals or trade shows.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Post photos of special events, close-ups of specialty items, and in-store displays.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Solicit input from customers about ways to shape special events, promotional activities, loyalty programs, etc.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get feedback on events, sales, and programs after you've introduced and hosted them.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Listen to what customers are saying, value-added features that they notice, and reasons that they are loyal to your company so that you'll differentiate in a way that is meaningful to the customer.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Even if your company has zero online sales, you can still engage customers through technology.</strong> The Dandelion Patch is focused on the local community; nevertheless, Heidi builds relationships through a website, YouTube videos, Facebook page, and more.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Entrepreneurship articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Entrepreneurship Facebook LinkedIn networking small business social media twitter Sat, 16 Oct 2010 17:00:05 +0000 Julie Rains 262560 at Book Review: The Twitter Job Search Guide <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/book-review-the-twitter-job-search-guide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="cover of The Twitter Job Search Guide" title="cover of The Twitter Job Search Guide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ve been reading, re-reading, and testing out Twitter techniques from <em><a href="">The Twitter Job Search Guide</a></em>. The book is densely packed with strategic and tactical advice that&rsquo;s useful not only for job seekers but also for anyone engaged (or wants to be) in social media.</p> <p>Certainly, there are techniques for uncovering and landing a job using <a href="">Twitter</a>. But most of the ideas serve as a <em>complement to </em>rather than the <em>core components of </em>a search. I won't give away all the details but I&rsquo;ve selected some tips (<a href="#General">general</a>, <a href="#Technical">technical</a>, and <a href="#Job_Search">job search</a>) to share that I found useful, especially for those who, like me, are still getting started in Twitter.</p> <p><a name="General"></a></p> <h2>General</h2> <ul> <li>Twitter is free so it&rsquo;s a frugal job-searching and networking tool.</li> <li>When you sign up, you&rsquo;ll use both a username and Twitter name or handle. Your username could be your real name (Jane Smith) and your handle could reference your brand or profession (@JaneSmithCPA).</li> <li>Convey your brand through your Twitter handle, bio, background, and tweets. Let people get to know your career interests and personality through your tweets but concentrate more on your professional side. Try to attain a ratio of 3:1 of professional to personal tweets.&nbsp;</li> <li>Tweet items that are Noteworthy, Strategic, On-Brand, and Engaging (remember NOSE as outlined in the book), all aligned with your goals. Get ideas for tweet content by reading blogs, news stories, and professional journals.&nbsp;</li> <li>Publish some tweets before you begin following people so that those you follow have enough information to decide whether they&rsquo;ll follow you. You&rsquo;ll want to show that you aren&rsquo;t a spammer or are leading them to a bad place to get tangled up on the web.</li> <li>Follow and be followed in order &ldquo;to be heard, to make reciprocal connections, and to build a synchronous network.&rdquo;</li> <li>Block those who are following you if they have inappropriate content. People will judge you based on who you follow.</li> <li>Expand your network slowly. A sign of a spammer is a high number of following with a low number of followers. Those who are getting started may have such an unusual ratio (12 followers, following 3,000 people) but the first impression isn&rsquo;t a good one.</li> </ul> <p><a name="Technical"></a></p> <h2>Technical</h2> <ul> <li>Search engines index tweets and twitter accounts. So, Twitter can help establish your digital presence but it can also add digital dirt that you may not be able to bury later. You can protect your tweets but that would counteract the purpose of having a Twitter account for job-searching or networking purposes. You can delete tweets but some deleted items may still be indexed depending on your timing.</li> <li>You can make a tweet searchable and you can search Twitter content by using the &ldquo;#&rdquo; sign (which is called a hashtag though I might refer to this symbol as a pound or number sign).</li> <li>If someone sends you a message (visible to others) or refers to you, they&rsquo;ll use your handle (@JaneSmithCPA) in a tweet. You can see who&rsquo;s talking to you or about you by checking the replies on your Twitter&rsquo;s homepage sidebar (@reply - @JaneSmithCPA).</li> <li>Send direct messages (DM or D) to anyone who is following you by using the &ldquo;direct messages&rdquo; function on your sidebar. These messages don&rsquo;t appear in the regular Twitter stream and should be private.</li> <li>Set your preferences to receive DMs and tweets via text message on your cell phone.</li> <li>Retweet (RT) (similar to forwarding an email but without the intrusiveness) by using the automatic RT&nbsp;feature. Or, if you&rsquo;d like to add commentary&nbsp;to showcase your expertise or encourage more discussion, cut and paste the tweet, start the new tweet with RT, list the Twitter handle of the person who sent the original tweet,&nbsp;and add your message.</li> <li>Use a URL shortener, such as <a href=""> </a>or <a href=""></a>&nbsp;to reference news articles, blog posts, etc. and keep your tweet to its 140-character maximum. allows you to track tweeting activity but the links eventually expire so that others viewing your older tweets can&rsquo;t see what you are referencing. TinyURLs last forever (though the sites referenced may shut down) but don&rsquo;t provide information on tweeting activity.</li> </ul> <p><a name="Job_Search"></a></p> <h2>Job Search</h2> <ul> <li>Complete your profile. In the field for the &ldquo;web,&rdquo; put your <a href="">LinkedIn profile </a>or <a href="">VisualCV</a> site if you don&rsquo;t have a blog or website.&nbsp;</li> <li>Follow recruiters; human resource managers, hiring managers, and corporate executives associated with your target employers; thought leaders, decision-makers, and influencers in your field; and professional associations. Read tweets (and links) to learn about company culture, news, industry challenges, etc. that can be valuable in interviews.</li> <li>Find job leads through websites that interface with Twitter, such as <a href=""> </a>and <a href=""></a>.</li> <li>Alert human resources managers and hiring managers that you&rsquo;ve applied to openings at their companies so that they&rsquo;ll look for your application.</li> <li>Tweet about topics relevant to your field so that you can position yourself as a subject matter expert; list your Twitter handle on your résumé, business cards, and email signature so that even non-followers can learn about you, your career goals, and your professional capabilities.</li> <li>Give and solicit advice on interviewing, job-search etiquette, target employers&rsquo; priorities, etc. &nbsp;If you have a question, create a series of tweets that pose the query in slightly different ways and publish them throughout the day so that you&rsquo;ll be more likely to catch the attention of your followers.</li> <li>Don&rsquo;t give too much information. If you are actively searching, let people know; but if you are still gainfully employed, don&rsquo;t reveal your intentions but rather use Twitter to build your network of contacts. Don&rsquo;t share insider information or too many details about your job search that might jeopardize your standing during the interview process. Limit tweets to about 5 per day so that you don&rsquo;t overwhelm your followers. And limit your time on Twitter (after you&rsquo;ve mastered the techniques) to 15 minutes per day.</li> </ul> <p>There is much more, covering the conceptual and practical aspects of branding, networking, collaboration, information gathering, and tight writing.</p> <p>The authors of this book -- Susan Whitcomb @SusanWhitcomb, Chandlee Bryan @chandlee, and Deb Dib @CEOCoach -- take on the gargantuan task of explaining how to use Twitter, how to conduct a job search, and how to conduct a job search using Twitter. To use the book, try out techniques as you encounter them OR read the book first and then execute the ideas as you go through a second read. Also, visit the book's website at <a href="">The Twitter Job Search Guide</a>.</p> <p>I recommend the book as a standalone guide to Twitter, even if you are not a job hunter right now.&nbsp;</p> <p><i>There are stories of real-life job searchers and their unique approaches for using Twitter in Appendix C. The placement of these stories seemed odd; consider reading these briefs before starting the book and then afterwards to get a good understanding of the possibilities for harnessing the power of Twitter. </i></p> <p><i>Disclosure: I have a brief mention in the book as a Tweet contributor and I received a copy of the book for this review.&nbsp;</i></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Book Review: The Twitter Job Search Guide" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Job Hunting articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting Technology job searching networking twitter Fri, 04 Jun 2010 12:00:04 +0000 Julie Rains 115730 at Find and Track Deals on Twitter: The Ultimate Guide <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/find-and-track-deals-on-twitter-the-ultimate-guide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="twitter cupcake" title="twitter cupcake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="269" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Twitter is huge: someone is very likely to be Tweeting a great deal right now, and unless you know how to &quot;hear&quot; that Tweet, you will miss it.</p> <p>Luckily there are quite a few tools that help to make sense of that clutter. The key is to choose the tool that will fit your needs and to help you to. Here are the best Twitter tools that can be useful for finding and tracking deals on Twitter.</p> <h3>Tracking Tweeted Deals</h3> <p>There exist multiple Twitter tools that make Tweeting and searching Twitter easier and more advanced. My personal favorite is <a href="">Seesmic Desktop</a> (you will need <a href="">Adobe AIR</a> for it to run).</p> <p>After installing Seesmic, you will need to configure it to alert you of new search results. Go to <em>Settings</em> &gt; <em>Notifications</em> and put a tick next to &quot;<em>Notify about new search results</em>.&quot;</p> <p align="center"><img height="296" width="450" alt="Seesmic settings" src="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, search Twitter using it: you need to search for something related to the product you plan to buy &mdash; e.g. [laptop <em>deals</em>] or [Dell <em>coupon</em>].</p> <p align="center"><img height="311" width="450" alt="Seesmic search" src="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The search will be automatically saved and Seesmic will alert you of the newest results each time someone tweets the search term you are using.</p> <p><a href="">TweetBeep</a> is another way to track Twitter search. This is a web application that (after registration) allows you to set up email alerts of latest Tweets related to your search query.</p> <p>You will be able to create an alert for:</p> <ul> <li>Any key term (exact match or any match)</li> <li>A set of words excluding any term</li> <li>A hashtag</li> <li>A Twitter user name</li> <li>An attitude</li> <li>A place, etc.</li> </ul> <p>You can also set an email alert frequency and language.</p> <p align="center"><img height="259" width="450" alt="Tweetbeep" src="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Users Tweeting Deals</h3> <p>Most coupon aggregators are on Twitter giving their subscribers another option to follow their updates. You don't have to follow all of them. Here are just a few which I prefer .</p> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="8" border="1" align="center" width="450" style="border: 1px solid rgb(153, 153, 153); font-family: arial; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12px; line-height: 21px; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal;"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="middle" align="center"><strong>Twitter account </strong></td> <td valign="middle" align="center"><strong>Update source </strong></td> <td valign="middle" align="center"><strong>Advantages</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="middle" align="center"><a href="">Buxr</a></td> <td valign="middle" align="center"><a href="">Buxr</a></td> <td valign="middle" align="center">User-added deals and freebies.</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="middle" align="center"><a href="">Amazon</a></td> <td valign="middle" align="center"><a href="">Amazon</a></td> <td valign="middle" align="center">Official deals from Amazon</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="middle" align="center"><a href="">Dealnews</a></td> <td valign="middle" align="center"><a href="">Deal News</a></td> <td valign="middle" align="center">More tech related deals and coupons</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Twitter Sentiment Search</h3> <p>A great way to find really cool deals on Twitter is to use &quot;sentiment search&quot; (the one that expresses an emotion). Many Tweets have smiling icons in them and Twitter search allows to filter those tweets. All you need is to include <strong>:)</strong> or <strong>:(</strong> in the search.</p> <p align="center"><img height="214" width="450" alt="Twitter save sentiment" src="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Twitter-Based Tools</h3> <p>There are also quite a few Twitter-based (Digg-style) web apps that aggregate Tweeted deals and coupons:</p> <p><a href="">Coupon Tweet</a></p> <ul> <li>Deals can be voted down (you should specify the reason: &quot;Not a coupon&quot;, &quot;Expired&quot;, &quot;Duplicate&quot;, &quot;Offensive comments&quot;)</li> <li>Tweets are aggregated by category and a merchant name.</li> </ul> <p><a href="">Tweet Me Savings</a></p> <ul> <li>Tweets can be voted up, buried, shared via Twitter or Facebook.</li> <li>Tweets are tagged based on the topic.</li> </ul> <p><a href="">Twit Savings</a></p> <ul> <li>See popular Tweets over the past hour, 12 hours, day, week or month.</li> <li>Amusing interface.</li> </ul> <p><a href="">Cheap Tweet</a></p> <ul> <li>Users can upvote deals by clicking &ldquo;It&rsquo;s cheap!&rdquo;.</li> <li>Tweets from official accounts are labeled as &quot;official&quot;.</li> </ul> <p>Official Accounts are Twitter accounts that CheapTweet has verified are run directly by reputable merchants. If you see the Official Account Badge, you'll know that clicking on that deal will take you directly to the merchant instead of going through middlemen or 3rd party sites.</p> <p align="center"><img height="392" width="450" alt="Cheap Tweet" src="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Fun Money-Saving Twitter Bots</h3> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="8" border="1" align="center" width="450" style="border: 1px solid rgb(153, 153, 153); font-family: arial; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12px; line-height: 21px; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal;"> <tbody> <tr> <td align="center"><strong>The bot </strong></td> <td valign="middle" align="center"><strong>What it does </strong></td> <td valign="middle" align="center"><strong>Notes</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center"><a href="">Buy it Later</a></td> <td valign="middle" align="center">Alerts you of any Amazon item price or availability change.</td> <td valign="middle" align="center">Requires FireFox addon</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center"><a href="">TinyMassive</a></td> <td valign="middle" align="center">Compare product prices</td> <td valign="middle" align="center">Based on the site internal database</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center"><a href="">ASKch</a></td> <td valign="middle" align="center">Find out (and compare) the cost of drugs</td> <td valign="middle" align="center">&nbsp;</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Any more fun ways to save with Twitter? Please share them in the comments!</em></p> <p><strong>More awesome posts about saving with Twitter:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="">Twitter customer service</a> &mdash; Sometimes you can just ask for a coupon right from the official customer service that is on Twitter. This post lists plenty of stores that are on Twitter to help you!(DirJournal)</li> <li><a href="">Using Twitter to Save Money: 10 People I've Found Worth Following for Savings</a> &mdash; This post lists really useful Twitter accounts worth following. (The Simple Dollar)</li> </ul> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Find and Track Deals on Twitter: The Ultimate Guide" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Ann Smarty, a <a href="">search blogger</a> and social media user. If you love guest posting or looking for guest bloggers, make sure to join <strong>Ann's community of guest bloggers</strong>: <a href="">My Blog Guest</a>. And if you are still in a doubt, check out <a href="">20+ reasons to start guest posting</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ann Smarty</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Technology deals twitter Wed, 17 Feb 2010 15:00:02 +0000 Ann Smarty 5284 at