See Why Work-Life Balance is the Unicorn of the Working World

See Why Work-Life Balance is the Unicorn of the Working World

See Why Work-Life Balance is the Unicorn of the Working World

Work-life balance is one of those phrases that people with way too much time on their hands talk about. Usually they have their own yoga studios, grow all their own food, and can afford really swell vacations on Martha’s Vineyard. And that’s not even a generalization!

 

When Is There Ever Balance?

When Is There Ever Balance?

When Is There Ever Balance?

Never, that’s when! This is the week of Easter and tax returns. Many people with businesses are filing at the last minute instead of being involved in an Easter egg hunt. Unless, of course, you call looking for business deductions in a huge pile of receipts an Easter egg hunt. Then, yes, there’s an Easter egg hunt.

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We Strive for Balance

We dream of balance during those nights when we don’t sleep enough because we were up late worrying about whether everything for that upcoming conference got finished. Was there one last person to call, or a piece of paper that didn’t make it to the right place?

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Finding Time

By the way, if you need to find a little more time, here’s my article on Social Media: Time Management for Busy Entrepreneurs that you might like. Finding a bit of time here and there in your day can be cause for celebration!

Vacations Are for Sissies

If you’re involved in a startup, do you ever really go on vacation? Or is your idea of time off working a couple of hours less on the days you’re strolling on the beach? And speaking of strolling on the beach, here’s a brilliant idea from Forbes: Want a Brilliant Idea for a Startup? Go on Vacation!

“…ideas emerge when someone frees their mind up to wander – this often doesn’t happen in day to day life,”
~ Jessica Livingston, founding partner Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s best known incubator

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You Can Sleep When You’re Dead

Who among us has not heard this pithy bumpersticker-sized statement? Startups have a reputation for fueling sleep deprivation. Startups have also begun to fuel new ideas about sleep, as outlined in this nifty article: How Tech Startups Are Waking Up the Sleep Industry. In fact, new startup Cereve has a Sleep System to cool the forehead and soothe “a racing mind.” Something many in the startup world suffer from.

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Is Balance Possible?

How have you created balance? While I’d love to believe in unicorns, maybe we are better off believing they don’t exist. Or are we all resigned to being comfortable being uncomfortable? Tell me in the comments! And thank you.

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

 

Every startup has heard that they need to update their website in order to stay relevant to Google and the little bots that crawl around on the interwebs. But how many of them actually start blogging? Very few, unless forced! Don’t ask me how I know–I just do.

You Can Do it!

You Can Do it!

You Can Do it!

So, how do you get started? Here’s a pep talk: How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in An Hour. Know that you can create something in an hour. That’s the most important thing to keep in mind.

Make an Editorial Calendar

There are many ways to create an editorial calendar, and I’d opt for the simplest if you’re just starting out. A spreadsheet on Google, shared by the entire team would probably do it. Here are some examples:

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

 

My blogging buddy, Bridget Willard, taught me that and I’ve never forgot it. If you don’t think you can write, start by speaking. You can get help with cleanup (that is, editing) later. Don’t worry too much about that for now.

Break it Down

Break it Down

Break it Down

As my friend Randy Clark explains, writing and editing use different sides of the brain. So do your writing first, then your editing. Don’t edit as you go for a faster experience. You might want to get some great examples of blogging at Randy’s blog about car wraps. And Randy’s book, How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever, on Amazon is a bargain!

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Research First

Research your topic before you dive into the writing. Or, if you’ve already started writing, create space where the researched topics need to go. For example, you could say something like add backup link here, and then keep writing. Since researching and editing use a different part of the brain, you can keep your creative juices flowing if you write this way.

 laboratory photo

Make an Outline

What do you want your post to be about? Create an outline before you start. Write a header first (here’s a post on How to Write a Headline That People Will Want to Click), then at least five paragraph headings. End with your call to action. Now go back and fill in each of those five paragraphs with two or three sentences.

 

 

What Ifs

What Ifs

What Ifs

Secret confession time: I hire both an editor (when I need one), and a full-time graphics person. I’ve been writing for years. Give yourself a break and hire it out if you don’t want to do it. Focus on your strengths!

  • What if you have bad spelling and/or grammar? Hire an editor!
  • What if you aren’t artistic? Hire a graphic designer!
  • What if you are a terrible writer? Hire a writer!

Blogging Buddies

Blogging Buddies

Blogging Buddies

As mentioned earlier, a blogging buddy is a gift you can give yourself. Find someone else to inspire you. The blogging buddies idea can catapult your writing! Brainstorm ideas, and talk to your buddy when you’re stuck!

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The Reward System

Like anything else, it’s good to give you or your team member a reward at the end of a successful session. Recognition is also an excellent idea, as outlined in an article from the Next Web: Rewards and Recognition: Two Highly Effective Ways to Reward Your Employees.

Start the Next Post Early

My best blog articles have been sitting on the back burner for days. I like to write in 15-minute chunks, sometimes once a day, sometimes twice. If you start your next post, it can simmer for awhile. Even if you think you’re not thinking about it, you really are! And don’t procrastinate, since that way madness lies!

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How Do You Speed Up Your Writing?

Or do you speed it up at all? Maybe you’re more the type of writer who grinds out words one at a time. Let me know in the comments! And thank you!

 

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

 

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

There are so many social networks these days. If you’re new to social media, or you’re a startup and you’ve been busy with other things, how do you choose the best one? Here are some ways you can get through the maze of choices you have.

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Don’t go with that social network your cousin started as his senior class project. There are only 14 users, and besides, there are still a boatload of bugs! Choose from the most popular ones:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
Where's the Competition?

Where’s the Competition?

Where’s the Competition?

Check with other brands like yours. If you sell makeup, you probably want to be on Instagram and Pinterest because they are good for visual  brands. Additionally, Pinterest’s audience is largely female. If you sell real estate, Facebook and Twitter might be better choices for you. Again, see what your competition is doing.

Is Your Demographic There?

Is Your Demographic There?

Is Your Demographic There?

Please don’t say your product or service is “for everyone.” The narrower your audience, the easier it is to choose a social media platform. If you don’t know, Pew has a terrific explanation of the Demographics of Social Media Users. For instance, many CEOs are on LinkedIn, but not on Twitter. So if CEOs are part of your demographic, you’d be better off on LinkedIn.

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Choose the One You Like Best

You’re more likely to post frequently if you choose the place you like to go. I’m a firm believer that if you really learn to use a platform, you can get tons of traffic there. My brother, who had a plumbing service, had tremendous success with Yelp, for instance. Since it’s locally based, having good reviews on Yelp can be valuable to a local business like a plumber or electrician.

Pay Attention to Where the Action is!

Even if you really like the platform, if people post and run, that’s probably not a good option for you. For instance, Google Plus doesn’t seem to attract and hold people’s attention for very long. If you must be on a platform without much action, monitor your efforts and see if it’s worthwhile. Use your analytics to check out what’s working and what’s not. Here are analytics for Twitter, in case you’re wondering.

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Realize That Social Media Isn’t Free

Sure, signing up is free. But will you be available to post? How much time can you give it? If you can’t give it the time it deserves, hire someone to do it for you! Ahem. I might know of someone! And should you do your own social media? I don’t think so!

LIGHT WORK photo

Get a Reality Check

Hire a social media manager for an hour or two to brainstorm your proposed choice. That might be the boost you need to get started. And you’ll feel that you’re on the right track if you do. Otherwise, have someone take it over for you, after you’ve worked out a strategy together. By the way, here are ten worst ways to hire a social media manager!

Check That Your Name is Available

You want a similar name across platforms. You may need to change the name you use slightly across platforms, but make sure that you use a recognizable logo on each.

LIGHT WORK photo

Set up Social Accounts

Even if you don’t use an account, grab the name so you can use it later. I call that squatting. Later, when you’re ready to start using it, it’ll already be there for you. If you don’t grab the account, someone else might nab it!

Be Successful with One First

You don’t have to start all your social media platforms at the same time! Get one ball in the air before you start juggling with three. And you might not need or want a second ball, depending upon your success! Startups in particular can do a staggered start.

LIGHT WORK photo

How Did You Choose to Get Started?

Leave me a comment and let me know! Thank you.

 

 

 

For the Love of Chaos: How to Successfully Rebrand Your Startup

For the Love of Chaos: How to Successfully Rebrand Your Startup

For the Love of Chaos: How to Successfully Rebrand Your Startup

So you’re right in the middle of a rebranding effort. The startup where you handle all the social media has decided that the messaging must change. Or you’re still trying to get up to speed and having problems keeping your head above water. How to cope and survive? You might have already read  Startups and Social Media: Six Issues, and are looking for ideas.

Write Everything Down

Before you start working every morning, write down all the things you have to do that day. That might sound silly, but crossing items off your to-do list can make you healthier and happier. 10 minutes dumping everything on paper and then prioritizing what needs to be done can be priceless.

Take it from Those Who’ve Gone Before

Here are three examples of successful rebrandings.

©jeepersmedia

Be like Old Spice ©jeepersmedia

Be Like Old Spice

Consider that Old Spice didn’t change their logo when they rebranded. They changed the experience that users have. And they made the phrase “I’m on a horse” famous. Pretty hilarious for a brand that’s been around 70 years. If you don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, don’t.

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Rev it Up Like Harley-Davidson

Take it from a brand that’s been around for 95 years, Harley-Davidson “has its feet planted in both the past and the present.” And you can be a fan without even owning a Harley, since fans dropped millions on fanware and meals at their restaurants. (The one in Las Vegas is especially fun, by the way.) And sales have been so great that it can take up to a year to get a Harley. In the meantime, you could get a Harley tattoo, like many of its fans do.

legos photo

Rebuild Block by Block Like Lego

Those little blocks that everyone hates to step on went through a successful rebranding in the late 90s. They used their existing customers to help create content and thus reached out to a younger audience. There was even a Lego movie! So if your customers have an emotional connection to your brand, why not crowdsource some of your content? Rebranding doesn’t have to be as tough as navigating through a stormy sea, so be sure to break it down into manageable “Lego pieces.”

harley photo

Been Through Rebranding?

How was it? Let me know in the comments, below.

 

 

Startups: The Five Cs of Success You Need to Know

Startups: The Five Cs of Success

Startups: The Five Cs of Success

 

You’ve just joined a new startup. The world is an exciting place and you’re right in the middle of all that innovation and newness. Your friends are envious, and your mom has no idea what you do during the day. How do you know that your startup is heading in the right direction, though? After all, according to Forbes, 90% of all startups fail. Will you be among the 10%?

Here’s a playlist of social media articles for startups:

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Customers

Real customers use your services. At first, it’s the warm leads, the friends and family, who sign up. Later, you reach out to the companies who need the services you provide. At first, the sales team is anyone who has free time to make a phone call. Later, there’s a concerted effort for everyone to pitch in. Next, there’s a real-live sales person. And eventually, an entire team, all coordinated. After all, you can’t legitimize your business without real customers.

Here’s a great article about landing your first customers on a shoe-string budget. Hint: Follow-up is key.

Confidence

Confidence can be anything from a fearlessness about asking questions to the ability to tackle changes in direction. At first, being ambitious might feel uncomfortable. But after awhile, confidence has its own momentum. Getting an entire team into the habit of being involved and committed also creates its own momentum.

As Jacqueline Whitmore outlines in her article in Entrepreneur, there are Six Actions You Can Take to Build Your Self Confidence. I particularly like: “Positive energy leads to positive outcomes…”.

bio tech photo

 

Commitment

When everyone who works at your startup is excited to get to work, that’s a sign that you’ve got a good thing. During the first couple of years, that pre-launch drive translates to overwork and insomnia. Sometimes, sending an email or text at midnight and getting an answer back within minutes, is thrilling. When you’re committed, and prepped for success, the orders come in. Having “skin in the game” is a common pathway to that commitment.

Paul Graham says in his article What Startups Are Really Like (still as true in 2016 as in 2009, when he wrote it):

“What people wished they’d paid more attention to when choosing cofounders was character and commitment, not ability. This was particularly true with startups that failed. The lesson: don’t pick cofounders who will flake.”

Coworkers who are working at more than one startup will often not have the energy to get a startup off the ground.

Communication

If you have transparency from the founders and your team, you’ll be able to know what’s happening from top to bottom. Often what’s said out in the hallway or between meetings is the really important. But the critical thing is knowing that you can discover what’s happening quickly if you should need to know something.

You might want to consider a Communication Architecture, as Unreasonable did, which dictates the way your team talks. And the standing meeting ensures that meetings stay short.

It’s important to have a structure for your team’s communications. While more meetings are necessarily positive, regular meetings ensure that everyone’s aligned.

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Celebrations

Nearly every day, something good happens that is worthy of celebrating. While there is still a lot of hard work to be done, there are also a lot of high-fives, impromptu bottles of wine and champagne being opened, and smiles. Being supportive of one another, although it might sound corny, goes a long way to making people want to stick with the crazy work hours. There are many ways to celebrate success, from a brag board to a morphing trophy, as recommended by American Express.

Is There a Sixth “C”?

Please leave me a comment and let me know what other signs of success I might have missed! And thank you.

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How Diversity Attracts Valuable People To Your Startup

How Diversity Attracts Valuable People To Your Startup

How Diversity Attracts Valuable People To Your Startup

Recently it was International Women’s Day, and I got to thinking about diversity. Mostly I thought, why isn’t International Women’s Day every day? This has been on my mind more lately because I’ve noticed from being in San Francisco how many of the guys in startups are, well, guys. That is, there are mostly guys, and there really isn’t that much diversity.

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Lack of Women in High-Tech Startups

Much has been written about the lack of women in technology, startups, engineering and Silicon Valley. And San Francisco is no different. If you walk around during lunch on any given day, you’ll notice who isn’t there: women. Recently, I even heard about a dating service that is going to be flying in women from New York because there are so few women in San Francisco. So where are all the women? And why aren’t more of them being hired? As this San Francisco Chronicle article explains, women rarely reach the top in high tech, despite signs that diversity pays.

If you’re a woman in high-tech, you may find yourself having to speak differently, or more loudly, or more often to get your voice heard. Being in the minority can make you feel like an outlier. However, having diversity at a startup goes beyond having female faces.

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Diversity in Language

One thing I loved about going to school at Berkeley was the variety in languages and faces that I saw every day. Sometimes conversations could be difficult because not everyone spoke English as their first language. But having so many different points of view was invigorating; knowing that not everyone would agreed with me made me more carefully weigh what I said and wrote. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful way to run a startup, too? That is, with the idea that not everyone has to agree?

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Mature Voices Attract Others

Another wonderful thing, now that I’m no longer 20-something, is to work alongside people of all ages. Having experienced, mature people working alongside you can be invigorating, too. Having people who “remember back when” without obsessing on it could help maintain a focus on what’s critical. And if your audience consists of baby boomers, then you’d be wise to have a few of them on staff.

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Introverts versus Extroverts

Here’s another group I’d love to see more of: introverts. They’re not all hiding in the back room avoiding people, either. They’re speaking (albeit quietly, at times), listening, and finishing big projects. By the way, you might like this post about introverts: Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends. Giving voice to introverts, who often have more to say than they let on, gives your business a better chance at innovation. Here are three steps to attract—and retain—introverted employees, from Forbes.

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Political Diversity

During an election year, it’s natural that people might feel more challenged to agree with the “other side.” This election seems especially rancorous. And how many times have you thought, “the next person who rants about Donald Trump is going to get unfollowed!” I know I’m guilty. But someone is going to win the election, and then what? We’re never going to speak to those Republicans ever again?

Benefits to Attract the Culturally Diverse

Allowing more flexibility so that your employees are happy is key to having an innovative workplace. “Offer benefits such as onsite daycare, childcare subsidies and flexible schedules, and let new hires know that you are willing to accommodate cultural and religious holidays and diversity-friendly (but office appropriate) apparel choices,” as is outlined in How to Increase WorkPlace Diversity.

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How’s Your Workplace Diversity?

If your workplace isn’t culturally diverse, how does that feel? What groups of people would you like to add to the mix where you work? And if it is culturally diverse, how does it affect how you work? I’d like to know, so leave me a comment, s’il vous plait!

Why Social Media Darwinism is the Most Wonderful Way to Success

Why Social Media Darwinism is the Most Wonderful Way to Success

Why Social Media Darwinism is the Most Wonderful Way to Success

Like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks, social media Darwinism can be your fastest, craziest, and funnest way to success. If you’d like a quick overview of Darwinism, you might want to check out Natural Selection and Biological Evolution for Dummies. It won’t be as fun as this blog post, but still.

Mistakes, Failures, and Startups

Mistakes, Failures, and Startups

Mistakes, Failures, and Startups

What propels you forward faster than making a bunch of mistakes, and the ensuing embarrassment? Nothing, that’s what! You may have read about how mistakes and failure are important to your brand and your startup, right? If not, here you go: What If Failure Didn’t Exist? Anyway, how can you create something new, and something wonderful if there’s no failure involved?

Mark Zuckerberg's Mistakes

Mark Zuckerberg’s Mistakes

Mark Zuckerberg’s Mistakes

Even Mark Zuckerberg admits he’s made every mistake you can make. Well, maybe not all the mistakes! I’ve made some of them, so he doesn’t get to claim all of them. His telling employees to “be fast and be bold” could be why Facebook is still thriving now.

Twitter's Survival

Twitter’s Survival

Twitter’s Survival

Remember when Twitter proposed losing the 140-character limit? And we all said “C’mon! Don’t do that!”? If you don’t remember, here you go: Will Twitter Dump Its 140-Character Limit? They learned pretty fast through that mistake! Talk about survival of the fittest!

Biomimicry

Biomimicry

Biomimicry

While social networks may not lend themselves to Darwinism per se, cooperation can help those in the physical world. Cooperative relationships can help organisms with their reach (for example, Mychorrizal fungi form symbiotic relationships with host plants, greatly extending the “reach” of a plant’s roots). Our own tendency towards cooperation can help us with our own reach. And I think that’s pretty neat.

Brian Solis on Digital Darwinism

Brian Solis on Digital Darwinism

Brian Solis on Digital Darwinism

One of my favorite writers, Brian Solis, has this to say about social darwinism (article from Wired):

“This is a time of digital Darwinism — an era where technology and society are evolving faster than businesses can naturally adapt.”

And Solis adds this:

“But make no mistake. Digital transformation efforts grow market opportunities and profits as well as scaling efficiently in the process.” Plus the hashtag #AdaptOrDie.

By the way, here’s a review of Brian Solis, What’s the Future of Business: Generation C that you might like.

The Speed of Change

The Speed of Change

The Speed of Change

As technology races ahead, businesses must learn to adapt. They don’t need to blindly adopt new tech, but need to stay open to new changes coming down the pipeline. Think of Kodak (R.I.P.) or Blockbuster. We thought they were permanent institutions at one time. But now? Not so much.

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Are You Practicing Social Media Darwinism?

How so? Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

How to: Business Analytics Tricks You Need to Know For Twitter

How to: Business Analytics Tricks You Need to Know For Twitter

How to: Business Analytics Tricks You Need to Know For Twitter

Recently I’ve been using analytics for Twitter more and thought I’d share some of what I’ve been learning. Here’s a look behind the curtain at some of my favorite stats. These might strike you as a little nerdy, but they’re really quite fun! First, take a look at your overview in Twitter. To check your own analytics, choose home, then click the pull-down menu and choose Analytics.

Twitter Analytics Overview for 28 Days

Twitter Analytics Overview for 28 Days

Twitter Analytics Overview

From your overview, you can see at a glance whether the account is moving up, down, or flat. From my 28-day summary, you can see that Tweets, impressions, followers, and tweets linked to me are all up. Areas for improvement: Profile visits and mentions.

Monthly Twitter Summary

Monthly Summary

Another quick overview is the monthly summary. Above is mine from February of 2016. Tweet impressions are one item I like tracking. Don’t be fooled into thinking that vanity metrics, such as new followers, are important. As Eric Ries says, Vanity Metrics Are Dangerous (yes, it’s from 2009, but still holds true).

Top Ten Interests of a Twitter Audience

Top Ten Interests of a Twitter Audience

Audience Interests

You might be surprised to know what your audience is interested in. My top three are technology, entrepreneurship, and tech news. Of course, your audience is attracted to you by what you tweet. If you tweeted jokes and cartoons all day long, you’d see your followers’ top interest as comedy. The top interests (in particular the top three) can guide the content you provide.

Overall Impressions Show Heaviest Days

Overall Impressions Show Heaviest Days

Overall Impressions

In the above bar graph, you can see day by day and week by week where my biggest impressions are. Because I have a Twitter chat on Tuesdays, those days get the most impressions. (More about measuring a Twitter chat, below, under Tweetreach.)

Impressions Can Tell You What to Share Again

Impressions Can Tell You What to Share Again

Impressions

Here’s something that you can easily replicate. Take a look at the tweet with the highest impressions. Mine had 8 retweets and 8 favorites. There is something about your highest tweet that resonates with your audience. There are several ways to optimize this tweet (in this case a blog post).

  • Wait a few days, weeks, or even a month and share it again.
  • Change the headline and share it.
  • Use a different image and retweet it.
  • Share at different times of the day, still within business hours.
  • Pin it to the top of your Twitter feed.
  • Thank those who shared.
  • Ask for retweets!
Gender and Household Income

Gender and Household Income

Gender and Household Income

If you look at my analytics for gender and household income, you’d see that the majority make $175-250K+.

What does that tell me? Many of my followers could afford my services. I’ve taken over accounts before where the income has been much lower, although the product or service is an expensive one.

Country Analytics Can Help You Decide When to Tweet

Country Analytics Can Help You Decide When to Tweet

Country

You can see from my analytics that most of my followers are in the United States. How does that help, though? It helps with when you time your tweets. I try to time mine between 9-5. If you’d like to know more about whether to schedule, how much to schedule, or how to balance, I talk about that in a previous post, Automation and Social Media: You Need to Know How to Balance.

Tweriod

Tweriod

Tweriod

For more detailed analytics, try out Tweriod. I know that my tweets early in the morning always get the most engagement. If you look at Tweriod, you can see when your followers are online.

TweepsMap World View

TweepsMap World View

TweepsMap

Another way, besides Twitter’s own analytics, to see where your followers are is through an excellent and fun tool: Tweepsmap. Like the name suggests, you can get a map of your followers. So you can see which countries they’re in, or zero in on a state or city. Above is my worldmap.

State-by-State TweepsMap

State-by-State TweepsMap

Above is a screenshot of my state-by-state Tweepsmap. It’s interesting that Twitter analytics shows that 56% of my followers are U.S.-based and TweepsMap shows that 62% of my followers are in the U.S. At any rate, the majority are in the United States.

How does TweepsMap Help Me?

Suppose you are a purely local brick-and-mortar store. If you had above map, you might decide to focus more on gaining followers locally. Or, if you sell widgets overseas, maybe you don’t have enough followers in a particular country. So you can change your focus to attract more of the followers you’d like. Since the majority of my clients are in the U.S., this map is fine. That is, I wouldn’t change when I tweet.

Measure Your Hashtag or That of Your Twitter Chat with TweetReach

Measure Your Hashtag or That of Your Twitter Chat with TweetReach

TweetReach

With Twitter, there are tools that can assist you in finding out how far a tweet or hashtag reached. For my chat, #DigiBlogChat, I use TweetReach, which gives you a snapshot report to show you potential reach, impressions and Tweet volumes. Login through Twitter.

Other Things to Measure

I like to measure influential followers, especially for local accounts. I track these over the course of a month in a spreadsheet or document. Also: a good one to track is conversations with people interested in your services. Sometimes those conversations take place in direct messages.

What One Thing Would You Measure?

If you could measure one thing, what would it be? Leave me a comment! Thank you.

 

 

The Magic of Media: Joy in the New Year

The Magic of Media: Joy in the New Year

The Magic of Media: Joy in the New Year

When the clock hits midnight on the last day of the year, enthusiasm is at its highest. Hope is in the air. Anticipation and excitement fill the streets and the champagne glasses overflow. This hope and enthusiasm fuel social media resolutions.

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

Everyone will tell you how easy it is to master social media. You can learn Pinterest in a weekend, take a seminar on Twitter, or watch YouTube videos on Facebook until the cows come home. And it’s that time of year when everyone wants to start their resolutions. Heck, you can certainly do your Social Media in 60 Minutes a Day if you really try. There are lots of reasons to be excited about this new year, with a few caveats.

RockStar Expectations

RockStar Expectations

RockStar Expectations

I’m not going to be a Debbie Downer and tell you that you’ll never be a rockstar, but be a little easy on yourself and set your expectations accordingly. Getting 1,000 followers a month sounds good on January 1, but by March you might give up and do nothing at all.

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Startup Mentality and S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Having lofty goals is often a by-product of startups. Having S.M.A.R.T. goals, which equals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Responsible and Time (completion date) enables you to reach those goals. As Allan Hirsch explains “we need to set goals using strategic planning” in his article As New Year approaches, don’t just set goals, set ‘SMART’ goals.

Out of the Ballpark

Out of the Ballpark

Out of the Ballpark

If you’re an entrepreneur, you want to hit grand slams. And the way to achieve that is to set yourself up for success by overdelivering. Test the waters with your social media before committing to something so huge that you’ll feel overwhelmed.

Stretch Goals

Stretch goals are demotivating. To my mind, they are more about reaching a monetary goal than about reaching smaller goals while having fun and being creative. In his excellent article, The Folly of Stretch Goals, Daniel Markovitch outlines how stretch goals sap intrinsic motivation.

Going Viral

Going Viral

Going Viral

There are ways to make that post or tweet go viral. That is, you can be poised for the opportunity but it usually happens when you least expect it. What is that saying–success is the intersection of preparation and opportunity. And if you’re successfully poised, that post may spread like a virus in ways that make you look good.

Be Open to Surprises

Be Open to Surprises

Be Open to Surprises

What I’d like for myself for this new year is to be open to the fun and excitement of social media. Every day, it’s possible to talk to real people online, connect with them, and perhaps meet them in real life. And although that’s tough to put into a resolution, being open to surprises is my new year’s resolution.

What’s Your Resolution?

Tell me in the comments!

 

 

10 Social Media Expectations That Are Full of Baloney

10 Social Media Expectations That Are Full of Baloney

10 Social Media Expectations That Are Full of Baloney

People have a lot of expectations around social media. They think that it’s magic, and that once they are on social media, they don’t have to do anything except answer the phone calls of people wanting to hand them millions of dollars. Here are some popular misconceptions.

One Friend Will Tell Another Friend

This is a popular one. One friend will tell another friend will tell another friend. Like a giant Multi-Level Marketing scheme, the business or startup is of course at the top of the pyramid. When was the last time you were so excited about a new business that you told someone else? It happens, but rarely.

We’re Going to Raise a Million Dollars!

You might do that, but it could take a loooong time! It’s probably not going to happen in one week.

More Followers Equals More Value

More Followers Equals More Value

More Followers Equals More Value

This is the kind of thinking that makes people buy followers! Here’s how you can tell who has the most fake followers, by the way. In fact, the small accounts who take the trouble of engaging with you are probably your biggest fans. The number of fans makes some difference, but not if they’re fake.

Nobody Will See Your Drunk Tweet

Nobody Will See Your Drunk Tweets

Nobody Will See Your Drunk Tweets

Not only will they see those drunk tweets, they’ll take screenshots and share them with their friends and blog about it. By then you’ll be sober. And pretty sad. And that is one case where one friend will tell another friend who will tell another friend.

Having Goals on Social Media is Pointless

Having Goals on Social Media is Pointless

Having Goals on Social Media is Pointless

Yes, there is a point. If you’d like to move beyond vanity metrics (popularity or number of followers), some good goals might be: retweeting five people a day, having a conversation with someone new on Facebook, or participating in a Twitter Chat.

People on Social Media Are Waiting for a Sales Pitch

People on Social Media Are Waiting for a Sales Pitch

People on Social Media Are Waiting for a Sales Pitch

Yes and no. If people like you, they might put up with an occasional sales pitch. But selling all the time is so 1974. You probably won’t get a follower in the first place if you’re only selling.

Social Media is Free

Social Media is Free

Social Media is Free

One word: Nope! Is your time free? Is your brain power free? Is your creativity free?

It’s Okay to Broadcast without Engagement

What is this? The first day of the Internet? Broadcast-only mode is akin to sending direct messages on Twitter when someone first follows you.

People Won’t Notice Bad Reviews

Um, yes they will. According to this Search Engine Land article, “88% Have Read Reviews To Determine The Quality Of A Local Business.” Don’t you check out businesses online before you buy from them?

My Audience Isn’t Online

You could say that in 1995, but these days everyone is online. Your grandma is looking at pictures of your kids on Facebook and watching cat videos on Youtube.

Did You Have Any Misconceptions When You Started?

I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comments. And thank you for reading.

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