What’s a Twitter Party?

December 9, 2013 Leave a comment

Looking for a party that doesn’t require you to dress up or consume loaded calories? A Twitter Party might be for you.

They sound silly – but a Twitter Party is really just a focused online discussion held in real time via Twitter. To throw a Twitter Party you simply choose a hashtag, set a time and invite people to join you online to chat. I have attended a number of parties sponsored by the USDA and/or related to nutrition education. They have been informative and I’ve felt like I’ve made a connection to some of the other attendees.

Usually the discussion is led by one or two Tweeters. They post questions to the attendees if the goal is conversation. (Or maybe one moderates questions from attendees to the other – if it’s more of an open interview.) It helps if those questions (and answers/responses) are numbered. By the nature of Twitter the conversation can happen quickly. Numbering helps attendees follow the threads of discussion.

Some parties have been very large – seemingly thousands of participants. That works well if the goal is to inform. For example, the session might start with information such as new school lunch nutrition standards. The key Tweeters might give an overview or link to an article of video overview. Then invite the crowd to ask questions.

Some parties are much smaller – maybe a couple dozen people or fewer. That works well for conversation or building a sense of community. That’s when a questions to the group work well.

I think it helps to use a tool such as TweetChat http://tweetchat.com/ to keep up with the conversation. In fact with TweetChat you don’t have to have a Twitter account to follow the conversation. (You do need an account to Tweet.)

I also like the 140 character limit – keeps everyone sharp and concise. When they need to, attendees can include links to more info. I like the fast pace of conversation, but it can get frenetic. The key is take in what you can, don’t be afraid to chime in if you have something to say and be respectful. Many Twitter Parties have corporate sponsors, so there’s also a chance to win real prizes. Because of this side of Twitter Parties many of thinly veiled commercials – but some are actually interesting discussions.

Sound intriguing? You can learn about upcoming Twitter Parties here: https://twitter.com/TweetPartyGuide

Categories: Twitter

Promote locally online: Claim your Google Place

November 11, 2013 Leave a comment

I just finished a big road trip – NY to MN to NY. And how did we decide where to stay, eat and visit? My smartphone! If you have a business where location matters, you want to make sure you are coming up on local searches. Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to provide some tips for making sure you do show up! None of the tips will take long – so maybe worth 15 minutes to do each task when you get the email. See if it makes a difference to your business.

First Tip: Make sure you claim your Google Place: http://tinyurl.com/n98wqt5

The process of getting listed is not difficult – but remember to use the good keyword terms that someone would use to find someone like you – not just find you by name. Be sure to include pictures and ask happy customers to post a review for you!

Categories: SEO, Web 2.0

Social Media Planning for Resorts

October 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Yesterday I spent a fun morning with resort owners at the Minnesota Resort & Campground Association Fall Conference. Below is the presentation I used.

Categories: Conference News, Web 2.0

Twitter Analytics: Learn and modify to reach more people

October 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Have you checked out your Twitter followers lately? You might know how many people follow you or how may you follow. You may keep an eye on who Retweets you or mentions you – but did you know you can learn a lot more than that?

Visit the Twitter Analytics site: https://analytics.twitter.com/ – login with your usual credentials.

You’ll see that this is also the place to buy ads. But in terms of stats you can learn:

  • Timeline Activity: what’s the reaction to your Tweets? Take a look and see if you can replicate successful Tweets.
  • Followers: See where your followers live, their gender and their interests. Interests are pretty general. Again use that info to be sure to hit topics that might be of interest – especially if location ties into your business and you are looking for more followers in a certain area. Don’t be shy about posting Retweet-worthy posts about that area.
  • Website: track the relationship between Twitter and your website. This does require you to add code to your website.

Another tool I find help? Simply Measured for more info on Twitter followers: http://simplymeasured.com/freebies/twitter-follower-analytics They will email you a free report that tracks more info on your followers. Check out who has the most followers and see if you can get them to Retweet you – assuming of course that their audience would be of value to you.

Knowing the who, how and figuring out the why will help you be more strategic in what you do with your Tweets.

Categories: Twitter, Web 2.0

Facebook training and random selection tool

October 7, 2013 Leave a comment

I know it has been literally months since I last sent out a Byte of the Week. Sorry! I’ve been busy and distracted but I’m willing to try to get on track again.

This week I am doing training on business use of Social Media in Lac qui Parle County. Below are the PowerPoints from the class:

One question came up in both sessions – when I run a Facebook contest, how can I select a random winner of recent likes?

WooBox has a solution – it’s easy and free. http://blog.woobox.com/2013/08/free-tool-to-pick-winners-and-export-likes-comments-on-facebook-posts/

Using it, you can randomly select a new Facebook “like” or commenter. You can’t select a recent Facebook “share” because that’s against the Facebook rules. Also you can export your fans based on likes and comments. It’s pretty straightforward to use.






Categories: Facebook

Encourage to happy customers to post reivews (TripAdvisor, Yelp, LinkedIn)

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Did you know that 90 percent of people trust peer recommendations and only 14 percent trust advertisements? In February I have been touring Minnesota different towns to talk to people about using the Internet to promote their business –one good way is my encouraging happy customers to post reviews .

If you have a business that might benefit (or benefit from) tourists, it makes sense to encourage people to post reviews on TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com. You can start by setting up a business listing with them: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Owners-t2. A listing is free. It may make sense to think about their advertising; it definitely makes sense to try it out with the free listing.

For some businesses it makes more sense to set up a listing on Yelp: https://biz.yelp.com/ And again you can start with a free business listing.

For others, for example professional services (accountants, lawyers) it can make sense to encourage people to recommend you on LinkedIn. http://www.linkedin.com/ (A recent survey indicated that 90 percent of small businesses who used LinkedIn found it valuable.)

Getting reviews from customers and clients is a two-step process. First – ask them to post reviews. Maybe include a link to post a review on your business card or brochure and/or simply ask them. The second step is pay attention to what folks are saying. Thank people who say kind things and address any reviews that are less than stellar. Folks reading the reviews will see the effort.

Categories: SEO, Web 2.0

Submitting your site to Search Engines

February 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Once you have a new website or you have made significant changes to an existing site, you want Google and Big to pick up the changes right away. They will find your site eventually, but there are a couple of things you can do to expedite the process.

  1. Get an established site to link to you.
  2. Submit the site to search engines the quick way:
    1. To Google http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url
    2. To Bing http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url

Or set up your site with Google webmaster tools from Google (http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools) and Bing (http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster). It takes a little longer but over time the accounts will set you up with more info that will help your search engine ranking in the future.


Categories: Web Developer Tools

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