A Hands-On Twitter Workshop

Tweet!
Tweet!

I am thrilled to announc our first Hands-On Twitter Workshop here at Consilio (my new stomping grounds)!

This will be a class for those that say “I know I should be on Twitter, but I just don’t get how to use it” or “I want to use it better.”

WHO IS THIS? – SHOULD THIS BE YOU?
I met a guy Friday night at Red Sky PR’s one year anniversary party (Congrats Jess & Crue’ by the way!) who said he had 600+ followers & he doesn’t know what to do with them or how to communicate with them – this class is for you!

There are also a ton of people in Boise that I have started following lately that have less than 10 tweets out & very few followers…don’t be scared – once you get the how to’s & why’s down, you will see the light…aka: have that Ah Ha moment that I love so much! – this class is for you!

WHO THE HECK ARE YOU, JEN HARRIS, AND WHAT QUALIFIES YOU TO TEACH TWITTER?
Great question, thanks for asking!

Really hope to see you Wednesday or if that fills up another one in the coming weeks!
Facebook Invite: You can see the details here & link to the online sign up on EventBrite from here.

See you soon!
-jen

If I Were New to Social Media…

I am thrilled to be speaking/teaching the basics of Social Media to the NetWorks! group today at the Sockeye Grill.
This is a value add for TSheets, so I am going to tell you how to get started with Social Media & the time it takes for one week.  (or I have plenty of friends that will charge you $100+/hour to get you going).
As I wrote last week, YOU are your marketing budget – this will be the best use of your time/money than any bus stop ad you will get.

Phase One: Getting “it”

  1. Google Reader.  Find your favorite people you love to read & be diligent in reading at least every other day.  Total time: 45 minutes
    1. who are the most influential in your field? get that feed
    2. what publications do you most admire? get that feed
    3. what are some fun things you are interested in? Google it &….get that feed
  2. Post relevant comments on others blogs.  Big NoNo: “That was a great article, Bob-thanks!”  (boring! & it does nothing for you & your future blog)  😉 – Total time: 30 minutes
  3. LinkedIn.  Yes, it is a big, fat Rolodex.  Ummm, why wouldn’t you want to be part of THE BIGGEST Rolodex in the world.  Remember, it’s not what you know, but who you know.
    1. Answers.  Answer at least three questions a week.  Could be all in one day – Total time: 20 minutes
    2. Ask a Question.
  4. Now stop. Evaluate. Is this for you? do you see the value of communicating online now? Investment for one week so far: 95 Minutes

Phase Two: Stepping in “it”

  1. Evaluate your commitment time.  Can you spend an additional 60 minutes a week blogging?  Can you see yourself contributing to the lives of others?  If not, that is OK!  Keep active in phase One & you will see the reward.
  2. What do you have to say?  Can you contribute to your readers in a way that is not pitchy?  Can you write with out selling?  What is YOUR value ad?
    1. fyi: my value ad to TSheets is that I represent the company when I go and speak to others about SM.
  3. WordPress.  Best blogging tool out there.  Huge possibilities to customize…for free.

Phase Three: Participating with “it”

  1. Tagging. There is a place for you to tag with those that are like you – promise.  Digg, Delicious. Diggo, Stumble Upon, Skirt…etc etc etc
    1. See what others are reading.
    2. Find new content to blog on
  2. Twitter.  Yes, this can be a HUGE time suck.  But it can also get you a job, get a new client, and find new friends.  Ask yourself this – how many 1:1 conversations do I have on a daily basis that can be observed by MANY.  One of those “many” might see something relevant in the fact that you just planted your organic garden & can’t wait for beet stew.  Will that fellow beet stew lover need your product? Meet for coffee (or webinar) and find out!

Weekly time Invested? Right about two and a half hours. What is your hourly rate?  What would this new marketing venture cost you a week? A month?
There is a ton to be said for having the right message, voice & touch out there.  This is where you want to invest your time in a coach, a marketing message or an industry expert.
If all you want to do is sell & pitch on any of these forums, please spend the $100+/hour and help someone guide you to see “it”.  Or not.  Marketing changes every 100 years, now is the time to start.

I could go on & on & on….but this is what a Social Media “Expert” would help you set up in a few hours.  I consider myself an enabler, not an expert – so I dish out for a latte.  🙂

THIS is How A Business Uses Twitter

What a great use of Twitter! A Houston coffee shop is now taking orders through their DirectMessage feature on Twitter.  What a great use of customer input AND actually doing something with it.

Howe are you using Twitter for your SMB?  If the first thing you say is “what if they say something bad about us”…the truth is, they probably are and the fact that you said that means you know your business is flawed & you just don’t want anyone to know it…yet, they already do.

Small businesses that are jumping in SM are seing positive ROI when they interact with their customers and just don’t pitch them.  This is absolutly KEY when considering using & engaging in Social Media.  Treat, serve & speak to your customers the way you want to be treated…Golden Rule  my friends -nuff said.

Why Do You Get Dropped?

As much as we are all addicted to this little Twitter friend of ours, there are some that are just abusing it.

Why do you get dropped?

I love getting my TweetLess Tweet every week telling me that soANDso has stopped following me & soANDso has started.  Nine times out of ten, the people who drop me with-in the first week of them stalking following me are those just looking for a quick buck.  Now, why on earth would these spammers (ok, lets just call a spade a spade here) drop me?  They have an agenda that goes something like this (IMHO):

They “found” me & followed the Twitter rules by adding X amount of Tweeple a day.
They added me in the hopes that I would take their Auto DM bait of: “hey, thanks for the follow! Be sure to check out this widget that I am pimping to you…my-new-best-Twitter-Friend!”
YEA RIGHT
I check them out, via their profile & find out they are selling the latest & greatest widget.  This widget can be (and unfortunately is) someones attempt to chat to the masses via Twitter because someone told them to do so w/out fully understanding what a conversational dialog is vs. shoving your product down your throat is.  (There is a better analogy of this by Chris  Broganhere…and I love saying it to people just to see the look on their face!  Yea, it’s that good).
Result: I don’t follow them & I get dropped w/in the week.  Ahhhh, schucks.

Good ridden I say!  If you don’t see the value in creating dialog with me (and most others on Twitter) instead of spamming me, then the age old saying of survival of the fittest will flourish.  Twitter is the ultimate OPT IN experiment.  If people don’t find value in your content, YOU WILL BE DROPPED and your ratio of who follows you will be way less than the number of people you follow.  This should be a huge clue that you should fire who ever told you to get on Twitter.

Why do you drop people?

How to Give a Twitter Referral

Image by DBareFoot via Flickr
Image by DBareFoot via Flickr

Last night on my way to volleyball (yes, we won) I jotted down a new Twitter Blog topic of how to give and receive a referral via,what else – TWITTER!

It was inspired by @bradyjfrey asking: 

Can anyone recommend a freelance PHP developer or company with solid skills? I have mucho work I need a hand on, starting immediately

I retweetd this out to my network hoping to help a fellow Tweeter out:  

RT @bradyjfrey anyone recommend a freelance PHP developer or company with solid skills? I have mucho work I need a hand on, starting immedi

I received two referrals, via a DM from @LGMI & @DaveRedford recomending @brianjcohen & @NathanCook.  On my way to volleyball (again, yea-we won) I noticed that @bradyjfrey & @NathanCook had spoke, but @brianjcohen. had not been contacted yet.  I wanted to make sure that both recommendations were notified, but how could that be possible unless I was the middleman, the broker, the go-to gal, the TwitterPimp, if you will.

Is there protocol for something like this? Twitter is developing so fast with so many people trying to take advantage of the unbelievable networking, communication and relationship possibilities that when it comes to @TweetEtiquitte – what is protocol?  Here is my .02:

After my RT went out, @LGM1 & @DaveRedford would have sent an @ message to @bradyjfrey, something like this:

@bradyjfrey -@jenharris09 RT that you are looking for PHP dvlpr. Try @brianjcohen & @nathanCook – they rock!

What just happened here? This is a mini-version of Tac’s tagging he spoke about today, and not only were ALL parties notified of the referral but there was a potential of at least 8 new connections that could have been made w/o me.  Ahhh, geek love.  😉

So let’s do this from now on & make it protocol for a referral – because we all know that is the way to true success.

Thank You Tac Anderson

 

My Friend Tac...I owe him lunch
My Friend Tac...I owe him lunch

Yesterday while I was in an eye opening sales meeting with the TSheets gang, my husband text’d me:
“I see you made Tac’s top 10 most valuable tweeple. Right on!”
“Whaaa? Whoooa?! Who? Where? Me?”
I think that is what I text’d back to him.

I have always been either a team player (I know cliche’, but I was actually on a college team, so I get to say that) or I have been the one behind the scenes making things appear as if they are running smooth as mud. Yes, we all like to be acknowledged, but I am not an egomaniac thinking that idea “X” was all mine & I should be recogzized every time something goes right…I know it did & that is good enough for me.  

I am VERY humbled by making Tac’s list with the likes of locals like Stephen Nipper, Memo Cordova, Ryan Woodings & Jess Flynn.
And to even be mentioned in the same list as Jeremiah Owyang & Steve Rubel literally makes me well up.
Do I owe Tac lunch now? Or did HE owe ME a big favor? I do owe Jess a glass of wine, so maybe she will put me in her list next!   🙂

Really, Tac, thank you friend for even considering that what I have to say on Twitter is relevant to you and the mini masses that choose to follow me. I am always eager to teach the fundamentals of Twitter & how it can help an individual or a business further their pursuit of Twitter happiness.

My Twitter objective here at TSheets is to have us set a standard for businesses on how they should act and interact with Tweeple when looking for a time tracking system. Thank you @joshdaws, for the nice compliment this week – that means the world to me.

For anyone that knows me, I don’t push-I create relationships & make the best possible decisions that will have the most relevant impact on our company as possible.  Good friends and business deals that are made along the way are just a bonus!

Phishing for Auto DM’rs & Why We Are All to Blame

 

Anhdres- anhdres.com/stuff/twitlinks.png
Image: Anhdres- anhdres.com/stuff/twitlinks.png

So, it happened to me this weekend. I got a DM from a Twitter folower who I have had some conversations with and I subscribe to his blog, so I thought it was nice that he thought of me for this *funny*.  His DM made me curious, so I clicked on it-I deleted it yesterday just to be safe, but it was something like “Check out this funny blog”.  Well thank goodness for Chrome! It detected that it was a phishing scam & warned me that if I continue really, really bad things can happen (those are my words, not Google’s).

 

I tweeted this morning that this phishing scam could actually be a good thing for our Twitterverse.  Maybe it will stop people from sending out a tiny URL & an obscure line saying “this is funny” or “new post” or “Read my blog” or nothing at all (*ahem* @ajays).

My .02 on the Auto DM delima is this: Please do not have an Auto DM as a response if I start following you.  It is impersonal, fringes on rude & totally goes against the grain of the organic-ness of why Twitter was/is so great.

When this phishing scam came to light Saturday, it just empowered my stance that if you have a more genuine relationship with your followers, you might not be so easily fooled to click on these vague messages attached to phishy URL’s.  Again, I DID click on the vague phishing link that my follower sent me & I am now going to start engaging more on a personal level rather than re-tweets & my never ending need for caffeine.  

What are you doing to engage more in 2009 rather than having a Twitter Strategy?

Be True to Your Twitter – the Auto DM Question

What is an Auto response on Twitter?
There are quite a few Twitter tools out there that make your first response to a new follower (usually through a direct message, or @ message) hands off (see: canned) and make the first conversation be from a bot & not “you”.  Can you tell that I am not a fan?…hence why I am not giving you any links to them….bad news sister…read on.

Who uses the auto DM (direct message) and should we expect it?
My husband recently received an auto DM from a former collegue of mine that has his own conuslting gig now.   As soon as he got it, he said “yea, as funny as “X” is, that is just wrong”…and he immediatly stopped following “X”.  Is the auto DM’r a busy guy?  Sure, but so are the likes of @jowyang & @guykawasaki and a LOT of other people out there who I feel respect their audience and would much rather connect with them on a 1:1 basis.  If you get what reads like a canned message, know that you just got put on a mailing list, and no 1:1 conversation will take place.  You are just another notch on the Twitter-belt of love.

How do I respond to new followers that follow me back?
Check them out or course!  
See what they have been saying the last 10 or so Tweets (if those are in the past 10 minutes, I usually pass: no TwitterWhore following here!). 
I read their blog, see if we have some common interest (business, sports, coffee, mothering, more coffee)
What is their Following to Follwer ratio?  Are they going to care if I say something that could be relevant to them?  Or am I following them to get their info that is relevant to me? 
Great thing about Twitter?  It is what you make of it.  

Why NOT have an Auto DM?
Breanne Potter  listed it as #2 in her Ten Commandments of Twitter that it shalt not be done (and the other 9 are really funny too).
It is the general consencious (71%) that an auto DM or @ message is just plain spam.  You are not contributing to the conversation right from the start & because you had an auto DM set up, you really don’t care what my contributions are either.  Again, this is my take on those that auto DM…you as an auto DM’r might possibly disagree with me due to your busy and time consuming schedule (which we all hear about….on Twitter….hmmmm).

But I am a Marketer.  I don’t have time to respond to every follower.
Ok then…don’t.  But know who your audience is.  Take 15 minutes every morning & find out who wants to hear you speak.  Find a few every day & thank them – personally!  Find something interesting in them that might actually spark a dialog between two people (or more, if others are listening) and take value in the quality, not the quantity.  Have a personality out there, not a campain slogan.

Now in the case of my former collegue and his auto DM, pretty funny guy & he does contribute to the local Twitter flair that happens here in Boise…but I bet he would have a lot more responses and conversations if his new followers heard from him right from the get-go, not a bot. 

Have I changed your mind?  Are you going to use an auto DM now, or are you going to disable yours right away?
If you are still looking for some do’s and do nots of Twitter read: www.LameTwitterMarketing.com 

Twitter Correspondent & the How to Twitter YouTube Video

Twitter Correspondent Jen was at the scene!
On Election day 2008 I was thrilled to be part of our local Fox station as their Twitter Correspondent.  Instead of having that stodgedy old political professor (that we have seen way too much of), viewers were able to see me track the Twitter political conversations that were taking place online.

How it played out
We started out the night by having Shannon introduce me to the viewers & directing them to the Fox 12 web site so they could easily learn, step-by-step, how to sign up for Twitter.  Once the viewer signed up, their first follower was automatically @Fox12.  Even my mom down in Needles, California signed up!  Yet, I still don’t think she is following me.  Call me Mom, I will walk you through how to find & add me. 🙂

We interacted with current and new @Fox12 followers throughout the night.  The political questions Shannon asked on air were answered by our Twitter followers in the following segment.  Fox12 gained about 80 new followers that night in the two hour period that we were live and it looks as though they have kept that number steady since the election.  

Future of Fox12 & their Twitter?
They are currently engaging in the Twittasphere by sending out headlines (like most media is currently doing) but they really do “get it” and want to engage more in the future with their audience.  FINALLY!  🙂  

I really look forward to seeing them interact with their audience.  My suggestions to them?

  1. Host a Tweetup
  2. Engage in a bit more dialog and don’t just send out tweets (I know, I know: time)
  3. Bring in their advertisers & do a “how to” seminar that can make their message more 2.0 friendly (see “valuable”, “transparent”, “engaging”) to the young audience that they have.  (Not just Twitter, but how to use other social media tools too).  My prediction is this will not take away from their ad dollars, just add huge value and range to their advertisers marketing dollars.  
  4. Have Shannon, Dan, Shayne & etc all have their own Twitter accounts to converse with their viewers.
  5. etc, etc, etc….

What do you think?  
Do you think the melding of old traditional and new media will ever come together enough to engage the end users in a full circle media experience?  What is your ideal expereince with TV & social media coming together?  

Double Dog Dare?
And on a funny note – I was double dog dared by a few of my personal followers to say “pajamas”…yea, I totally delivered-thank you very much!

@Fox12 “Gets” Twitter on Election Night

Tonight starting at 9pm, I will be the voice of the @Fox12 Twitter.  So exicted!

We will be asking questions to our viewers (who can go right to the Fox 12 website to access Twitter & sign up on the spot) & reporting what is being said in the Idaho Twitterverse!

We will also have a “how to sign up for Twitter” on the home page (headed out to go shoot that right now).

I LOVE how excited & open @Fox12 is to Social Media…just the first step!  Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to teach, educate & spread the good word of Social Media!