Category Archives: twitter

What Twitter Can Do For You

I remember when I set up my first Twitter account a few years ago. I registered, signed in and then stared at a blank screen thinking, “now what?” I was a solo marketer at a small technology company and was trying to keep up with social media as well as my traditional marketing role.

In the years since creating my Twitter account, I can say first and foremost that it has offered me personal and professional development.

I was able to find a community of B2B marketing and PR professionals who were supportive and offered help, feedback and opinions. It was refreshing to find a group of individuals who were so supportive.

I was also able to listen and monitor prospects at trade shows and find and follow edtech leaders, a target market of my job at the time. By listening to this group as well as learning about their daily struggles, I felt that I better understood their perspectives as customers and teachers.

As a parent, I had this group of teachers available to ask questions and get feedback about education. One example when my sensitive five year old daughter (in kindergarten at the time), was shown The Wizard of Oz without my knowledge. She had nightmares for two weeks. I received a lot of support and feedback and advice as to what to do as far as approaching the teacher and school.

In addition to finding communities relevant to my work life, I was able to find people with similar interests. My youngest daughter has food allergies and I had trouble after her diagnosis getting support and advice. Friends and family tried to help, but I have had to educate them as well and they just didn’t understand the constant stresses of coping with food allergies. I have found tremendous support from fellow food allergy moms and dads on Twitter. It is a relief to find other people facing the same challenges in life and to share our experiences.

I have also been able to reach people directly that I would have never in a million years been able to reach had I gone through traditional channels. On the fun side, I asked Stewart Cink for golf advice for my golf enthusiast father and he sent me advice that I then included with his birthday gift.

I was able to research and poll people using Twitter and LinkedIn for a project – just like with a focus group. And Twitter can be used to help with your job search.

When Atlanta ran out of gas, I used Twitter and the hashtag #atlgas to find gas.

The applications are endless. People are on Twitter right now, ready to help. Why aren’t you?

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Job Search Tips in a Down Economy

It is a tough market out there. How will you stand out from the high numbers of job applicants? Find a way – differentiate. Here is what one smart fellow did to get attention.

Here are some job search and resume writing tips and statistics from the GADOL:

How people are finding their jobs:

Internet search – 3% jobs found here
Company web sites – 8% (and rising)
Newspapers – 5%
Staffing agencies, recruiters, libraries, churches, etc. – 15%
GDOL – 1%
Networking – 80% of jobs filled are NEVER advertised. (Wow.)

So where should you spend most of your time on a job search?

Resume Writing

Write for the HR Manager
– 9 out of 10 resumes don’t pass the first screener
– Put specific job at the top of the resume – customize each one
– Include keywords (industry, skills, qualifications, attitude)

Recommended books:

  1. 101 Best Resumes to Sell Yourself
  2. 2500 Keywords to Get you Hired
  3. e-Resumes – The Best Way to Work the Internet

Survey – HR Managers look for

  • Job skills – 15%
  • Teamwork – 20%
  • Attitude – 65%

Resume Tips

  • Don’t use improper email address for contact information (hotmama at hotmail.com)
  • Bold number and email address
  • Customize title of resume to job you are applying for at top center of page just under contact information
  • Just list jobs in the last 10-15 years unless it’s relevant to the job you apply for
  • Don’t put your year of graduation

Job search and other tips:

Indeed.com – aggregate job search engine (use different keywords for job titles)
11 Alive job search
Order 250 free business cards from VistaPrint and just pay shipping.
Network with everyone you are in contact with.
Write thank you cards – get a pack at the Dollar Store.
Get a memory stick and keep resume and work samples on it.

Other sites I have found while searching:

Jobfox.com – list resume free, show full profile, get text messages when company looks at your listing
Visualcv.com – list resume and portfolio, share through social media
Linkedin – online resume and networking site
Twitter search – search for jobs using keywords like “sales manager” on Twitter
Social mention – social media search engine – search sites for jobs and set up alerts

See my original job search post here – Laid off? Job looking shaky? Now what do you do? 5 Tips to Build Your Network Right Now.

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Twitter guide for PR and Marketing from immediate future

I found this guide on Twitter (heh) and wanted to share it with any marketing & PR peeps and tweeps. Hope this helps as you plan your social media strategy.

Twitter strategies for PR and marketing guide from immediate future.

What’s your blogging style?

I found this neat style analyzer from one of my Twitter pals. Visit www.typealyzer.com and enter your blog. It analyzes your writing style and gives you a quick report. Here is my style:

ISTP – The Mechanics

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

Laid off? Job looking shaky? Now what do you do? 5 Tips to Build Your Network Right Now.

If you are reading this, then I am very sorry for what you are going through. Allow yourself time to mourn being laid off and feeling bad. It is part of the process. Just know that it will get better.

I have been laid off twice in my thirtysomething life. It sucks, and no matter what anyone says, you take it personally. Here are some things that will help you build your network if you are laid off or think you might lose your job in the near future. (Everyone should already be building their network a little bit each day, even if you don’t need one right now.)

1) Create accounts (if you do not already have them) on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. Post your profile and mention in your status that you are on the job hunt and for what particular job/industry you are in. Your network is anyone and everyone that you know and making these connections can be valuable in many ways. Search for friends and previous coworkers on LinkedIn & FB, join relevant industry groups, ask and answer questions and get references on LinkedIn, follow industry leaders and people in your profession on Twitter and join in on the conversation.

2) List your resume on job boards – Monster, Careerbuilder, JobFox.com, Craigslist, etc.. Don’t just list what tasks you did at previous jobs. Think benefits. What skills can you offer an employer? Think if you were hiring someone, what qualities, experience and strengths would you look for? What do you want in your next job? Is it a good time to make a switch to another career or do you want to stay in the same role? Do some soul searching and talk to friends for advice.

3) Search indeed.com for jobs on multiple web sites. Create email alerts with it and other job search sites. Create Twitter and Google keyword alerts. Search blogs on Technorati about jobs in your industry.

4) Create a blog. Identify and follow/read the leaders in your industry. Read the local newspaper. Start reading and learning all that you can about your industry and write in your blog about it. Share your thoughts and expertise. Link to your profiles on Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin/JobFox listings. Read other blogs and comment on them and link back to your blog. WordPress offers free blogs.

5) Face time. Utilize the resources at the unemployment office, local churches and if your former employer offers job assistance/outreach. Go to local networking meetings and talk to people. Don’t just rely on the computer and internet. You need face to face time as well. Ask around for a local recruiter in your industry and make a connection. Check the newspaper for local networking meetings, find tweetups and check meetup.com for local groups of interest. Get a personalized business card at MOO to hand out while networking.

There are so many things you can do. Remember, most jobs are found through networking. Get connected and get going! Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

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Five Low-Cost Small Business PR Tips

Getting the word out about your latest company news whether it is a new product announcement or customer win is tough. If you don’t have a marketing or public relations department in-house, use a freelancer or outside agency, the task can be daunting. Where do you begin?

First, make sure what you are going to announce is newsworthy. Write your press release with all of the key components of who, what, when, where, how and why included in the first paragraph. This way if it is edited, all of your important news is included.

Once you have a release that is ready to go out, set up an account on Pitch Engine. It is free and you can create and distribute compelling social media press releases online. It even appears on Google News when it is posted.

What is a social media release? It is simply your press release with relevant links to graphics, video, web site links, etc. It offers a wealth of information for those interested in finding out more about your company.

You should also have a targeted media list of relevant contacts in your industry and for local, regional and business news, if relevant. Building your list is an ongoing project and if you don’t have a subscription to a database like Vocus or Bacon’s, you can still build it from going to media web sites and finding the journalist that covers your particular industry. Be sure to read a few articles to make sure they are the right person to contact.

Once you have this list, also send a short pitch with bullet points and a link to your Pitch Engine press release. Include your contact information as well and don’t include attachments. When writing your pitch, think from the perspective of the journalist and ideally, their readers – “What’s in it for me? Why should I care about this?” To learn more about pitching, check out the Good Pitch BlogBad Pitch Blog and see an example of a great pitch on Peter Shankman’s Help A Reporter web site.

You can also post your press release on a blog, include keywords as tags and then go to Technorati and claim your blog. This helps when people search your industry keywords. WordPress offers free blogs and a neat dashboard feature to track web traffic.

Set up a free Twitter account and find and follow people in your industry. Listen and engage in conversation – not to sell but to be part of the community. Offer expert advice and links to relevant industry news. LinkedIn also has a question and answer section where you can help people with relevant questions in your industry.

If you want to take it a step further and try to pitch journalists looking for story sources, subscribe to Help A Reporter (HARO) a free PR newsletter, and look for relevant queries. There are strict rules and if someone pitches off topic, you will be removed from the list.

And that is a great start into the world of public relations. Small steps. It is also a doorway into social media – the best way to learn it is to try it. One step at a time. You might like it!

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Twitter Mosaic of all of my Followers – Thanks!

Want to create your own Twitter mosaic? http://walterhiggins.net/projects/follower_mosaic.pl

The Joy of Giving Back.

Every year we try to give back to the community in various ways. This year we donated lots of clothes and houseware items to a local shelter and stuffed animals to the Sheriff’s office for the domestic unit. We made cookies for local firefighters and stopped by to say thank you. I like to show my girls that giving is an important part of the holidays and in general.

We had an exercise bike that my father in law gave us years ago. We haven’t used it in awhile so we figured we would get rid of it. Rather than take it to the dump, I figured someone else would enjoy it. I discovered freecycle.org and signed up for the local chapter. I asked some Twitter friends if they have used it and many responded back that they did and it was a great experience. So I posted our bike earlier this week. The next morning I had about 10 replies! I gave the bike to a woman for her husband who is legally blind. He has a home gym with weights and wanted an addition to his room. She and her son picked it up the next day and it was a surprise for her husband. It felt so good and they were so thankful! It was a good start to the new year.

Check out freecycle.org and sign up and watch the message board to see what it’s all about.

I have been telling friends about it every day. One friend’s neighbor was able to unload a used chain link fence to a farmer through Freecycle! Someone else gave away a large laundry detergent since they had a reaction to it. Items that you wouldn’t think someone would want might be valuable to someone else. Plus it keeps these items out of the dump and that’s better for us all.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

Teacher Gift Ideas for the Holidays and Beyond.

As the holidays approach, I was stuck trying to think of teacher gift ideas for my girls’ kindergarten and daycare teachers.

So I turned to my good friends on Twitter. I love having a sounding board for ideas be it marketing related or for holiday gift ideas. Feedback so far – candy/food, scarf/hat, handmade items from child like jewelry or card.

Last year I got Target gift cards so they could either buy for themselves or for the classroom.

Once idea I like from the web sites below is a gift basket filled with school supplies/books for the class. There is also an appreciative wall poster about teaching that a teacher can put on the wall in the classroom.

I guess the underlying message is that teachers like being appreciated and we can show them through our children’s eyes in simple, inexpensive ways.

 I checked Google search as well and found a neat ecofriendly gift site as my daughter’s kindergarten teacher is very earth friendly.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers and Caregivers
http://ecochildsplay.com/2008/12/01/holiday-gift-ideas-for-teachers-and-caregivers/

Teacher Gift Ideas for Preschoolers
http://www.squidoo.com/teachergiftideaspreschoolers

Celebrate Teachers with Thoughtful Gifts
http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=1331

Teacher Gifts: The Official Holiday Shopping Thread for teacher gifts!http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5888340

A Tweetsgiving Charity and Black Friday Shopping Widget

As we approach Thanksgiving, I am thankful for many things. My health, family, friends and freedom. Here is a neat Thanksgiving (Tweetsgiving!) charity started on Twitter to raise money for a classroom in Tanzania in the next 48 hours. Give up a latte for a day and help needy kids get an education.

After you do a good deed, whether it be telling someone you care about them or donating to a charity, or an act of kindness, check out Network Solutions’ Black Friday shopping widget to track all of the post-Thanksgiving sales. If you are brave enough to face the crowds, you will need this! I choose to stay home with family and shop online!

Get the Black Friday – by Network Solutions widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox!