Wednesday, December 22, 2010
If you don’t know what a “tweet” is, you are officially behind the curve. But don’t panic—read on and you’ll be back on track in no time. Twitter is an online tool that allows you to communicate and stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: You can already do this through social networking and blogging.
Twitter, often referred to as micro-blogging, distills communication into one or two short sentences—maximum 140-character transmissions. Twitter allows people to follow you and you to follow them. In this context, follow means “to keep up with what other people are doing” or “to stay in the know.”
In January 2010, 73.5 million unique visitors logged on to Twitter and over 1.2 billion tweets were transmitted. Millions use Twitter every day. Some use it for pointless, self-indulgent banter. Others use it to create meaningful dialogue and share content. I’ve been seriously tweeting throughout 2010 and have left my initial skepticism behind. Tweeting is definitely something that all entrepreneurs should seriously consider, If you don’t already have a Twitter account, it’s time to get one. It’s 100 percent free. If you do have a Twitter account, it’s time to start tweeting. For more details or to sign up, click here. To follow me on Twitter, click here. (And follow Diverse Business)
Twitter’s exponential growth makes it a very useful tool for getting and retaining new clients.
It’s also an amazing way to stay in the know. Check out two new sites that can enhance your Twitter experience. Twellow.com helps you easily find relevant people to follow on Twitter. Essentially, it’s a Yellow Book directory for Twitter profiles and is much more extensive than the search feature on Twitter’s website.
I use this site all the time to find people who are connected to the businesses that I’m most interested in. For instance, if I search for relevant key words such as “supplier diversity,” “minority business,” or “diversity recruiting,” I find people and start following and interacting with them. Eventually, these are people who’ll inquire about my services.
Another valuable site that entrepreneurs can benefit from is called TweetBeep.com. It allows you to get e-mail alerts whenever someone twitters about you or your company. You can also specify other key words that may be of interest to you.
10 Twitter Tips to Help Grow Your Business
1. Don’t start automating your tweets. This will only make you look impersonal and faceless. People are following you on Twitter because they want to follow YOU, not some automated script. Avoid services like TwitterFeed.com that will automatically post your blog feeds. Do this yourself manually because not every blog post needs to be tweeted. Keep your tweets meaningful.
2. Be conversational. Don’t just use Twitter to post a bunch of links. Talk in first person, and be you. After all, that’s why people are following you in the first place.
3. Don’t just follow anybody. Twitter is not about random interactions. You want to interact with people and brands that are relevant to you.
4. Ask questions. If you have a question pertaining to your industry, why not post it on Twitter? Many times, the people following you will have the answer and will reply very promptly.
5. Retweet other people’s tweets. If it’s newsworthy and it’s relevant to your followers, retweet it. Not only will you get credit for sharing a resourceful tweet, but you’ll also gain more followers.
6. Reply when people talk to you. Whether it’s a public message or a direct message, always reply when someone communicates with you or mentions you. Remember that the more dialogue you engage in, the more followers you get.
7. Don’t be a salesman. Your followers on Twitter don’t want to be bombarded with sales pitches. Be indirect. Just say resourceful things and eventually people will inquire about your products and services.
8. Use TweetLater.com—a tool that allows you to schedule your tweets for future dates.
9. Try Tweetie, an application for the iPhone that allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts. Not only can you send tweets and retweets, but you can also follow and unfollow people right from your cell phone.
10. Check out TweetDeck.com, an application for the iPhone, the BlackBerry, and other cell phones – that also allows you to manage your Twitter account.
Dante Lee is a respected motivational speaker and diversity consultant. Lee is also the co-founder of Lee Moss Media. He is the author of Black Business Secrets.
Visit: www.dantelee.com. Hear his recent interview on the
Diverse Business show.
Friday, December 17, 2010
This is the topic of the Diverse Business Show on Monday:
- Do you have a Facebook account with at least 1,000 friends in your niche?
- Have you set up a “Like” Page for your brand, book or business and connected it to Twitter?
- Do you tweet at least 5 times a day by adding value?
- Do you use Twitter tools like Tweet Deck or Hoot Suite with your tweets?
- Do you have an updated and full and complete Google profile?
- Have you set up a Youtube video channel that brands you by name and look?
- Have you created at least one video and posted it on your channel with relevant key words to your brand?
- Do you have a Linkedin account with recommendations from others proving you to be all you say you are and key words in your “about me” section?
- Are you part of any groups in Linkedin and post comments with links (live urls) there often?
- Do you blog regularly (at least once a week)? Do you have blogroll on it and RSS feed?
- Do you podcast or are featured on Blogtalk Radio frequently?
- Do you have photos of yourself tagged on your blog or website with your name as the description?
- Have you secured a personal domain of your name at a “dot com?” Have you used NameCheck.com to secure your social media “real estate”?
- Do you have a list of the key words people search for in your industry? Do you use them in blogs and in other content-sharing activities?
- Have you installed Google Analytics to your blog or website? Do you know where your traffic is coming from and where they are going when they land on your site?
- Do you have a FriendFeed account?
- Do you Bookmark items in Digg, Stumbleupon or De.lic.ious?
- Do you have a professional Flickr account for your photos and videos?
- Do you have a Slideshare, Scribd or GoogleDocs account?
- Do you have an email marketing program that posts your emails to your social networks?
- Do you post articles in article directories and/or do your regularly distribute social media releases?
- If an author, do you have an updated bio, your blog and video in your Amazon profile? Do you have an online press kit?
- Are you connecting with your core customer in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn by delivering “fremiums” to them and growing your email list an average of 10 per week?
- Do you have RSS “chicklets” or “widgets” on your blog or website that gives you backlinks (which is a key SEO rankings)?
- Do you have most of the Google products: Google Reader, Google Friend Connect, Gmail, GoogleTalk,Youtube, Google maps, photos, Feedburner and Google Buzz?
Saturday, December 11, 2010
No Jobs? Young Graduates Make Their Own
“If this were the 1980s, I’d need a corner office,” says Shama Kabani, 25, a Y.E.C. member and founder of Marketing Zen, a digital marketing firm in Dallas, with yearly revenue in the seven figures. “All you need today is a laptop, patience and willingness,” she says. Ms. Kabani hired all of her 24 employees virtually; 15 are in the Philippines. “I’ve never met any of them,” she says.
Open-source software can reduce or eliminate the need for consultants and tech support. When Annie Wang, 21, co-founder of HerCampus.com, wanted the articles on the site to rotate in a slide show, she didn’t hire a Web designer. She found a free online resource and spent a day teaching herself how to create the slide show.
Read the whole post here: Young Entrepreneurs Create Their Own Jobs - NYTimes.com