Posted in Business, SocialMedia

How to Manage & Increase Your Twitter “Following” @ No Cost

This blog is the result of a light bulb coming on after observing some personal angst/confusion about “how” to be an effective follower.  My last post on this topic “What IS a Follower” in 2010 still has merit.  But I’ve decided that another post might help those of you who ask “How do I get beyond the limit of being able to follow 2000 tweeps?”

Remember, like I said in another post in 2010 about “Why I Tweet” I’m not here to “sell you anything” or make you chase annoying adds about some quick get rich course.  I’m here to help minimize confusion and guide newcomers along this social media landscape.  I’ve been “Twittering” and blogging for several years now and enjoy sharing what I learn.

So, onto the meaty part of this post.  How can I manage my throttled Twitter “Following” budget and still attract new followers?  There are two ways to “follow” twitter users.

  • The approach of pushing the “Follow” button on a users’ profile may or may not result in them following you back.  Remember the value of a Twitter account is in increasing the number of people your message can reach.  Every time you push that button you move the total number of people you can follow to some strange ratio of following to followers ratio that Twitter has set on each Twitter account.  So how do you get more followers once you’ve reached the 2,000 limit or that magic ratio limiter?
  • Another technique of “following” involves a couple of additional steps but is well worth your time.  List creation is one of the best ways to recognize people their profession or passion.  By creating a List with a catchy title (category), you can add people to your list (in effect, a behavior that allows you to consume the thoughts (tweets) of people who interest you.  The best thing about this form of “following” is that it does not count against your follower limits.  You’re not “following” them using the button method, your following them using a more powerful method of expertise management.

For example, some day I will complete a lifelong goal of publishing a book.  So I used that goal and Twitter as a resource to create a “Writeminds” list.  On this list of authors (hobbyists, newly published, seasoned authors and publishers) I have added over 400 Twitter user accounts who have identified themselves as being writers, bloggers, authors, publishers, or screen/script writers.

Here’s the magic/value of this form of following over mashing the “Follow” button:  By adding a Twitter user to a list I accomplish four simple things:

  1. I have recognized the aspirations or activities of an individual for something they are devoted to or passionate about.  Who doesn’t love to be recognized for their desire to become something they are working towards?
  2. I have created a simple way to better manage my time in searching for content related to a particular topic; in this example what are writers working on, talking about, sharing, revealing?  Its better than Google search results–I can make contact with the horses mouth.
  3. I have established a connection with expertise I could not have easily encountered by walking through town or browsing the phone book looking for “people” who might have the ability to help me along my journey.
  4. I have created value for others!  Anyone can subscribe to my “Writeminds” list and take advantage of the resource.  My list of authors most likely will not be the same as your list of authors so you can create your own and subscribe to mine.

When you “follow” people by curating a list of Twitter users who identify themselves with something that interests you, you immediately expand your virtual family with other birds of your same feather.  You also reward the individual you “follow” by recognizing their contributions!  The best part is, because you have recognized another’s talent, time & effort, many can’t resist following you by the easiest method out there (mash the button).  So, your follower count begins to rise because others begin to recognize you as someone who is offering something with no expectations in return.

Social media for professionals is a value based proposition founded in charity.  Go out of your way to make someone’s day.  Build a list, start adding people to the list and watch your follower count grow!  The greatest benefit of this behavior is you now can quickly stay abreast of topics that interest you with these interest “channels (lists)”  you’re creating on Twitter!  If happen to make (in real life~telephone, email, in person) contact with the people you follow using the list method, feel free to spend some of your follower limit by mashing that “Follow” button.

I’m interested in hearing how this method works for you~please share.

Cheers,
Ed

Posted in Relationships, SocialMedia

Generosity of the SoMe Crowd (#usguys)

Need clothes, specialized expertise, rental space, airline tickets, new friends, a listening ear?  Where can you go and find other birds of the same feather?  Social Media ~ or SoMe as some refer to it!  Never before have a met a more generous, optimistic, considerate, philanthropic group of people in “one place!”

Seriously, if you put a question out there, somebody is going to answer you!  If you’re not skilled with the techniques of how to use the tools to the greatest advantage, just ask!  Someone generous with their time will educate you!  They may be on the other side of the world, but you’ll find someone compassionate who remembers what its like to be in your shoes.

I hate long surveys, and most people don’t like to participate.  But with a tool like Twitter, you’re forced to be precise!  One hundred and forty (140) characters isn’t a lot, but you can say so much!  In a previous post asking for book recommendations I asked for other books of a similar genre and solicited feedback from my followers.  Within two hours I had 25 recommendations!  Now that’s what I call responsive!

Again tonight, I asked “Survey Question: How many people would donate excess possessions to other #SM connections who may have need? #usguys #Philanthropy Again, because of my use of hashtags to a great group of people who call themselves #USGUYS, I had 4 responses within minutes:

Libby Baker Sweiger (@libbytalks) The first to respond replied – “Absolutely!” and retweeted my survey question.

Mark Berhhardt (@ImMarkBernhardt) The second to respond replied – “I’ve donated time & money to/through #SoMe contacts. Things? Sure would.”

Margie Arnett (@Giddyup2) The third to respond replied – “I would and have!” and also retweeted my survey question.  In a later tweet responding to my thanks, she said “Just mending the world within my reach”

Trent Bown (@Bowndairyman) The fourth to respond replied – “so much knowledge and time has already been freely shared w/me. Feel I need to pay it forward! #usguys” and after following up with a thanks for his response he replied “the thing is…. Social media & specifically #usguys has brought it out in me, reminded me the importance of it!

While I was typing this blog post…two more people (Eric Danzeisen @FunWithBulls & Brent Boersma @4GFarms) chimed in with “ME!” in response to my survey question!

What started this survey was a question a fairly recent Twitter follower & friend Jason Houck (@JasonPromotesU) asked if I knew of anybody who had any frequent flier miles for a round trip ticket they may want to donate. He has a friend who’s going into surgery Friday morning who doesn’t have any family in the area to be with him.  He wanted to fly out to be there for him. I suggested he put the question out to his followers. I tweeted his need and had Mark Bernhardt retweet. I have confidence that somebody somewhere has some frequent flier miles they may be willing to part with. He’s willing to trade services for the flier miles donated.  So, if you’re reading this and can assist in any way, contact Jason!  Remember, you can’t direct message someone that doesn’t follow you, so if you want to donate and he doesn’t follow you already, send him a tweet to establish the conection.

The lesson to learn or take away from this post is to realize the power of your connections.  What makes #USGUYS strong is nightly chatter and weekly Monday afternoon #usguyschat!  Unfortunately, I’m always at work during the #usguys chat, but I try to participate as many nights as I can. You quickly develop some incredible connections with awesome people when you dialogue with the regulars.  You learn a lot about yourself, others, and the world around you!

I encourage everyone who reads this to create a Twitter account if you don’t have one, start using it more if you do, and find a strong community of like minded people by searching the #hashtags!!!  A BIG THANKS TO #USGUYS!

Posted in SocialMedia

Twitter Hashtag Chat Group Index

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Image via Wikipedia

Hello again everyone!

This will be a short post to expound upon my tweets about my latest effort to support my Twitter cohorts.

A couple of days ago, I was tweeting about stumbling across #TChat (Talent Chat) on Twitter and how awesome it was to find another chat group.  One person I follow, Dean Clevett (aka @DinoDinosaur1)  from Ontario, Canada, posted this in response:

@justasked Wouldn’t it be great if someone came up with a directory of #chat

So, I racked my brain for an easy-to-use, widely accessible location.  My initial choice was Wikipedia.  Within seconds after posting my new page, there was a notice posted to my account and on the page from the gardeners of Wikipedia to delete the page.  Their comment was that with Twitter, an unlimited number of hashtags were possible, and that they would let the Library of Congress handle this “listing” since they archive all tweets now anyway.   My rebuttal stated that I didn’t want to catalog EVERY hashtag on Twitter, just those used for Chat or Focus groups.

To make a long story short, before I knew it I had violated several “rules” Wikipedia has for management of their pages.  Finally, one individual called me a newbie and suggested that I take my content to Wikia!  Alas, a solution that doesn’t have SO many rules!  And thus, I present you with our new “Twitter Hashtag Chat Group Index.”

It’s easy to add your own Chat Group or Community of Interest Hashtag to this Wiki page!  Your only requirement is to create an account, be patient with yourself, and experiment!  If it seems a bit too daunting for you, feel free to email me with your hashtag, a brief description of the purpose of your group chat, and what day/time of the week you convene your chats.  If your group also maintains a Fan Page on Facebook pass me your link and I’ll add it as well.  I’m happy to help!

Posted in SocialMedia, Uncategorized

Social Media Entrepreneur Promotion Research Experiment

The  plan was to focus on a particular topic each week during the month of December and find savvy entrepreneurs who are using social media to market their wares.  Promoting other people and businesses is a huge passion, especially if individuals and shop owners are really taking risks, burning the candle at both ends and trying their best to expose their brand in the competitive market.

Original intent was to tweet out calls for recommendations from followers and anyone else who chose to chime in on their favorites.  So in being fair, those that were recommended were included in the compilation below.  The greatest disappointment was that there were very few “recommendations” from Twitter followers–just confirming suspicions that a large majority of Twitter users are in transmit mode only!

The following synopsis of four weeks of examining Tweets, Blogs, and crawling the web resulted in the following:

First week’s focus was Chefs, Cooks, Bakers:

@merita_bread http://www.meritabreads.com/ very simple, nice website (could stand to make known their Twitter presence on their main website…at least under the contact us page.)

@steamykitchen Jaden is a classy conversational social media maven of morsels to make your mouth water   http://steamykitchen.com/ Check out her website for recipes, contests, tips & tricks, and her TV cooking show.  Her website takes full advantage of all forms of outreach to customers via all forms of social media.  She will reply if you send her a Tweet!

For those wanting to keep close tabs on the calories they consume, you’ll find this link helpful:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/

To find more people on Twitter who are passionate about cooking try:  http://twitter.com/#!/search/users/cooking

Second week’s focus was  Artists in demonstrating their skills in any medium:

Really enjoyed doing searches on art (http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23art) and discovering a wide variety of people who qualify as master craftspeople down to those who really appreciate great art work!

@Lyne_Robichaud does some nice art work http://www.culturemauricie.ca/membres/view/479 handbags, topiary, jewelry.

@hildaneilypaint does some excellent Impressionistic Landscapes that you can view at http://hildaneilygallery.com/

@CrochetLibFront An exciting group of men and women who are crazy about crochetting!   http://www.crochetliberationfront.com/

Third week was focused on Authors/Writers:

This week of exploration into passionately verbose people centered primarily around writers that wrote about a variety of topics but were incredibly engaging and funny people!  This group of people were by far the most engaging, responsive, and conversational of all those I found on Twitter!

At the top of the list are two of Twitter’s favorite authors @ceebee308 (View Claude’s website here:  http://bigceebee.webs.com/)  and @LukeRomyn (view Luke’s website here:  http://www.lukeromyn.com/ really comedians in disguise as suspense/mystery writers.   Twitter followers have been signing this petition http://act.ly/2i7 to get Ellen Degeneres to host them on her show!

You can find a lot of other aspiring writers by checking out this Twitter search (http://twitter.com/#!/search/users/author)

Fourth week was retail sales:

This week of research was interesting following the Christmas rush and seeing what kind of bargains/sales were being discussed.  I’ll list those who I found had the greatest number of users tweeting about the sales they found:

Best Buy

Verizon

Borders

What’s most interesting about this week of observations is that there are seriously very few in the retail industry who have really captured an understanding of how to best use social media as part of their regular marketing and advertising campaign strategy.  There are still several National chain stores and establishments that do not take advantage of this media platform to expand their markets and infect potential customers with their brands.

Posted in Uncategorized

Getting Real

Howdy Global Friends,

I have been having a blast blogging and Tweeting the last few months. I am both serious and comical that’s why I’ve decided to rename my blog post–we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.  I have been told I have contagious laugh and enjoy exercising it regularly.  A couple of people who keep me in stitches on Twitter are @LukeRomyn and @ceebee308.  Two authors I discovered a couple of months ago who easily have a second career in tag-team stand-up comedy if they decide the writing gig is up.

If you’re wondering what kind of person you’re following (@justasked) and possibly following you (when Twitter will let me follow more people), here’s what you get:

Daily: Dialogue, Retweets (w/comments added), Tweets of my own taken from bits of newsy items–as long as hundreds of people haven’t already posted the same article. I hate repetition!

Weekly: I search for social media-wise entrepreneurs and start-ups of different genres to promote and tweet about. Last week I was looking for artists. This next week I’ll be looking for people who are passionate about food: Bakers, Chefs, Waitresses, Waiters, Cake Decorators, etc.

Monthly: I will be writing an article each month to highlight the works and tweets of each of the four subject areas I’ve focused on…so look for my first e-zine post in January!

I consider myself to be a person who is “up with the latest” so I just try to share what that latest is with you.  I care deeply about people and relationships.  Some of the friendships I’ve formed online have been closer than many I’ve had in reality–sad I know, but hey–you take what you can get.

If you are a person who needs encouragement, an opinion about something, or an e-pal–reply to this post or follow me and say Hey Ed! on Twitter–I’ll get back with you.

When people start following me, I view at least the last two or three months of tweets to find out what kind of tweeter they are.  If you have original content, actually engage with others, and have a sense of humor…I’ll start keeping tabs on your works and eventually promote you too!  My background is 25 years of federal service, related to Information, Knowledge, and Content management, but I’ve been seduced by the social media storm and am very intrigued by people who are adept at its use, and how they actually use it to promote themselves.

I’m an avid reader and enjoy peering into the minds of other curious people.  Drop a link to your blog or a an interesting newsy bit…I’m there!

Cheers Everyone!