Tag Archive | "Twitter"

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How To: Schedule Up To 50 Tweets At Once Using HootSuite

Posted on 03 February 2011 by Eric Alpin

If you’re familiar with tools such as TweetDeck, EchoFon, or HootSuite, you’ve most likely encountered the ability, or at least heard about it, to schedule tweets. For those of you unfamiliar with the process, these Twitter profile managing tools allow for a user to compose a tweet and then decide what time it will hit the ‘net. For example, if I wanted to wish my followers a happy New Year but would be at a networking event on New Years Eve, I could schedule a tweet to post at 11:59pm on 12/31. As you can see, this would be very useful to someone who has a strict schedule but still wants to remain engaged with their followers.

You thought that was good? It gets better.

With one of the latest versions of HootSuite, users are now able to schedule up to 50 tweets at one time instead of having to enter and schedule each post manually. Basically, a ton of legwork is removed and people can be more efficient with their posts and time management.

Interested? Read on. Interested and not using HootSuite? Go sign up today and then read on! (Author’s note: It’s well worth it!)

Here are the step by step directions to bulk scheduling your tweets using HootSuite:

1. Open your spreadsheet program (even Google Docs will work for this) and save your document as a CSV file (.csv extension) with a descriptive name.

2. In column A, enter the date and time that you’d like to schedule a tweet. In accordance to HootSuite protocol, it needs to be at least five minutes from the time you’ll be scheduling it. Enter it in dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm format. For example… 31/12/2011 21:59 (Depending on the autoformat rules of your program, it might reformat the date for you. If this happens, simply right format the date back to the desired format using the Format Cells option.)

3. Next, enter your tweet text in column B on that same row. The message can be no longer than 135 characters (no link included in the tweet) or 115 characters (link included). If you are including a link, you don’t need to include it in this cell; we’ll get to that next.

4. If you are attaching a URL to your tweet, place it in column C. You don’t need to send it through bit.ly or ow.ly beforehand; the HootSuite Magic Scheduling Tool Thingy will do that for you.

It’s really that simple! At this point, we’re going to import our one tweet into the bulk scheduler so you can see how it’s done. Obviously, if you’d like to do 49 more, you can but since I don’t want you to read those four steps 49 more times on this blog, I’ll cut to the chase.

5. Log into HootSuite and click into the Compose Message… window. Select the Schedule Message icon at the bottom of the window and then hit Schedule In Bulk.

6. Find your CSV file on your computer or network and then select the Twitter profile you’d like to have the tweets scheduled under. If you’re using Google Docs, just hit “.csv file” from the Download As… menu just find that file on your computer. Warning: Be SURE to select the correct profile if you have more than one. I’ve made this mistake before and, unfortunately, there is no “Unschedule Multiple Tweets” button in HootSuite. Be triple careful!

7. Just hit Submit and you should be rockin’ and rollin’! If HootSuite doesn’t like something, it will spit it back to you and give you a descriptive (shocker!) error message. Fix what needs fixing and do step six again.

Again, it’s that simple! I have found that this saves me about four to five hours in a week. It’s great what you can do with this tool. Kudos to HootSuite for making it available and kudos to you for reading this article to figure out how it’s done!

Questions? Problems? Just let us know!

Eric Alpin is the Associate Editor of Folk Media and works for a telecommunications company in Baltimore, Md. He is a social media enthusiast, blogger, writer, and student with a passion for leadership and self-development strategies and techniques. Find out more about Eric on Twitter.

*Photo by shadowkill

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Going Crazy With Social Media During The Holidays…And Why It Will Land You Business!

Posted on 30 November 2010 by Eric Alpin

The busiest shopping season of the year is upon us. Many of you have finally completed your holiday shopping and others are just beginning. Heck, if you’re like me, you haven’t even started yet. No matter your current holiday shopping status, there is no denying that companies are going to make a boatload of money this month.

What’s stopping you from getting in on some of that cash?

Sure, this article is a little sudden; it gives you no planning time and forces you to be quick on your feet. However, in the end, YOU are responsible for YOUR business and its revenue. If you decide to embrace the holiday madness, you might see that it works out well for you, even at the last minute.

So, let’s make you some cold hard cash in four easy steps.

Customer Targeting

Not every customer is going to buy from you this year, but some will and we have to target those “some.” Is that going to be one person or 900 people, I don’t know, but I’m sure that there is a least one person who will be interested in your products or services as we wrap up the year. We need to focus on getting that person/those people. Let’s call them the “targeted crowd.”

What does the targeted crowd look like?

There are two kinds of people who do shopping and deal hunting during the month of December, those who are interested in getting the best gifts at the lowest prices for others and the individuals who want to find the coolest things for themselves. Your marketing strategy needs to appeal to one or both of these motivations.

Even still, not every person in that target crowd is going to spend money with your company but they’re willing to listen. When they ask questions, you MUST answer; when they are on the fence about buying new gutters at a ridiculously low price, you NEED to sell them on it.

The spenders will be the people in the targeted crowd that really want it but need a little extra convincing.

Your Proposal

Now that you know the group of people you’re targeting, how are you going to get them to buy your stuff?

Just like in The Godfather, you need to make him an offer he can’t refuse.

The company with the best offers win on Black Friday and beyond. Period. Do you see hundreds of people lining up at the store which offers the hottest new toy at regular price? No, and that’s because holiday bargainers want the lowest prices around or their trip is a bust.

Go low and stay low…but don’t go into the hole.

Obviously, you have certain prices you need to match in order to come out in the black, so don’t sell yourself, or your customers, too short.

Make reasonable offers that catch the attention of your targeted crowd. Marketing concrete services? Run and all-day special advertising that your normal $1,000 consultation fee will be waived for all contracts beginning today or the next week. Selling organic fruit and veggies? Make all of your products buy one, get two free AND at a reduced rate.

If a customer is on the fence about it, make an exception that won’t be too unreasonable. Obviously, you can’t give too much away for free or you’ll go broke. Make offers that customers can’t, or wouldn’t be sane to, refuse.

Tying In Social Media

Everything up to this point may have been basic but here’s the real question: how do you use social media to do all of this? Easy!

Check out a few ways you can utilize Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and your blog to make out like a bandit this holiday season:

  • Facebook – Post PDFs or pictures of your sales and ads.
  • Facebook – Give Facebook only customers an additional discount on your products.
  • Facebook – Tell customers that if they buy a product and then write a review on the “Review” tab on Facebook, they get a special mail in rebate form.
  • Twitter – Send various tweets throughout the weeks with short specials (only and hour or two long) so customers are kept wondering what great deals are coming.
  • Twitter – Solicit your followers to send you Direct Messages with the price they’re willing to pay for an item and give that price to the first five followers who Direct Message.
  • Twitter – If your followers answer a certain question or do a certain task, they’ll get a certain amount off of your already low prices.
  • YouTube – Post videos of your products with a narration of how much you’re selling it for during the month of December.
  • YouTube – Post a video detailing that if someone subscribes to your channel, they’ll get a special free gift.
  • Blog – If a person subscribes to your email list today or throughout this next week, they’ll be entered to win a free product or service.
  • Blog – Whoever comments on your blog on that day will get a certain amount of money off of your products or will get something for free.

Honestly, the possibilities are endless. You can offer SO MUCH to your customers through social media.

If you implement the information given in this article, you’re practically guaranteeing some success on during the holiday season and beyond. Remember–customers want deals that are ridiculously appealing so give them. If you don’t, you will never have the opportunity to build rapport and nab future sales and recommended clients.

Happy holidays to you!

Eric Alpin is the Associate Editor of Folk Media and works for a telecommunications company in Baltimore, Md. He is a social media enthusiast, blogger, writer, and student with a passion for leadership and self-development strategies and techniques. Find out more about Eric on Twitter.

*Photo by chrisschoenbohm

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25 Ways To Engage With Your Fans and Followers This Holiday Season

Posted on 29 November 2010 by Eric Alpin

It’s that time of year again–the time to put up the lights, buy tacky sweaters, and spend more time with your extended family than you really want. (That is why they call them extended, right?!)

Although you’re busy during the end of November and thru December, you can’t forget about your customers who are still turning to you. This is the busiest time of the year for shopping so if you haven’t used social media at all for your business this year, you may want to start. You can capture A LOT of cliente and customers by simply engaging with them and marketing your awesome products. Even if you have a more robust or labor-intensive product, such as roofing repairs or carpentry, you can still gain exposure because customers are looking to spend that lovely green stuff they’ve earned through holiday bonuses and great grandma Marge.

Here are 25 ways to engage with your customers and clients this holiday season:


1. What your customers are planning to do for the holidays
2. Who has or has not done their shopping or who is definitely waiting until the last minute
3. Who has considered donating a gift to an orphanage this holiday season
4. What songs your customers love to listen to around the holidays
5. What traditions your customers engage in
6. What movies your customers love to watch during the holiday season
7. How you can make your customer’s holiday season brighter and better
8. What your customers do when they are snowed in


1. Images or videos of your office decorated
2. Images of yourself dressed as different holiday characters
3. Holiday specials that your company is offering
4. Your favorite holiday tunes
5. Videos of lights, holiday feasts, or mounds and mounds of gifts
6. Holiday images that your customers have to guess or write captions for
7. Clips from classic holiday movies or TV specials
8. Holiday trivia information or questions
9. Memorable quotes from holiday movies or TV specials


1. Your favorite holiday memories (and then ask for their favorite memories)
2. Your holiday plans (and then ask your customers what they’ll be doing)
3. What you do with all of the gifts you don’t like or want (and ask your customers what they do)
4. Your favorite holiday dish (and ask your customers what they love to eat)
5. How you get through the holiday season and all of the stress that comes along with it (and ask your customers how they manage)
6. A holiday special offer or a contest for everyone who joins your email list
7. How what your company will be doing for the holidays (donating money to charity, holding a dinner, etc.)
8. Tasty holiday recipes that your customers will enjoy

Eric Alpin is the Associate Editor of Folk Media and works for a telecommunications company in Baltimore, Md. He is a social media enthusiast, blogger, writer, and student with a passion for leadership and self-development strategies and techniques. Find out more about Eric on Twitter.

*Photo by

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How To Determine If Your Business Should Use Social Media

Posted on 28 October 2010 by Eric Alpin

I get a lot of questions from people about the relevance of social media in their particular industry. I often hear, “Well, since I work in XYZ field, do you think it’s really necessary?” and “We have a certain niche of customers and I don’t think they’re looking for us on Twitter. What should we do?”

At some point, every business, no matter the niche or industry, should attempt to use social media to reach new customers.

Many people think that social media is some new and improved form of marketing but it really isn’t. The use of social media is just marketing where your customers hang out, just like a radio ad, billboard, or sign. There are no special tactics to use or algorithms to recite; it’s marketing basics using a different medium.

However, I will tell you that social media isn’t right for every business. There are some businesses that aren’t ready to take the dive into Facebook, Twitter, and a blog. How do you know if you are ready to engage with your customers through social media?

Question 1: What is driving you?

The first question to determine if you’re ready to embrace social media is, “What drives you?” This question is simple enough but is deeply powerful, as it is used to shape your entire philosophy on social media use.

If your answer to the question was something to deal with being like everyone else, you need to stop reading this article. Using Facebook and Twitter just because it’s the “cool” thing to do isn’t going to increase your sales or triple your customer awareness.

You need to have a passion for people and for growing yourself in order to focus your talents on using social media. You need to realize that the journey will be tough and unrewarding at times, just like any other marketing system, but in the end you will learn how to grow your business and influence customers. If your car isn’t in the right gear, you won’t move in the right direction, as it is with your drive for social media success.

Question 2: What is your plan?

Once you have determined if your motives are correct, it’s time to envision a plan of action.

Social media IS NOT something you can begin and then forget about; it’s not a static webpage with just informational content. The purpose of social media is to interact with customers and just like any speech or presentation, you need to develop your plan of attack. Without this plan, your run at social media won’t last long.

When you formulate your plan for social media integration, remember to think about all perspectives and viewpoints. How do you want your customers to perceive your company when you join Facebook? Are your competitors on Twitter or blogging? What affect will social media have on your finances and hours worked? There are many questions you need to answer before you click the “Sign Up” button.

Question 3: What are your goals and expectations?

Measurement is key.

I’ll say it one more time for those of you who missed it a few seconds ago–measurement is key.

The way you plan to measure your social media campaign is almost as important as planning your customer interactions. You NEED to measure yourself in order to gauge your progress, successes, and failures.

A good strategy is to measure your company and your key objectives before launching your social media campaign and then re-measure in certain intervals. This will give you a great taste as to what your company was doing before social media and how things are progressing after Facebook, Twitter, and blogging.

Ensure you’re measuring relevant data and not only page views or fans. Dive deep into the conversations you have with customers and determine what you could have done better. What seems to be attracting the most content on your pages? How many new followers are you gaining on a weekly basis?

Not every business should sign up for social media today; some businesses aren’t ready. If you are ready, I would encourage you to begin to explore your options and plan, as it will generate some serious thoughts on how to move forward. Also, if you’d like a free consultation about the landscape might look for your company’s social media presence, please email me (or call 410-701-0322) and I’d be happy to help.

Eric Alpin is the Associate Editor of Folk Media and works for a telecommunications company in Baltimore, Md. He is a social media enthusiast, blogger, writer, and student with a passion for leadership and self-development strategies and techniques. Find out more about Eric on Twitter.

*Photo by Oberazzi

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Hedging Your Bets on Mobile Social Media: It’s Changing Things

Posted on 13 October 2010 by Eric Alpin

You’ve heard it said many times before–social media is here to stay. The personal interactions that come from social media are what customers are now craving. Big businesses, call centers, and the “everyone is the same” approach is getting less popular as time moves on. It’s time to revolutionize business and gear your business toward a more personal approach and right now, social media is the way to accomplish that task.

However, have you considered mobile social media? Have you, or your bosses, even considered Twitter and Facebook applications for mobile devices, mobile versions of your blog or website, or giving your employees access to company accounts from their mobile devices? If you’re sheepishly shaking your head in confusion, you’re in good company. If you have thought of those things before, props to you. Either way, this post will help you gain traction in the mobile social media market.

Where is this coming from?

Big businesses and “experts” are showing us that you need to have a social media presence to stay in new age customers. Subscribers are no longer picking up to phone to have their issues fixed; they’re expecting someone to help them when they gripe about service on Twitter or their blog. So why do we now need to take it a step further and go mobile?

Recent studies have found that more people are beginning to use mobile social media applications, such as the official Facebook application for the iPhone and the many Twitter apps. When your customers change the way they contact your business, you need to follow suite. Since people are no longer waiting until they get to a computer to reach you, your business needs to make a concerted effort to meet them where they are.

If you don’t reach your customers when they need you, they will take their business to someone who will.

What can I do?

It may sound like the entire world is changing and that you will need to revamp your entire social media process but I’m fairly confident you have most of the elements in place to take your social media campaign to the next level.

First, make sure that you have decided on a timetable for addressing customer issues. If you are a smaller business, chance are that you don’t need to give an immediate response to inquiries. However, if you’re a larger business with many clients or you provide a service that people need (plumbing repair, roofing repair, etc.), you want to make sure that you can respond to customer when they need you. Design a plan for responding to customers in a timely manner, both phone and via social media.

After you have established this timeframe, begin to take steps toward actualizing this goal. For example, if you decide to respond to any customer inquiries within 24 hours, what do you need to make this happen? Do you need someone checking voicemails and Facebook each day? If your response time is 12 hours, who do you have to respond to issues in the middle of the night? Lay out a plan to make your timeframe a reality.

Finally, turn your timeframe into a guarantee for customers. Advertise that you respond to customers within 12 hours, no matter their form of contact. Make them aware of your dedication to them. If they don’t know how you can serve them, they won’t come to join your team.

Further Action Steps

Here are some additional steps for you to take in order to make the most from mobile social media use:

  • Design a mobile-friendly website. Most sites have plugins that you can install that will do this automatically for you. If customers pull you up on the go, make their experience easy.
  • Look into gaining access to company social media accounts from a business mobile device. If you’re the head of the social media marketing department, it might be best for you to have a way of responding to customer inquiries when you’re at off-site meetings or visiting clients.
  • Respond to this post with any comments you may have. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
  • Share this article via your favorite social media site.

Eric Alpin is the Associate Editor of Folk Media and works for a telecommunications company in Baltimore, Md. He is a social media enthusiast, blogger, writer, and student with a passion for leadership and self-development strategies and techniques. Find out more about Eric on Twitter.

*Photo by cyrillicus

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Does Twitter.com Even Stand A Chance Against Twitter Apps?

Posted on 30 September 2010 by Eric Alpin

The folks over at Twitter have recently made some changes to the .com interface, bringing more user functionality to those who choose to use the browser-based version of the service. With the recent improvements, I’m sure the Twitter execs would like the capture some of the tweeting population who use applications, such as HootSuite, Seesmic, and TweetDeck, in order to publish their thoughts, manage their profile, and track certain data.

But are the improvements really going to make a difference? Are dedicated application users going to “make the switch?” Probably not. However, users of the browser-based version of the service can now sleep a little better know that they aren’t missing out on as much as application users. It’s all about control and .com users have more of it now than ever before.

Here are some of your thoughts on using applications over the browser-based version of Twitter…

Question: Which do you prefer, the browser-based version of Twitter or a third party app.? If it’s an app, which one? Why?

@curtmoss – “Apps! Still love Twhirl, but like Seesmic too. Use HootSuite also. Twitter for iPhone for the mobile choice… Can keep them running in a column on 2nd monitor, sound alerts for replies/DMs, automatically refreshes, more like IMs”

@KristerDunn – “I use the Twitter site or via Tweets app on LinkedIn. My phone is basic so no mobile other than texting in tweets/pics/vids… I do use Hoot to preset some things. LI app is what’s on during day (only way i can access). Browser at home bc straightforward”

@Iceman2343 – “tweet deck… it lets me view fb and twitter at the same time”

@For_Keeps – “I’m with [Iceman2343]! TweetDeck… tbh, it’s the only Twitter app I’ve tried but it’s easy to navigate and I never have any issues w/it crashing.”

No matter what the perspective, all points and reasons are valid. If one version of Twitter fits your needs more than the others, go for it. I think that there is a market share for both applications (super users, businesses, mobile devices) and the browser-based version (regular users, firewalled or locked down users).

Do I think that the .com version of Twitter will recapture some of the market that currently uses applications? No. Do I think that the web designers have improved the lives of people who use Twitter.com on a regular basis? Yes.

What are your thoughts on the latest Twitter improvements? Do you prefer to use the website or a third party application? Why? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Eric Alpin is the Associate Editor of Folk Media and works for a telecommunications company in Baltimore, Md. He is a social media enthusiast, blogger, writer, and student with a passion for leadership and self-development strategies and techniques. Find out more about Eric on Twitter.

*Photo by lakelandlocal

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Social Media One-Liners – 9/28 Edition

Posted on 28 September 2010 by Eric Alpin

To capture the main happenings in the social media world, let’s take a look at some quick blurbs of need-to-know information. We aim to give you as much information as possible in one shot so here it goes…

A new study finds that while social media use is increasing, content creation has reached a plateau.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is getting a lot of publicity these days, including his own comic book later this year.

You can kiss blogging service Windows Live Spaces good-bye; it’s being replaced by WordPress.com via a recent deal between Microsoft and Automattic.

Trying to find a job via social networking can be tough but here are ten tips to help you land a new gig using Facebook and LinkedIn.

If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, it is possible to use social media to boost your influence and customers.

The new version of the Twitter web interface has a lot of people talking; find out the changes.

Celebrities on Twitter have little influence over their followers, finds a new study conducted by Northwestern University.

If you’re looking for a way to gain Facebook fans, read how one band gained over 3,000 fans by spending only $250.

Eric Alpin is the Associate Editor of Folk Media and works for a telecommunications company in Baltimore, Md. He is a social media enthusiast, blogger, writer, and student with a passion for leadership and self-development strategies and techniques. Find out more about Eric on Twitter.

*Photo by Rosaura Ochoa

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Recovering from Social Media Paralysis

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Guest Author

This post was written by guest author Victoria Ipri.

Social media marketing has become commonplace. Yet thousands of businesses remain on the sidelines.

Why? Fear. In my conversations with small business owners, I’ve dubbed this fear social media paralysis, aka I-don’t-know-what-to-do-so-I’ll-do-nothing.

Signs & Symptoms

Fear of the unknown, fear of making a costly mistake, fear of doing “it” wrong…these fears consume many small business owners. I’m not suggesting a ‘wait and see’ attitude is an effective strategy. To the contrary, businesses adopting this position will find their competitors passing them by. And customers? Well, they’re already online, looking for you. When they don’t find you, guess who gets the business?

The Diagnosis

Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step in recovering from social media paralysis. Interestingly, some small business owners claim they are waiting for social media to “mature,” so true ROI can be measured. I applaud them for their creative spin on the real reason: social media marketing is downright confusing. It’s also time consuming. If there is one thing today’s mentally and financially strapped small business owners don’t need, it’s one more task in an overflowing day.

The Cure

Fortunately, there is a cure. You may be surprised to learn the remedy for social media paralysis does not begin with “build a profile.” No…businesses new to social media are nowhere near ready for that step.

The cure begins with a plan. And the plan includes defining goals and objectives, understanding what social media can…and cannot…do for your bottom line, designating a “driver” (more on this next week), developing a Social Media Action Calendar, and other tasks that serve as the foundation for any good social media marketing campaign.

After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you get there?

Herewith, then, are three brief, but important, tasks you can undertake right now to put you on the path to recovery:

  1. Determine the best platform. Remember: LinkedIn is a cocktail party; Facebook is a backyard BBQ; Twitter is the hot sauce. Often, the best combination is either LinkedIn or Facebook, and Twitter as a complement. Many small businesses selling professional services do well with LinkedIn alone.
  2. Define your target market. This takes a bit more time, so grab a clean pad of paper and try to write a sentence about who you’re going after. For example, “Mid-life professionals seeking a career change,” “18-24 year old females purchasing their first car,” or “Young professionals with an income of $50,00 or above.” Knowing your target market is key.
  3. Check up on your competitors. Your prospects certainly are, so you should too. Google alerts, organic search results, website review, and various tools can help you keep up. Know your competition, so you can do it better.
    If you’re serious about getting on your social media feet, my best advice is “Don’t wait to get started.” It’s a fast-moving world out there.

Victoria A. Ipri is CEO of Modello Media, Inc., an e-marketing strategy firm with an emphasis on social media solutions, based in Philadelphia, PA. If you suffer from social media paralysis, visit www.SocialMediaShiatsu.com, or download Victoria’s latest ebook, Social Media for the Clueless. Find out more about Victoria on Twitter.

*Photo by dimshik

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Social Media Leadership: Developed Relationships Lead To A Developed Leader

Posted on 15 September 2010 by Eric Alpin

“You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself.” – Harry Firestone

Being a successful person doesn’t revolve around money or commodities. It doesn’t even involve great accomplishments on the job or in your personal life. True success and leadership are developed when you take your relationships to the next level, serving others and committing to their success.

You read that correctly.

If you are bent on growing others, you will invest in growing yourself. This is one of the most critical and influential laws of leadership. And, the best part is the social media is specifically designed to help you master this principle.

Developing Others 101

We all play a part in the lives of many different people every day. Whether you’re a boss or a janitor, husband or brother, church leader or Girl Scout mom, you have influence in the lives of others every single day. However, most of us never harness this potential, at least not for good.

Whenever we think about people influencing others, we immediately assume it’s a bad thing. We think that one person is “playing” another and that someone is always getting the short end of the stick. Developing a person is certainly the opposite of taking advantage of someone.

When you are influencing someone to help them, you have their best interests in mind. You are giving your all–your mind, your attitude, and your experiences–to help them have a successful life. As you begin to develop someone, you grow closer to them and become a more significant part of their life. Once you have played your part in their life, they will most certainly reciprocate and help you when you need it. It’s simple; helping others helps yourself.

Social Media and Developing Others

The Internet is the perfect place to begin developing others in order to help you both grow. The advancement of peer-to-peer networking (P2P) has made this leadership principle easier than ever. Websites such as Twitter and Facebook connect you to others and provide you with the means of interacting, which is the fundamental key to developing others.

In order to properly influence and develop others so that you will also benefit, you need to be helpful and understanding in your interactions. Let’s dive into what this could look like…

  • Make it a point to routinely connect with others for the sole purpose of developing a friendship. If you have hundreds of friend, connections, or followers, schedule time each day or week to reach out to someone and grow that relationship. Use a quick email, Facebook message, or DM to let them know you’re there.
  • Not every attempt at communication is going to bud into a happy-go-lucky relationship so make sure you don’t neglect the people you’re currently close with. These people don’t plan to go anywhere; don’t give them a reason to leave.
  • Connect with like-minded people through groups and fan pages. This is going to be critical because you are most likely to continue conversation with someone if you know you have something in common. In a group or fan page, you know what the common thread is and you can use it accordingly to generate conversation.
  • Don’t be overly pushy or set on helping every person you contact. It’s not going to happen and don’t force it you don’t see a reciprocated interest. That person may still come around in their due time; don’t destroy that potential connection right now.

Action Steps

Here are three action steps for you to complete today or this week:

  • Create a short list of people, maybe five or six, that you will contact to start growing your relationship. Don’t pick the most wealthy people or the most popular. Instead, pick the people who you will connect with the most.
  • Determine your best mode of contact. Will you use a Facebook message? A DM? Will you just pick up the phone and call? Try to determine the best way for the other person to chat and use that method.
  • Contact someone and begin to develop others. Take a chance and do it! You will begin to reap the benefits shortly…

Eric Alpin is the Associate Editor of Folk Media and works for a telecommunications company in Baltimore, Md. He is a social media enthusiast, blogger, writer, and student with a passion for leadership and self-development strategies and techniques. Find out more about Eric on Twitter.

*Photo by svilen001

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Who Cares About Twitter?

Posted on 13 September 2010 by Guest Author

A few months ago I believed Twitter to be just a means for teenagers and college students to communicate. Twitter seemed nothing more than a giant chat room. There is no way anyone can accurately say that now.

To understand why Twitter is so valuable you need to understand page ranking and tweets.

Page Ranking

Every company wants to have their website at the top of a Google search result. If I search your industry keywords and your business website is the first result I see, I will be much more likely to buy from you than from your competitors.

The results of a search are displayed in a list form. Your page ranking indicates where your business site is located on that list. You desperately want your page rank to be #1 (the top of the list).


The reason Twitter is so important is because Twitter can help you get a higher page ranking.

Now, here is how you can use Tweets.

First of all, “Tweets” is a term used to refer to comments posted through Twitter. A tweet is singular and “tweets” is plural.

Search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing for example, have started to pay very close attention to the content of each tweet.

For this reason you should make sure you are tweeting and providing quality info in your tweets. I would suggest tweeting no less than four times each day.

Here are four things you need to do to create a quality tweet:

1. You need to include your name and the other keywords of your industry in the beginning of the tweet. This is what you want the search engines to see in order to make your page ranking go up.

Whenever your tweet is retweeted (forwarded) by your followers (people who are interested in what you have to say), the search engines are particularly interested in what you wrote.

It’s very important to have your keywords retweeted as often as possible.

2. You want your tweet to be very interesting. If it’s not interesting it will never be retweeted by your followers.

Here are some tips on what would make good tweet content:
- Humorous quotes
- Interesting animal facts
- Useful tips
- links to Darwin Awards or other interesting articles/videos/photos

Make sure each tweet starts with your name and keywords and is followed by the interesting information. After you write the content you should include some hashtags.

3. Hashtags are words that are used for searching purposes.

If you want to search the category “shoes” you will type “shoes” in your tweet. However, you must always prefix the word with the pound sign (#). For example: #shoes or #dogs. These would both be good examples of hashtags.

By using hashtags you can make it possible for people who do not follow you to find what you are writing about. For this reason, it is very important to use hashtags.

4. Always leave about 14 to 20 characters unused at the end of your tweet.

Each tweet is allowed a max of 140 characters. When someone retweets your update, their name is included in the tweet you sent. This means if your tweet was 140 characters long and the person who retweeted you has a name of 20 characters, people will only be able to see 120 characters of your tweet.

You want people to see everything you wrote, so leave some room at the end of the tweet.

If you properly use Twitter, you will show the search engines that you are important and people are interested in what you have to offer. [Even though they are actually interested in your interesting content and not your keywords]

There are two more very important points to keep in mind:

1. If you don’t have any followers, it will be very difficult for people to notice what you are saying or take you seriously.

Make a point of finding followers. You do this by following people who will provide you with valuable information. You can also get followers by posting interesting tweets with hashtags.

2. Post frequently. There are many opinions as to how often you should tweet, but a good general rule is to tweet no fewer than four times each day.

If you create quality tweets, you have followers, and you post frequently, I guarantee that your page ranking will go up.

Good luck on your tweets and have fun!

P.S. If you are putting a lot of work in your tweets you know you are doing it right. Don’t give up until you find success.

Joshua Lyons began working in the field of social media through an internship at the University of West Florida in the summer of 2009. He graduated from UWF with a BA in Public Relations in December 2009 and since that time he has been a social media consultant for a Chicago profit consultant, a Chick-fil-A restaurant and a sign shop in Pensacola, Florida. You can check out Joshua’s blog or website and find out more about him on Twitter or Facebook.

*Photo by svilen001

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