Tag Archives: social media

A Twitter Party? What’s that?

If you’re familiar with Twitter, you’re most likely familiar with #hashtags. There’s a lot that can done with the hashtag. When it comes to engagement and community, there’s something called the Twitter Party which can be quite beneficial for many reasons. It’s unlike the traditional definition of a party. A Twitter party consists of a moderated chat based around a series of questions. Unlike a traditional Twitter chats, which are generally reoccurring, a Twitter Party is a one time deal (or series) that’s hosted by a brand or company around a certain topic in which prizes are given out throughout the duration of the party.

Twitter parties can have many benefits for many reasons. The idea of the conversation isn’t to necessarily talk about the product or service itself, but more-so around the lifestyle based around it. For example, a Twitter party hosted by a mattress company wont talk about their beds, instead they talk about tips and tricks around sleeping and finding the perfect mattress. After all, that’s what it should be about in today’s world. The hard sell is out and relating to one’s personal lifestyle is in. It also provides some personality to the brand hosting the chat. The party usually has the moderator asking the questions and a couple of other people to help in engagement and choosing winners of the prizes.

The goals of the Twitter party may vary host to host, but the main ideas are to generate conversation, engagement, and maybe even a call to action. Some steps to preparing for a Twitter Party are as follows:

  1. Choose your topic and create a hashtag. You want something not being used already, but that’s also relevant to the topic of the party. A unique hashtag will help with tracking later on. (Check out hashtracking to help with measuring tweets)
  2. Create the questions. Five questions are generally the perfect number. It all depends on how much time you want to spend on the questions and how many people you think will be participating. Remember to stick to questions around the lifestyle and not about the actual product.
  3. Choose your prizes. A prize for a rsvp, to the best answers and the best participants are usually the best way to award prizes. Gift cards or branded products are usually the best options for prizes.
  4. Choose your date and time. Middle of week, 8pm EST is usually the best time. You need to think about the audience,  time zones and when people might be out of work and already had dinner.
  5. Announce the party. If you want time to grow hype around the party, I suggest up-to a month before hand. It’s gives people time to spread the word and add it to their calendar. Share it on your social networks and on your blog. Make it known that someone who RSVPs will win a prize. Make people excited and interested to join.
  6. Prepare the day of. Make sure all your eggs are in one basket. Have a timeline set for all your questions, the time spent on them, and when prize announcements are being made. Depending on the topic, be prepared for any negative questions that may arise and how you want to handle them. It’s best to handle those apart from the chat and offer different means of support. Stick to the topic as much as possible.
  7. Host the party. Have fun! After all, it is a party.
  8. Analyze your results, look at your goals and expectations, see what went wrong and what went right.

Twitter parties a great way to build awareness and word of mouth on a cheap budget. They have the potential to generate a few thousand tweets with millions of impressions in just an hour’s time. If it’s successful, you might even be lucky enough to grab the trending hashtag on Twitter.

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Quick To Adapt

Throughout history mankind has been driving the ways we communicate to each other. From the first written forms of communications to language. Then on to telephones, email, text messaging, now social networks, blogging and microblogging. People like to read, hear and learn about things as quick as possible. Just as much, people want to share this information. Mobile phones and Wi-Fi networks allows us to share information instantaneously to the world within milliseconds. With speeds of wireless communications increasing as well, it enables us to send rich media, photos and videos just as quickly no matter the size of the file. The way we communicate is constantly changing and evolving. With how fast technology is changing, who could possibly know how we communicate within ten years from now. While we might think our channels of social media might be the hot thing now, it may not be in the near future. Use what you have to your advantage for now, but be always be on the lookout for change, for the next big thing to happen. You need to be quick to adapt. Technology is there to help, to make things easier and quicker for you, don’t be afraid to utilize what’s at your fingertips. It may help you out in the long run.

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The Importance of Networking 101

Its not always about how good you are, its about who you know. Sometimes the key to landing an amazing job is through networking, connections with people connected to your industry. If someone knows you and what you do, that can be easily used to help land you an amazing job if they know someone who can hire you. In the old days, making connections and networking wasn’t as easy as it is today. Social media makes networking a lot easier then you may think. Twitter is probably one of  the biggest tools you can use to network. LinkedIn can be a great tool as well as well as jibe. Jibe is still fairly new and growing. Jibe is a tool used to leverage your already created profiles in both Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter I believe is that initial tool to get you connected where you might want to be. The point is, you have to try. Sometimes living in cities like NY can be a bonus if you find events to go to, some sponsored by MeetUp, I’ll get to that later.

Lets start with Twitter. Twitter allows you to follow those that inspire you, people that are part of networks you want to be in, that work in the same industry. Your goal is to follow them and read what they’re saying, follow their links. Twellow is a website created to make yellow pages of Twitter accounts so you can search what kind of people you might want to follow. Once you’re following people, you need to start engaging. Respond to what they’re saying, retweet what they say if its inspiring to you. You need to create lists of those that inspire you. Try and create a single personality for yourself. If you like social media, talk about it, follow those who do the same, engage and post similar things, create a Twellow account, put yourself out there. In doing this, you’ll eventually meet people. Make yourself interesting, say things people will want to listen to. Over time I’ve gotten in touch with people I would have never thought possible. Once following people and they’re following you back, you can then dm them and hopefully build better relationships and make connections. It works, just try.

Another great way to network is through MeetUp. MeetUp is a community based on small niche based communities. It allows for people in social networks to create events based on similar interests. If you like dogs, search for an event relating to dog lovers. If you don’t see one, create one and hopefully people will find it and attend as well. Promote it.  Its a great way to build community with those around you with similar interests and network while doing it. Don’t be afraid of going out and meeting new people.  Be optimistic, outgoing and friendly.

Sure, you might have a great portfolio/resume, but it can help a lot by knowing the right people. There are other ways to to network as well. Take the time to do the research, grow, educate yourself and learn. It takes time to make to grow your network, it doesn’t happen overnight. The big thing is trying, you’ll never know if you don’t try.

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Using Your Social Platforms Wisely

Everyone wants to try and leverage social media to help their marketing, advertising and P.R.  teams get the jump on tomorrow. Well, hopefully everyone, because it is powerful. The first thing is making sure you have the right person for the job. While some people claim to be so-called gurus, they’re only actual experience is playing at home with their own facebook or Twitter. There is a lot more behind the cover, and a good deal to learn before trying your hand at working it. You have to learn the difference between the platforms and how they’re used seperately. To some, Facebook and Twitter might seem similar and you might want to be posting the exact same thing on both platforms. The truth is, they’re meant to be two seperate entities.

Facebook, the big boy on campus, with 500 million followers and growing is a much larger, multi-purpose  platform . Starting out as a social network for colleges where you could share photos and messages as well as contact info, has grown into one of the largest mediums of advertising and marketing in the world. These days, more people are visting a brand’s Facebook page rather then their actual website. This is somewhat the purpose of Facebook. Its a way to create communication and share about anything and everything. Between brand and consumer the two can interact seamlessly. With everything from company updates, media, press releases, applications, in app purchases and more, its a powerhouse of sorts. Facebook is meant to the be the face of the brand. You “like” pages of brands and celebrities. There is no following back from them. Facebook is more so a social playground. Its not something you really want to use for news or a professional profile, not that you can’t. Leave that stuff to sites like LinkedIn and even Twitter.

Twitter on the other hand was designed as a microblog. You have 140 characters to say whatever you want including a link. Now with Twitter 2.0, you can share media and it doesn’t hurt your character count. Twitter is meant to be a newsfeed where information is shared. The message needs to be short and straight to the point. It also has to be unique and enticing if you want to draw people to it. In Twitter you can follow whoever and if they choose, can follow you back, whether its a brand, celebrity or average Joe. With the incorporation of hashtags, users are allowed to create trends in which twitter follows and posts. A trend is a topic a lot of people are relaying over and over. You also can retweet and reply. There are plenty of sites used to measure your reach, influence and many other metric of a twitter account. You tend to retweet things you enjoy, and people do the same to do. You also want to @reply to people as well. All together it helps you grow. Twitter is a great medium for networking and making connections you wouldn’t elsewhere. As you retweet and mention people, they notice and see and hopefully, will start following you or will mention you back. I’ve found this a great way to get in touch with some of my favorite inspirations.

Some people get the mistake that Twitter is merely posting a message every little miniscule thing you do during your day. This is a misconception, don’t believe everything you see or hear. People do that, thats what you want to ignore. Take a more serious approach with, You can have fun with it, its not meant to be strictly business. If you’re looking for connections in your industry, its a great start. With sites like Twellow, you can search for people doing the same thing you do in your area, or maybe where you want to live. Follow them, respond to their tweets and see where it leads. Follow your favorite bloggers, writers, news sites, brands, etc. Grow from it and learn.

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Keep It Simple Stupid

K.I.S.S. is not meant to be a degrading statement in any way. My professors freshmen year of college always told us to Keep It Simple Stupid while working on our projects. I was an advertising student at the time. But what does the statement mean exactly? Whatever your project, in marketing, advertising or communications, you need to think of the people you’re talking to. You probably aren’t writing a trade journal so you need to learn to speak in everyday jargon. It’s important to engage both parties in a conversation with words and statements you both understand. It doesn’t mean you have to word it like you’re speaking to a two year old, but more like everyday conversation. You don’t want to sound stupid, but you also don’t want to sound like you’re trying too hard. If people don’t understand your vocabulary, they wont get the message and whatever you just worked on, was just a waste a time.

If you’re unaware of how your writing sounds, pass it around, have a few people of different age groups check out if before you release it to the public. You often don’t have to try as hard as you might think to create sometime amazing people will understand and connect with. So remember, the next time your trying to engage people, keep it simple, and to the point, nobody likes to be kept in the dark, especially when you’re trying to draw crowds.

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Showing That You Care About the Planet

The big thing about social media, facebook, twitter and just the web in general, especially mobile is how much information at your fingertips. People want to speak their minds and learn whatever they can about whatever. This can be good or bad for brands. I’m sure for the most part you hear social media is used as a communications channel between brand and consumer.

The thing is, what needs to be said? Consumers can complain or praise a brand directly to them or to others. It’s the brands job to reply and give feedback in realtime. Brands need to work hard to educate consumers on everything about their brand before hand. People talk. Big topics are: going green, sustainability, renewable energy, recycling and charities. These are topics to be on top of and involved with. If your company isn’t paying attention, you can get a lot of slack from people bombarding your facebook page with obscene comments and then it’s something for PR to deal with. Ive seen it time and time again. Everything is constantly under a fine microscope and it’s a brand’s job to be prepared for anything.

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A Digital Presence, No Longer an Option

While many companies still aren’t using Facebook, Twitter or Fourquare, others don’t use computers, take only cash and use ancient methods for record keeping. Soon before long, these companies won’t be able to survive in the future ahead of us. Technology and consumer trends are pushing us in a different direction. What is the future of currency, international currency? What does it mean for those who can’t afford to keep up with technology or simply refuse to? Many new things lie in the future ahead of us.

With rumors of publications calling it quits on the physical newspaper in the future, new digital credit cards, E-readers, and even using your mobile device to pay for things, it only makes sense to adapt. As technology grows and the future generations become accustomed to it, its life. When you dine out, travel, seek entertainment, you look to the Internet and and mobile devices. Social Media allows a community of followers where everyone can interact, share and learn from each other. Think of movies like Minority Report, Gattaca, and other futuristic sci-fi films where the impossible is now becoming the possible.

Mankind will constantly work to better itself and makes our lives that much easier, or complicated if you think that way. It’s just the way things are. Educate yourself on the technologies of tomorrow and find out how your company will survive.

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