Tag Archives: twitter

Build the right network

By Stephen Rhodes

For some in the social networking circus, success is all about numbers – followers on Twitter, fans on your Facebook page or contacts on LinkedIn.

It’s a myth that you need a large network to succeed. What you need is a smart network.

More than 1,000 people without influence isn’t nearly as important as 50 who can connect you with your target audience.

So, think about how you network in the real world and online. Target the most influential people in your business world and determine how to reach them.  Check Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to see if they use these services. Are they members of the local Chamber of Commerce or some other business association?

Find a way to be where they are, or to reach out to them, and build a network of people with influence.

The right network will make a difference.

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Eating elephant morsels 140 characters at a time

By Stephen Rhodes

To build on yesterday’s post about the changing world of marketing , I want to say that most business people I talk with are afraid of Social Media because it seems complex and involved. And it may seem a little daunting to someone with minimum online skills.

There has been so much written about Social Media over the last 12 months and it’s easy to feel uneasy and out of touch. I can’t keep track of the daily how tos on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube and Flickr.

Think of it as an  elephant, and we all know how to eat an elephant.

Amber Naslund at Altitude Branding has an excellent primer called The Social Media Starter Kit. Download it and use it as a starter and a refresher. Follow Amber on Twitter and subscribe to her blog. She can teach you a lot.

In the beginning you want to listen and observe. Build your own community by following or subscribing to people who speak to you. When you feel comfortable, talk back, share and contribute. Find your own voice.

Let me know what you think of Amber’s starter kit? Or let Amber know.

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Bedlam in the boardroom

By Stephen Rhodes

Emerging trends like Twitter and Facebook cause bedlam in the boardroom.

The big brand names so want to be trendy, hip and with it – at least those that view young people as their primary target group. They want to be out in front even if they don’t know what they want to be out in front of.

chaosIf you are standing on that precipice, look before you leap. It’s tempting to want to jump in but like any other marketing strategy, it takes thought and attention to detail. Back to the basics – who is your target audience, what’s the best way to reach them and what do you want to say? Social Media provides great communication tools but make sure it’s the right fit for your business.

I remember when newspapers first jumped into the web arena. They didn’t understand the medium, saw it primarily as a threat, but decided they needed to be there. Some newspaper groups across North America launched complex websites; but by holding content until the morning newspapers hit the stand, failed to recognize the real benefit of the Internet – immediacy. Expensive, labour intense websites, that essentially weren’t relevant, were scaled back during the last recession.

Even today, most newspaper websites don’t understand that the Internet isn’t a complimentary product line. It is the product line.

Think about how these new tools can help your business. Do a little research. Don’t just jump in blindly.

Your thoughts?

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The world’s atwitter about Twitter

By Stephen Rhodes

On Thursday morning, the world, as we know it, came to an end.

Twitter logosI know this because it was the lead item on radio news on the mid-day broadcast. Not the the economic crisis, Iraq, Afghanistan or even Paula Abdul. Twitter was hacked.

Twitter stopped working for two hours or so and it seems that was sufficiently important to rank numero uno in the newsroom. Maybe it was a slow hour.

Now, I am a big fan of Twitter. I think it’s a great communication tool and I love how it relies on the strength of community as its raison etre.

I don’t get how this digitus interuptus constitutes the top item on the news. It also appears that Facebook, the ying to Twitter’s yang, also had problems because users were flocking there to find out what was wrong with Twitter.

Our preoccupation with the next social trend is interesting. The addiction is newsworthy. A glitch in the twittersphere  – not so much.

What do you think?

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Twittering in Twillingate

so cial media 2By Stephen Rhodes

In our recent newsletter ,  I talked about how social media has taken the marketing world by storm and how traditional marketing tools like newspapers, radio and television are struggling in this economy.

This idea of trusted communities found in applications like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is rooted in social interaction, where decisions are made based on the strength of a recommendation. Does it come from a trusted source? Do we value their opinion?

Seldom do we make a purchase today without consulting someone else’s opinion. And sometmes we solicit the views of people we don’t even know.

Recently I spent 10 wonderful days in Newfoundland, including the beautiful village of Twillingate in the title.  My wife and I prefer to use bed and breakfast accommodation because it affords and opportunity to meet new people, both our hosts and other travellers, who are a source of useful information. Most of our trip was pre-planned so in searching for b&bs across the province I consulted a number of websites and read all the reviews before making a selection. I don’t know  any of the people who wrote the reviews or their wants and needs, their standards or their expectations, so I am careful to read between the lines when someone writes a negative review. This kind of research provides a guideline not an absolute.

Tools like  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc are all capable of building communities of people who want to share content, information,  news and travel advice.  Over time you develop trusting relationships with the people in these communities, much like you do in other networks, whether personal (school associations, church, service club) or business (chamber of commerce, networking organizations).

5375_98841468862_513393862_2078041_1889094_nSo, a simple request for a recommendation for a bed and breakfast in St. John’s produces multiple responses. Ask for  restaurant recommendations, things to see and do, places to go and you have wealth of information at your fingertips. Literally. Pictured, at right,  is our view of the narrows (Signal Hill in the distance ) from the Cantwell House, a beautiful bed and breakfast in downtown St. John’s.

Newfoundland Tourism has done a tremendous job marketing The Rock this year with attractive newspaper ads and television commercials. But once we made the decision to go, we relied on our community of friends to plan the details. Our community has expanded to include our online world through Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn. As we travelled we kept our friends up to date with status updates on Facebook.

Think of the possibilities for business. Social media provides opportunities to connect with communities of interest. In our case the door was open for hotels, motels and b&bs, restaurants, pubs and old fashioned church suppers (we went to one), car rental agencies, points of interest and activities including ice berg and whale tours.

Social media is a powerful tool, even twittering in Newfoundland. And by the by, Newfoundland is completely wired.

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