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Twitter Beyond Business


I was very fortunate last week to attend The Cool Twitter Conference in Brooklyn at The MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts).

I have attended a lot of Social Media Conferences lately, and at this one I spoke about how Social Media is changing the way businesses do business with each other. This conference really stood out as being something uniquely special.

Instead of the attendees being mostly from the business sector as is usually the case, there were people there using Twitter and Social Media in many inventive ways beyond business. Here are some of the speakers and what they are using Twitter for (follow them!):

@fourthfiction (Constantine Markides) Fourth Fiction is a blog-based literary reality show in which 12 contestants, writing pseudonymously, compete to complete a novella. What a brilliant idea! Follow him and see what happens.

@lifes_dash (Michele Mattia) Life, Career & Business Strategist. Writer. Lecturer. Guest Speaker. Motivator. Professional Observer. Michelle is a successful businessperson who is now teaching people how to use Social Media to create their personal brand. Michelle has more energy than ten people combined and creates a daily email that always inspires me.

@brooklynda (Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes & staff) The Brooklyn D.A. sent nine people to the Cool Twitter Conference including Mary Hughes, Confidential Assistant to the District Attorney who spent many sleepless nights learning how to master Twitter. The office has embraced Social Media in revolutionary ways from tweeting about domestic violence prevention and ways to prevent identity theft, to helping to keep kids out of gangs. Crime Prevention rather than strictly enforcement is their goal and they are doing it in new and innovative ways.

@akilaworksongs (April Silver) April is a PR and Communications professional, but she is so much more. In addition to using Social Media to promote her many clients in music and the arts, she also uses it as a platform from which to share and discuss “good news about colored folk” (and the discussions often get very heated indeed!)

Think about how you can use Social Media in creative ways. Got any great non-business Tweeters to add to the list? Send them my way!

How Your Customers can be your Best Salespeople


All the marketing data we have points to the reality that most people buy what their friends or acquaintances recommend. That’s why online stores find it so helpful to have consumers write reviews on their products and why sites like Yelp are so popular. The same concept applies for B2B companies, too.

Case in point: today I decided to research some of the companies that provide detailed Social Media Measurement services for companies who are running campaigns using Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media platforms. I did a Google search, and discovered that there aren’t a lot of players out there. I knew that if I inquired directly to any of them, I would get a salesperson who needed to make a sale. I respect that, but I need to know that I am getting the best choice for my clients.

So, after I signed up for a demo with one company, I decided to find out how actual businesses were liking the services they offered. I did what any self respecting Social Media professional does…I tweeted about it! I asked if anyone is using a Social Media Measurement service and if so, how did they like it?

Guess what? I got a lot of responses. I asked a lot of questions, and I was able to identify the one service that seems right for me. Only one of the responses was from a salesperson, the rest were clients. The company’s clients were actually doing the selling for them.

How can you make this happen for your company?

  • Treat your customers better than you want to be treated.
  • Under-promise and over-deliver.
  • Monitor what people are saying about your company.
  • Engage your customers whenever you can (this doesn’t mean sending them an email blast every day!)
  • Never assume their business, always earn it.

This is a lesson learned…there are conversations going on about your company that you don’t ever know about. Do your best to make sure they are positive!

How can I Keep Porn out of my Twitter Following?


If you are anything like me, you use Twitter as a tool for your business. It’s handy for communicating with people you know, invaluable for meeting people you never would have met otherwise, fantastic for learning and sharing, and much more.

Every Tweeter has a different strategy to build their following. Some people follow everyone they can, and end up with followers/following in the 10′s of thousands. For me, I am most interested in following people who are interesting, funny, intelligent, creative and in general, make my life richer. So, when I am looking for followers, I generally take a moment to see who they are following.

So when I land on a Twitter profile and see porn it’s a real turn-off. Not because I am a prude, but because it is a signal to me of one of the following:

  • The Twitter member is using an auto-follow application and doesn’t really care who he/she follows, as long as the numbers are high.
  • The Twitter member is not actively engaged and hasn’t been monitoring his/her profile.

Either way, it’s a red flag for me NOT to follow that person.

I have discovered that a Twitter tool called “Social Oomph” has a feature that lets me ignore anyone (person or robot) that includes certain words in their Tweet. Since I have set up this tool, I have seen a 90% reduction in porn spam.

Now, it could just be a coincidence, but from what I read, Twitter is getting a lot better at filtering porn out of the system as well.

What are your thoughts on Twitter porn? How do you handle it?





The Sales Process begins at “Hello”


Who answers the phone when someone calls your business? Do you have an automated attendant or do you have a “live” person handing calls? If yours is like most businesses these days, you probably use an  automated attendant. An auto attendant can certainly save money on payroll, but do you know how it’s affecting your bottom line?

I have always paid a lot of attention to how my service clients’ incoming calls are handled. After all, if I have set up an advertising campaign for them I want to be sure that every lead that is generated from that campaign are accounted for. I’m lucky because I when I set up Pay Per Click campaigns, I include with a free service that enables my clients to see what incoming leads are generated and listen to a recording of each call.

Recently, I performed a very unscientific experiment to see I could discern a connection between how incoming calls are handled and overall conversions. I discovered that auto attendants get significantly more hang-ups than when a live person picks up the phone. In addition, I discovered that most auto attendant systems seem to have at least one, if not all, of the following issues:

  • Too many rings before extension pick up (the most hang-ups here)
  • Long delays connecting to extensions (leads to customer frustration)
  • Confusing employee directories (totally frustrating)
  • Outdated information in the recording (such as services provided)
  • The sales department is the last option in the extension list (should be the first!)

Try phoning your own company as if you are a first time caller. What’s your experience? If it’s less than stellar, do something about it fast. Now’s not the time to let any incoming leads go.

Remember, the sales process begins at “Hello” and it’s the first step in to getting to “Yes!”

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