Who Should Decide Your Social Media Strategy

March 1, 2009

Over the last two weeks there has been a lot of chatter going on around the social media circles concerning whether you should follow everyone who follows you on twitter; or should you just follow a few close friends.

One can argue both ways on this topic. There is a case for following everyone who follows you and likewise, you can only follow a close circle of friends or related people.

In the final analysis the choice is up to you and no one else. It all depends on why you’re using the various social media platforms – in this case it happens to be Twitter.

If Twitter could only be used for one single purpose, then you could argue that there is only one single strategy for using it. But that is far from the truth. There are almost as many uses for Twitter as there are people using it. We all use it a little different than the next person.

If you’re using it for a specific narrow purpose, such as staying with your group of 12 coaching clients, then surely, you don’t want to connect with anyone other than that group of people. In this case, I recommend you set up a separate Twitter account to be used with this group.

But if you’re tweeting with the hopes of attracting and finding new clients, I don’t suggest you be so narrow in your approach. However, you should follow those who appear to be in your target market based upon the content of their profile and what they Tweet about.

With that being said you can still follow everyone who follows you because you’re not sure who those folks are connected to that could become a client. I’ve had that happen to me.

So take a good look at why you’re on Twitter and any other social media site and determine what your follow strategy should be… because it IS your decision.

What is your follow strategy? Please share your comments below.


Are You Insulting Your Tweeple?

January 4, 2009

Have you ever gotten one of those instant DM responses from someone that you asked to connect with on Twitter? Aren’t you amazed at how so many people are up at 3:00 a.m. in the morning waiting to respond to your request?

Well, actually they aren’t. They’re using one of the autoresponder services, such as Tweetlater, that are alerted each time they get a friend request. The autoresponder then sends you a DM containing a message written by the subscriber.

How do you feel about those auto-DMs? You might even use them yourself?

Are the too impersonal?Especially the ones asking you to click on a link and visit their blog. Or they might say something like: “click on this link for a special gift that I have for new Twitterbuds.”

I posed this question to my Twitterbuds recently and the response was overwhelmingly against auto-DMs. But a small few said that if used properly, they didn’t mind getting them.

What are your thoughts? How should they be used?

Please leave your comments along with your Twitter link.

Thanks…. Jim


Using Social Networking for a Worthy Cause

July 30, 2008

One of the key success factors in Social Networking is that you build personal relationships with the folks you meet along the way. Granted, you won’t get to know everyone to the same degree.

But, there are some whom you are destined to develop a deeper relationship. It’s not always known why things work out that way. Which brings me to what I want to share with you right now.

A dear friend and fellow social networker, Monikah Ogando, is faced with what I call a “real life” situation. Her 11 year old daughter, Sarah, has been stricken with a lymphatic disease and a enlarged spleen.

In order for the doctors to properly treat little Sarah’s disease they need to run a battery of diagnostic tests to get to the root cause. Being a home based business owner and solo-entrepreneur, Monikah’s medical insurance is not quite up to the task because she’s reached the limits of her coverage.

In order for the doctor’s to perform the next series of diagnostic checks, Monikah needs to walk into their offices with CASH to cover the bill – or they’re not going to do the tests.

Can you imagine that?

Interestingly enough, I planted the seed for Monikah to share her situation with me during a Twitter conversation we were having this past Sunday evening – I asked her, “what was the biggest thing she had on her plate right now?” And she responded by asking me if we could take the discussion offline and SKYPE each other.

During our 1-hour chat session she shared with me what was going on with her daughter’s health. I proceeded to ask her how was she going to deal with her challenge, since she’s the one that close family members tend to lean on during hard-times… and now she’s the one that needs a helping hand.

That’s when she started to tell me about the “fire sale” she was planning to launch. Monikah is a highly successful business coach and info product marketer, with eight years of experience. Along with a lot of info products, she also has a group coaching/private membership site that she runs.

The “fire sale” Monikah is offering gives you access to all of her business building resources that she’s developed over the last eight years, at a price that is approximately 70% off the normal selling price.

Her system is called, “Jumpstart Your Business in 30 Days.” Here’s the link to her site. www.JumpStartYourBizin30.com

Before we go any further I feel a strong need to inform you that I get nothing out of this promotion, other than the satisfaction of helping out a dear friend who has a serious need and a little girl that has a very bright future.

Monikah, out of the kindness of her heart, asked me if I wanted an affiliate link to compensate me for referring her services to my social networking friends. I flat out declined her offer!

There was no way I could look at myself in the mirror, if on one hand I’m trying to help her and with the other hand I’m taking from her. Those are conflicting morals and personal values.

So, I’m asking you, trusted friends and colleagues, to take a look at what Monikah has to offer and if you find value and relevance to what you do, make a purchase.

I’m confident that Monikah will use the funds to help secure the well-being of little Sarah.

A few of Monikah’s social networking friends have stepped forward to help promote Monikah’s “fire sale,” many of which you might know. They include Nancy Perez, Alejandro Reyes (AKA-Successfool), and Ron Hudson . Others are coming onboard daily.

I thought it was appropriate to show you a picture of Monikah and Sarah together. It’s always good to be able to look into the eyes of a person. See the photo and video are posted below. The video will show you that Sarah is one smart cookie and undoubtedly has a very bright future in store for her.

Take a look…

I would like to thank you in advance for allowing me to share this human interest story with you and I’m looking forward to coming back to you later with a follow-up on how Sarah is progressing.

My Sincere Regards,

Jim Turner

Why Twitter is My Social Networking Secret Weapon…

July 13, 2008

Back in March when I first heard about Twitter, you wouldn’t have been able to convince me that one day I’d be blogging on the value added by using Twitter.

Initially, I saw it as another way to waste away my day and to be a major distraction, preventing me from getting the things done that I really needed to get done.

But over time, Twitter has become a critical tool in my Social Networking efforts. Yes, it experiences service outages (quite frequently, might I add), but those incidences have not hindered the ROI that I’m getting from the time invested in using Twitter… because I don’t use Twitter as an IM service.

Here are some ways that Twitter has benefitted me over the last few months:

Met and interacted with other like-minded people – some of my best online friends are folks that I communicate with frequently on Twitter. Let me rephrase that statement – ALL of my BEST online friends are people that I interact with on Twitter. Many of these friendships started with a simple Twitter conversation that was eventually taken off-line for a deeper level of conversation and relationship building.

Found resources that helped me solve a technical computer-related problem – after sending out a desperate tweet asking for help with an email problem, several people in my network responded with links to Outlook help forums and with personal advice on how to solve my problem. They saved me tons of time in searching and reading articles.

Located several Squidoo experts by blasting a tweet to my network asking “whom they would  recommend as a lens developer.”

This is just a sampling of how using Twitter has help me. While writing this blog, I started a conversation with fellow tweeter, Kristen Beireis, AKA life_enthusiast and she said to mention that you can increase your cash flow with Twitter.

I couldn’t agree more, because I’ve found and built relationships with several new business partners – now working on two new JV projects with fellow Twitterbuds and have over the last few months developed long-term relationships with a couple of new copywriting clients.

Bottom line: Twitter can be whatever you decide to make it… a business builder or a time waster. Quite frankly, I only spend between 20 and 30 mins/day actively using twitter. Although I have it “live” most of the time, depending on the type of work that I’m doing.

Right now, I have 931 people who follow my tweets and I follow just over 1,200. These are highly targeted people, with whom I have lot in common. In fact, many of them are connected with me as a Facebook Friend… or on my Facebook Fan Page… or as part of my Facebook Social Media Marketing Mastermind Group.

Of all the Social Networking tools and apps that I use, Twitter is my Secret Weapon. My goal is to someday, have ALL of my contacts in my Twitter network. And here’s why…

The one big advantage I have when using Twitter is that I can instantly message each of my Followers, not with a SPAM sandwich, but to let them know about things that I’m involved in that they can benefit from, such as, a new blog post, a new Social Networking tip that I’ve recently learned, links to helpful resources, announcements about Social Networking interviews and events that I’m participating in or along with other experts.

In marketing terminology this is called Branding. Twitter is a great tool for helping you to become a recognized expert in your niche. And when people have a need for what you have to offer – guess who they’re going to come to for help – YOU!

If you’d like to become a recognized expert in your niche and have access to real-time Social Networking information, then let’s connect now. Follow my tweets for a while and see how I use Twitter. Also, connect with a lot of the people in my tweet network and see what they’re doing.

Yep, I’m now a Twitter or micro-blogging Evangelist. I’m no longer a “Twitter Hater.”

Let’s Tweet!

Jim Turner

P.S. If you’re already using Twitter, let me know about the success stories you’re experiencing by leaving a comment below.

P.S.S There are other micro-blogging apps available – Plurk, Pownce, Tumblr and most recently, Identi.ca. I have accounts in some of these, but I’m sticking with Twitter because I’ve spent too much time and effort building my current network.

Why I Play Around with “Silly” Facebook Apps

April 30, 2008

There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t hear someone complain about some of the “silly” Facebook apps. Some experts believe that these apps are going to be the death of Facebook.

I tend to disagree with that type of thinking. And here’s why.

I see many of these apps as being similar to water cooler talk at the office or gossip in the office cafe. If these things were banned work would be very dull and uninteresting to a lot of folks. That’s kind of the way I see a lot of the “silly” apps on Facebook.

For a while, I thought they were nothing short of ‘time wasters,’ and wouldn’t dare get involved in them. Then one day I had an Ah Ha… and began to recognize the social phenomena that was taking place as people ‘poked’ each other, or ‘knighted’ you, or ‘sold/bought’ you, or any number of other possibilities.

I concluded that these “silly” apps were just another way to communicate or get in touch with people that you can’t see or talk to.

There are several that I take part in, while paying close attention to how much time I invest in them. My favorites are (Lil) Green Patch, Be a Billionaire, Super Poke, Send Good Karma and Bless You.

I typically get involved in these when my brain is toast at the end of the day and I’m too exhausted to think. Total time spent is at most 20 mins. But I believe it’s time well spent because I’m reaching out to people.

I’m actually competing with a few friends in Be a Billionaire app – getting close to being a billionaire($847 million net worth). In the Lil Green Patch, I’ve save 52 square feet of rainforest.

So, go ahead… lighten up a little. Let a friend poke you once in a while. LOL


A Virtual Friendship Becomes Real

April 27, 2008

It’s amazing how the relationships we build through social networking become so “real.” Although we don’t personally know, nor have we physically met many of the people we ‘friend’ through social networking, somehow those relationship seem very real to us.

I was listening to an NPR podcast recently and there was a relationship specialist on the broadcast discussing this very topic. She was saying that many people develop strong relationships with folks they meet online and these relationships can be as real and as deep as those developed offline.

Yesterday was a very interesting day for me. I’m a big track and field fanatic and I was driving to Philadelphia to watch the Penn Relays – an annual trip for me. While driving along my merry way, my cell rings and the caller ID indicated it was a call coming from out of the U.S.

To my surprise it was from my ‘little sister,’ Marjorie Janczak (Marj) from Germany. Well, actually, Marj is not my real little sister [LOL], but that’s the kind of relationship we’ve developed. Marj is originally from Ghana but now lives in Germany.

I don’t remember exactly how we first met. But I do remember her coming back to post on my Facebook Wall several times after we became friends and that caught my attention. Most folks don’t seek to engage you in that way. So, I initiated an email conversation with her and we connected almost immediately.

Marj has a very unique niche on Facebook. Her thing is online social etiquette. She’s writing an ebook on how to “behave” online, so you can meet more people and hopefully, make more money. She’s even formed a group around the topic called: Oh, Behave!

Anyway, I’ve been offering Marj marketing advice and just helping her in general with stuff related to social media marketing. But I’ve never felt the inclination to charge her for my services. So, this led to her starting to call me her ‘big brother.’

Yesterday, after about three weeks of emailing ideas back and forth, she reaches me on my cell and we talk for about an hour. And it really was like ‘little sister’ and ‘big brother’ meeting for the first time. On one hand it was a little bizarre, but on the other hand it was a pleasing experience.

Of course, we had to end the call at some point and sadly we did. But we were glad we got to hear each other’s voice. She invited my family to come to Germany and visit with her family.

Now, there’s an underlying message within my story that might have slipped past you if you got caught up in the brother/sister part… and it’s this: You never know who that “stranger” is you’re asking to be your friend. It could be the person that is has been “appointed” to help you obtain your big break.

One lesson I learned from my Dad, is that there are no strangers. His philosophy was you should never pass up the opportunity to befriend others, simply because you never know what important role they’re going to play in your little production.

They could become a Star or they may be part of your supporting cast. Then there’s also the possibility they shouldn’t be part of your cast. But you never know – so why not cast your net beyond the people you already know? [That’s another blog for another day – stay tuned!]

Since I decided to apply that philosophy in my social networking, I’ve come to know some incredible people. Many opportunities have “fallen” into my lap so to speak… some of which I will be sharing with you later. Going forward you might want to consider introducing yourself to more people that you come across during your social networking activities.

Ok – so that was one of my virtual relationships that became real. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about another that happened during the same drive to Philly – maybe I should take more rides to Philly.

Best to you!

Jim Turner

P.S. Go by and check out my Little Sister’s Oh, Behave! Group. Tell her Big Brother sent you. [LOL]

Micro-blogging on Steroids

April 20, 2008

A week ago I blogged about how important it was to promote your business or cause through Facebook or LinkedIn  Status line. It’s a powerful, but non-intrusive way to get your message out.

The problem has been, if you have multiple social media sites, as most of us do, it’s a chore to update them on a daily basis. So, if there was a tool through which you could update all of your different sites in one fell swoop, that would be heavenly.

Well, wait no longer, Ping.FM is on the scene to do just that. As I’m writing this post it’s still in the beta stage, but if you plead your case strongly enough they just might let you try the service. [UPDATE: try this code for today, 4/20… “pingfriends”]

Right now you can update your Status on the follow social networking sites through Ping.FM:

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, Bebo, LiveJournal and Hi5. They’re continually adding sites, so look for that list to continue growing.

Imagine the power this will give you to propagate your message throughout your social networking world. You will be able to update your networks from anywhere using AIM, GTalk, iGoogle, WAP, iPhone, SMS and emai.

To learn more about this service rush on over to http://ping.fm/blog/

Until next time.

Jim Turner