Monday, February 20, 2012

How often to Tweet

Get the Tweet Outta Here: How Often to Tweet

Since Twitter has exploded onto the scene, it seems that we can't even watch the local evening news without someone asking us to "Tweet them".  Celebrities are tweeting about their failing relationships, politicians are tweeting the final nail's in their campaign coffins, and businesses are sharing press releases with gusto!

So where do you fit into the messy, fast and furious Twitter-verse?  Good question.

I think finding your way on Twitter does take time, research and a good plan.  But once you have these crucial elements a new question arises: how often should I tweet?

I love this question as it seems everyone has a different perspective on the correct answer. Some believe that it has to be based on time, others based on topic.  While both of these are good points, especially for targeting purposes, they really don't answer the question "how many".

Let me throw my hat in the ring and attempt to not only answer this question, but give you a quick template on how to do it.

I believe that consistency and a plan are both crucial to a successful Twitter campaign.  With every plan, I believe there should be a good mixture of activity so all of your bases are covered.  Twitter gives you a few options in terms of activity/interaction and I want to focus on the main venues here: tweets, mentions, direct messages and re-tweets.

So, as you can see, there are several ways that you can communicate with others on Twitter.  First, think about how much time you will be able to dedicate to marketing on Twitter everyday.  Maybe you have a couple of hours (lucky you) or maybe just 20-30 minutes a day (which sounds realistic).  Using this time frame, consider how many actions that you will be able to complete during this time and create a daily plan.

While this is a bit more practiced and could be labeled "not spontaneous" I think when you are a busy person (which I know you are) you need to tick things off your daily list with great speed.  If you don't, then things probably slip away from you and end up in the dreaded "Ah, tomorrow's another day" pile.

Here's a sample of how many "tweets" and other Twitter activities that I would suggest you execute on a given day with a little description of the importance of the activity:

Tweets (2): These come directly from you/your company and will contain content that is engaging, entertaining and/or educational.  Share links, photos, videos, quotes or updates pertaining directly to items that you target market (followers) will enjoy reading and will be eager to share.

DMs/Direct Messages (2-5):  These messages are sent privately between two Twitter users.  If you have a relatively small number of followers, these do not come in fast and furious.  They will once you begin to amass followers on a daily basis.  Take 2-5 of the DMs that you receive and send a personal response to the Twitter user.  This will help you get in front of your followers yet again and add that "personal touch" that many miss on Twitter.

RTs/Retweets (2): These are tweets from another Twitter user that you are sharing with YOUR followers with the click of a button.  I suggest finding two influential Twitter users in your product/service category and RT (share) their tweet with your followers.  This is a great way of getting in front of that influential person, while also sharing good solid information with your followers.

@replies/Mentions (2):  When you type @ in front of a Twitter user's name, your tweet will be shared within their main Twitter stream.  Choose two influential people and tweet them about something that they have shared, or even something that you have seen in the media outside of Twitter - anything on topic.  This is a great way to connect with influential people in your niche and will help you connect with more quality members of your target audience.

So my total for the 20-30 minute Twitter user is a consistent 8-10 per day.  As your Twitter following begins to grow, you will need to spend more time as you will receive more mentions, RTs and DMs.  By the time this happens though, you will be in a groove and will be able to handle everything that comes your way.  When you do this everyday, you will hit your stride and after the first month won't even need to worry about the number of Tweets that you put out.  It will become second nature and the whole process will become organic.

Another good thing to mention is that there are tools such as TweetDeck and Hootsuite that can help you schedule your Twitter activity so that you don't always need to be in front of the computer when your Tweets go out.  Be aware that you should not depend on them 100% as it is helpful to keep a watchful eye on the live activity on Twitter.  Also,  sometimes these sites will go down for maintenance....and you could make you lose all of your scheduled activity.  Just keep an eye on your actual account so that you are not shocked when you check back and see that your scheduled Tweets did not go out for the last two weeks.

I hope this sheds some light on how to get your act together on Twitter.  If you can tweet more than this, do so!  If you can't, don't!  It is all about consistency - so only bite off what you can chew.

If you need help - my team at Go! Media will deliver the Twitter results you deserve!

Our cutting-edge Twitter marketing campaigns will put YOUR business in front of your target consumer on a daily basis with instantly-engaging campaigns!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't overlook LinkedIn

5 LinkedIn "Must Haves"
With everyone going on about the wonders of Facebook and Twitter, our poor friend LinkedIn sometimes gets left out in the cold.  While not one of the most visible sites, it is definitely one of the most powerful.  With millions of people from all over the globe taking part in the conversation on LinkedIn, it is definitely a place online where your audience thrives.
What I usually hear when I speak to prospective clients about LinkedIn is that "I'm not B2B, I'm B2C.  LinkedIn will never work for me."  Aside from that statement oddly rhyming, that statement can't be more false.  Whether you are B2B or B2C, you can carve out your own audience on LinkedIn.  I've said this quite a bit, and lately people have been asking me to put my money where my mouth is asking "Can you prove that there is ROI in LinkedIn?"  My answer, "Absolutely!"
About 60% of my business comes from LinkedIn.  True.
While my firm may be unique, we handle accounts for a wide array of clientele that get results on LinkedIn.  Not only sales and referrals, but speaking engagements, sharing of content to a wide audience, hits to their website, media appointments and much more.  I'm not saying that 60% of your business WILL come from LinkedIn, but it is definitely a spot where you need to be.
But my purpose here isn't to sell you on the wonders of LinkedIn.  It is targeted to those of you out there who are registered with LinkedIn (for a week, a year, 10 years, whatever) and don't have your completed and are just waiting for the magic to happen.  Generally those like this complain that they don't see any results from LinkedIn.  Here's why: you're not doing anything.
So let's get moving and create some stellar results!  Here are my 5 LinkedIn "Must Haves" when you are trying to market yourself using this massively useful site:
1.  You MUST Fill Out Your Profile:  A name and title is not enough.  LinkedIn gives you ample opportunity to showcase yourself and your brand.  Instead of leaving half of the profile blank (the percentage of which LinkedIn will show you on the right hand side of your profile), why not take an hour or two and really fill it in properly.  Want people to call you?  Add a phone number.  Want people to look at your website?  Mention it with hyperlink at the drop of a hat.  Don't skimp here...this is where people are going to find you credible or not credible.  Oh, and one final thing.  Have a professional profile picture, nothing wild and off brand.  No picture = no credibility in my book.
2.  You MUST Join Groups:  Not only must you join groups, you must also take part in them.  I know it seems like a tall order, but this is one of the areas where the magic happens on LinkedIn.  Now don't get stuck on the fact that you have to find groups only within your sector, you want to find those in addition to groups where your target consumers may be.  For example, if you are a cosmetic surgeon in NYC you may want to join 25 groups on cosmetic surgery and 25 groups based around the NYC area.  The idea is simple.  The professional ones will help you gain news and knowledge in your sector while the others will help you share your business and expertise with target consumers.  I say join as many as LinkedIn allows (50) and start working them!
3.  You MUST Ask Question and Answer Questions: There is a wonderful function of LinkedIn that allows you to answer and pose questions to your network as well as LinkedIn at large.  This is a great way to get in front of prospective supporters, consumers and referral partners - so don't be afraid to jump in there and share your expertise by answering a few questions now and again.
4.  You MUST Reply:  Nothing drives a social media user up-the-wall more than sending messages that never are replied to.  I'm not saying the mass messages that start with those wonderful words "Dear Friends", but rather those emails sent to your on LinkedIn.  Not interested in what they have to say?  Give them a polite "No thank you, but I appreciate your kind offer", don't say "Leave me alone" or ignore them completely.  This is networking.  Would you act like that in a cocktail party?  Nope.
5.  You MUST Bring Your Profile Alive With Testimonials and Applications:  Even the most engaging profile can use a helping hand now and again.  First off, anyone that you have ever worked with or has known you professionally - ask for a recommendation, a mutual recommendation.  This is an eye-catching way of proving credibility and the quality of your work.  Never ask for testimonials from people you don't know, never worked with, and just friended.  That's tacky.  On the application side of things, go onto your profile and scroll until you see the Applications section and click "More Applications."  This will take you to a section that allows you to not only integrate your Twitter account and your WordPress blogs, but also share pdf files and PowerPoint presentations.  These are wonderful ways of bringing your profile to life.
I'm sure I could go on with the wonders of LinkedIn, but these are definitely the ones I am most passionate about.  These steps will help you get the most out of LinkedIn in addition to helping you learn more about shaping your LinkedIn marketing strategy.  Its not easy at first and can be time consuming, but keep with it.  Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is your social media following.  It is an ongoing effort that will bring you what your after, if you are patient.
If you are struggling making sense of LinkedIn (and Facebook, Twitter and the rest) we can help!  Go! Media's crack team of specialists can help you make a splash on LinkedIn as well as teach you how to do it for yourself.  Our training courses and custom social media marketing campaigns will help you really get the most out of social media in a real way.
Contact me, Jim Heleringer, for more help~!  502-554-6464

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

YouTube Videos.... the time is NOW~!

Are you ready for videos?  A 2010 study conducted by the Pew Research Project determined that 69 percent of U.S. adults connected to the Web are currently watching videos online.  At its present rate of growth, online video could have close to 100-percent penetration within the next five years.

Given the widespread popularity of video, the marketing and SEO possibilities for website businesses in 2011 are really limitless.  The Interactive Advertising Bureau reports that online video revenues increased by 65 percent year-to-year by mid-2010, and 2011 will produce an even more dramatic increase. 

Google is now testing new video ad formats on YouTube that it is planning to roll out before the end of 2011.  Labeled TrueView, the ads will give users the option to select from multiple choices, and advertisers pay only for those ads chosen.  Whether creating paid ads that users choose to watch, or other content that will be shared on social networks, web marketers are going to be challenged to produce engaging videos in 2011.

So if you are thinking about doing video for your business, whether it is to promote your business, provide how to instruction, showcase customer testimonials, etc., now is the time to do it.  Get on board before your competition does.
So you have videos but how do you get the most out of them online?  One thing to consider is YouTube.  A couple of facts about YouTube - they ar the fifth largest brand and the second largest search engine on the Internet.  Having a video on YouTube can give it MUCH more visibility and ”findability” than just posting it directly on your website.  Instead, set up a YouTube channel for your business and put your videos there.  Then embed those YouTube videos on your website.  Now, instead of your videos only being accessible to those people who visit your website, they are now available to anyone on YouTube and much more visibile in internet search.

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to look at two different types of videos - Viral and Brand-Focused and the differences in each.

Viral videos are ones that are passed by users through the internet.  Brand-focused videos are videos that are tied to a highly visible site and are clearly branded and are meant to be seen as commercials or sources of information.  That's not to say that brand-focused videos can't go viral, they can.  Think about the Vikings and the singing goat.  Another difference is that viral videos appear as spontaneous encounters between consumers and your brand or product where brand-focused messages are meant to be seen as messages from the brand to the consumer.

Before you make a decision on which type of video to make, you must decide what the message is that you want to deliver and what fits your branding strategy.  For example, a viral video may be great for a new brand of whiskey or beer, but not so good for a mutual fund company.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Google Places

Tips for creating a free business listing in Google Places: Business listing titles

Thursday, October 14, 2010 | 11:30 AM
Users search on and Google Maps because they’re looking for relevant, high-quality content that answers a question or fulfills a need. This useful information often appears in the form of business listings on the search results page, and these free listings are an important way for local business owners to connect with potential customers. We want to help you make the most of your business listing, so this is the first post in three-part blog series about how to set up a clear and effective business listing via Google Places. This first installment delves into the specific topic of business listing titles — also known as your company or organization name — and highlights some of the common issues business owners encounter when creating a listing.
Example of business listings displayed on

Accurately list your basic business information

If you already have a business listing and want to tweak it, or if you haven’t yet claimed your business listing, sign in or visit Google Places here. The “Company/Organization” field will also serve as your business listing title, so you’ll want to enter in the exact name of your business. For example, for a business called “Fly Fishing Frankie’s Ltd.” the following would be its correct business and contact details:

Company/Organization: Fly Fishing Frankie’s Ltd.
Street Address: 88 Fish Road
City/Town and Postal Code: Fishtown, CA 90210
Main Phone: (555) 555-5555

A clean, easy-to-read title

The title of your business listing should reflect the exact name of your company or organization as it’s used in the real world. While it’s acceptable to leave off company extensions like Ltd, GmbH or Inc, since those identifiers aren’t helpful to users, be sure to avoid adding any descriptions that aren’t part of the official business name or making any modifications to the official name. Your business listing title must match the business name you use in the real world (e.g. on signage, letterheads or business cards) in order to comply with our Google Places quality guidelines. Listings that are in violation of these guidelines may be suspended and won’t appear in Google search results.

Here are some additional reminders about business titles based on some of the offending listings we see and have to suspend. We also let you know how and where to include specific information you want to provide potential customers, while complying with our quality guidelines.
  • Descriptors and keywords — The following are common examples of modified business titles. These are instances in which either descriptive phrases are used in lieu of the correct business name, or additional keywords and phrases have been added to the business name. These examples are not in accordance with our quality guidelines:
    • [Example title violation] Professional fishing travels
    • [Example title violation] Fly Fishing Frankie’s Ltd. - fishing, cutter travels, eating crabs
    • [Example title violation] Fly Fishing Frankie’s Ltd. entertaining cutter travels
    Note: While the “Company/Organization” field may only contain the name of your business, if you’d like to provide more information about your business’s classification or industry, you can do this by selecting the appropriate categories. You can also provide a more detailed description of your business - such as what you do and the the services you provide - in the “Description” field or on your company website.
  • Location names — Unless the official name of your business includes the name of your city, town or other geographic indicator, adding superfluous location terms to the business title violates our guidelines:
    • [Example title violation] Fly Fishing Frankie’s Ltd. Fishtown
    • [Example title violation] Fly Fishing Frankie’s Ltd. in Market Place Shopping Mall
    Note: To indicate the location of your business, please use the appropriate fields marked “Street Address,” “City/Town” and “Postal Code.” Adding location-specific information in the title of your listing is not necessary since our system automatically uses your address details to determine the search queries for which your listings would be geographically relevant. If you’re concerned that your business is difficult to find or part of a shopping mall or complex, you can provide users with further guidance about where to find you by adding that information in the “Description” field.
  • Phone numbers and websites — Phone numbers and website URLs should not appear in your business title. These details should only be entered into their respective fields in your Google Places listing. The following examples of titles violate our quality guidelines:
    • [Example title violation] Fly Fishing Frankie’s Ltd. (555) 555-5555
    • [Example title violation] Fly Fishing Frankie’s Ltd.
  • Capitalization and Punctuation — Some users may be tempted to use special characters or excessive capitalization in the business title to draw attention to their listing. However, this practice is not compliant with our quality guidelines:
    • [Example title violation] FLY FISHING FRANKIE’S LTD.
    • [Example title violation] **!!**Fly Fishing Frankie’s Ltd.**!!**
    Note: In order to ensure that the Google Places business listing results are useful and easy to read, please refrain from using visual gimmicks. Business titles, as well as addresses, should always use standard capitalization and punctuation.
The above examples may not cover all cases of business title violations, but we hope we were able to highlight some of the common mistakes we’ve seen. By avoiding these errors when setting up your business listing title, as well as reading through the rest of our Google Places quality guidelines, you should be in good shape to create an optimal and compliant listing.

If you realize that your existing listing is not compliant with our quality guidelines, we encourage you to sign in to your Google Places account to make the required changes and avoid getting temporarily suspended for violating the guidelines.

We hope you find this information helpful, and if you have further questions about business listing titles, visit our Google Places help forum.