Tag Archive: Twitter


Major thanks to those who voted for us so far in the Mission: Small Business challenge;

@FederalGear, PeekabooPictures.Com, Alan Bouda@WildAls, @CowAndLizard, REAL DEAL@REALDEAL7786, Webics Web Design, FamilyMint, Dr. Quinn Weight Loss, Rock Me! Made with love in the USA.  These businesses are using the power of Social Media to improve the economy and their community.  If you haven’t voted yet in this program, please go to Mission: Small Business, sign in with your Facebook login and vote for small business today.

Search by your state and vote for anyone who has less than 250 votes.  While you’re at it, stop by DKemp Designs and vote for us.  Let’s leverage Social Media to change our communities.

Thanks, Techsnoop.

Twitter UnfollowEvery Social Media platform has its own rules and accepted practices.  Some of these are spelled out by the platform owners, but some norms are developed over time by the users.  Once developed, accepted behavior is rewarded by followers and unacceptable behavior gets you labeled annoying or a spammer.

Techsnoop has recently noted a disturbing trend on Twitter.  The practice of users following a large number of people, then unfollowing them after they follow back.  This seems to be especially true of some small businesses.

Techsnoop has no objection to people or companies not following back when they are followed.  Some followers may not fit into your niche or strategy.  Unfollowing as a means to clean up your feed is also acceptable.  If you don’t engage with some followers you may want to add others that you will engage with.  But following someone just for a follow, then unfollowing them after they follow you is just rude.  If you want new followers, either post interesting content that will get retweeted and gather followers, or be prepared to follow those you engage with a follow first through the long term.

There are several ways to grow your Twitter audience.

  • Have strong and engaging content or offer freebies that others will want to stay up to date with.
  • Buy followers from one of the many, many services on Twitter.  This can backfire as most of the “purchased” followers will not have engaging content and will not care about yours.  Anyone selling their follows is probably not the quality engagement you need.
  • Build steady growth of quality followers by offering engaging content, being interested in those who follow you and seeking out others on Twitter who have the same or compatible interests.

This last method will not gain you 10,000 followers in one week, but your followers will be better quality and engage with you on a higher level.  Slow and steady is also more time consuming, but like anything worth having, is worth the rewards.

Please, please don’t follow/unfollow to gather users.  Not only is it rude, if you gain a reputation for this behavior, it can ruin your Social Cred.

Surf Nicely.

If you have not heard, LinkedIn was recently hacked and some passwords were posted on a hacker site.  LinkedIn has responded very well, but this is an opportunity to take the time to change all of your social networking passwords.  Additionally, download AVG Linkscanner, a free software that alerts you if a link you click on is a potential threat.

To make your password more secure;

  • Use something you have not used in the past
  • Use a combination of letters and numbers
  • Use a capital letter
  • Use one special character if allowed
  • Don’t share your passwords.
  • Don’t use your name or children or spouse names.

Online security is vital.  One small intrusion can create problems from your computer being used to route spam to depleting your life savings.

Make changing passwords part of your spring cleaning routine.  Or, use daylight savings time changes to cue you to update passwords.  Have one type of password for low level sites such as Facebook and Twitter and a much more complicated password system for online banking or personal information sites.

Surf Safely!

Techsnoop

small businessEntrepreneurship is a great way to increase lifestyle flexibility, stabilize or supplement your income or just change careers.  There are many ways to get started in your own business and it is best to try a home based business or a cubicle rental if you are short of start up funds.

Be ready to work long hours to get started so prepare some frozen meals ahead of time so you won’t waste money on fast food or get run down from eating junk food.  If you are choosing a field where you have little experience but lots of interest, go back to school first.  A one or two year certificate program and an internship can gain you experience, credentials and contacts.

Networking is key in starting a business.  New businesses will have a small marketing budget so key in on trade shows and other events where you can hand out materials face to face.  People will be more likely to utilize a new business from someone they have met and liked.  Use Social Media.  Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can all be great free marketing essentials.  If you don’t understand how to use them, network with those who can show you.

Here are some top business markets for up and coming entrepreneurs.  Some may offer franchise opportunities if you have some money to invest.  Only put your money into well investigated franchises.  Also, make sure your market area is not saturated with this particular business type.

Finally, get ready to succeed.  This is harder than it seems.  Many business owners don’t know what to do when the money starts rolling in.  Have a reinvestment plan, a growth structure and, if you plan to retire from this business, a sell out or phase out plan so that you don’t leave your loyal customers high and dry.

2012 The Year of #SmallBusiness

stars in galaxyBusiness competition for customers is at a premium today, so it’s critical to stay on the cutting edge of new trends and technologies, except one.  There is a huge trend toward using texting slang and atrocious grammar when posting on business related sites and blogs.  As small business owners, putting on a polished on-line appearance can create opportunities and increase the respect we receive as a group.  One of the primary attractions of freelance work is the ability to work in sweats or jeans, but no one on-line needs to know how casual your dress is.  Projecting  an on-line persona that is pin-striped suit sharp every day makes your business look larger and more globally oriented.

I was inspired to write this post after reading several months of painful statements on major social networking sites.  Many requests for work seem as though they are made by 13 year olds to their friends.  Browse some of the posts and comments on LinkedIn by people seeking jobs or freelance work.  The websites and portfolios of these individuals show their talent, but their communication skills are below high school level.

As small business owners (freelancers this means you), let’s make a group commitment to always use proper grammar and spelling in all business posts.  This means on your business Facebook page, business Twitter page and any other sites where you refer to your business, seek referrals or post as your business.  Use all the tools at your disposal; Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com, spell check, and if necessary, translation tools from Google and Yahoo for other languages.

Reach for the stars in 2012.

Micro CruzOK, so Techsnoop took the plunge and bought a tablet. Being on a budget, I choose the Velocity Micro Cruz 7″ Tablet. It was a great bargain on Black Friday. So, was it worth it?
Portability; the Micro Cruz comes with a cover, adapter and stand. A great set of accessories that make it easy to take around and use. While not the lightest it could be, it is comfortable to carry. After learning to customize it, I like it and will use happily until I can upgrade.

  • Handling; the 7″ size makes it large enough to view comfortably and just small enough to handle with one hand, barely. If I could change one thing, it would be slicing a little thinness down.
  • OS; the Micro Cruz uses modified Android 2.2 which blocks the download of apps from the Android Market. A serious handicap for the average user. However there are workarounds for the advanced tech-geek. I don’t know what caused Velocity to handicap their otherwise nice equipment with this drawback. It seriously detracts from the functionality of the device and nearly caused me to return it.
  • Uses; As an eReader, A++. Text is clear and crisp and it displays pictures well also. Photos; a great photo display, accurate color resolution.
  • Support; customer support is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
  • Battery life; Absolutely astounding. Had it on for a full day’s use of retrieving e-mail, tweeting and occasional reading and the charge lasted over 9 hours. Streaming from YouTube for over 2 hours with no problem.

Cons: slow processor, limited on-board memory, kind of heavy and thick.  Touch screen is not very responsive, takes multiple taps until you get the pressure correct. Has several glitches that occur when trying to customize.  Manual is not as thorough as it should be, but is well written and easy to follow.

In summary, if you are an advanced Geek on a budget who wants to plunge into the tablet era, go ahead.  Know that you will need to upgrade in the near future, but this is a great device to get started on.  If you are a casual user looking for a beefy eReader, this might suit you.  You’ll probably need some help from customer service to get up to speed.

Novice; unless you have a Geek friend on standby, don’t try this.  You’ll get frustrated and the money saved will not be worth it.
http://app.socialspark.com/widgets/2603?pid=264969&theme=pink&size=smallhttp://app.socialspark.com/widgets/2601?pid=264969&theme=pink&size=small

Yes, I am an addict.  I hope you will take this as a cautionary tale and save yourself.

So, I want to start a blog, but there’s no time.  Well, drop the games use the time to start a blog.  About what?  Well, blog what you know they say.  What I know could fill a library, large library.  But, OK, I know tech.  In fact, I have been dubbed the family Geek.  So, blog about technology, gadgets, resources, reviews and trends.  Got it.  But some stuff I have to say doesn’t fit into the tech category.  Start a new blog about culture, politics and news.

Now the cat wants in on the action.  He has much to say and demands a voice.  Since I have the opposable thumbs, I have to do the typing.  He’s snarky.  Hey, I have a new family addition coming.  Blog about that.  Brain about to explode.  Must add Empire Avenue and Klout to keep up with stats and add followers to Twitter and Facebook.  400 followers, have to keep up and engage.  Send thanks, mentions  and RTs.  Need to organize these, add Crowdbooster, Tweetdeck.

Uhmmm, real life calling, I have customers who need work done.  Tweetdeck keeps popping up to let me know about tweets and mentions.  Made mistake of linking blogs and Twitter to smartphone.  Now, beeps keep coming all day.  Catch up on blogging on the run, what was that great idea?  Can’t recall, start new post, find links make pics and post to Facebook pages.  Oh No, don’t invite me to Google+, I have no time, HELP!.

The shiny new toy is now tarnished, ribbons tattered, wrapping paper shredded.  The buttons are worn and dirty and the toy isn’t so pretty.  But like your favorite teddy bear, I’m compelled to keep dragging it around until all the stuffing is gone and the eyes are lost.  My Intenet love affair has become routine and we take each other for granted.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but like all true love, lasting relationships take hard work.

So, now my friends I have to make some hard choices as to which of my playthings will get the hatchet and which will be shined back up to full usefulness.  The toys are all so pretty even now it is hard to choose which to put away.  Help me if you can, if not save yourselves, choose the toys wisely and keep the list small.  Gotta go, Tweets coming through phone.

Click here to read part one.

No matter what business area you are in, you need a website.  Web presence makes your business larger and global immediately, for a relatively small cost.  Factors to consider are cost to build and set up, hosting fees and maintenance of the site.  Maintenance is the area least considered by small businesses.  Everyone knows that Google analytics exist, but few understand that fresh and updated content factor into your search rankings.

If your business is very small and service oriented, you may make do with one of the free template sites until you can afford a web designer.  Keep in mind that you won’t be able to develop a “brand” look with this, but it can quickly get you up and running so that you can market yourself.

Next, learn how to use social media for your business exposure.  If y0u have a Facebook page, you will need a new one for your business with only business related p0sts and commentary.  Invite your friends and family to “like” your page, but hide their posts unless they are responding to your business comments.

Find meaningful tips and content to share on Facebook and Twitter.  There is a wealth of information on optimizing your social media.  Google “how to use Twitter” and see how many listings come up.  Search the Twitter listings by tag or topic and find specialists in your business area.  Follow them, converse with them and mention them.  You will gain knowledge and followers.

Part 3 coming soon.  Missed part one?  Find it here.

social mediaIt was all so innocent.  The internet was a bright, shiny new toy waiting to be unwrapped with the first sprinkle of snow on a Christmas morning.

I opened a Yahoo e-mail account.  There my friends could send me the jokes we could not share at work.  Slightly naughty, but fun limericks, rhymes and – gasp! cartoons.  I was in.  Along came iVillage, iWon and others who offered your own web page, discounts and fun prizes.  I was intrigued.

Suddenly, there was MySpace.  I turned up my nose like the cute girl at the bar.  I could not be enticed or impressed.  I had my favorites.  Still, there was the pull of the crowd, but I resisted on principal, “that’s for kids”, I said.

I made do with Reunion.com and Classmates.com to hook up with old school friends.  But something was missing.  I succumbed to MySpace.

And then I spotted the bright sparkly strip that was Facebook.  An old friend invited me and I accepted.  Other friends found me and invited me to free games.  What harm could there be?  Ha, Ha.

From one game to 20, in no time flat with a friend list topping 600 and unable to keep up with the gift requests and quests, I soon began to feel the stress.  Then the privacy issues, Augghhh!  I opened another page, just for family and close friends.  I removed personal info from the gaming page and closed ranks on the family page.

Uh oh. I started a business.  Can’t post on gaming page and don’t want to limit like the family page.  I opened another.  Starting a business forced me to LinkedIn and Twitter.  No self-respecting business would be without these.  Now, what to Tweet?

Start a blog.  Ok, simple.  Uh, no.  Blogs need an identity, and I had too many.

Continued next week.

Previously I wrote here about the need for social media to be managed correctly so that it will be a tool and not just another frustration.

Now I want to introduce two new social engagement tools that can be used to increase exposure to blogs, videos and networks.  They are helpful in broadening your subscriber base.  First up is Crowdbooster, a site that can provide analytics of your Facebook and Twitter accounts and also allow you to schedule posts to your Twitter feed for when you may be busy.

Next is Empire Avenue, this is both a social connection tool and a game as you create yourself or your business a company and buy and sell stock.  Your social activities on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and YouTube gain you stock points and money.  The more you grow, the more others take note and buy your shares and endorse you.  The down side: do not start this site if you cannot regularly post and interact, even for a few minutes a day.  One day’s missed activity can tank your shares.

The fun part is that you can register as a person or business so your activity reflects your goals; fun or networking.  You meet like minded people as the interests are a prominent area on the profile of each.  And getting to play stock market with no real money at stake is great fun.

Come join Techsnoop on these sites, we are listed under DKemp Designs.