Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Managing Your Twitter Account: Part 3 of 4 The Marketer’s Guide to Twitter

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

This is part three in a four part series on the The Marketer’s Guide To Twitter.

So, now you know what to tweet and who to follow, so now lets try to grow your following through promotion of your Twitter account and then learn how to manage that following.

First, lets talk about off page twitter promotion.  This means putting your twitter handle and URL on any and all printed materials you have, mentioning it in radio advertising, placing an image on a TV ad, having it in your email signature etc. Any place that you already are spending time advertising or spreading the word should include your twitter info.

Second, is using twitter and twitter tools to help promote and manage your account.

Getting Retweeted: The best way to get retweeted is to tweet out good, let me rephrase that, GREAT content.  People will retweet you when you give them something news worthy, different, humorous, or interesting.  Make sure that you are mixing up your tweets as far as what types of messages and content you are promoting but also you can tweet pics and video that are interesting.

Here are a few reasons to try and get retweeted…

  • It’s Flattering
  • It’s an independent endorsement
  • It Virally spreads your message
  • Attracts new followers

Types of things that will get Retweeted:

  • Headlines
  • Valuable knowledge (breaking news, tutorials/how tos, free stuff, contests)
  • Calls to action (help me…, vote for…)
  • Adding “Please RT” – for contests, deals etc.

One last thing to note is that you need to leave room for RT’s (meaning don’t take up all 140 characters), this gives people the ability to comment or respond in their retweet.

Managing Your Twitter Profile: Staying in the Loop

Many folks talk about how when you start following  a lot of people and vice versa how it gets a little overwhelming as far as keeping up with everything and having conversations.  Twitter has a lists option that helps with this and Tweetdeck makes using and viewing the lists even easier.

Say that you have a list of people from Maine that you follow so you can strictly talk about what’s going on in Maine.  All you have to do is create a new column in Tweetdeck and import your list to that column.  That way it’s separated out from the crowed of “All Friends” and when you are in the mood to talk Maine, it’s right there for you.

You can also separate out your mentions and direct messages so that you can see these more readily.  This tool essentially makes it easier for you to have actual conversations on Twitter and not get bogged down by constantly having to search through tweets to see what people are saying.

Search: Next you may want to see what people are saying about your company, product or service but you may not be following them, or they may not be following you.  Using Twitter Search and Advanced Twitter Search can allow you to search for specific terms and words, as well as local tweets so that you can respond and promote your company or service.

Alerts: Setting up Alerts like “social mention” and google alerts is also a good method to help keep track of what people are saying so that you can respond, help and engage in conversation with others on Twitter.  These are simple to use and come right into your email inbox.

Cross Promoting Your Twitter Feed

Just like adding your twitter url/twitter logo on all your printed and traditional materials you should also add it to your other online profiles, blogs and websites.  This cross promotion allows people who normally visit your blog or website to discover you on Twitter easily.  And, chances are if they are already interested in your other online material they will be interested enough to follow you as well.

Measuring Your Impact

  • Create custom landing page for only Twitter traffic, then use customer URL  this helps to measure traffic to your site from Twitter.
  • Shorten and Track URLs: Most URL of the tools that you use to shorten URLs also come with an ability to track analytics. is a favorite as it has great insights as well being the shortest URL you can get.

An important thing to note is that only about 10% of tweets come from, the rest come from other Twitter management devices and smartphones.  So, your measurements will always be a little skewed.

Hashtags: helping you find interesting Tweets

  • People use the hashtag symbol # before relevant keywords in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets to show more easily in Twitter Search.
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets in that category.
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet.
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.

Using hashtags

  • If Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet.
  • Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Don’t over-tag a single Tweet. (Best practices recommend using no more than 3 hashtags per Tweet.)
  • Use hashtags only on Tweets relevant to the topic.

Stay tuned for part 4 of the Marketer’s Guide to Twitter.

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
Maine SEO

The Art of the Twitter Follow: Part 2 of 4 The Marketer’s Guide to Twitter

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

This is part two in a four part series on the The Marketer’s Guide To Twitter.

The last post was about “What to Tweet”, this post is about finding the right people to follow that will hopefully follow back so that you are tweeting those messages out to the right audience.

So many people jump on twitter and just start following everyone they possibly can hoping for a follow back. But, what good is a follow back if it’s not anyone that is ever going to convert?

So, here are some of the basics of how to find people to follow.

Under ‘Who To Follow’ on twitter you have several options.  You can follow Twitter’s suggested people to follow, browse interests or find friends through various email accounts.  There are also several ways to search for people to follow by using things like local search and twitter search or looking through different twitter directories like “twellow” or “wefollow”.  Whatever method you decide to use or if you use all of the above it’s important to keep in mind that just because you can follow someone, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Instead you should practice strategic following methods.

Strategic Following:

  1. Customer/Clients – follow your current customers and clients.  You can even upload your customer/client email database into Yahoo, gmail, hotmail, or aol and start following those that are already on twitter and invite those who aren’t. You can also use LinkedIn to find customers to follow.
  2. Colleagues: Is there someone that you are always running into at industry events and networking functions? This would be a great way to keep up with what a colleague is doing in the industry.
  3. Vendors/Partners/Members: If you have any business partners or your company supports other companies you should follow them.
  4. Staff: Follow your staff and have your staff follow you, this is a great way to tweet about the company to multiple audiences and also have them retweet/ you retweet valuable information.
  5. Relevant journalists – So if there is a certain journalist that is always talking about your industry or a blog that is consistently talking about your industry make sure that you follow it.
  6. Social Influencers- There are many different applications that can help you with finding out who the major social influencers are online in your industry. Klout and Crowdbooster (currently in private beta) are a couple that come to mind.
  7. Competitors - Always a good idea to find your competitors online and keep track of what they are doing.

The next thing to do after making sure that you are following the right people is to try and increase your followers. Here are a few tips:

Increase Followers:

  1. Include twitter URL everywhere
  2. Write about your twitter feed
  3. Add twitter badges to your sites
  4. List yourself in twitter directories (twellow)
  5. Run a contest
  6. Get Retweeted – The best possible way to get retweeted is by tweeting things of value.  A retweet is like someone saying “this person is really smart and you should follow them too.”

And, lastly the best way to get followers is really to provide great information, links, ideas, thoughts, and conversation.  Make sure that you read tweets and comment and engage in conversation.  Twitter is not a place to just shout out salesy gimmicks at folks, in fact that might just be the quickest way to lose a follower.  Instead mix it up and keep it conversational.

For more info check out our post on “How to Find Authentic, Interesting People on Twitter” and “How to Get a Twitter Snob to Pay Attention to You.”


Joan Woodbrey Crocker
Maine SEO

3 Reasons Why I Love the New Twitter Search

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Recently, Twitter launched a new search function. After reading this article in Mashable a few weeks ago, I played around with it for myself and instantly loved it. Why?

1. Quick and easy

You don’t have to leave It’s simple, and I don’t go there often; but it’s annoying to constantly go to to search. Now it’s as easy as using the top of

Use “operators” make searches even easier! These search functions are also included in Twitter’s Advanced Search.

2. You can search tweets, tweets with links, and (sort of) search bios

In the past, you were able to search Twitter for tweets. There’s never really been a great tool for searching tweets with links. And finally, you were able to search bios using a tool like Twellow.

Now, you’re able to do everything in one spot on the new Twitter search. You can tab through the options (Tweets, Tweets with links, and People) to get a good variety. More often than not, you might need to vary your search (by location, keywords, etc.), but you’ll be able to find some great results!

3. Follow Tweeps and add to a list

Last, but certainly not least, when you want to follow someone new – or add someone to an existing or brand new list – you’re able to do that right from Twitter search.

And there you have it! What are your favorite things about the new Twitter search?

Nicki Hicks
Twitter searcher

Why Twitter Will Make You a Better Writer

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Twitter gives you 140 characters to say something. 140. [To give you an idea of how short that is, I'm at 143 as of the end of this paragraph.]

With a blog or your website, you have space. Space to write however much you want. But Twitter forces us into a rectangular box of limited characters. Adding another person’s handle? Go ahead. Including a link? Have at it. But it’ll cost you a few characters.

The good news?

With so few characters, you’re bound to tighten up your writing. Can you really include all of those “…”s? Should you drop the “LOL” on the end of your tweet? Maybe it’s time to learn what “FWIW”, “NSFW”, and “FTW” really mean so that you can stop wasting precious characters spelling them out.

I joke, but Twitter will help you write sharper, clearer, and more concisely. Tweeting will help you think more about what you’re writing and cut out all of the fluff that doesn’t matter.

The better news?

People will actually take the few seconds to read what you’ve written. With a website or blog,  you’ve got skimmers. But on Twitter, people know that reading your tweet won’t take a whole 5 minutes of their precious time. It’ll take 5 seconds.

The catch: make sure you tweet things worth reading so you don’t get tuned out…or worse, unfollowed.

Nicki Hicks
Follow me to see if I can keep it short and sweet

How to Find Your Audience Online

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Do you know who they are?

Sadly, many business owners don’t know who their audience is. A local Mom-and-Pop variety store may be entirely unaware of who they should be targeting.

So step one: figure out who your customers are.

Just ask

Seems silly, but why do all sorts of research and do little more than guess when you can find out for sure? Simply say, “Oh by the way, I was just wondering where you spend your time online. Do you have a favorite social network?”

Maybe your audience isn’t online, and therefore you don’t need to spend time there. You’ll find out pretty quickly where most of them lie: whether it’s on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or maybe a niche social media site that you’ve never even heard of. Asking is the easiest way to find out – and it’s far easier than guessing.

Be where your people are

After you find out where people are…go there. They may be on multiple channels, and that doesn’t mean you have to devote your time to all of them. Pick one if that’s all the time your resources allow; but sign up for all of them.


For the right kind of business (and audience), MySpace could be lethal (in a good way). For musicians and new bands, MySpace has been a huge key to success.

With the ability, unlike most social networks, to customize backgrounds and profiles, MySpace is truly a brandable network.


Create your personal profile first, then a business fan page. Starting suggesting that friends fan your business, and then start reaching out beyond your friends. You can search for specific keywords within your network; or simply keywords within profiles – depending on privacy settings.

Facebook ads are another way to gain fans. Right now, they’re ultra-targeted and relatively cheap per click.


If your customer base is on Twitter, sign up and build out your profile (including a custom background). Search for people you already know and start following them. Then go to Twitter Search and find some gurus in your industry by searching for keywords in your line of business. Check out Nearby Tweets for tweeps in your area and start following them.

Download an app like TweetDeck and track keywords in either your industry or your physical location. By doing this, you’ll no longer need to search constantly on Nearby Tweets or a similar geo-locating tool. Also, make sure you track your business name. That way, if someone talks about you (positive or negative), you’ll be right there, ready to respond accordingly.


If your audience is on LinkedIn, you should be too! Create a personal profile page, along with a business profile page. Then make sure everyone in your organization is on LinkedIn and become connected with them. Then, look for your audience. Start with people you know.

Begin joining groups – even creating some around your line of work. Be sure to check the Answers section in order to become the expert in your industry. Both Groups and Answers are great places to find people to become connected with.

You’re not done yet

Now that you’ve found your audience, make sure you continue to search for new fans, friends, connections, and followers constantly. Consistently engage with these people – no matter what network you’re on.

Nicki Hicks
Go where the people are

Is Google Too Suggestive?

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

In May, Google announced they’d be adding more to the “Suggest” function. Up until now, I hadn’t noticed; but perhaps that’s because I rarely search from

Yesterday, I found it helpful:

google suggest links

However, if, as Search Engine Land suggests, there will be AdWords included Suggest, I can only imagine this space will be overcrowded in no time.

That begs the question…

Isn’t less more?

Time and time again, seemingly simplistic interfaces seem to become complicated. Look at Facebook and Twitter…

Facebook added a news feed, which has more recently become a real time news feed. Certainly, there are reasons for such changes; but at a certain point is evolving for just evolution’s sake?

Twitter recently added a retweet function from its website. Seemingly helpful, it’s done nothing other than muddle up the simplistic interface they had going. This function, in particular, received nothing but bad reviews.

Certainly Google couldn’t be the next monopoly to be pressured to overcrowd in an effort to be cutting edge. Dearest Google, simple is good. Simple is why you are king.

Fortunately, more often than not, Google will test ideas relentlessly before they leave Labs. But it’s something to think about.

Nicki Hicks
Website minimalist

How to Find a Job using Social Media

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

This week, I gave two presentations (or rather, the same presentation, twice) for a senior Business Seminar class at Saint Joseph’s College. Though it’s always nice going back to my alma mater, more so than usual, I feel for the senior class.

A year and a half ago, it was easier to find a job. Obviously, it took some work, but it’s nowhere near the type of competitive environment these soon-to-be grads face in the next 6 months of their job search. So how are you supposed to differentiate yourself in such an atmosphere? Why, with social media, of course!

The full presentation is in Slideshare below, but here are some of the key points:

  • On Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter already? Great…now go in and clean up and fill out your profiles. Not on them? Join! (Note: only join Twitter if you can devote the time to it.)
  • The next step: go above and beyond. Engage people by friending/fanning, following, and connecting with the right people and groups.
  • Jobs in ME/VT/NH and many of your other favorite job listing sites have a presence on all of the major social media networks. Why go to their website everyday when you can engage them via Twitter? or Facebook? or even an RSS feed?
  • A really neat find: when I was doing research for the presentation, I stumbled upon some video resumes on YouTube – what better way to add depth to your resume? But be careful – you have to do your video resume the right way; check out the presentation for tips and tricks for YouTube!

How to Find Authentic, Interesting People on Twitter

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

…or as spammer would have you believe: How to get 200 followers a day!!!

#FollowFriday or #ff

When done properly, FollowFridays are a great way to increase your Twitter network. The way it works is simple: on Fridays, you suggest your followers follow a certain tweep in particular. You can see that there’s the added benefit when the reverse is true: recommendations from the people you follow.

Look for the icon

twitter verified accountSome time ago, Twitter launched its Verified Accounts for businesses and celebrities. With all of the copycat Tweeps out there, this is how Twitter is attempting to set your mind at ease.


I’ve talked about the utterly incredible #MEtweetups we have here in Portland, and they really are a great place to meet new folks on Twitter – both to meet some you follow already IRL (In Real Life) and others you hadn’t been following before!

Search for ‘em

Nicki Hicks
Follow me on Twitter

5 Things You Should Remember to do Every Time You Publish a New Blogpost

Friday, August 7th, 2009

So you’ve just created a killer blogpost. It’s got a ferocious title that will bring in a ton of readers, it’s keyword rich, and to top it off – you’ve got some stellar, unique content. Ok, so now what? Hit “publish” and you’re done? I think not…

1. Email subscriptions and RSS

It may sound silly, but make sure your readers have the ability to subscribe to what you write: be it via email or RSS. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve seen that don’t have either option, and interestingly enough: I’ve only seen them the one time.

2. Tweet about it, post it on Facebook and LinkedIn

Make that puppy viral! Sure, you have your email and RSS subscribers, but proactively seeking new readers and subscribers adds to your community. On top of that, your followers on Twitter might ReTweet your post – sending it out to their followers; your friends on Facebook might “like”, comment, or even repost your post; and your connections on LinkedIn could also access your post.

Specifically for Twitter, give your reader the option to “ReTweet” – the icon in the top left of this post – this way, they don’t have to do any work outside of hitting a button.

3. StumbleUpon it

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t use this tool for all its worth. But the reality is, you can create quite a bit of traffic around StumbleUpon – specifically among those people in your network or those that simply like the same things you do! Bonus: get other people to StumbleUpon the post too!

4. Digg it, or add it to your favorite Social Bookmarking site

There’s a lot of junk on social bookmarking sites. But then again, there’s a lot of great stuff too. Once articles go viral, there’s a ton of traffic in store for them, even if it’s for a short time. (That’s why you need #1 – to keep the readers.)

So, have someone digg or sphinn your post, add it to delicious, reddit, or whichever social bookmarking site you love!

5. Get your incoming link juice on.

Last, but certainly not least, get back to some basic SEO and get some other bloggers/sites to link to your post.

There’s an overlaying theme here: be everywhere. Be it a blogpost, a marketing message, newletter, what have you; distribute it to as many channels as humanly possible.

Nicki Hicks
Getting your blog out there, one post at a time

Why Baby Boomers and Gen X Get Social Media and Generation Y Still Doesn’t

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

generation y

We get MySpace and we most certainly get Facebook, so why have LinkedIn and Twitter gotten swept under the rug?

I got to thinking about this when this past weekend, I had an interesting conversation with my uncle (late 50′s) and cousin (16). I asked them both “Have you heard of Twitter?” and recieved variations of “Yeah, you think I live under a rock?”

The difference after initial recognition? What I see on a regular day basis: my uncle gets it; and although he hasn’t actually gotten around to opening an account, he understands the benefits it could bring him and his company. Meanwhile, my 16-year old cousin thinks it’s silly to tweet what you’re doing, and she brings up a legitimate point with ”You can update your status on Facebook, why would I want to do it twice?” (I would’ve gotten into the majesty of Ping and TweetDeck with her, had I not thought her head would spin.)

The thing is, while we Generation Y-er’s – also affectionately called Millennials – (those of us born between 1980 and 2000) are more likely to try something new, yet we don’t necessarily see the benefits of continuing to use and take it a step further by actually leveraging it.

For those still in school, I completely understand. Their comfort zone lies in realms of Facebook and, dare I say it, MySpace. These are the places where we can share our photos from the night before, videos we’ll later regret, and embarrassing drunken wall posts we’d been convinced at the time were private messages.

So allow me to clarify: I love my generation, they’re awesome. I’ll be the first to argue that many of us don’t fall into the unfortunate lazy, we-know-it-all stereotype. But it’s the more professional platforms of LinkedIn and Twitter where I feel we still fall short. To be fair, I do follow several older teens/young adults on Twitter who are great, but are also more than happy to LOLz the crap out of me. (I’m happy to report I narrowly escaped this new era of adding a ‘z’ to everything.)

So to those my fellow Gen-Y’s who just don’t understand social media yet, here’s my best argument:

Job Visibility

It may be the industry I’m in. It may because social media is apart of my job, and I have no choice but to dabble. Then again, the moment I tell friends that Twitter and LinkedIn can be phenomenal for job visibility they’re more than happy to jump onboard. (If you don’t believe me, just check out what @JobsInME is doing on Twitter.)

Meet the Locals

Not only that, but I can’t begin to tell you how many great people I’ve meet in and around Portland thanks to Maine Tweetups. Millenials are known for a thirst for meeting new people, and Twitter’s perfect for it!

Find People in your Niche

Who wouldn’t be interested in this? Have a passion for rock climbing and none of your buddies do? Interested in starting a new fitness regimen and don’t know where to start? I’ve harped about how great Twitter is for business, but it’s great for your personal life too!

Days after I posted that I was getting a new lab puppy, tons of dog trainers in the Greater Portland area started following me. Likewise, LinkedIn is even more helpful with its niche groups.

Nicki Hicks
22 going on 40

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